Storms, Ice, and Whales: The Antarctic Adventures of a Dutch Artist on a Norwegian Whaler

Willem van der Does, Ruth van Baak Griffioen

Published by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2003
ISBN 10: 0802821251 / ISBN 13: 9780802821256
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Synopsis: During the heroic age of Antarctic exploration, Dutch artist Willem van der Does talked his way aboard a Norwegian whaler and made a daring, often dangerous voyage to Antarctica in 1923. "Storms, Ice, and Whales" is the riveting eyewitness account of his nine-month ocean journey, including 141 original illustrations by Van der Does.

At once adventure story and natural history, Van der Does's tale is alive with the sights and sounds of his exploits, also revealing the many powerful emotions that he experienced during this epic trip. The first Dutchman ever to set foot in Antarctica, Van der Does grippingly captures the excitement, fascination, and fear generated by life in the coldest place on earth. His travelogue chronicles an amazing range of adventures, from the harpooning and processing of whales at sea to a ski trip atop the forbidding Ross Ice Shelf, and he renders much of what he saw in distinctive pen-and-ink illustrations that enliven every chapter.

First published in the Dutch East Indies in 1934 and later in the Netherlands, this historical gem is now available in English for the first time. The book has been expertly translated by Ruth van Baak Griffioen, who also contributes a preface containing firsthand anecdotes about Van der Does the man and highlighting the fascinating story of how she came to know and translate this book of his.

An entertaining, vividly realistic memoir and visual journal of whaling life, "Storms, Ice, and Whales" will appeal to a wide range of readers.

From Booklist: First published in the Dutch East Indies in 1934 and later in The Netherlands, this account of ven der Does' nine-month journey aboard a whaler sailing to the Antarctic in 1923-24 provides details of the flora and fauna, including penguins and albatross, and describes such natural phenomena as the colors of the ice, the sea, and the sky. He also chronicles in detail the workings of the ship and describes the crew and their tasks. Ven der Does writes of the solitude as "Nowhere else in the world can one so deeply comprehend the meaning of endlessness as at the Pole, with its vast desolation." Van der Does, the son of a sea captain, had lived in the Dutch East Indies before his trip and had been a landscape painter and book illustrator. This book contains 134 of his original pen-and-ink illustrations, including sketches of whales, icebergs, penguins, elephant seals, waves, albatross, and the ship itself. This first English translation, with its charming drawings, is a delight to read. George Cohen
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Storms, Ice, and Whales: The Antarctic ...
Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Publication Date: 2003
Book Condition: Good

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