Below the Convergence: Voyages Toward Antarctica, 1699-1839

Overview

“A great adventure story.”—Dava Sobel, New York Times Book Review
This wonderfully written book tells of the first Herculean expeditions to Antarctica, from astronomer Edmond Halley’s 1699 voyage in the Paramore to the sealer John Balleny’s 1839 excursion in the Eliza Scott, all in search of land, glory, fur, science, and profit. Life was harsh: crews had poor provisions and inadequate clothing, and scurvy was a constant threat. With unreliable—often homemade—charts, these intrepid explorers sailed in the stormy ...

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Overview

“A great adventure story.”—Dava Sobel, New York Times Book Review
This wonderfully written book tells of the first Herculean expeditions to Antarctica, from astronomer Edmond Halley’s 1699 voyage in the Paramore to the sealer John Balleny’s 1839 excursion in the Eliza Scott, all in search of land, glory, fur, science, and profit. Life was harsh: crews had poor provisions and inadequate clothing, and scurvy was a constant threat. With unreliable—often homemade—charts, these intrepid explorers sailed in the stormy waters of the Southern Ocean below the Convergence, that sea frontier marking the boundary between the freezing Antarctic waters and the warmer sub-Antarctic seas. These men were the first to discover and exploit a new continent, which was not the verdant southern island they had imagined but an inhospitable expanse of rock and ice, ringed by pack ice and icebergs: Antarctica.

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Editorial Reviews

Chicago Tribune
“Will delight both the armchair traveler and the intellectual tourist.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393329049
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/5/2007
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,457,825
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Alan Gurney is a former yacht designer and photographer living in Suffolk, England. His previous books include Compass and Race to the White Continent.

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Table of Contents


List of Maps     viii
Acknowledgments     ix
Prologue     1
Terra Australis Incognita     3
The Haven-Finding Art     22
The Plague of the Sea     35
The Southern Ocean     53
Edmond Halley and the Pink Paramore     69
Mr. James Cook     86
The Voyage of the Resolution and Adventure     109
The Continent Discovered     146
Weddell and Brisbane Sail South     186
Weddell and the Fuegians     216
John Biscoe: The Third Circumnavigation     240
Kemp and Balleny: The Last Discoveries by Sealers     259
Epilogue     276
Maps     282
Bibliography     299
Index     305
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