Antarctica by David Day

By David Day

For hundreds of years it was once suspected that there has to be an undiscovered continent within the southern hemisphere, yet explorers did not locate one. On his moment voyage to the Pacific, Captain cook dinner sailed extra south than any of his competitors yet nonetheless didn't sight land. He needed to be content material with claiming sub-Antarctic islands for England's King George. It used to be no longer until eventually 1820 that the continent's frozen coast used to be eventually sighted. Territorial competition intensified within the 1840s while British, American, and French expeditions sailed south to chart additional parts of the continent that had become referred to as Antarctica. For the following centuries, the race to say unique ownership of Antarctica has gripped the mind's eye of the area. Antarctica: A Biography is the 1st ever significant overseas background of this forbidding continent--from the eighteenth century voyages of discovery to the explorers of the early 20th century, down to the fierce rivalries of at the present time, as governments, scientists, environmentalists, and oil businesses compete for regulate. On one point it's the tale of explorers struggling with the weather within the such a lot opposed position in the world as they attempt for private triumph, advertisement achieve, and nationwide glory. On a deeper point, it's the tale of countries trying to contain the antarctic into their very own nationwide stories--and to assert its frozen wastes as their very own.

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There was also the New Haven ship Huron, captained by John Davis, while the British ships included the Leith-based brig Jane, captained by James Weddell. 34 34 ANTARCTICA Bellingshausen picked his way carefully along the island chain, avoiding icebergs and rocky shoals as he charted the coastline through the swirling mist and fog. After reaching the eastern limit of Little Yaroslavetz, he came across a narrow strait full of submerged rocks and turbulent water, which he decided not to enter. Continuing instead to the adjacent and much larger island, which had previously been named Livingston Island by the British and was now named Smolensk Island by Bellingshausen, the Russian ships found themselves in a strait about fifteen kilometres wide.

In his belated account, intended for a popular audience, Fanning asserted that Palmer had told Bellingshausen that he had seen a large and mountainous land mass from a high point on Deception Island. Sailing off in the Hero to investigate, Palmer had been disappointed to see no sign of seal colonies and had returned without charting or landing upon the shore. If the account is accurate, Palmer had seen and investigated part of the Antarctic Peninsula. Bellingshausen had then supposedly asked to see Palmer’s logbook and chart.

20 Reynolds boosted his chances of gaining political support when he abandoned talk of Symmes’ theory and talked instead of new seal colonies and the South Pole as an attainable objective in the light of Weddell’s voyage. In early 1828 he convinced politicians from New York, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina to petition Congress for money to send ‘a small expedition, to explore the immense and unknown regions in the southern hemisphere’. It was argued that such an expedition could find new islands, chart the coasts where American mariners ‘frequently suffer shipwreck’ and open new avenues for trade in animal fur, which produces ‘an immense revenue’ for the government and ‘greatly augments our national strength, by increasing the number of our most efficient seamen’.

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