Category Archives: Kerguelen

Why the attraction to Kerguelen?

Where does the strange attraction of the polar regions lie, so powerful, so gripping that on one’s return from them one forgets all weariness of body and soul and dreams only of going back?

Jean-Baptiste Charcot as quoted by Graham Collier and Patricia Graham Collier in Antarctic Odyssey, (New York: Caroll & Graf Publishers, Inc., 1999), xiv.

And now you know …

After consulting a fluent French major, after talking up the island for four years, and after recording not just one but two Jean-Luc stories, I suddenly came across this debilitating revelation.

“In English, ‘Kerguelen’ is pronounced [‘kə:gɪlɪn], [‘kɚgələn], etc.” Wikipedia

I can hardly think of anything to say. I’ve been all wrong. And I guess the only worthwhile question left to ask is … well … uh … how do you pronounce ‘kə:gɪlɪn or ‘kɚgələn?

P.S. Read Why Kerguelen? for an explanation as to my fascination with the island(s).

Christmas Harbor

After Captain Yves de Kerguelen de Tremerac discovered Isle de Kerguelen in 1772, Captain James Cook visited the island on Christmas day 1776 (more info). At the time there was a 300 foot arch of stone which caught the crew’s attention. Jean-Paul Kauffmann writes of his fascination with this arch and his great disappointment when, after finally getting the chance to visit the island, he found that the arch had fallen years earlier. (I must admit that I was disappointed to learn that as well.) But even though the arch has fallen, the harbor is still quite beautiful as you can see in this photograph taken by Olivier Duriez during his recent trip. This is one of many interesting pictures of the island which are available at this web site.