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entirely shut off by enormous glaciers from the rest of mankind ; they live by hunting the bear, the walrus, and seal, which they kill upon the ice with spears and knives ;-having no guns or boats; they are so entirely isolated that, until the arrival of the expedition of 1818, they considered themselves the only people in the world. They are a fine manly race of about 150 people, clothed in the skins of the bear, the wolf, and the seal, and were the means of affording the greatest relief and assistance to Drs. Kane and Hayes, who wintered among them.
By the 25th of June the Diana reached the entrance to Lancaster Sound, and all hands were delighted at the prospect of a good and successful voyage. They were now on the west side, and in the best whaling waters. The decks were cleared of all lumber, the casks were all re-stowed in the hold, the lances and boat-axes carefully ground, large tackles rore for getting up the fish's head and tail, and, in fact, everything ready for taking, flenching, and making off at any moment. Early the following morning a whale rose near the ship, and the boats were instantly lowered in pursuit ; but they were recalled by the captain on his coming upon deck, as it was contrary to his express wishes that any boats should be sent away on Sunday-a day always strictly observed by Captain Gravill as a day of rest, whenever the dangerous nature of their voyage would admit of it, and never allowed to pass without the crew being twice mustered for prayer and religious service.
29th June.—Two Esquimaux, man and wife, from Pond's Bay came on board ; the woman dressed in deer-skin jacket with a tail before and behind, and tatooed upon the chin and cheeks in token of her being married. They came in the hope of obtaining a little gunpowder and bartering a few blades of whalebone.
30th.-The following entry appears in the surgeon's journal:-"A glorious day. At 2 A.31. a whale seen; three boats away in pursuit. At 4 A.M. the ship resounded with the cry, 'A fall! a fall !' aud all bands rushed upon deck in a half-dressed state and crowded into the boats, which were instantly lowered and put off in the greatest baste. Buil Reynolds was fast to a fish at the floe-edge about 200 yards astern of the ship. I ran along the floe and stood at the boat's stern, the line running out like lightning, the fish having dived under the floe: the boat's Jack hoisted at the stern, the ship's Jack triumphantly flying from the mizenmast head. Six other boats at different points along the floe-edge, with their crews lying on their oars in breathless excitement, awaiting the rising of the whale to strike her again. She rose on the ship's starboard quarter, was fired at again with a gun-harpoon, and by six o'clock, after a deadly struggle with harpoons and lances, she was dead alongside. nine o'clock another fish was seen. Suddenly the captain sung out, ' A fall ! a fall!' Again the same scene of excitement and confusion. Byers, the harpooner, was fast to a fish, but something evidently wrong; his boat was dragged nearly under water. The crew leaped upon the ice, the line flew up, the Jack was lowered, the whale was free, for the line had
got entangled, and had it not broken the boat with all her crew would have been dragged to destruction. All the boats now returned to the ship but two, and we resumed the operation of flenching the first fish killed, when again the cry was raised, “A falll a fall!' The last fish had risen again and Clark had already buried his harpoon over the socket in her side. By 11.30 A.m. she was dead, and by 6 P.M., the operation of flenching was completed.
“ All hands turned in early, very greasy, wet, and weary; the weather thick and foggy with sleet and snow; our decks and everything about the ship slippery with oil and grease, and thousands of sea-birds surrounding the ship, feeding, fighting, and chattering over the scraps of blubber and oil. We consider that we have got twenty tons of oil from these two fish. The bone of the first measures 10 ft. 3 in., and of the second 9 ft. 3 in. The value may be reckoned thus : twenty tons of oil at 501. per ton, 1,0001.; one and a half tons of bone, at 7001. per ton, 1,0501. Total value of this day's fishing, 2,0501.
“ The Esquimaux, who had remained on board and thoroughly entered into the sport, left next morning and returned in the afternoon with a sledge and six dogs and a tent in order to receive a load of mucktuck,' or whale's skin, which to them is a great delicacy."
Well would it have been for the Diana's crew had they followed the example of these poor Esquimaux in preserving some of this food for themselves, for the skin of the whale is most nutritious and has well. known anti-scorbutic properties. But the crew of the Diana were flushed. with their present good-fortune and did not care to contemplate how greatly they might yet stand in need. They had arrived in good time at their fishing-ground, two whales had already been captured without those dangers with which the killing of these huge fish are often attended ; they felt that they had only to work earnestly at the fishing for a few short weeks and then to return home to their families with the fruits of their hard-earned labours. But a sad change came over their fortunes. The sea in which they now were cruising, usually open at this season, already began to be blocked with ice driven over to the western shores by a continuance of easterly winds; and although many whales were seen from time to time, and the boats frequently sent away, they were so hampered with the icefloes that it was almost all they could do to keep the ship from danger.
Several of the other whaling ships were met with, some having from two to five fish, others without any, and all agreeing that it was an unusual and unlucky season. On the 27th July they spoke the Retriever, her captain reporting that he had killed three and lost two fish; he had seen many whales, and could easily have filled his ship a few days since, had not the ice set in and jammed the boats. The Wildfire reported that at one time as many as forty whales were blowing around her when the ice suddenly set in and drove the ship away. The Alexandra had been nipped, and was bent almost like the letter S, and had narrowly escaped destruction. Some men having been seen travelling upon the ice towards the ships,
and thought to be a wrecked crew, attempts were made to reach them, but for several days without avail, until at last they got to the Tay, and reported that they had left their ship, the Queen, of Peterhead, which had passed the whole winter in the Lancaster Sound, and were secking refuge until their ship, which was still frozen in a floe of ten miles in extent, was released.
The summer was fast passing away, a few narwhales and seals being the only additions to the Diana's gains. The weather had become stormy and unsettled, and it was time to think of proceeding south and passing down the south-western shores on their return. By August 11, they had got as far as Coutts' Inlet, where, however, they met a succession of easterly winds, which had so driven the pack on the land that there was little prospect of getting farther in that direction. It was now decided to attempt to return home by passing round the north of the middle ice and down the east water, and by the 17th they were again in sight of Cape York, but they could not pass to the eastward ; the ice was closed upon the land, and their only chance of escape seemed to try again the western shore. By September 3rd they had struggled as far as Scott's Inlet, but could get no farther, the entry in the log being "ship tight, nipped up." The situation was now getting desperate ; the last of the fleet, the Intrepid, had parted with them the day previously, having been enabled by her greater steam-power to force through a nip, and had steamed away in a lane of water.
They were now alone, their coals all burnt, and the carpenter already sawing up the spare spars for fuel, and but two months' provisions remaining, with the certainty of their being carried off into the pack and drifting in it all through the winter, or of their ship being crushed and their all perishing in the wastes of ice and snow. In this awful position the captain called upon his officers for their advice, and then summoned all hands, and giving them a few words of encouragement, he told them that they must at once go upon short allowance; that he calculated that the two months' remaining provisions might be eked out until the following May; and that any of the men who had saved bread were to bring it aft for the general stock; that all the provisions were to be placed in charge of the chief harpooner, who was to weigh out carefully to each man three pounds of bread and three-quarters of a pound of salt beef daily for the present; this to be afterwards reduced, if necessary, and the officers to share alike with the men. It is needless to say that the crew all saw how necessary were these orders, and they agreed to them without a murmur.
The second mate having seen from aloft a dead whale upon the floe, with a number of bears feeding upon it, a party of nineteen men, with rifles and flenching-knives, were sent with a boat, in hopes of bringing back a load of the carcase and skin, for such an opportunity of getting food was not to be lost ; but the distances in the ice are so deceptive that the whale was found to be miles farther off than it appeared, and they had soon to leave the heavy boat behind them. They did not reach the
whale, and as the ice began to open, the ship loosed her foretop-gallant sail--the signal of instant recall—and they attempted to make their way back; but, finding themselves cut off by a lane of water, they got upon a small piece of floating ice for a raft to bring them across to where they had
а left their boats. In the middle of the passage their ice-raft began to sink under their weight. "Swim for your lives !” cried the mate, as he leaped into the freezing water, followed by seven others; thus releasing the raft of their weight, and enabling the rest, who could not swim, to keep the raft afloat. By this act of bravery all were saved ; and, half-frozen and worn out with fatigue, they eventually reached their ships, without having attained the object of their journey.
Driven again out of their position-off Scott's Inlet-by a gale of wind, another attempt was made to return northward into the east water, by rounding the north of the middle ice; and on the 15th Cape York was once more in sight, but the ice was impassable. They now thought of wintering in Pond's Bay, but this was given up, as their provisions could not possibly be eked out beyond the early spring, and so, baffled on all sides, there was nothing left for them but to force the ship again down the western shore. With the greatest exertions they reached as far as the river Clyde on the 22nd. The new ice was forming so fast that all navigation was at an end, and the ship now appears to have been quite beset, and had already commenced her weary drift to the southward, with the main body of the ice. Hope almost scems to have left them, yet those brave fellows never for once relaxed their efforts ; for the log-book contains daily entries of the desperate attempts made to move the ship, by setting the sails, warping with the frozen lines, and blasting the ice with gunpowder. The fatigues that this work must have entailed
the men, half-starved and exposed to all the furies of the autumnal gales, with no hope or encouragement to persevere, and every effort in vain, must have been very great, and perhaps laid the first seeds of that dreaded disease which afterwards proved so fatal. In this helpless state the Diana drifted all the month of October. She was off Cape Broughton on the 17th, and off Cape Searle on the 18th-the simple entries in the log bearing evidence of bitter disappointments. Thus, October 2nd—“Saw a fish, but could not
“ get to her.” Fancy these starving men seeing a huge fish close at hand, but unable to capture it. Its crang or flesh would have been sufficient food for them all, and the oil and bone would have added 1,0001. to their voyage. Again, on the 15th there is the entry, “ A body of water in sight to the south-eastward, but cannot get into it."
On the 22nd they were drifting off Exeter Sound, where an Englishman is wintering, and endeavouring to form a fishing colony of Esquimaux. The ship was fifteen miles from the land, and a burning signal of pitch and oakum was lighted at the yard-arm, in hopes of their being seen from the shore, and that some of the Esquimaux might come off to their relief. A storm was raging at the time, and even had a response been made from the land, pointing out the position of the settlement, it would have been
impossible to have crossed the rugged ice. There now came a fresh danger. They were fast approaching the barren land, where nothing lives; and from whence escape is impossible. To their horror they found the ship driving directly upon the rocks of Cape Victoria, over which the ice was piling on to the shore; and to have struck the ground would have been instant destruction, for the ice would have at once run over and buried the ship.
The surgeon thus writes in his diary on November 8th :-"About four o'clock a massive fragment of ice was forcing itself against the ship's quarter. The watch on deck were hastily getting up the scanty provisions from the hold, others getting up sails from the line-room for tents; all this going on by lamplight, and in the greatest hurry and confusion. Then the ominous cry, 'All hands ahoy!' rang down the hatchway, and the whole crew instantly swarmed upon deck. The night was pitchy dark, the ship groaning and straining with the tremendous pressure, the officers shouting their orders, the dull rumbling of the provision-casks along the deck, the flaring, flickering light borne hastily to and fro, the shrieking of the storm, with the certain conviction that we were about to be crushed, all presented a scene which I shall never forget.”
The boats' provisions being all ready, the men proceeded to pack their bags, and then the crew were called aft to prayers in the cabin, the captain urging upon them the necessity of imploring the aid of God in their desperate position. The general impression was that they would have to drag the boats and provisions in search of the natives in Cumberland Sound, and where it was thought some ships might be wintering; but as the men were already in a very weak state, and without sledges or travel. ling equipment of any kind, this was looked upon as a last and desperate resource.