After two days at sea, we reach
the island of Amsterdam
(37S / 77E). Far more north that Kerguelen and Crozet, the temperature is here more pleasant (15°C on our arrival). Indeed, the island is located above the zone of "Antarctic convergence", the natural hydrological border corresponding to the limit between the hot water of the Indian Ocean and those cold of the Antarctic Ocean.
The base "Martin du Vivies", created in 1949, was the first scientific station of its kind in the french southern territories.
Here is established one of the two world stations for the follow-up of the "basic pollution" of the atmosphere. Indeed, Amsterdam is the ideal place to observe all the contaminations of the atmosphere like the radioactivity coming from Tchernobyl, the increase in the CO2 concentration and the famous greenhouse effect.At the time of its discovery, at the end of the 17th century, the island was entirely covered with forests. Today, on these 55 km2, there remain only a few hectares of it. It was devastated at the 18th century by fires and the few brief passages of the whalers, then in the 19th century by the fallen attempt of bovines breedings. Those who survived constitute today the only herd on earth of "wild cows"!!