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Zelee (D'Urville)

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Zelee (D'Urville)

Postby john sefton » Sun Jan 24, 2010 11:01 pm

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In 1836 Emperor Louis Philippe of France wanted France to play a part in the exploration of the Southern Seas.

As he saw it an imbalance had arisen, though it was 60 years since the British ship Endeavour under Captain Cook had entered the ice and though British and American whalers and sealers, had been in Southern waters for over 50 years, France had yet to play any active role. Dumont d'Urville in Astrolabe would lead and would be accompanied by another ship La Zéléé captained by Charles Hector Jacquinot. Seven scientists accompanied the crews on the voyage.

Captain Jules Sébastien-César Dumont d'Urville was fifty years old and crippled by gout, as he went aboard the Astrolabe he overheard one of his men wondering if he would actually survive the voyage. He was promised a reward by the king for each degree passed beyond 67° south and "whatever you choose to ask for" if he reached the South Pole.

The ships left Toulon on September the 7th 1837, the aim to locate the southern magnetic pole.

On January the 22nd 1838 the ships came across Antarctic ice in the Antarctic peninsula region, d'Urville described it:

"...a marvellous spectacle. More severe and grandiose than can be expressed, even as it lifted the imagination, it filled the heart with a feeling of involuntary terror; nowhere else is one so sharply convinced of one's impotence. The image of a new world unfolds before us, but it is an inert, lugubrious, and silent world in which everything threatens the destruction of one's faculties"

They were unable to make much progress as their ships were sail only, they sighted the previously named Palmer Peninsula and then sailed for Chile. Scurvy affected the crew and two men died while 22 others deserted the ships or were too ill to carry on.

They sailed across the pacific in more temperate and tropical climes before heading south again to Tasmania arriving in November 1839. They set sail for Antarctica once again on the first of January 1840 and on the 19th sighted a part of the continent where the first ever landing on continental Antarctica was made. The area was described by d'Urville as " a formidable layer of ice... over a base of rock" it was named Terra Adélie after d'Urville's wife. Seeing a new kind of penguin, he named that too after his wife.

They determined the approximate position of the southern magnetic pole before heading back to Tasmania and New Zealand arriving back in Toulon France on November the 7th 1840.

At a cost of 22 crew dead and 27 deserted, they had brought back more natural history specimens than had ever been obtained in a single voyage before. Dumont d'Urville's account of Astrolabe's third voyage took up 23 volumes and 5 atlases.

john sefton
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Joined: Sun Mar 22, 2009 1:59 pm

Re: Zelee (D'Urville)

Postby aukepalmhof » Tue Apr 03, 2012 9:57 pm

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Built as a corvette at Toulon for the French Navy.
03 December 1810 ordered.
1811 Keel laid down.
February 1812 launched as the ZÉLÉE one of the Chevrette class of which eight were built.
Displacement 380 ton, dim. 31.57 x 8.48 x 4.84m.
Armament: 2 – 4 cm, 10 – 12pdr. carronades.
Crew 81.

1823 Took part in the Spanish Civil War.
1830 Took part in the Madagascar Expedition.
1835 Refitted.
1837-1840 Took part in the second expedition of Dumont d’Urville together with the ASTROLABE.
20 January 1840 discovered Adélie Land.
1846-1852 rearmed.
1853 Converted in a steam corvette with the old engine of the ANTELOPE.
1856 Reclassed in a steam transport.
26 1855 till 26 June 1856 stationed on the roads at Grand-Bassam, Cóte d’Ivore.
27 April 1857 arrived at Gabon.
01 June 1857 arrived at Gorée, Dakar from the south.
18 August 1862 sailed from Congo to Angola.
31 December 1863 decommissioned and stricken from the navy list. Used as a mooring pontoon in Lorient, France.
1876 till 1885 used as a powder hulk.
1887 Demolition in Lorient.

French Southern & Antarctic Terr.1968 30fr. sg44 scott30.
New Caledonia 1941 1fr+1fr sg?. scottB10.

Posts: 6668
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:28 am

Re: Zelee (D'Urville)

Postby Arturo » Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:25 pm

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Wallis & Futuna, 1941.
Posts: 723
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:11 pm

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