The 22d We Steered E.S.E. With A Fresh Gale At North, Blowing In Squalls,
One Of Which Took Hold Of The Mizen Top-Sail, Tore It All To Rags, And
Rendered It Forever After Useless.
At six o'clock in the morning, the wind
veering towards the west, our course was east northerly.
At this time we
were in the latitude of 67 deg. 31', the highest we had yet been in, longitude
142 deg. 54' W.
We continued our course to the E. by N. till noon, the 23d, when being in
the latitude of 67 deg. 12', longitude 138 deg. 0', we steered S.E.; having then
twenty-three ice islands in sight, from off the deck, and twice that number
from the mast-head; and yet we could not see above two or three miles round
us. At four o'clock in the afternoon, in the latitude of 67 deg. 20', longitude
137 deg. 12', we fell in with such a quantity of field, or loose ice, as
covered the sea in the whole extent from south to east, and was so thick
and close as wholly to obstruct our passage. At this time, the wind being
pretty moderate, and the sea smooth, we brought-to, at the outer edge of
the ice, hoisted out two boats, and sent them to take some up. In the mean
time, we laid hold of several large pieces along-side, and got them on
board with our tackle. The taking up ice proved such cold work, that it was
eight o'clock by the time the boats had made two trips, when we hoisted
them in, and made sail to the west, under double-reefed top-sails and
courses, with a strong gale at north, attended with snow and sleet, which
froze to the rigging as it fell, making the ropes like wires, and the sails
like boards or plates of metal.
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