Borradaile Island

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Borradaile Island

Borradaile Island (66°35′S 162°45′E) is one of the Balleny Islands. It was the site of the first landing south of the Antarctic Circle, and features the "remarkable pinnacle" called Beale Pinnacle, near Cape Beale on its south-eastern coast, and Cape Scoresby on its north-western coast.

Discovery and name

Borradaile Island was discovered in February 1839 by John Balleny, who named it for the Borradaile brothers John Watson and Abraham, the principle owners of Wm. Borradaile & Co. The brothers came from a family of merchants who had made their money as furriers, hatters, insurance brokers, and traders. The company had previously been owned by their father, William Borradaile, and when he passed away, they continued on under his name. They were persuaded to invest in the whaling expedition by Charles Enderby, who promised them a stake any profits generated from the collection of whale and seal oil.

The first landing on the island was by Captain Freeman of the cutter Sabrina on February 12, 1839, who landed briefly on a spit at the islands north-west corner. This was the first time a human set foot south of the Antarctic Circle. The island was not visited again until February 29, 1948, when a party of Australians, including Phillip Law and Stuart Campbell, landed at the same point from HMAS Wyatt Earp.

Geographic features

Borradaile Island is about 4 kilometers (2 nmi) long and 2 kilometers (1 nmi) wide, lying 7 kilometers (4 nmi) southeastward of Young Island.

Cape Scoresby (66°34′S 162°45′E) is a high bluff marking the north end of Borradaile Island. It was named after the RSS William Scoresby, a companion research ship of Discovery II in carrying out oceanographic work in Antarctic waters at that time, which is in turn named after the Arctic explorer William Scoresby.

Beale Pinnacle (66°36′S 162°45′E) is a boot-shaped rock pinnacle, 60 m high, lying close off Cape Beale, a steep bluff on the south-east side of the island. Both are named after William Beale, another of the merchants who helped finance Balleny's expedition.

Duke of Borradaile

For the first time in the history of the Hereditary Nobility of Westarctica, the holder of a title of nobility is the direct descendant of the person for whom that feature was originally named. His Grace, the Duke of Borradaile, Chrenan Borradaile, is descended from the Borradaile merchant family that financed the Balleny Expedition to Antarctica in 1839.

Borradaile Island Coin

2012 coin of Borradaile Island

A copper $2 WAD coin was minted in 2012 by the Central Bank of Westarctica and remains the only coin ever created by any country to celebrate the island. That coin has an image of Wilson's storm petrel instead of the island itself.

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