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named after the great number of whales observed, was seen, and between these two last, a group of islands received the name of Cary Islands. From Whale Sound they proceeded in a north-westerly direction, following the trending of the coast, until they made an island, to which the name of Richard Hakluyt, the first and greatest English compiler of a collection of voyages, was given.
The next great inlet received the name of Sir Thomas Smith, and Baffin remarks, it “is admirable in one respect, because in it is the greatest variation in the compasse of any part of the world known; for by divers good observations, I found it to be above five points, or fifty-six degrees, varied to the westward, so that a north-east and by east is true north, and so of the rest.”
With a favourable wind they now stood to the southwest, until the 10th, when it became foggy, and they found themselves again at the entrance of a fair sound, to which the name of Alderman Jones was given.
Running along the shore, “ which now trended much south, and began to show like a bay," on the 12th, in lat. 74° 20', they passed another great inlet, which was called Sir James Lancaster's Sound, and the mouth of which was sealed for two hundred years afterwards, until the icy barrier was removed to admit the energetic Parry. Their hope of a passage now became day by day less. “ From this sound, Baffin remarks,“ to the southward wee had a ledge of yce between the shoare and us, but cleare to the seaward; we kept close by this ledge of ice till the 14th day in the afternoon, by which time we were in the latitude of 71° 16', and plainely perceived the land to the southward of 70° 30°; then wee, having so much ice round about, were forced to stand more eastward." On this tack they ran about sixty leagues, when they again made the land, in about the latitude of 68°, but
not being able to gain the shore drifted down to 65° 40', when they got into the “indraft of Cumberland's Isles, and should know no certaintie and hope of passage could be none;" a consultation was held, and Baffin adds, “
seeing that wee had made an end of our discovery, and the year being too farre spent to goe for the bottome of the bay to search for drest finnes, therefore wee determined to goe for the coast of Groneland to see if we could get some refreshing for our men.”
This determination was carried out, and on the 28th July they anchored in the Cockin Sound of Hall, in lat. 65° 45', where they found abundance of scurvy grass, by the plentiful use of which, " with the blessing of God,” they were soon restored to perfect health. Departing on the 6th August from Cockin's Sound, which they represent to be a very excellent harbour, they steered for home, and arrived safely in Dover Roads on the 30th of the same month.
All that is known of the issue of this most important voyage is, that on his return Baffin addressed the following excellent letter to one of the gentlemen who had fitted him out.
Of Baffin himself very little else, we regret to say, has survived the ravages of time. Purchas says (p. 848), “ Master Baffin told me, that he would, if he might get employment, search the passage from Japan, by the coast of Asia ; but in the Indies he dyed, in the late Ormus businesse, slain in fight with a shot, as he was trying his mathematicall projects and conclusions."
But though nothing is known of his after-life, future years have verified all that this admirable old navigator ever asserted, and his name will cling to the waters of the mighty bay he discovered, as long as honest worth shall be recognized in the world.
“ To the Right Worshipfull Master John Wolstenholme, Esquire,
one of the Chiefe Aduenturers for the Discouerie of a Passage to the North-west.
“ Worthy Sir. There need no filling a journall, or short discourse, with preamble, compliment, or circumstance; and therefore I will onely tell you, I am proud of any remembrance, when I expose your worth to my conceit; and glad of any good fortune, when I can auoid the imputation of ingratitude, by acknowledging your many fauors; and seeing it is not vnknowne to your worship, in what estate the businesse concerning the north-west hath beene heretofore, and how the onely hope was in searching of Fretum Dauis, which if your
selfe had not beene the more forward, the action had well nigh beene left off; Now it remayneth for your worship to know, what hath been performed this yeere.
Wherefore I entreat you to admit of my custome; and pardon me, if I take the plaine highway in relating the particulars, without vsing any refined phrases, and eloquent speeches.
“ Therefore briefly, and as it were in the fore front, I intend to show you the whole proceeding of the voyage in a word; as namely, there is no passage, nor hope of passage, in the north of Dauis Štreights, we hauing coasted all, or neere all the circumference thereof, and find it to be no other than a great bay, as the map here placed doth truly shew. Wherefore I cannot but much admire the work of the Almightie, when I consider how vaine the best and chiefest hopes of man are in things vncertaine.
And to speake of no other matter, than of the hopefull passage to the north west; how of the best sort of men, haue set their whole indeuours to proue a passage that wayes, and not onely in conference, but also in writing, and publishing to the world; yea what great summes of money hath beene spent about that action, as your
worship hath costly experience off. Neither would the vaine glorious Spaniard have scattered abroad so many false maps, and journals, if they had not beene confident of a passage this way; that if it had pleased God, a passage had been found, they might have eclipsed the worthy praise of the adventurers, and true discouerers; and, for my owne part, I would hardly haue belieued the contrarie, vntill mine eyes became witnesse of that I desired not to haue found, still taking occasion of hope on euery little likelihood, till such time as we had almost coasted the circumference of this great bay. Neither was Master Dauis to be blamed in his report, and great hopes, if he had anchored about Hope Sanderson, to haue taken notice of the tydes; for to that place, which is in 72 degrees 12 minutes, the sea is open, of an vnsearchable depth, and of a good colour; onely the tydes keepe no certaine course, nor rise but a small height, as eight or nine foote; and the flood commeth from the southward; and in all the bay beyond that place, the tyde is so small, and not much to be regarded; yet by reason of snow melting on the land, the ebbe is stronger than the flood, by meanes whereof, and the windes holding northerly, the fore-part of the yeere, the great iles of ice are set to the southward; some in Fretum Hudson, and others towards Neu found Land: for in all the channell, where the sea is open, are great quantities of them driuing up and downe; and till this yeere not well knowne where they were bred.
“ Now that the worst is knowne concerning the passage, it is necessarie and requisite, your worship should vnderstand what probabilitie, or hope of profit, might here be made hereafter, if the voyage be attempted by fitting men. And first, for killing of whales. Certaine it is, that in this bay are great numbers of them, which the Biscainers call the Grand Baye Whales, of the same kind which are killed at
Greenland, and, as it seemeth to me, easie to be strooke; because they are not vsed to bee chased or beaten; for we being but one day in Whale Sound, so called from the number of whales that we saw there sleeping and lying aloft on the water, not fearing our ship, or ought else; that if we had beene fitted with men and things necessarie, it had beene no hard matter to haue stroke more than would haue made three shippes a sauing voyage, and that is of that sort of whale there is no feare. I being twise at Greenland, tooke sufficient notice to know them againe; beside a dead whale we found at sea, hauing all her finnes, or rather all the rough of her mouth, of which, with much labour, we got one hundred and sixtie the same euening we found her; and if that foule weather, and a storme the next day, had not followed, we had no doubt but to haue had all, or the most part of them. But the winde and sea arising, she broke from vs, and we were forced to leaue her.
Neither are they onely to be looked for in Whale Sound, but also in Sir Thomas Smith's Sound, Wostenholme Sound, and diuers other places.
“ For the killing sea morse I can giue no certaintie, but onely this; that our boat being but once a shoare, in all the north part of this bay, which was in the entrance of Alderman Jones Sound; at the returne, our men told vs, they saw many morses along by the shoare on the ice; but our shippe being vnder saile, and the winde comming faire, they presently came aboard without further search. Besides, the people inhabiting about 74 degrees, told vs, by diuers signs, that towards the north, were many of those beasts, hauing two long teeth, and shewed vs diuers pieces of the same.
“ As for the sea vnicorne, it being a great fish, hauing a long horne or bone growing forth of his forehead or nostrill; such as Sir Martin Frobisher in his second voyage found one; in diuers places we saw of them,