The Last 36

The Last 36 is a short film, shot by Inspiring Explorer James Blake, that retraces one of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s most perilous and desperate journeys.


The Last 36 was filmed by James Blake, and follows the Antarctic Heritage Trust’s Inspiring Explorers’ Expedition to South Georgia to mark the centenary of the first crossing of the island.

The expedition retraced Shackleton, Frank Worsley, and Tom Crean’s heroic journey to get help for the crew of the ill-fated ship, ‘Endurance’. This remains one of the most remarkable survival stories in history.

James Blake was one of three young people chosen for the crossing, alongside Sinéad Hunt from Ireland and Tom MacTavish from New Zealand. The three were selected to honour the nationalities of the original explorers; Shackleton from England, Crean from Ireland and Worsley from Akaroa, New Zealand.

Antarctic Heritage Trust (AHT) Executive Director Nigel Watson completed the journey with the three young explorers and two professional guides from One Ocean Expeditions in late 2015.

“It was an eye-opening journey. Even with all of our modern equipment we were up against the elements. It certainly gave us a tiny insight into that last chapter in Shackleton’s remarkable journey.”

Nigel Watson says Inspiring Explorers’ Expeditions are part of the Trust’s efforts to engage young people with the spirit of exploration, something he believes is still critical in the 21st century. He hopes the release of The Last 36 will support this.

“Sharing this short film, which is beautifully shot and wonderfully edited, is a great way to inspire people with one of the world’s greatest polar exploration stories. Each of our Inspiring Explorers is asked to go out and share their story in the hope they will encourage people to step out and explore the world around them.”

Here's some background on our 2015 Inspiring Explorers...

James Blake

Honouring Shackleton, from Great Britain, was James Blake who grew up in-between England and New Zealand with his father Sir Peter Blake being an ocean sailor/explorer and his mother an artist. James has found himself somewhat in the middle of these two disciplines. Childhood holidays were either spent on or around water, but often interspersed with trips to alpine environments. James works as a cameraperson ...and director of photography and has been involved in a number of projects ranging from the BBC Natural History Unit, to the Discovery Channel, and a number of indie films. He is currently working with the Volvo Ocean Race as an on-board reporter.

Sinéad Hunt

Honouring Irishman Tom Crean, was Sinéad Hunt, who grew up in North County Dublin in a family with an appetite for travel and adventure. Sinéad studied Mechanical Engineering in University College Dublin (UCD), where she joined the UCD Mountaineering Club. Having always loved hiking and the outdoors, through the UCDMC and Mountaineering Ireland (Irish Governing Body for mountain activities) Sinéad took her skills to the... next level during her university years. Upon qualifying as an engineer, Sinéad enlisted in the Irish Defence Forces like her father and grandfather before her.

Tom MacTavish

Honouring New Zealander Frank Worsley is Tom MacTavish. Raised in the small, country fishing village of Moeraki, Otago, New Zealand, Tom’s childhood centred on exploring the natural environment. Tom spent weekends and holidays as a teenager working long hours on commercial fishing boats, it was this early exposure to the ocean that planted the seed of adventure and created the motivation for an MSc in Marine Science. Tom’s early career choices were shaped by a fascination for cold, isolated places which took him to South-East Alaska, the Yukon and the Norwegian Arctic.  He now lives on Banks Peninsula where he works for the Department of Conservation as a marine and biodiversity ranger.

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