Jasper Shackleton

After Dinner & Event Speaker (in association with SpeakOut)

Sir Ernest Shackleton and Jasper Shackleton are related, both men have played pivotal roles in remarkable open boat voyages - Sir Ernest from Elephant Island to South Georgia across the gale-swept Southern Ocean, and Jasper from Tonga in the South Pacific to the island of Timor, and then on to Bali in Indonesia.

Sir Ernest's famous journey was a desperate last-ditch attempt to save his crew before winter sealed their fates in the Antarctic.


Jaspers 4,500 mile voyage through coral reefs and Open Ocean was also highly hazardous.

In 1987, while visiting remote Pitcairn Island - the island hideout of Fletcher Christian and The Bounty mutineers - Jasper conceived the idea of retracing the voyage of Captain William Bligh after he and his supporters had been cast adrift in an open-boat. Bligh, together with seventeen men, sailed their boat 3,600 miles from Tofua to Timor, with barely sufficient food and water to sustain life. Jasper Shackleton resolved to make an identical voyage in 1989 in a replica twenty-three foot open-boat to mark the bi-centenary of Bligh's outstanding achievement and as a tribute to his great seamanship and navigational skills. Jasper had a little less than two years to prepare ..

Childhood summers had been spent boating, usually within the confines of a harbour and although Jasper had some carpentry and woodwork skills he had never built a traditional wooden boat, but was determined to build the replica craft himself. There was a lot to learn..
Within nine months of returning from Pitcairn Jasper was adding the finishing touches to the largely completed hull of his vessel. Later that year he selected a crew by putting candidates through their paces at sea. Finally the voyage started crew and boat standing off Tofua two hundred years to the day after the mutiny and visiting the stony cove where one of Blighs crew had been brutally murdered by natives.

The story of Jaspers remarkable voyage includes illness, near wrecking, storms, sharks pursuing the vessel, navigating by the sun and the stars, radio and gear failure, hallucinations, good fortune, crew stresses, deportation, some temporary crew dejection and then finally and above all success. (150 photographs illustrate the voyage.)

Ex-Marketing Director of Sellotape, John Grantham, says I have hired many motivational speakers for conferences over the years, but I wish I had known earlier of Jasper. His success used, and his talk demonstrates, all the key tenets of Leadership including Vision, Target-setting, Planning, Determination, Commitment, Accountability, Persuasion, Flexibility, Team-work, Grit, Follow-through and an Iron Will to Succeed and yet he had had no formal training in any of these. Moreover, the talk inspires and is highly entertaining.

Jaspers talk includes illuminating insights into Bligh insights more thought-provoking than anything portrayed by Hollywood. Jasper also welcomes a lively Questions session, where his positive attitude to this project and to life generally rubs off on listeners. Audiences have sometimes requested a second and even a third presentation.

Despite little pro-active PR at the time, the expedition was featured in local and national media including The Independent, Times and Express, BBC and ITV, and Far Eastern press. Even more recently, Le Monde picked up the story and ran a full 2-page feature on it.

Jasper threads his detailed understanding of The Mutiny on the Bounty into his talk its a subject actually suitable for a talk in its own right. In addition he is knowledgeable on other less known Pacific Ocean maritime history, and is naturally well versed with the Endurance Expedition and Sir Ernest Shackleton however he urges that the initial presentation is on his own voyage.

Jasper is married with 2 sons and a daughter and lives at Littlebredy, Dorset. His veteran replica boat is now moored at Weymouth. A furniture maker and designer, he currently has a number of exciting new maritime projects in the planning stage scheduled for 2007 and 2008. Raising funds is an expedition in itself, but it is always worthwhile when one is then able to taste the real thing says Shackleton.

To book Jasper Shackleton, contact Emkay Entertainments Agency via mark@emkayentertainments.net. Alternatively, speak to a booking agent directly on 01506 855 555.

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