TITLE: ADRIAN de GERLACHE; MADNESS in the ANTARCTIC
2002 16X20 Inches
Adrian de Gerlache:
1866-1934, Belgian Explorer
"In the obscurity of the midday twilight
we carried Lieutenant Danco's body
to a hole which had been cut in the ice, and committed it to the deep.
bitter wind was blowing as, with bared heads, each of us silent, we left
there...And the floe drifted on."
On the last day of February, 1898, the Belgica, commanded
by Andre de
Gerlache, entered the pack ice and became locked in. For the next few
days talk among
the crew suggested de Gerlache intentionally trapped them in the ice.
knew he wanted the Belgica to be the first expedition to winter-over in
Antarctica. Without warning, they did. The men were crowded together,
speak to each other due to language differences. Panic set in, brought
isolation, darkness and poor nutrition. By May the crew was suffering
muscular spasms, lethargy, acute anxiety and an intense desire to get
away from each
other. For thirteen months their situation did not improve, until the
finally set them free.