Abbildungen der Seite

ought to employ its best energies in attempting to penetrate from the eastern coast of America along its northern shore. In consequence of the partial success which has hitherto attended our attempts, the whalers have already extended their views, and a new field has been opened for one of the most lucrative branches of our commerce, and what is scarcely of less importance, one of the most valuable nurseries for seamen which Great Britain possesses."*

Pleased with his former zeal and enterprise, and in order to give him an opportunity of testing the truth of his observations, a few months after he returned home, the Admiralty gave Parry the command of another expedition, with instructions to proceed to Hudson's Strait

, and penetrate to the westward, until in Repulse Bay, or on some other part of the shores of Hudson's Bay to the north of Wager River, he should reach the western coast of the continent. Failing in these quarters, he was to keep along the coast, carefully examining every bend or inlet, which should appear likely to afford a practicable passage to the westward.

The vessels commissioned, with their officers and crews, were the following. Several of the officers of the former expedition were promoted, and those who had been on the last voyage with Parry I have marked with an asterisk:

[ocr errors]

Commander-*W. E. Parry.
Chaplain and Astronomer Rev. Geo. Fisher, (was

in the Dorothea, under Capt. Buchan, in 1818.)
Lieutenants _*J. Nias and * A. Reid.
Surgeon -*J. Edwards.
Purser _*W. H. Hooper.
Assistant-Surgeon-J. Skeoch.
Midshipmen-*J. O. Ross, *J. Bushnan, J. Hender

son, F. R. M. Crozier.

* Pairy's First Voyage, vol. ii, p. 240.



Greenland Pilots —*J. Allison, master; G. Crawfurd,

47 Petty Officers, Seanen, &c.

Total complement, 60.

[ocr errors]


[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Commander-G. F. Lyon.
Lieutenants —*H. P. Hoppner and *C. Palmer.
Surgeon —*A. Fisher.
Purser — J. Germain.
Assistant-Surgeon — A. M'Laren.
Midshipmen _*W. N. Griffiths, J. Sherer, C. Rich-

ards, E. J. Bird.
Greenland Pilots -_*G. Fife, master; * A. Elder, mate.
46 Petty Officers, seamen, &c.

Total complement, 58. Lieutenant Lyon, the second in command, had ob tained some reputation from his travels in Tripoli, Mourzouk, and other parts of Northern Africa, and was raised to the rank of Commander, on his appointment to the Hecla, and received his promotion as Captain, when the expedition returned.

The ships were accompanied as far as the ice by the Nautilus transport, freighted with provisions and stores, which were to be transhipped as soon as room was found for them.

The vessels got away from the little Nore early on the 8th of May, 1821, but meeting with strong gales off the Greenland coast, and a boisterous passage, did not fall in with the ice until the middle of June.

On the 17th of June, in a heavy gale from the southward, the sea stove and carried away one of the quarter boats of the Hecla. On the following day, in lat. 60° 53' N., long. 61° 39' W., they made the pack or main body of ice, having many large bergs in and near it. On the 19th, Resolution Island, at the entrance of Hudson's Strait, was seen distant sixty-four miles. Capt. Lyon states, that during one of the

po mil


[ocr errors]

watches, a large fragment was observed to fall from an iceberg near the Hecla, which threw up the water to a great height, sending forth at the same time a noise like the report of a great gun. From this period to the 1st of July, the ships were occupied in clearing the Nautilus of her stores, preparatory to her return home, occasionally made fast to a berg, or driven out to sea by gales. On the 2d, after running through heavy ice, they again made Resolution Island, and shaping their course for the Strait, were soon introduced to the company of some unusually large icebergs. The altitude of one was 258 feet above the surface of the sea; its total height, therefore, allowing one-seventh only to be visible, must have been about 1806 feet! This however, is supposing the base un der water not to spread beyond the mass above water The vessels had scarcely drifted past this floating mountain, when the eddy tide carried them with great rapidity among a cluster of eleven bergs of huge size, and having a beautiful diversity of form. The largest of these was 210 feet above the water. The floe ice was running wildly at the rate of three miles an hour, sweeping the vessels past the bergs, against any one of which, they might have received incalculable injury. An endeavor was made to make the ships fast to one of them, (for all of them were aground,) in order to ride out the tide, but it proved unsuccessful, and the Fury had much difficulty in sending a boat for some men who were on a small berg, making holes for her ice anchors. They were therefore swept past and soon beset. Fifty-four icebergs were counted from the mast-bead.

On the 3d, they made some progress through very heavy floes; but on the tide turning, the loose ice flew together with such rapidity and noise, that there was barely time to secure the ships in a natural dock, before the two streams met, and even then they received some heavy shocks. Water was procured for use from the pools in the floe to which the ships were made fast; and this being the first time of doing so,

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

afforded great amusement to the novices, who, even when it was their period of rest, preferred pelting each other with snow-balls, to going to bed. Buttet ing with eddies, strong currents, and dangerous bergs, they were kept in a state of anxiety and danger, for 8 week or ten days. On one occasion, with the prospect of being driven on shore, the pressure they experienced was so great, that five hawsers, six inches thick, were carried away, and the best bower anchor of the Hecla was wrenched from the bows, and broke off at the head of the shank, with as much ease as if, instead of weighing upward of a ton, it had been of crockery ware. For a week they were embayed by the ice, and during this period they saw three strange ships, also beset, under Resolution Island, which they contrived to join on the 16th of July, making fast to a floe near them. They proved to be the Hudson's Bay Company's traders, Prince of Wales, and Eddystone, with the Lord Wellington, chartered to convey 160 natives of Holland, who were proceeding to settle on Lord Selkirk's estate, at the Red River. “While nearing these vessels, (says Lyon,) we observed the settlers waltzing on deck, for above two hours, the men in old-fashioned gray jackets, and the women wearing long-eared mob caps, like those used by the Swiss peasants. As we were surrounded by ice, and the thermometer was at the freezing point, it may be supposed that this ball, at vero fresco, afforded us much amusement.” The Hudson's Bay ships had left England twenty days after the expedition.

The emigrant ship had been hampered nineteen days among the ice before she joined the others; and as this navigation was new to her captain and crew, they almost despaired of ever getting to their journey's end, so varied and constant had been their impediments. The Dutchmen bad, however, behaved very philosophically during this period, and seemed determined on being merry, in spite of the weather and the dangers. Several marriages had taken place, the surgeon, who was accompanying them to the col

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]



TAS c, be




[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

ony, officiating as clergyman,) and many more were in agitation ; each happy couple always deferring the ceremony until a fine day allowed of an evening ball, which was only terminated by a fresh breeze, or a fali of snow.

On the 17th, the ships were separated by the ice, and they saw no more of their visitors. On the 21st, they were only off the Lower Savage Islands. In the evening they saw a very large bear lying on a piece of ice, and two boats were instantly sent off in chase. They approached very close before he took to the water, when he swam rapidly, and made long springs, turning boldly to face his pursuers

. It was with difficulty he was captured. As these animals

, although very fat and bulky, sink the instant they die

, he was lashed to a boat, and brought alongside the ship. On hoisting him in, they were astonished to find that his weight exceeded sixteen hundred pounds, being one of the largest ever killed. Two instances, only, of larger bears being shot are recorded, and these were by Barentz's crew, in his third voyage, at Cherie Island, to which they gave the name of Bear Island. The two bears killed then, measured twelve and thirteen feet, while this one only measured eight feet eight inches, from the snout to the insertion of the tail. The seamen ate the flesh without experiencing any of those baneful effects which old navigators attribute to it, and which are stated to have made three of Barentz's people “so sick that we expected they would have died, and their skins peeled off from head to foot.” Bruin was very fat, and having procured a tub of blubber from the


it over board, and the smell soon attracted a couple of walruses, the first that had been yet seen.

They here fell in with a numerous body of the Es quimaux, who visited them from the shore. In less than an hour the ships were beset with thirty “kayaks,” or men's canoes, and five of the women's large boats, or "oomiaks.” Some of the latter held up. ward of twenty women. A most noisy but merry barter instantly took place, the crew being as anxious

Lyon's Private Journal, p. 11.

was thrown

[ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »