Page:Journal of a Voyage to Greenland, in the Year 1821.djvu/108

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inquiring of Captain Scoresby, what proportional difference there was between the height of floating ice above the water, and its depth below, he observed, that the irregularities of its shape above the surface prevented the formation of any certain rule to determine this point, but that, usually, the depth of ice below the water was to its height above the surface, as eight, or nine, to one; now, as the average height of the piece to which we were moored, was about six feet, the mass might fairly be considered as a solid body of fifty feet in thickness.

The making off now commenced: the quadrilateral pieces of blubber being brought upon deck, and the skin pared off, they were thrown into a hopper, and cut into small pieces by a very ingenious and simple machine, which allowed them to drop into a canvass tube, called a "lull-bag," and from thence into a tub in the hold. The blubber was afterwards put into casks previously arranged for its conveyance to England. Captain Scoresby and myself had some excellent shooting of Burgomasters, Larus eburneus, Linn., or snow-birds, and Fulrnar's Peteril. The bill of the Larus eburneus is of a deep lead colour; the edges and tips yellowish; it is two inches in length from the angle of the mouth; the orbits of the eyes are red; the index brown; the legs and feet black; the whole plumage of the purest white; the length of the bird nineteen, inches; its extent of wing forty-one inches. An incredible number of the Promilarica glaucus, surrounded the ship during the making off; these carnivorous birds, as before