Page:Journal of a Voyage to Greenland, in the Year 1821.djvu/171

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VOYAGE TO GREENLAND.

tion to their course appeared to them to have proceeded in a great measure, from a compact body of ice which extended from the island of Jan Mayne to the west-land, and thereby stopping up that outlet, prevented the ice from going by its usual channel to be broken up, or dissolved by the temperature of a milder climate. They made some curious remarks on the difference in the quantity of the ice, observed during this season from that which is generally seen; but particularly in comparison of what they had found in visiting this country last year, when so great a decrease had taken place as to admit ships very near to the west land. This observation was confirmed by Captain Scoresby with the remark, that he was strongly inclined to believe from what he had seen this voyage, that from Point Look-out, to Cape Farewell, the space of ice had augmented by an amount equal to the superficial content of Great Britain.

The masters of the vessels just mentioned were principally induced to come on board for the purpose of requesting to see the means proposed by me for an improvement in the whale fishery; and I was much pleased thus to find that the design of my voyage had publicity among the navigators, now in Greenland. It was no less gratifying to hear the very warm approbation which, on inspecting my implements, they bestowed upon them generally; and more particularly upon my hand harpoon. Of the advantages likely to be derived from this entirely new principle, by which it is impossible for a whale