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beating, and before the morning this -barrier had increased to four or five miles in breadth.
We carried a press of canvass all night, with a fresh breeze from the north, to enable us to keep abreast of the Fury, which, on account of the strong southerly current, we could only do by beating at some distance from the land. The breadth of the ice in-shore continued increasing during the day, but we could see no end to the water in which we were beating, either to the southward or eastward. It fell quite calm in the evening, when the breadth of the ice in-shore had increased to six or seven miles. We did not, during the day, perceive any current setting to the southward, but in the course of the night we were drifted four or five leagues to the southwestward.
A southerly breeze enabling us to regain our northing, we ran along the margin of the ice, but were led so much to the eastward by it, that we could approach the ship no nearer than before during the whole day. She appeared to us at this distance to have a much greater heel than when the people left her, which made us still more anxious to get near her. The latitude at noon was 72° 34' 57", making our distance from the Fury twelve miles, which, by the morning of the 25th, had increased to at least five leagues, the ice continuing to “pack” between us and the shore. The wind, however, now gradually drew round to the westward, giving us hopes of a change, and we continued to ply about the margin of the ice, in con. stant readiness for taking advantage of any opening that might occur. It favoured us so much by streaming off in the course of the day, that by
seven P.M. we had nearly reached a channel of clear water, which kept open for seven or eight miles from the land. Being impatient to obtain a sight of the Fury, and the wind becoming light, Captain Hoppner and myself left the Hecla
in two boats, and reached the ship at half past nine, or about three quarters of an hour before high water, being the most favourable time of tide for arriving to examine her condition.
We found her heeling so much outward, that her main channels were within a foot of the water; and the large floe-piece, which was still alongside of her, seemed alone to support her below water, and to prevent her falling over still more consider. ably. The ship had been forced much farther up the beach than before, and she had now in her bilge above nine feet of water, which reached high. er than the lower-deck beams. The first hour's inspection of the Fury's condition too plainly as. sured me that, exposed as she was, and forcibly pressed up upon an open and stony beach, her holds full of water, and the damage of her hull to all appearance and in all probability more consid. erable than before, without any adequate means of hauling her off to seaward, or securing her from the farther incursions of the ice, every endeavour of ours to get her off, or if got off, to float her to any known place of safety, would be at once ut. terly hopeless in itself, and productive of extreme risk to our remaining ship.
Mr. Pulfer, the carpenter of the Fury, consid. ered that it would occupy five days to clear the ship of water ; that if she were got off, all the pumps would not be sufficient to keep her free, in
consequence of the additional damage she seemed to have sustained ; and that, if even hove down, twenty days' work, with the means we possessed, would be required for making her sea-worthy. Captain Hoppner and the other officers were there. fore of opinion, that an absolute necessity existed for abandoning the Fury. My own opinion being thus confirmed as to the utter hopelessness of sa. ving her, and feeling more strongly than ever the responsibility which attached to me of preserving the Hecla unhurt, it was with extreme pain and regret that I made the signal for the Fury's officers and men to be sent for their clothes, most of which had been put on shore with the stores.
The whole of the Fury's stores were of necese sity left either on board her or on shore, every spare corner that we could find in the Hecla being now absolutely required for the accommodation of our double complement of officers and men, whose cleanliness and health could only be maintained by keeping the decks as clear and well ventilated as our limited space would permit. The spot where the Fury was left is in latitude 72° 42' 30"; the longitude by chronometers is 91° 50' 05''; the dip of the magnetic needle 88° 19' 22" ; and the vari. ation 1290 25' westerly.
When the accident first happened to the Fury, I confidently expected to be able to repair her dan. ages in good time to take advantage of a large re. maining part of the navigable season in the prose. cution of the voyage ; and while the clearing of the ship was going on with so much alacrity, and the repairs seemed to be within the reach of our means and resources, I still flattered myself with
the same hope. Those expectations were now at an end. With a twelvemonth's provisions for both ship's companies, extending our resources only to the autumn of the following year, it would have been folly to hope for final success, considering the small progress we had already made, the uncertain nature of this navigation, and the advanced period of the present season. I was therefore re. duced to the only remaining conclusion, that it was my duty, under all the circumstances of the case, to return to England in compliance with the plain tenour of my instructions. As soon as the boats were hoisted up, therefore, and the anchor stowed, the ship's head was put to the northeastward, with a light air off the land, in order to gain an offing before the ice should again set in-shore.
Some Remarks upon the Loss of the Fury-And on the Nat.
ural History, &c., of the Coast of North Somerset.- Arrive at Neill's Harbour.- Death of John Page.--Leave Neill's Harbour.-Recross the Ice in Baffin's Bay.--Heavy Gales.Temperature of the Sea.- Arrival in England.
The accident which had now befallen the Fury, and which, when its fatal result was finally ascer. tained, at once put an end to every prospect of success in the main object of this voyage, is not an event which will excite surprise in the minds of. those who are either personally acquainted with
the true nature of this precarious navigation, or have had patience to follow me through the tedious and monotonous detail of our operations during seven successive summers. To any persons thus qualified to judge, it will be plain that an occur. rence of this nature was at all times rather to be expected than otherwise, and that the only real cause for wonder has been our long exemption from such a catastrophe.
The summer of 1825 was, beyond all doubt, the warmest and most favourable we had experienced since that of 1818. Not more than two or three days occurred, during the months of July and Au. gust, in which that heavy fall of snow took place which so commonly converts the aspect of nature in these regions, in a single hour, from the cheer. fulness of summer into the dreariness of winter. Indeed, we experienced very little either of snow, rain, or fog : vegetation, wherever the soil allowed any to spring up, was extremely luxuriant and for. ward; a great deal of the old snow, which had laid on the ground during the last season, was rapidly dissolving even early in August; and every appearance of nature exhibited a striking contrast with the last summer, while it seemed evidently to furnish an extraordinary compensation for its rig. our and inclemency.
We have scarcely ever visited a coast on which so little of animal life occurs. For days together, only one or two seals, a single seahorse, and now and then a flock of ducks, were seen. I have already mentioned, however, as an exception to this scar. city of animals, the numberless kittiwakes which were flying about the remarkable spout of water ;