Voyage of the Beliga- Fifteen Months in the Antarctic.


The Belgian Antarctic Expedition of 1897-9 was the most cosmopolitan of the heroic age of Antarctic exploration. Led by Lt. Adrein De Gerlache of the Royal Belgian Navy it was underfunded from the start and ill-prepared to overwinter in the ice pack. Despite being stuck in the ice for almost a year the ship survived without serious damage. The mixture of nationalities - Belgian, Polish, Norwegian, American, Rumanian, Russian - ensured that communication was always a problem and this was exacerbated when they were all trapped inside the cold damp, ship in winter. That it ended well was largely due to just four men, the American doctor, Fredrick Cook, the Norwegian second mate, Roald Amundsen, the Belgian first mate, George Lecointe and De Gerlache himself. The earliest known photographs of Antartica were taken during this expedition. Originally the only account in English of this first over-wintering in the Antarctic was that published by Cook in 1900. Now, at last, the leader's account, originally published in French in 1902, has been translated into English. The book has a new foreword by Baron Gaston de Gerlache de Gomery, the son of Adrien, and an extensive account of the background of the expedition by the translator, Dr Maurice Raraty.

(This from Bluntisham Books)

A 1998 edition published by Bluntisham.