Discovery on the great southern continent, Julia Millen

Dispatches from Continent Seven: An Anthology of Antarctic Science
Rebecca Priestley (ed)
Awa Press, $55.00,
ISBN 9781927249055

New Zealand’s connection with Antarctica began with early explorers. Abel Janszoon Tasman and Captain James Cook sailed south seeking Terra Australis Incognita and on the way found the “land uplifted high”. Voyaging on to higher latitudes, Cook’s diary of his 1773 Antarctic circumnavigation records weather details, wildlife, “ice islands” and ice mountains (icebergs). American explorer, Charles Wilkes, who visited New Zealand in 1840, led an expedition which encountered a phenomenal ice barrier and a life-saving discovery. Inside an iceberg was “a pond of most delicious water over which was a scum of ice about 10 inches thick. We obtained from it about 500 gallons.”

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