Page:Journal of a Voyage to Greenland, in the Year 1821.djvu/140

This page has been validated.

102

VOYAGE TO GREENLAND.

pursuit of three unicorns, but without success. A walrus or sea-horse was seen to leeward, but at too greats a distance for a boat to be spared. We continued sailing forward in apparent security, with the expectation of a good lead into slacker ice, or probably into open water, when a thick fog suddenly obscured our prospects. Before it cleared away, we found the ice to be rapidly closing, and ultimately we were surrounded by pieces, which, from their magnitude, were frightful to behold; the water being very transparent, they exhibited their awful appendages, termed tongues[1], far protruding below the surface. Every direction that the best judgment could suggest, was given, and the promptest obedience was observed. Two hours were never spent in greater anxiety, activity, and interest, as we sailed over a great space, often between large pieces of ice, until we came into open water, when, the fog returning, the ship lay to. At four o'clock in the afternoon the fog cleared off, but the wind gathered to a gale, and laid the ship on her beam ends almost all the night.


June 21. 
The wind changed from north to south, and blew with equal violence, putting the ice in motion in every direction. The gales seemed to conspire against the attainment of the interesting object of our pursuit, the WESTERN LAND; for, just as we were preparing to avail ourselves of a favour-

  1. A point of ice projecting nearly horizontally from a part that is under water.