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keel was much torn, and her stern-post and fore-foot broken and turned up on the side, by the pressure of the ice.
On the 18th the operation of heaving down was commenced, but, while the men were toiling hard at it, a snow-storm came on, and the wind blew so violently from the shore as to raise a heavy sea. No progress could be made, therefore, and the icebergs, on which the ships depended for shelter, were so much reduced that they no longer grounded at low water; and the basin, which had been formed with so much care, lost its defences during a portion of every tide. Parry determined, therefore, to prepare the Hecla for sea, so that she might be got into comparative safety, with both crews aboard, and the Fury he left until she could be extricated from her dangerous position.
Having hauled the ships out a little, and prepared the Hecla for casting-off at a moment's notice, all the men, except those who were pumping, went to their hammocks; but they had not enjoyed more than two hours' rest, when an enormous iceberg came into violent contact with the grounded masses, threatening to sweep away every remaining security. Hawsers were run out, which enabled them still to hold on; and the wearied seamen set to work again to get aboard the Fury the requisites for her re-equipment, whenever it should be possible. On the 19th several icebergs drove rapidly along the shore, and, coming in contact with the Hecla, and the bergs to which she was attached, made it evident that a little more pressure would tear everything away, and drive both ships ashore. She was therefore immediately got under sail, and stood out to sea.
Captain Hoppner, and as many men as could be spared, were actively engaged in getting anchors and cables aboard the Fury, when Parry observed some large masses of ice closing
Parry abandons the 'Fury.'
in with the land near her; and he was shortly after informed by signal that she had been driven ashore. She appeared to have been driven up the beach by the grounded bergs forcing her on before them; and both ship and bergs seemed now so firmly aground that her extrication had become almost impossible. Her crew, except those who were working the pumps, rowed in the evening to the Hecla ; and, as a strong current was sweeping that vessel to the southward, Parry resolved to recall the pumping party, rather than expose them to the risk of being left behind on that ice-bound and inhospitable shore. A few hours after these men reached the Hecla, more than half a mile of closely packed ice intervened between the abandoned vessel and the open water, and before morning this barrier had widened to four or five miles.
The Hecla continued to beat about in the neighbourhood; but, in consequence of contrary winds, was separated from the Fury by several leagues. On the wind becoming light, Parry proceeded to the latter vessel in a boat. The inspection convinced him that exposed as she was, and forcibly pressed upon a stony beach, her hold filled with water, and her hull much damaged, without adequate means of hauling her off, or securing her from the further incursions of the ice, the most strenuous efforts to save her would be hopeless, and productive of extreme risk to his remaining ship. In this opinion all the officers concurred. She was therefore abandoned where she lay, and the Hecla was turned to the north-eastward, with a light breeze from the land, in order to gain an offing before the ice set again towards the shore.
This was the least successful of Parry's voyages. With some difficulty, he made his way into Lancaster Sound, and thence sailed for England, where in due time he safely arrived, without any further accident.
PERILOUS VOYAGE OF CAPTAIN LYON-NARROW ESCAPE FRON SHIPWRECK-CAPTAIN BEECHEY'S EXPEDITION-VOYAGE FROM BEHRING STRAIT TO POINT BARROW-RETURN TO KOTZEBUE
SOUND_RENEWAL OF THE EXPLORATION-WRECK OF THE BARGE.
HREE other Arctic expeditions were undertaken about
this time, with the twofold object of discovering the north-west passage, and completing the survey of the northern coast of America. Captain Lyon was to proceed by Hudson Strait and Sir Thomas Roe's Welcome to Repulse Bay, and then cross the isthmus
which connects Melville Peninsula with the mainland, and explore the coast as far as Point Turnagain. Captain Beechey was to sail round Cape Horn, and enter the Polar Sea by Behring Strait, so as to arrive at Chamisso Island, in Kotzebue Sound, about the 10th of July, 1826, and there wait for Sir John Franklin, who was to descend the Mackenzie River, and explore the coast westward to Icy Cape, or, if possible, to Kotzebue Sound.
Captain Lyon sailed from the Thames on the 10th of June, 1824, in a vessel very unfit for the service; and, on the evening of the 1st of August, saw the distant coast of Labrador, with the valleys between the rugged hills still partly filled with snow. The southern point of Resolution Island was sighted on the 5th, and Hudson Strait was entered with the tide. No ice had been seen till they were off the
Captain Lyon's Ship on the Rocks.
Coast of Labrador, but it became troublesome after passing the Savage Islands. Here an Esquimaux came off to them in his canoe, and was followed by about sixty more; some of whom, not content with the gains of barter, pilfered whatever they could carry off without being detected.
Southampton Island was in view on the 23rd, and on the following day Captain Lyon and Lieutenant Kendall landed, and walked some distance into the interior. Five deer were seen feeding on the scanty vegetation, and many swimming and wading birds were seeking their food in and around several shallow lakes. Some vestiges of Esquimaux habitations were found, and near them were tracks of a man and a dog; out no natives were seen. Sailing slowly down the eastern coast of the island, some Esquimaux came off on the 27th, and very gladly exchanged their rude flint knives for Sheffield blades, the officers regarding the former as curiosities. Lyon accompanied them to their tents, pitched near some small swampy lakes covered with aquatic birds, and was shown their mode of catching salmon from a weir across a stream.
On the 1st of September, when they had entered the Welcome, a gale drove the vessel among the breakers of the American shore, and dashed her upon the rocks, placing the lives of all on board in imminent peril. Every measure was taken for her security, “and then,” says Lyon, “I called all hands aft, and to a merciful God offered prayers for our preservation. I thanked every one for their excellent conduct, and cautioned them, as we should in all probability soon appear before our Maker, to enter His presence as men resigned to their fate. Never, perhaps, was witnessed a finer scene than on the deck of my ship, when all hope of life had left us.
The officers sat about wherever they could find shelter from the sea, and the men lay down, conversing with
each other with the most perfect calmness. I am firmly persuaded that the resignation which was then shown to the will of the Almighty was the means of obtaining His mercy. About 6 P.M. the rudder, which had already received some very heavy blows, rose, and broke up the after lockers, and this was the last severe shock which the ship received. By dark she struck no more. God was merciful to us, and the tide almost miraculously fell no lower.” By dawn of day, the vessel was out of danger, and all hands joined in thanksgiving and praise to God, for the mercy He had shown them. To the scene of this narrow escape the appropriate name of the Bay of God's Mercy was given.
The gale abated on the 3rd, but the vessel still made very slow progress, and the failure of the expedition became every day more certain. On the night of the 9th,“ a low red line was observed westward. Slowly it rose into an arch, and the black clouds began to recede; the blue, transparent sky in the west soon displayed a few stars, and, half an hour afterwards, the gloom which had overshadowed us fell like a dark curtain to eastward; as it sank, the full moon burst forth from behind with the greatest brilliancy, and in less than an hour from the first welcome appearance of the fiery streak on the horizon, not an angry cloud was to be seen. A magnificent Aurora, composed of all the prismatic colours, flashed wildly and beautifully for a short period, and a strong north-west gale succeeded. The sea fell, however, and we saw distant land in the west.”
On the 11th, an opening was seen, which was supposed to be Wager Bay, but they were much nearer to Southampton Island than to the mainland. Lieutenants Kendall and Manico landed on the low, verdant shore, and saw five deer and a great number of ducks. Vestiges of Esquimaux habita