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Among the promotions made, it will be seen, wers Lieut. Hoppner to the rank of Commander, and second in command of the expedition. Messrs. J. Sherer, and J. C. Ross to be Lieutenants, and J. Halse to be Purser. The attempt on this occasion was to be made by Lancaster Sound through Barrow's Strait to Prince Regent Inlet. The ships sailed on the 19th of May, 1824, and a month afterward fell in with the body of the ice in lat. 601o. After transhipping the stores to the two vessels, and sending home the transport, about the middle of July they were close beset with the ice in Baffin's Bay, and “from this time (says Parry) the obstructions from the quantity, magnitude, and closeness of the ice, which were such as to keep our people almost constantly employed in heaving, warping, or sawing through it; and yet with so little success that, at the close of July, we had only penetrated seventy miles to the westward.” After encountering a severe gale on the 1st of August, by which masses of overlay. ing ice were driven one upon the other, the Hecla was laid on her broadside by a strain, which Parry says must inevitably have crushed a vessel of ordinary strength; they got clear of the chief obstructions by the first week in September. During the whole of August they had not one day sufficiently free from rain, snow, or sleet, to be able to air the bedding of the ship's company.
They entered Lancaster Sound on the 10th of September, and with the exception of a solitary berg or two found it clear of ice. Å few days after, however, they fell in with the young ice, which increasing daily in thickness, the ships became beset, and by the current which set to the east at the rate of three miles an hour, they were soon drifted back to the eastward of Admiralty. Inlet, and on the 23d they found themselves again off Wollaston Island, at the entrance of Navy Board Inlet. By perseverance, however, and the aid of a strong easterly breeze, they once more managed to recover their lost ground, and on the 27th reached the entrance of Port Bowen on the eastern
shore of Prince Regent Inlet, and here Parry resolved upon wintering; this making the fourth winter this enterprising commander had passed in these inhospi
The usual laborious process of cutting canals had to be resorted to, in order to get the ships near to the shore in secure and sheltered situations. Parry thus describes the dreary monotonous character of an arctic winter :
" It is hard to conceive any one thing more like another than two winters passed in the higher latitudes of the polar regions, except when variety happens to be afforded by intercourse with some other branch of the whole family of man. Winter after winter, nature here assumes an aspect so much alike, that cursory observation can scarcely detect a single feature of variety. The winter of more temperate climates, and even in sonie of no slight severity, is occasionally diversified by a thaw, which at once gives variety and comparative cheerfulness to the prospect. But here, when once the earth is covered, all is dreary monotonous white. ness, not merely for days or weeks, but for more than half a year together. Whichever way the eye is turned, it meets a picture calculated to impress upon the mind an idea of inanimate stillness, of that motionless torpor with which our feelings have nothing congenial; of any thing, in short, but life. In the very silence there is a deadness with which a human spectator appears out of keeping. The presence of man seems an intrusion on the dreary solitude of this wintry desert, which even its native animals have for awhile forsaken."
During this year Parry tells us the thermometer remained below zero 131 days, and did not rise above that point till the 11th of April. The sun, which had been absent from their view 121 days, again blessed the crews with his rays on the 22d of February. During this long imprisonment, schools, scientific observations, walking parties, &c., were resorted to, but sour former amusements," says Parry," being almost worn thread bare, it required some ingenuity to devise any
plan that should possess the charm of novelty to re commend it.” A happy idea was, however, hit upou by Commander Hoppner, at whose suggestion a monthly bal masque was held, to the great diversion of both officers and men, to the number of 120. The popular commander entered gayly into their recreations, and thus speaks of these polar masquerades :
“ It is impossible that any idea could have proved more happy, or more exactly suited to our situation Admirably dressed characters of various descriptions readily took their parts, and many of these were supported with a degree of spirit and genuine good humor which would not have disgraced a more refined assembly; while the latter might not have been disgraced by copying the good order, decorum, and inoffensive cheerfulness which our humble masquerades presented. It does especial credit to the dispositions and good sense of our men, that though all the officers entered fully into the spirit of these amusements, which took place once a month alternately on board of each ship, no instance occurred of any thing that could interfere with the regular discipline, or at all weaken the respect of the men toward their superiors. Ours were mas querades without licentiousness -- carnivals without excess.
Exploring parties were sent out in several directions. Commander Hoppner and his party went inland, and after a fortnight's fatiguing journey over a mountainous, barren, and desolate country, where precipitous ravines 500 feet deep obstructed their passage, traveled a degree and three-quarters -- to the latitude of 73° 19', but saw no appearance of sea from thence.
Lieutenant Sherer, with four men, proceeded to the southward, and made a careful survey of the coast as far as 724', but had not provisions sufficient to go round Cape Kater, the southernmost point observed in their former voyage.
Lieutenant J. C. Ross, with a similar party, traveled to the northward, along the coast of the Inlet, and from the hills about Cape York, observed that the sea was
perfectly open and free from ice at the distance of twenty-two miles from the ships.
After an imprisonment of about ten months, by great exertions the ships were got clear from the ice, and on the 20th of July, 1825, upon the separation of the floe across the harbor, towed out to sea. Parry then made for the western shore of the Inlet, being desirous of examining the coast of North Somerset for any channel that might occur, a probability which later discoveries in that quarter have proved to be without foundation. On the 28th, when well in with the western shore, the Hecla, in spite of every exertion, was beset by floating ice
, and after breaking two large ice anchors in endeavoring to heave in shore, was obliged to give up the effort and drift with the ice until the 30th. On the following day, a heavy gale came on, in which the Hecla carried away three hawsers, while the Fury was driven on shore, but was hove off at high water. Both ships were now drifted by the body of the ice down the Inlet
, and took the ground, the Fury being so pipped and strained that she leaked a great deal, and four pumps kept constantly at work did not keep her clear of water. They were floated off at high water, but, late on the 2nd of August, the huge masses of ice once more forced the Fury on shore, and the Hecla narrowly escaped. On examining her and getting her off, it was found that she must be hove down and repaired ; a basin was therefore formed for her reception and completed by the 16th, a mile further to the southward, within three icebergs grounded, where there were three or four fathoms of water. Into this basin she was taken on the 18th, and her stores and provisions being removed, she was hove down, but a gale of wind coming on and destroying the masses of ice which sheltered her, it became necessary to re-embark the stores, &c., and once more put to 'sea ; but the unfortunate vessel bad hardly got out of her harbor before, on the 21st, she was again driven on shore. After a careful survey and examination, it was found necessary to abandon her : Parry's opinion being thus expressed
“Every endeavor of ours to get her off, or if got off, to float her to any known place of safety, would be at once utterly hopeless in itself, and productive of extreme risk to our remaining ship.”
The loss of this ship, and the crowded state of the remaining vessel, made it impossible to think of continuing the voyage for the purposes of discovery.
“The incessant labor, the constant state of anxiety, and the frequent and imminent danger into which the surviving ship was thrown, in the attempts to save her comrade, which were continued for twenty-five days, destroyed every reasonable expectation hitherto cherished of the ultimate accomplishment of this object."
Taking advantage of a northerly wind, on the 27th the Hecla stretched across the Inlet for the eastern coast, meeting with little obstruction from the ice, and anchored in Neill's Harbor, a short distance to the southward of their winter quarters, Port Bowen, where the ship was got ready for crossing the Atlantic.
The Hecla put to sea on the 31st of August, and entering Barrow's Strait on the 1st of September, found it perfectly clear of ice. In Lancaster Sound, a very large number of bergs were seen ; but they found an open sea in Baffin's Bay, till
, on the 7th of September, when in latitude 75° 30', they came to the margin of she ice, and soon entered a clear channel on its eastern side. From thirty to forty large icebergs, not less than 200 feet in height, were sighted.
On the 12th of October, Captain Parry landed at Peterhead, and the Hecla arrived at Sheerness on the 20th. But one man died during this voyage - John Page, a seaman of the Fury — who died of scurvy,
in Neill's Harbor, on the 29th of August.
This voyage cannot but be considered the most unsuccessful of the three made by Parry, whether as regards the information gleaned on the subject of a northwest passage, or the extension of our store of geographical or scientific knowledge. The shores of this inlet were more naked, barren, and desolate than even Melville Island. With the exception of some hundreds of white