By Dilip M. Salwi
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Extra resources for A passage to Antarctica
Nor could I ask him again because the ship continued to sway violently, and my throat had become dry. Nonetheless, his words stuck to my mind. ' I asked myself. The words seemed familiar, yet I was not sure. I remembered having read about it two years earlier in 31 my geography book. "The Roaring Forties is the belt of sea water between 40 and 50 degree South latitude, where there is no land. Fierce winds go unchecked creating tremendous upheavals both in sea and air. " The ship was swaying strongly owing to the storm, I realised.
The experience of having reached me and stayed over me, where once only a handful of explorers and scientists could do so, thrills them. Mountaineering parties, daring yachtsmen, among others, visit me and indulge in some daredevilry. Aeroplanes have crashed over me, killing several persons. In short, at this age, cold and old as I am, I feel that I am a part of the world civilization, and not an isolated entity any more. But, again, I am anxious that this same process should not be my destruction and the destruction of all the civilizations in the world.
Meanwhile, I drifted towards the south pole of the earth. Now, it is almost at my centre. If nothing else, surrounded by the icy ocean waters which flow around me like a merry-go-round, I feel a sense of quiet and tranquility hardly available to any of my brother-continents. Like each of the seven princes, we have our own kingdoms to govern. Mine is a land about 14 million sq. km. in area, which is one-tenth of the total land on earth, greater than the areas of India and China combined. That is, I must say, a lot of territory.