Page:Journal of a Voyage to Greenland, in the Year 1821.djvu/235

This page has been validated.

At this period of the year, the mildness of the temperature permits the specimens thus manufactured to possess but little durability. The shafts rapidly decrease in size, until unable to support their elegant summits, they sink beneath the graceful load. About six o'clock we cleared the stream, and came into an ocean thickly strewed with small pieces of ice, in every fanciful variety of shape, reflecting a multitude of colours from the sun-beams; and calculated to recall to the mind, descriptions of the enchanted castles of romance. Before dark, we got into a clear though turbulent sea, to the infinite joy of all who preferred safety to comfort, and sailed to the south-west, with the design as Captain Scoresby stated, of again entering the ice in search of whales in a southern direction, a circumstance that gave me much gratification, in the hope that an opportunity might still be afforded, for the crew to benefit those interested in the concerns of the ship. Captain Scoresby also intimated his intention to examine the ice in the parallel of Iceland, and in this unexplored region (where, if there were any whales, they would be undisturbed and easy of capture), to endeavour to make up for that deficiency of success, which he had experienced in the more northern stations. As the ice is supposed usually to lie altogether to the westward of Iceland, there was a probability that we should get within sight of West Greenland, and proceed homeward by the strait between Iceland and Greenland. As our coals were nearly expended, there was also a