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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