« ZurückWeiter »
px ceedings, a few coins, and several naval buttons. The expedition now turned back, shaping its course in a more westerly direction, toward some high blue hills, which had long been in sight. On many days several ptarmigans were shot. The horns and tracks of deer were very numerous.
On the 11th they came in sight of a deep gult, to which Lieutenant Liddon's name was given; the two capes at its entrance being called after Beechey and Hoppner
. In the center was an island about three-quarters of a mile in length, and rising abruptly to the height of 700 feet. The shores of the gulf were very rugged and precipitant, and in descending a steep hili, the axle-tree of their cart broke, and they had to leave it behind, taking the body with them, however, for fuel. The wheels, which were left on the spot, may astonish some future adventurer who discovers them. The stores, &c., were divided among the officers and men.
Making their way on the ice in the gulf, the island in the center was explored, and named after Mr. Hooper, the purser of the Hecla. It was found to be of sandstone, and very barren, rising perpendicularly from the west side. Four fat geese were killed here, and a great many animals were seen around the gulf; some attention being paid to examining its shores, &c., a fine open valley was discovered, and the tracks of oxen and deer were very numerous ; the pasturage appeared to be excellent.
On the 13th, a few ptarmigan and golden plover were killed. No less than thirteen deer in one herd were seen, and a musk ox for the first time in this season.
The remains of six Esquimaux huts were discovered about 300 yards from the beach. Vegetation now began to flourish, the sorrel was found far advanced, and a species of saxifrage was met with in blossom. They reached the ships on the evening of the 15th, after a journey of about 180 miles.
The ships' crews, during their absence, had been occupied in getting ballast in and re-stowing the hold.
Shooting parties were now sent out in various direc
tions to procure game. Dr. Fisher gives an interesting account of his ten days' excursion with a couple of men. The deer were not so numerous as they expected to find them. About thirty were seen, of which his party killed but two, which were very lean, weighing only, when skinned and cleaned, 50 to 60 lbs. A couple of wolves were seen, and some foxes, with a great many bares, four of which were killed, weighing from 7 to 8 lbs. The aquatic birds seen were — brent geese, king ducks, long-tailed ducks, and arctic and glaucous gulls
. The land birds were ptarmigans, plovers, sanderlings and snow buntings. The geese were pretty numerous for the first few days, but got wild and wary on being disturbed, keeping in the middle of lakes out of gunshot. About a dozen were, however, killed, and fifteen ptarmigans. These birds are represented to be so stupid, that all seen may be shot. Dr. Fisher was surprised on his return on the 29th of June, after his ten days' absence, to find how much vegetation had ad. vanced; the land being now completely clear of snow, was covered with the purple-colored saxifrage in blossom, with mosses, and with sorrel, and the grass was two to three inches long. The men were sent out twice a week to collect the sorrel, and in a few minutes enough could be procured to make a salad for dinner. After being mixed with vinegar it was regularly served out to the men. The English garden seeds that had been sown got on but slowly, and did not yield any produce in time to be used.
On the 30th of June Wm. Scott, a boatswain's mate, who had been afflicted with scurvy, diarrhea, &c., died, and was buried on the 2d of July—a slab of sandstone bearing an inscription carved by Dr. Fisher, being erected over his grave.
From observations made on the tide during two months, it appears that the greatest rise and fall here is four feet four inches.
A large pile of stones was erected on the 14th of July, upon the most conspicuous hill, containing the usual notices, coins, &c., and on a large stone an inscription was left, notifying the winter ing of the ships here.
On the 1st of August, the ships, which had been previously warped out, got clear of the harbor, and found a channel, both eastward and westward, clear of ice, about three or four miles in breadth along the land.
On the 6th they landed on the island, and in the course of the night killed fourteen hares and a number of glaucous gulls
, which were found with their young on the top of a precipitous, insulated rock.
On the 9th the voyagers had an opportunity of observing an instance of the violent pressure that takes place occasionally by the collision of heavy ice. "Two pieces," says Dr. Fisher, “ that happened to come in contact close to us, pressed so forcibly against one another that one of them, although forty-two feet thick, and at least three times that in length and breadth, was forced up on its edge on the top of another piece of ice. But even this is nothing when compared with the pressure that must have existed to produce the effects that we see along the shore, for not only heaps of earth and stones several tons weight are forced up, but hummocks of ice, from fifty to sixty feet thick, are piled up on the beach. It is unnecessary to remark that a ship, although fortified as well as wood and iron could make ber, would have but little chance of withstanding such overwhelming force."
This day a mask-ox was shot, which weighed more than 700 lbs.; the carcass, when skinned and cleaned, yielding 421 lbs. of meat. The flesh did not taste so very strong of musk as had been represented.
The ships made but slow progress, being still thickly beset with flocs of ice, 40 or 50 feet thick, and had to make fast for security to hummocks of ice on the beach.
On the 15th and 16th they were off the southwest point of the island, but a survey of the locality from the precipitous cliff of Cape Dundas, presented the same interminable barrier of ice, as far as the eye could reach. A bold high coast was sighted to the southwest, to which the name of Bank's Land was given.
Captain Parry states that on the 238 the ships received by far the heaviest shocks they had experienced
during the voyage, and performed six miles of the most difficult navigation he had ever known among ice.
Two musk bulls were shot on the 24th by parties who landed, out of a herd of seven which were seen. They were lighter than the first one shot - weighing only about 360 lbs. From the number of skulls and ekeletons of these animals met with, and their capabivities of enduring the rigor of the climate, it seems prolable that they do not migrate southward, but winter on this island.
Attempts were still made to work to the eastward, but on the 25th, from want of wind, and the closeness of the ice, the ships were obliged to make fast again, without having gained above a mile after several hours
' labor. A fresh breeze springing up on the 26th opened a passage along shore, and the ships made sail to the eastward, and in the evening were off their old quarters in Winter Harbor. On the following evening, after a fine run, they were off the east end of Melville Island. Lieut. Parry, this day, announced to the officers and crew that after due consideration and consultation, it had been found useless to prosecute their researches farther westward, and therefore endeavors would be made in a more southerly direction, failing in which, the expedition would return to England. Regent Inlet and the southern shores generally, were found so blocked up with ice, that the return to England was on the 30th of August publicly announced. This day, Navy Board and Admiralty Inlets were passed, and on the 1st of September the vessels got clear of Barrow's Strait, and reached Baffin's Bay on the 5th. They fell in with a whaler belonging to Hull, from whom they learned the news of the death of George the Third and the Duke of Kent, and that eleven vessels having been lost in the ice last year, fears were entertained for their safety. The Friendship, another Hull whaler, informed them that in company with the Truelove, she had looked into Smith's Sound that summer. The Alexander, of Aberdeen, one of the ships employed on the former voyage of discovery to these seas, had also entered Lancaster
Sound. After touching at Clyde's River, where they met a good-natured tribe of Esquimaux, the ships made the best of their way across the Atlantic, and after a somewhat boisterous passage, Commodore Parry landed at Peterhead on the 30th of October, and, accompanied by Capt. Sabine and Mr. Hooper, posted to London.
PARRY'S SECOND VOYAGE, 1821–1823.
The experience which Capt. Parry had formed in his previous voyage, led him to entertain the opinion that a communication might be found between Regent Inlet and Roe's Welcome, or through Repulse Bay, and thence to the northwestern shores. The following are his remarks :-"On an inspection of the charts I think it will also appear probable that a communication will one day be found to exist between this inlet (Prince Regent's) and Hudson's Bay, either through the broad and unexplored channel called Sir Thomas Roe's Welcome, or through Repulse Bay, which has not yet been satisfactorily examined. It is also probable that a channel will be found to exist between the western land and the northern coast of America.” Again, in another place, he says :-“Of the existence of a northwest passage to the Pacific it is now scarcely possible to doubt, and from the success which attended our efforts in 1819, after passing though Sir James Lancaster's Sound, we were not unreasonable in anticipating its complete accomplishment. But the season in which it is practicable to navigate the Polar Seas does not exceed seven weeks. From all that we observed it seems desirable that ships endeavoring to reach the Pacific Ocean by this route should keep if possible on the coast of America, and the lower in latitude that coast may be found, the more favorable will it
for the purpose ; hence Cumberland Strait, Sir Thomas Roe’s Welcome, and Repulse Bay appear to be the points most worthy of attention. I cannot, therefore, but consider that any expedition equipped by Great Britain with this view