Letters From High Latitudes By Lord Dufferin

 -  At nine o'clock, the
three vessels, steering east-north-east, doubled the
point of Cape North. At noon our observation - Page 170
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At Nine O'clock, The Three Vessels, Steering East-North-East, Doubled The Point Of Cape North.

At noon our observation of the latitude placed us about 67 degrees.

We had just crossed the Arctic circle. The temperature was that of a fine spring day, 10 degrees centigrade (50 degrees Farenh.).

The 'Reine Hortense' diminished her speed. A rope thrown across one of the towing-ropes enabled Lord Dufferin to haul one of his boats to our corvette. He himself came to dine with us, and to be present at the ceremony of crossing the polar circle. As to the 'Saxon,' M. de la Ronciere perceived by this time that the worthy Englishman had presumed too much on his power. The 'Saxon' was evidently incapable of following us. The captain, therefore, made her a signal that she was to take her own course, to try and reach Jan Mayen; and if she could not succeed, to direct her course on Onundarfiord, and there to wait for us. The English vessel fell rapidly astern, her hull disappeared, then her sails, and in the evening every trace of her smoke had faded from the horizon.

In the evening, the temperature grew gradually colder; that of the water underwent a more rapid and significant change. At twelve at night it was only three degrees centig. (about 37 degrees Fahr.). At that moment the vessel plunged into a bank of fog, the intensity of which we were enabled to ascertain, from the continuance of daylight in these latitudes at this time of the year. There are tokens that leave no room to doubt that we are approaching the solid ice.

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