Archive for the ‘In the wake of the Belgica’ Category

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Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

Dixie sailed with the Euronav Belgica in the wake of the Belgica, Adrien de Gerlache expedition to the Antarctic Peninsula. He landed on exactly the same locations as Adrien and tried to take exactly the same pictures as well. Doing that he could determine how strong the impact of the climate change would be on the environment.

We were quite suprised by the result. Below you can judge for yourself and please leave a comment if you are feeling like.


In the wake of the Belgica: the purpose

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009


 A tribute to Adrien de Gerlache  Adrien de Gerlache was born in the city of Hasselt in 1866. At a young age, he became fascinated with sailing. Coming from a noble family, his pioneering seafaring ambitions were not supported by his family, but he was persistent and after graduating from the Université Libre de Bruxelles, he enrolled in the Nautical College of Ostend. In 1894 he started planning an expedition to the relatively undiscovered Sixth Continent: Antarctica. After three years of preparation, he finally set sail for Antarctica, heading a multinational crew on board the Belgica. At the time they departed he was only 31 years old but despite his youth, as head of the expedition, he showed true leadership and was held in high esteem by his crew.  
Adrien de Gerlache was the first explorer ever to stay for 13 months in the blistering cold of the South Land as Antarctica was then known. Even though some of the crew members on the Belgica became more famous (Roald Amunsden, Frederik Cook), his accomplishments are to be greatly valued. This heroic and almost forgotten page in the history of Belgium deserves to be brought back to public recognition.
Scientific research. Adrien de Gerlache’s expedition to Antarctica 110 years ago has provided us with a wealth of knowledge regarding Antarctic research. It was the first expedition ever to include scientific results that were later internationally recognised. On its way to Antarctica the expedition explored various areas. For the first time meteorological data of the geological composition of the Antarctic peninsula was gathered during a whole year, including an Antarctic winter. The first profound study about ice phenomena in Antarctica and about the composition and movement of sea waters was made. Unknown plants were reported, numerous new specimens of the Antarctica fauna were discovered and for the first time the Antarctic food chain was described.Today, Dixie’s expedition will compare Adrien de Gerlache’s findings with newly gathered data and will compare today’s ice mass volumes with earlier recorded data.adriendegerlache  
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