Page:Journal of a Voyage to Greenland, in the Year 1821.djvu/204

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nearest hills on the eastern side; they are less than those on the west side, which I supposed from hence, because they were covered with snow. The country where Frobisher's strait is imagined to be, appeared pretty much above the level, and constantly covered with ice. I do not know that I saw more than two or three little hills that could be supposed land; on the contrary towards the north-east, and north-west, the rocks plainly rear their heads above the ice, and some of the tops are entirely naked of snow; I saw particularly one long hill between two huge rocks, whose barebacks looked altogether of the natural colour of the earth. Were I to give my sentiments of this whole icy region, that cuts off the communication with the east side, I should imagine that as far as relates to the way, the journey might be practicable; for the plains of ice did not seem so dangerous, or the pits in it so deep as they are said to be."

The whale fishery having, until a few years since, been confined to the northward, about the latitude of 78° north, and never exceeding the longitude of 2° west, no ships consequently ever approached near the coast of Greenland. Captain Scoresby, however, deviating from the accustomed track of the whale fishers, in 1817, penetrated into the western ice, and made the same land seen by us this day, and which appears to be that discerned, in 1655, by Gaal Hamkes, and which is laid down in modern charts and called after its discoverer. The position of the ice having lately been observed