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Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Baffin's Bay

BAFFIN'S BAY, or Baffin's Sea, is properly neither a bay nor a sea, but part of the long strait or inlet which separates Greenland from the N.E. coast of America. It extends from about 69 to 78 N. lat., and from 54 to 72 W. long, and is connected by Lancaster Sound and Barrow s Strait with the Arctic Ocean. It was first explored in 1616 by the English navigator Baffin. The part of the strait to the south is known as Davis Strait, and the narrower channel to the north takes the name of Smith s Sound. The coasts are generally high and precipitous, and are deeply indented with gulfs. The most important island on the east side is Disco to the north of Disco Bay, where there is a Danish settlement. During the greater part of the year this sea is frozen, and it is navigable only from the beginning of June to the end of September. It is annually visited by vessels engaged in the whale and seal fishery. (See Petermann s Mittheil., 1873, map 13, and Markham s Cruise in Baffin s Bay.)