Page:Journal of a Voyage to Greenland, in the Year 1821.djvu/151

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VOYAGE TO GREENLAND.

panions, as well as by those on board the Baffin, that an infinitely greater accumulation of ice prevailed to the westward, than had been found the preceding season; and some of the experienced seamen were of opinion, that there was at least five times as much as had ever been known. It is impossible for language to describe the interesting, though fearful sailing, which we had witnessed for the three days, in attempting to get to the west, through the most intricate navigation imaginable, during the whole of which we were opposed by a gale from the north-east, and had the ship generally on its beam ends, from the pressure of sail indispensably necessary to avoid the obstructions that so often occurred. One ship in company had its rudder damaged, and the Baffin suffered in passing through a lead between two lofty pieces of ice, though only in having two boats injured.: to hard blows we were now become familiarized, although some were of sufficient violence, as a sailor jocosely expressed it, "to knock the ship's brains out." As we advanced to the westward, our difficulties became lessened, much more open water was found; and the ice consisted of large floes and fields; the former, only measurable by the aid of a glass, the latter beyond the possibility of being ascertained, and only pointed out by the yellow arched tint above the horizon, the reflected mirror of its extraordinary magnitude. It has been generally admitted by all whose avocations have led them to these seas, that more gales prevailed this season than usual, particularly in the