A new Google Earth overlay allows you to track the progress of HMS Endurance. Sure, it lacks the glamour of Shackelton's initial voyage--but armchair explorers don't have to eat seals.
When the HMS Endurance deploys from Portsmouth, UK every fall, it has a mishmash of strategic and non-strategic objectives. Named for the ship commanded by famed Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton during his ill-fated 1914 expedition, the modern day Endurance has exploration as only a small part of its overall mission. Scientific research and public outreach are also on the docket for the 118-person crew, as well as assisting the occasional foundering cruise ship.
This year in particular, Endurance has stepped up its public relations and education initiatives, by having crew document the ship's progress online with a series of journal entries and photographs. This Google Earth overlay mounts all the entries onto one of those irresistible 3D maps. Check out this entry from South Georgia Island:
Hooray for the satellite revolution!