Page:Journal of a Voyage to Greenland, in the Year 1821.djvu/133

This page has been validated.

instances, been raised so high above the surface, as to throw out all the crew, and to expose both men and boats to one common destruction of which, the following circumstance is related by Captain Scoresby. "In one of my earliest voyages to the whale fishery, a harpooner of our ship struck a whale, when, in descending, it projected the boat and all its crew to the height of some yards in the air."

June 13.
The ship was kept close under the lee of a field of ice, where, though the wind was blowing a gale, we lay in smooth water, and towards the evening saw a whale, fast travelling to the southward, which neither our boats nor those of other vessels could prevent.

June 14. 
The gale continued with increased fury all the day, so that the whole fleet of vessels, either got under close-reefed topsails to leeward of the field of ice, or moored to it. This apparent continent, it is presumed, forms one uninterrupted sheet of ice, extending to the western land upwards of one hundred miles: and, with the exception of that part next the ocean, where there are occasional openings, not a fissure was observable in it. Two vessels, we could perceive, were in a perilous situation, but at that period no assistance could be rendered them; they were beset by ice, and must remain imprisoned, till liberated by the separation of the floes, either from the influence of the wind, or from some other favourable contingency. The captains of two Greenland ships came