A guest article by Nino, initiator of the Antarctica4XPlane project:
I would like to suggest the «Atlas of Remote Islands» (with the subtitle: 50 islands where I have never been and I never will go) by Judith Schalansky, because it’s a beautiful book, and it is always useful to keep using more tools and enrich knowledge in mapping and geography with the stories and events that affect them.
These are for example the brief notes regarding Deception, volcanic Island of the South Shetland where «we started» six months ago with the Antarctic project, which is now going to be presented in the light of the sun:
«It’s easy to miss the entrance, the entrance into the caldera is not even two hundred meters wide. Here, between the bellows of Neptune, at the gates of hell, in the jaws of the dragon, the storm rages continuously. But behind, hidden beneath the slumbering volcano, is the safest harbor in the world: the bay whalers. The locals call this place New Sandefjord. It is the station for the processing of the whales to the south of the world, a platform for whaling with its own fleet: two three trees, eight whaling small and two large steam. Apart from a couple of Chileans stokers, here live two hundred Norwegians and a woman: Marie Betsy Rasmussen, the first and only female creature coming so far in Antarctica, captain’s wife Adolf Amandus Andresen, administrator of one of the three companies for two years practicing here whaling. The season runs from late November until the last days of February. The whalers hunt with the new methods that have been tested to the north. From cannons located on the forecastle shoot harpoons equipped with explosive charges that stick to the backs of large animals that can distinguish all of them from afar. The humpback whale ejects a jet of water low and has a hump on the back. The fin whale is known by its vertical jet. The dorsal fins and blow up instead reveal the most precious among them: blue whales. A steamer is able to capture up to six animals at night tows in the bay. On the black beach, the whalers tear baleen mouths, skinned skin shiny, divide the fat from the meat and boil the white gold in huge vats until it becomes oil. The pots are fed with coal, but with dead penguins that capture at Baily Head. The hunters leave the rest fails. Black sand, on the beach, emerge the white picket fences of whale skeletons, the water is red with blood and the air full of the stench of rotting flesh. Thousands of bodies rotting in the crater flooded looted.»
At the few images of the book I have also added a satellite photo in which appear the barracks and the whale’s oil containers, some no longer in use, of the Argentina Base and the Spanish one, so maybe some «good soul» might think in the future to enrich the island with some realistic notes in a scenery.