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13th, they anchored in one of the harbours formed by a knot of islands, called the Fair haven, in latitude 79 deg. 50 min. N., and longitude 10 deg. 2 min. E. On the 18th they weighed, and skirted the ice, seeking an opening, but in latitude 80 deg. 48 min. N., they found the main body of the ice quite solid. On the 29th, they approached a low island opposite to Waygat's straits. Having little wind,' says captain Phipps, and the weather very clear, two of the officers went with a boat in pursuit of some sea-horses, and afterwards to the low island. At midnight we found by observation the latitude 80 deg. 27 min. 8 sec., and the dip 82 deg. 2 min. š. At four in the morning I found, by Bouguers log, that the current set* two fathom to the eastward. At six in the morning the officers returned from the island; in their way back they had fired at, and wounded a sea-horse, which dived immediately, and brought up with it immediately a number of others. They all joined in an attack upon the boat, wrested an oar from one of the men, and were with difficulty prevented from staving or oversetting her ; but a boat from the Carcass joining ours, they dispersed.
* 30th. Little winds, and calm all day; we got something to the northward and eastward. At noon we were by observation in latitude 80 deg. 31 min. At three in the afternoon we were in longitude 18 deg. 48 min. E., being amongst the islands, and in the ice, with no appearance of an opening for the ship. Between eleven and twelve at night I sent the master, Mr. Crane, in the four-oared boat, amongst the ice, to try whether he could get the boat through, and find any opening for the ship which might give us a prospect of getting farther; with directions if he could reach the shore to go up one of the mountains, in order to discover the state of the ice to the eastward and northward. At five in the morning, the ice being all around us, we got out our ice-anchors, and moored along-side a field. The master returned between seven and eight, and with bim captain Lutwidge, who had joined him on shore. They had ascended an high mountain, from whence they commanded a prospect extending to the east and north-east ten or twelve leagues, over one continued Vol. IV.---(78)
plain of smooth unbroken ice, bounded only by the horizon : they also saw land stretching to the S. E., laid down in the Dutch charts as islands. The main body of ice, which we hard traced from west to east, they now perceived to join to these islands, and from them to what is called the North-east land. In returning, the ice having closed much since they went, they were frequently forced to haul the boat over it to other openings. The weather exceedingly fine and mild, and unusually clear. The scene was beautiful and picturesque; the two ships becalmed in a large bay, with three apparent openings between the islands which formed it, but every where surrounded with ice as far as we could see, with some streams of water? not a breath of air ; the water perfectly smooth; the ice covered with snow, low, and even, except a few broken pieces near the edges: the pools of water in the middle of the pieces were frozen over with the young ice.
* At nine in the morning, having a light breeze to the eastward, we cast off, and endeavoured to force through the ice. At noon the ice was so close, that being unable to proceed, we moored again to a field. In the afternoon we filled our cask with fresh water from the ice, which we found very pure and soft. The Carcass moved, and made fast to the same field with us. The ice measured eight yards ten inches in thickness at one end, and seven yards eleven inches at the other. At four in the afternoon the variation was 12 deg. 24 miu. W.: at the same time the longitude 19 deg. O min. 15 sec. E.; by which we found that we had hardly moved to the eastward since the day before. Calm most part of the day; the weather very fine; the ice closed fast, and was all round the ships; no opening to be seen any where, except an hole of about a mile and a half, where the ships lay fast to the ice with ice-anchors. We completed the water. The ship's company were playing on the ice all day. The pilots being much farther than they had ever been, and the season ad. vancing, seemed alarmed at being beset.
August 1st. The ice pressed in fast; there was not now the smallest opening; the two ships were within less than two lengths of each other, separated by ice, and neither having
room to turn. The ice, which had been all flat the day before, and almost level with the water's edge, was now in many places forced higher than the main-yard, by the pieces squeezing together. Our latitude this day at noon, by the double altitude, was 80 deg. 37 min.
2d. Thick foggy wet weather, blowing fresh to the westward; the ice immediately about the ships rather looser than the day before, but yet hourly setting in so fast upon us, that there seemed to be no probability of getting the ships out again, without a strong east, or north-east wind. There was not the smallest appearance of open water, except a little towards the west point of the North-east land. The seven islands and North-east land, with the frozen sea, formed almost a bason, leaving but about four points opening for the ice to drift out, in case of a change of wind.
* 3d. The weather very fine, clear, and calm; we perceived that the ships had been driven far to the eastward ; the ice was much closer than before, and the passage by which we had come in from the westward closed up, no open water being in sight, either in that or any other quarter. The pilots having expressed a wish to get if possible farther out, the ship's companies were set to work at five in the morning to cut a passage through the ice, and warp through the small openings to the westward. We found the ice very deep, having sawed sometimes through pieces twelve feet thick. This labour was continued the whole day but without any success ; our utmost efforts not having moved the ships above 300 yards to the westward through the ice, at the same time that they had been driven (together with the ice itself, to which they were fast) far to the N. E. and eastward, by the current; which had also forced the loose ice from the westward, between the islands, where it became packed, and as firm as the main body.
* 5th. The probability of getting the ships out appearing every hour less, and the season being already far advanced, some speedy resolution became necessary as to the steps to be taken for the preservation of the people. As the situation of
the ships prevented us from seeing the state of the ice to the westward, by which our future proceedings must in a great measure be determined, I sent Mr. Walden, one of the midshipmen, with two pilots, to an island about twelve miles off, to see where the open water lay.
Mr. Walden and the pilots, who were sent the day before to examine the state of the ice from the island, returned this morning with an account, that the ice, though close all about us, was open to the westward, round the point by which we came in. They also told me, that when upon the island they had the wind very fresh to the eastward, though where the ships lay it had been almost calm all day. This circumstance considerably lessened the hopes we had hitherto entertained of the immediate effect of an easterly wind in clearing the bay. We had but one alternative; either patiently to wait the event of the weather upon the ships, in hopes of getting them out, or to betake ourselves to the boats. The ships had driven into shoal water, having but fourteen fathom. Should they, or the ice to which they were fast, take the ground, they must be inevitably lost, and probably overset. The hopes of getting the ships out was not hastily to be relinquished, nor obstinately adhered to, till all other means of retreat were cut off. Having no harbour to lodge them in, it would be impossible to winter them here, with any probability of their being again serviceable; our provisions would be very short for such an undertaking, were it otherwise feasible; and supposing, what appeared impossible, that we could get to the nearest rocks, and make some conveniences for wintering, being now in an unfrequented part, where ships never even attempt to conie, we should have the same difficulties to encounter the next year, without the same resources; the remains of the ship's company, in all probability, not in health ; no provisions; and the sea not so open, this year having certainly been uncommonly clear. Indeed it could not have been expected that more than a very small part should survive the hardships of such a winter with every advantage; much less in our present situation. On the other hand, the under
taking to move so large a body for so considerable a distance by boats, was not without very serious difficulties. Should we remain much longer here, the bad weather must be expected to set in. The stay of the Dutchmen to the northward is very doubtful: if the northern harbours keep clear, they stay till the beginning of September ; but when the loose ice sets in, they quit them immediately. I thought it proper to send for the officers of both ships, and informed them of my intention of preparing the boats for going away. I immediately hoisted out the boats, and took every precaution in my power to make them secure and comfortable : the fitting would necessarily take up some days. The water shoaling, and the ships driving fast towards the rocks to the N. E., I ordered canvass bread-bags to be made, in case it should be necessary very suddenly to betake ourselves to the boats: I also sent a man with a lead and line to the northward, and another from the Carcass to the eastward, to sound wherever they found cracks in the ice, that we might have notice before either the ships, or the ice to which they were fast, took the ground; as in that case, they must instantly have been crushed or overset. The weather bad; most part of the day foggy, and rather cold.
• 7th. In the morning I set out with the launch over the ice; she hauled much easier than I could have expected; we got her about two miles. I then returned with the people for their dinner. Finding the ice rather more open near the ships, I was encouraged to attempt moving them. The wind being easterly, though but little of it, we set the sails, and got the ships about a mile to the westward. They moved indeed, but very slowly, and were not now by a great deal so far to the westward as where they were beset. However, I kept all the sail upon them, to force through whenever the ice slacked the least. The people behaved very well in hauling the boat; they seemed reconciled to the idea of quitting the ships, and to bave the fullest confidence in their officers. The boats could not with the greatest diligence be got to the water side before the 14th; if the situation of the ships did not alter by that time, I should not be justified in staying longer by them. In