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INTRODUCTORY CHAPTER

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Hold - with - Hope. Beyond this he continued for nearly a week in a general northerly bearing, and on June 27 again saw land, which he named Newland or Greenland, but which seems to have been Spitzbergen, near Vogelhoek, in 78° 53' N. For the next fortnight he tacked about. In July he seems to have advanced as far north as the Seven Islands, but the ice prevented him from reaching a higher latitude. In 1766 Tchitschakoff went to Spitzbergen, and attempted to reach the Pole, but was stopped by ice at 80° 28' N. Captains Phipps and Lutwidge, with Horatio Nelson among their crew, renewed the attempt in 1773. Ice only was visible from the summit of a mountain on one of the Seven Islands. They reached 80° 36' N. in 2° E. and 80° 48' N. in 20° E., and had failed in penetrating any part of the pack edge in the intervening region. On August 7 the ice at the edge of the pack was twenty-four feet thick. In 1776, Pagès is said to have reached 81° 30' N. to the north of Spitzbergen. In 1806 Captain Scoresby reached as high as 81° 30', and reported that the sea was open for many leagues to the E.N.E.; but as his object was whales, he made no attempt to see how far north this open water extended. Captain Brook surveyed the north coast of Spitzbergen in 1807. In 1818, Captains Buchan and John Franklin went north in two old whalers, and penetrated the pack for thirty miles, the highest latitude reached being 80° 34' N. In 1823, Sabine and Clavering went to Spitzbergen, and along the coast of Greenland, from the Bay of Gaal Hanke, which Scoresby had seen, to Pendulum Island and beyond, as far as 75° 12' N., from which point land could be followed as far as about 76°. It was on Spitzbergen and Pendulum Island that Sir E. Sabine conducted his well-known pendulum experiments. In 1821 Admiral Lutke surveyed the coast of Nova Zembla as far as 75° 45' N., and, in 1822, as far as Cape Nassau, in 76° 35' N., but he could not double the Cape owing to the ice. In 1824 he examined the edge of the Polar pack, from Nova Zembla to 43° 49' E., and found it to be continuous in about 76° N. In 1827 Sir E. Parry sailed in the Hecla past Hakluyt Headland, and as far as 81° 5' N., without seeing any appearance of the pack to the north ; the date being June 14. The ship was anchored in Hecla Cove, 79° 55' N. A journey was then attempted in boats which were specially adapted to act also as sledges. The northern boundary of floating ice was reached in 81° 12' 51" N., on June 23. The travelling was exceedingly difficult, as the ice was very loose and rotten. On July 11 firmer ice was reached. On July 20 the ice was still floe ice, such as a steamer could get through. On July 23 the

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highest latitude, 82° 45' N., was attained, and then Parry was obliged to return, owing to the efforts of his men to proceed north being almost counterbalanced by the southerly drift of the ice. No land was seen to the north ; the only indication of such was some mud in holes of the ice in 82° N. Parry succeeded in reaching the highest latitude that has yet been attained either by ship or by travelling over the ice. From 1835 to 1840 a scientific commission, under the direction of Gaimard, explored and drew up voluminous reports on Iceland, Greenland, and Spitzbergen. From 1858 onwards the Swedes have been making most extensive explorations in Spitzbergen and the surrounding seas. They have accumulated an immense store of valuable scientific information. They have made regular surveys of the Spitzbergen Islands. In 1864, Messrs. Nordenskiöld and Duner completed the survey for measuring an arc of meridian in high latitudes, as a means of ascertaining the true figure of the earth. In August, 1868, the sea off North Cape was almost entirely free from ice. The highest latitude reached in the ship was 81° 42' N. in 17° 30' E., which is higher than Parry's farthest or even Pagès'. Ne land was seen, but in several places the ice was black with stones, gravel, and earth. In October another effort was made to advance north in the Sofia.

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In 80° 40' N., sporadic blocks of drift ice were encountered, which increased in number and size the farther the ship went. The ice between the large ice masses was two or three inches thick. An accident happened to the Sofia in 81° N., which compelled her to return to an anchorage in King Bay in order to be repaired; but as she was too much damaged to do further work in the ice, the expedition returned home, reaching Tromsö on October 20. In 1869 Captain Koldewey proceeded to Shannon Island, and made numerous scientific observations there. The winter coming on, he was obliged to go into harbour, where he was frozen in on September 22. During the winter sledge journeys were made, and the highest latitude reached was 77° 1' N., on April 15, 1870, when severe storms drove the party back. At this point the shore was lined by ice four miles wide, and apparently several years old. Extensive surveying and other scientific operations were carried on. A large fiord was discovered in 73° 13', which was ascended for seventy-two miles. This expedition was a very successful one from a scientific point of view, and was important in showing that on the east coast of Greenland, in 75° N., reindeer, musk oxen, and other terrestrial animals occur in great abundance, while the climate seems to be mild. Another important voyage

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was made in the autumn of 1870, under the guidance of Count von Zeil and Herr von Heuglin. They went to Stans Foreland, and navigated Stor Fiord, as far as Heelis Sound. In August they went through Thymen's Strait, and ascended Mount Middendorf, 1500 feet high, from whence they saw a large tract of land stretching away east, with a lofty range of mountains running north and south, and visible for about sixty miles. In 1871, Lieutenants Payer and Weyprecht attempted to follow up these discoveries by proceeding through Stor Fiord. The way was blocked, and so they tried to get to the east of the Spitzbergen Islands. Hope Island was found to be free from ice on August 19. On August 28 they reached 77° 17' N., and further east the ice became lighter. On August 30 they were beyond 78° N. and 41° E. in a sea free from ice. In the night ice was struck drifting to the north. On September 1 they were in 78° 48' North and about 42° E. Their further progress was stopped not by ice, but by fogs and contrary winds. Contiguous land was indicated by driftwood, fresh mud, fresh-water ice, and eider ducks. The whole sea between this and Nova Zembla was free from ice. After this, heavy south-west gales drove the ship to 78° 5' N. and 56° E. The homeward journey was made against a series of south-west storms,

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