Page:Journal of a Voyage to Greenland, in the Year 1821.djvu/23

This page has been validated.

strong with snow, and increased with a degree of violence, that caused the sea to rage to a greater height than I had ever before witnessed: part of the bulwark was stove in; and, by a stroke on the rudder, a man was projected over the wheel, and nearly overboard.

April 21. 
The gale beginning to subside, I felt better; struggled to rally, and by the fineness of the day, was encouraged to go upon deck; but was reduced to such a state of weakness and debility, that I was unable to walk without the aid of Captain Scoresby's arm. As Saturday was generally closed with mirth by the crew, I took the opportunity of conforming to the custom expected of every one on his first voyage to Greenland, that is, to pay what is termed the "cape bottle;" I therefore sent two pounds of sugar, half a pound of coffee, and one pound of tobacco, to each mess, as my tribute. It began to blow hard in the evening, and the following day, Easter-Sunday, the storm grew so violent, and the severity of temperature was so much beyond any thing to which I had hitherto been accustomed, (the thermometer being ten degrees below the freezing point) that I became quite unable to keep the deck.

April 23. 
This day we crossed the Arctic or northern polar circle in 6° 28′, west longitude, about noon, the wind blowing hard.

The swell occasioned by the gale having subsided, harpoons were delivered to the harpooners to be cleaned, sharpened, and the fore-