EIGHTY-FOOT waves, freezing temperatures and a not-so-traditional Christmas dinner – it’s not the most common way to spend the festive season.

Jamie Douglas-Hamilton is attempting to write himself into the history books with a world first, which will see him swap home comforts for a small boat this Christmas.

He and his crew-mates are trying to row 750 miles unassisted and without wind power from Chile’s Cape Horn to mainland Antarctica across the Drake Passage.

The expedition has been called ‘The Impossible Row’ because no one has rowed this far south before and crossed the Drake Passage, the body of water between Cape Horn and the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica, by human power alone.

Not only can seas reach up to 80ft in the Southern Ocean but the crew will be rowing against the current.

Jamie, of North Berwick, is the only British member of a team of six who will row in 90-minute shifts around the clock, with little to no sleep for 24 hours a day for around three weeks in cold to freezing conditions.

He said “When I was a boy I read Endurance about Shackleton’s rescue voyage when they sailed from Elephant Island to South Georgia in a small lifeboat and I couldn’t believe the hardship they went through.

“It is exciting but slightly scary that we are going in a similar size boat that is lower to the sea and that we are rowing against the waves and current which will be dragging us east as we will be rowing southwards.”

Jamie was due to set off on the epic row on Monday.

The expedition will end by December 31, by which point the six-strong team hope to have rowed through to mainland Antarctica.

Jamie, 38, is not new to adventure.

He is following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Douglas Douglas-Hamilton, 14th Duke of Hamilton and commander of 602 City of Glasgow Squadron, who was the first to fly over the summit of Mount Everest in 1933 in an open cockpit biplane.

In 2014, Jamie was part of a team that set two Guinness World Records by rowing 5,000 miles across the vast Indian Ocean, all the way from Australia to Africa.

Jamie, who will be carrying his own high-calorie food supply, founded ACTIPH Water following the 2014 expedition as he discovered that high pH alkaline water offered greater hydration to high-performing athletes.

Jamie, the son of James Douglas-Hamilton, Lord Selkirk of Douglas, said: “Everyone told us we were crazy to attempt this and that is why it has been named ‘the Impossible Row’ but I believe anything is possible if you really commit to something.

“This will be the hardest challenge any of us have faced but we have a fit and determined team.

“The most frightening part is the huge waves expected to hit us side on but we have planned for every eventuality, so we are ready to face whatever the Drake Passage throws at us.”

Joining Jamie, who attended Dunbar’s Belhaven Hill School, are five other men with impressive resumes.

Fiann Paul, from Iceland, is captaining the expedition and has broken the Guinness rowing speed record on the Atlantic, Indian, Pacific and Arctic Oceans. Also taking part is Colin O’Brady, a four-time world record holder, who last year was the first to trek solo and unassisted across Antarctica.

The other members of the team are Cameron Bellamy, who has just completed the longest open channel swim in history when he swam from Barbados to St Lucia; Andrew Towne, an ultra-endurance athlete and rower; and John Peterson, who captained Yale University’s rowing team.

The expedition is being recorded by the Discovery Channel, which is sending the Braveheart vessel to follow the journey; however, the boat will offer no support or supplies to the athletes.