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Item #: PL86-239
BELOW THE CONVERGENCE; VOYAGES TOWARD ANTARCTICA 1699-1839 Alan Gurney 1998 Paperback Fine
By Gurney, Alan
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Detailed Product Description
New York, Penguin 1998. 315 pp, maps, b/w illustrations. Used paperback. Fine.

The tantalizing theory of a huge southern continent, Terra Australis Incognita, had haunted the imaginations of countless geographers throughout history. Not until the second of his great voyages in 1773 did Captain James Cook finally lay the theory to rest.
 
This wonderfully written book tells the story of British, American, and Russian expeditions, from the astronomer Edmond Halley's voyage in the Paramore in 1699, to the sealer John Balleny's 1839 voyage in the Eliza Scott, all in search of land, fur, or elephant seals. These were voyages for science, national prestige, and profit. Life was incredibly harsh: crews had poor provisions and inadequate clothing and were constantly threatened by scurvy.
 
Often they had to make their own charts as they sailed in the stormy waters of the Southern Ocean below the Convergence, that seafrontier marking the boundary between the freezing Antarctic waters and the warmersub-Antarctic seas. These seamen were the first to discover and exploit a new continent, which was not the verdant southern land imagined but an inhospitable expanse of rock and ice, ringed by pack ice and icebergs--Antarctica. 

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