January 22, 2014

Antarctic explorers

Antarctica: Journeys to the South Pole
by Walter Dean Myers

When thinking of Antarctic explorers, the names most often mentioned are Byrd, Amundsen, and Shackleton. But there have been many others - James Cook, James Clark Ross, Charles Wilkes, Robert Falcon Scott, William Smith, and Adrien de Gerlache de Gomery. Their stories are told in this compelling volume, accompanied by photos, maps, and journal excerpts. 

An excellent history of Antarctic exploration.

After the Last Dog Died: The True-Life, Hair-Raising Adventure of Douglas Mawson's 1912 Antarctic Expedition
by Carmen Bredeson

Douglas Mawson, a geology professor, was on Ernest Shackleton's 1908 Antarctic expedition. He and two others reached the south magnetic pole. Three years later, Mawson returned to the continent, this time to study the climate, geology, plants, and animals. Five exploration parties, each made up of three men, set out in October, 1912, headed east and west along the coast. Mawson's party, consisting of himself, Belgrave Ninnis, and Xavier Mertz, were also going east, but inland. One month into their trek, Ninnis fell into a crevasse and was lost. Since nearly all the food and the tent was lost as well, Mawson and Mertz were forced to turn back. They only had enough food for one and a half weeks. It would take five weeks to return to base camp, 320 miles away. Unable to feed the dogs, they had to shoot them one by one. After the last dog died, Mertz became ill and died one week later. Left alone, Mawson had to use all his courage and ingenuity to survive.

An incredible story comes alive with historical photos, gripping text, and quotes from Mawson himself.

No comments: