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by which we could safely proceed, and therefore preferred remaining where we were, to the risk of driving back to the southward on one of the smaller masses.
“ Again, after hauling the boats to the edge of the floe we found such a quantity of loose rugged ice to the northward of us, that there was no possibility, for the present, of getting across or through it. Soon afterwards the whole of it became in motion, and driving down upon the floe, obliged us to retreat from the margin, and wait for some favourable change. We here tried for soundings, but found no bottom with two hundred fathoms of line. The weather was beautifully clear, and the wind moderate from the S.W. From this situation we saw the easternmost of the Seven Islands, bearing S.b.W.; but Little Table Island, though more to the northward, yet being less high, was not in sight. Observing a small opening at 10.30 P.M., we launched the boats, and hauled them across several pieces of ice, some of them being very light and much decayed. Our latitude, by the sun's meridian altitude at midnight was 81° 23'; so that we had made only eight miles of northing since our last observation at noon on the 25th.
“We had passed, during this day's journey (July the 30th), a great deal of light ice, but, for the first time, one heavy floe, from two to three miles in length, under the lee of which we found the most open water. A number of rotges and ivorygulls were seen about the ‘holes' of water, and now and then a very small seal. We set out again at 11:30 A.M., the wind still fresh from the S.W., and some snow falling; but it was more than an hour before we could get away from the small piece of ice on which we slept, the masses beyond being so broken up, and so much in motion, that we could not at first venture to launch the boats. Our latitude, observed at noon, was 81° 30' 41”. After crossing several pieces, we at length got into a good lead' of water, four or five miles in length; two or three of which, as on the preceding day, occurred under the lee of a floe, being the second we had yet seen that deserved that name. We then passed over four or five small floes, and across the pools of water that lay betwixt them. The ice was now less broken up, and sometimes tolerably level; but from six to eighteen inches of soft snow lay upon it in every part, making the travelling very fatiguing, and obliging us to make at least two, and some
times three, journeys with our loads. We now found it absolutely necessary to lighten the boats as much as possible, by putting the bread-bags on the sledges, on account of the runners' of the boats sinking so much deeper into the snow; but our bread ran a great risk of being wetted by this plan.
“We had seen, in the course of our last journey, a few rotges, a loom, an ivory-gull, a mallemucke, and a tern (Sterna arctica).
“We here observed the dip of the magnetic needle to be 82° 4'7, and the variation to be 13° 16' westerly; the latitude being 81° 45' 15", and the longitude, by chronometers, 24° 23' East, by which we found that we had been drifted considerably to the eastward. In this situation we tried for soundings with four hundred fathoms of line, without reaching the bottom; the temperature at that depth, by Six's thermometer, was 30°, that at the surface, at the time, being 32}, and of the air 34°.
“The rain of the 11th, which was very unusually heavy, ceased soon after we had halted, but was succeeded by a thick, wet fog, which obliged us, when we continued our journey, to put on our travelling METEOROLOGICAL OBSERVATIONS.
clothes in the same dripping state as when we took them off. The wind continued fresh from the southeastward, and at nine P.M. the weather suddenly cleared up, and gave us once more the inconceivably cheering, I had almost said the blessed sight of a blue sky, with hard well-defined white clouds floating across it. There was not, however, much dryness in the atmosphere, the dew point, by Daniell's hygrometer, being 35° at nine P.M., when the temperature of the atmosphere was the same. We considered ourselves fortunate in having any floes to cross, though only one or two exceeded a quarter of a mile in length, and all very rugged and much covered with ponds of water ; but this was better than the more frequent and hazardous launching among small pieces.
“Again halting at midnight to dine, we obtained the sun's altitude, which placed us in latitude 82° 11' 51". On continuing our journey, after dinner, we still had small floe-pieces to pass over, several of which gave us much labour, and occupied considerable time, being just too widely separated to make bridges of the boats, so that launching them was unavoidable. We halted at six A.M., after making, by our day's exertions, only three miles and a half of northing, and then obtained the dip of the magnetic needle, 82° 16:3, and the variation 15° 6' westerly, our latitude
at this time being 82° 14' 28", and our longitude by chronometers 22° 4' E.
"On the 15th, in proceeding over the floe, on which we had slept, we found it alternately level and 'hummocky,' the former affording sufficiently good travelling to allow us to carry all our baggage at one journey with great ease, one boat's crew occasionally assisting the other for a few yards together; but the hummocks cost us immense labour, nothing but a “ bowline haul” being sufficient, with all our hands, to get the boats across or between them. At eight the rain again became heavier, and we got under shelter of our awnings for a quarter of an hour, to keep our shirts and other flannel clothes dry ; these being the only things we now had on which were not thoroughly wet. At nine we did the same, but before ten were obliged to halt altogether, the rain coming down in torrents, and the men being much exhausted by continued wet and cold, though the thermometer was at 36°, which was somewhat above our usual temperature.
“ The wind shifted to the W.S.W. in the afternoon, and the rain was succeeded by a thick fog, after it had been falling for thirty hours out of the last thirty-one. At half-past seven P.M. we again pursued our journey,