The Journey to the Polar Sea, by John Franklin















































































































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OBSERVATIONS ON THE PROBABILITY OF A NORTH-WEST PASSAGE.

Our researches, as far as they have gone, favour the opinion - Page 510
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OBSERVATIONS ON THE PROBABILITY OF A NORTH-WEST PASSAGE.

Our researches, as far as they have gone, favour the opinion of those who contend for the practicability of a North-West Passage.

The general line of coast probably runs east and west, nearly in the latitude assigned to Mackenzie's River, the Sound into which Kotzebue entered, and Repulse Bay, and I think there is little doubt of a continued sea in or about that line of direction. The existence of whales too on this part of the coast, evidenced by the whalebone we found in Esquimaux Cove, may be considered as an argument for an open sea; and a connection with Hudson's Bay is rendered more probable from the same kind of fish abounding on the coasts we visited, and on those to the north of Churchill River. I allude more particularly to the Capelin or Salmo arcticus which we found in large shoals in Bathurst's Inlet and which not only abounds, as Augustus told us, in the bays in his country, but swarms in the Greenland firths.* The portion of the sea over which we passed is navigable for vessels of any size; the ice we met, particularly after quitting Detention Harbour, would not have arrested a strong boat. The chain of islands affords shelter from all heavy seas and there are good harbours at convenient distances. I entertain indeed sanguine hopes that the skill and exertions of my friend Captain Parry will soon render this question no longer problematical.

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