Polar Impressions Essay

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The first Polar explorers were obviously astonished by the "New Land". We should read their reports with respect for their observations, as they had no idea what to expect in these cold, uncharted areas. The Dutch sailor Gerrit de Veer participated in three voyages of discovery at the end of the 16th century with explorer Willem Barents, in vain seeking a northern passage to the Indies. Their ships froze fast and their expedition ended in the Arctic region of Novaya Zemlya. On 5th June 1596, during their second expedition, they witnessed the first ice. which de Veer describes as follows: "At first we thought it was white swans, because one of our crew took a walk on the forward deck and suddenly shouted that there were white swans swimming. We. sitting below deck, leapt above, and saw that it was ice, floating in big mounds." The same voyage solved a mystery, when they saw Brent geese, birds familiar from home, about which it was then unknown where they laid their eggs. "This seems contrary, and it is no wonder that no one knew until now where they lay their eggs, because no human being has ever been at 80 degrees, or knew that there was land in this place."" A voyage to the Polar regions today is still a voyage of discovery. Despite the many guides, films and photographs available, it is still like entering an unknown place yet to be explored. The reality seems unreal, you are unable to comprehend its power and magic fully, and on your way back home you are suddenly not sure whether you really know this place that was unknown before and will probably always remain somewhat unknown and unreal. Oceanwide Expeditions offers exploratory voyages to the Arctic and Antarctic. We use small, ice-strengthened vessels, enabling us to offer flexible, expedition-style voyages for no more than about 50 passengers, creating an intimate and friendly atmosphere on board.

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