on board and dined; one of them was a most intelligent, experienced, and successful whale-fisher, from the port of Hull, who gave me much information on the subject of his avocation: the other was the commander of a ship from a Scottish port. The Caledonian had not been fortunate during this voyage; and, like many impatient characters, could not bear, with christian fortitude, reverses from which he conceived that his experience and perseverance should have exempted him. The wind continued to blow from the north with extreme violence, and we sailed towards the east.
June 15. A bright sun, whose shining beams ever give delight, induced me to rise early, and the pleasing sight of a rich blue sky welcomed me on deck. The ship appeared to be in a large basin, with twenty other vessels, surrounded by a horizon that was covered with ice; part of this was a continuation of the field near which we had kept during the last two days; the other part was formed of immense pieces connected with it. A whale having been seen to retire under the ice, the boats from many ships were sent in pursuit, and kept under the ridge of the ice watching for its reappearance; the oddity of the scene was so great, that I could not help comparing the boats to cats watching at the holes of mice, in readiness to seize their prey, as soon as they should have the hardihood to venture from their places of security.
The wind having abated during the night, we sailed the whole of this day by the side of the ice,