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the crews to endure the most extreme rigors of a polar winter.
Lieut. Parry, destined to outstrip all his predecessors in the career of northern discovery, weighed anchor at the Nore on the 11th May, 1819, and on the 20th rounded the remotest point of the Orkneys. He endeavored to cross the Atlantic about the parallel of 58°, and, though impeded during the first fortnight of June by a course of unfavorable weather, obtained, on the 15th, from the distance apparently of not less than forty leagues, a view of the lofty cliffs composing Cape Farewell. On the 18th the ships first fell in with icebergs, the air being also filled with petrels, kittiwakes, terns, and other winged inhabitants of the northern sky. He now made an effort to push north and west, through the icy masses, in the direction of Lancaster Sound; but these suddenly closed upon him; and on the 25th both vessels were so immovably beset, that no power could turn their heads a single point of the compass. They remained thus fixed, but safe, when, on the morning of the second day, a heavy roll of the sea loosened the ice, and drove it against them with such violence, that only their very strong construction saved them from severe injury. The discoverers, therefore, were fain to extricate themselves as soon as possible; and, resigning the idea of reaching Lancaster Sound by the most direct course, resolved to steer northward along the border of this great icy field till they should find open water. In this progress they verified the observation of Davis, that in the narrowest part of the great sea, misnamed his Strait, the shores on each side could be seen at the same moment. Thus they proceeded till they reached the Women's Islands and Hope Sanderson, in about latitude 73o. As every step was now likely to carry them further from their destination, Parry deter
mined upon a desperate push to the westward. Favored with a moderate breeze, the ships were run into the detached pieces and floes of ice, through which they were heaved with hawsers; but, the obstacles becoming always more insuperable, they were at length completely beset, and a heavy fog coming on, made them little able to take advantage of any favorable change. Yet, in the course of a week, though repeatedly and sometimes dangerously surrounded, they warped their way from lane to lane of open water, till only one lengthened floe separated them from an open sea. By laboriously sawing through this obstruction, they finally penetrated the great barrier, and saw the shore, clear of ice, extending before them.
The navigators now bore directly for Lancaster Sound, and on the 30th July found themselves at its entrance. They felt an extraordinary emotion as they recognized this magnificent channel, with the lofty cliffs by which it was guarded, aware that a very short time would decide the fate of their grand undertaking. They were tantalized, however, by a fresh breeze coming directly down the sound, which did not suffer them to make more than a very slow progress. Still, there was no appearance of obstruction either from ice or land, and even the heavy swell which they had to encounter, driving the water repeatedly in at the stern windows, was hailed as an indication of open sea to the westward.
The Hecla left the Griper behind, but still without making any great way herself, till the 3d August, when an easterly breeze sprang up, carrying both vessels rapidly forward. A crowd of sail was set, and they proceeded triumphantly in their course. The minds of all were filled with anxious hope and suspense. The mastheads were crowded with officers and men, and the sųccessive reports brought down from the highest pinnacle
called the crow's nest, were eagerly listened to on deck. Their path was still unobstructed. They passed various headlands, with several wide openings towards the north and south, to which they hastily gave the names of Croker Bay, Navy Board Inlet, and similar designations ; but these it was not their present object to explore. The wind, freshening more and more, carried them happily forward, till at midnight they found themselves in longitude 83° 12', nearly a hundred and fifty miles from the mouth of the sound, which still retained a breadth of fifty miles. The success of the expedition, they fondly hoped, was now, to a great extent, decided.
The Hecla at this time slackened her course, to allow her companion to come up, which she did in longitude 85°. They proceeded together to longitude 86° 30', and found two other inlets, which they named Burnet and Stratton ; then a bold cape, named Fellfoot, forming, apparently, the termination of this long line of coast. The lengthened swell, which still rolled in from the north and west, with the oceanic color of the waters, inspired the flattering persuasion that they had already passed the region of straits and inlets, and were now wafted along the wide expanse of the polar basin. Nothing, in short, it was hoped, would henceforth obstruct their progress to Icy Cape, the western boundary of America. An alarm of land was given, but it proved to arise only from an island of no great extent. However, more land was soon discovered, beyond Cape Fellfoot, which was ascertained to be the entrance to a noble recess, extending on their right, which they named Maxwell Bay. An uninterrupted range of sea still stretched out before them, though they were somewhat discomposed by seeing, on the south, a line of
continuous ice ; but it left an open passage, and they hoped to find it merely a detached stream.
A little space onwards, however, they discovered, with deep dismay, that this ice was joined to a compact and impenetrable body of floes, which completely crossed the channel, and joined the western point of Maxwell Bay. It behoved them, therefore, immediately to draw back, to avoid being embayed in the ice, along the edges of which a violent surf was then beating. The officers began to amuse themselves with fruitless attempts to catch white whales, when the weather cleared, and they saw, to the south, an open sea, with a dark water-sky. Parry, hoping that this might lead to an unencumbered passage in a lower latitude, steered in this direction, and found himself at the mouth of a great inlet, ten leagues broad, with no visible termination; and to the two capes at its entrance he gave the names of Clarence and Seppings.
The mariners, finding the western shore of this inlet greatly obstructed with ice, moved across to the eastern, where they entered a broad and open channel. The coast was the most dreary and desolate they had ever beheld, even in the Arctic world, presenting scarcely a semblance either of animal or vegetable life. Navigation was rendered more arduous, from the entire irregularity of the compass, now evidently approaching to the magnetic pole, and showing an excess of variation which they vainly attempted to measure, so that the binnacles were laid aside as useless lumber.
They sailed a hundred and twenty miles up this inlet, and its augmenting width inspired them with corresponding hopes; when, with extreme consternation, they suddenly perceived the ice to diverge from its parallel course, running close in with a point of land which appeared to form the southern extremity of the eastern
shore. To this foreland they gave the name of Cape
At Prince Leopold's Islands, on the 15th, the barrier
Parry now crowded all sail to the westward, and, though detained by want of wind, he passed Radstock Bay, Capes Hurd and Hotham, and Beechey Island; after which he discovered a fine and broad inlet leading to the north, which he called Wellington. The sea at the mouth being perfectly open, he would not have hesitated to ascend it, had there not been before him, along the southern side of an island named Cornwallis, an open channel leading due west. Wellington Inlet was now considered by the officers, so high were their hopes, as forming the western boundary of the land stretching from Baffin's Bay to the Polar Sea, into which they had little doubt they were entering. For