Page:Journal of a Voyage to Greenland, in the Year 1821.djvu/241

This page has been validated.

the ice. All hopes of further success in the fishing were now at an end, as perseverance would only be attended with danger and needless expenses; so our course was directed for England, from the following causes, as they were expressed in the Captain's log. "The incessant prevalence of fog, the increased darkness of the nights, the prevailing tempestuous weather, and the occurrence of ice to the eastward of Langaness, were circumstances which combined to render the prosecution of my design for trying for whales, on the west coast of Iceland, not merely hazardous, but impracticable. I had entertained considerable hopes of the result of an examination of this unfrequented and undisturbed sea; especially as in our advance to the southward, we passed several patches of great extent of turbid water, and of a quality very congenial to the habits and feeding of the whale. The fog, which we in a degree calculated on, would have been a great difficulty to contend with; but the occurrence of ice being now unexpected, was an additional difficulty, and of such a nature as to leave no hope of our succeeding, except at a risk which the prospect of success would by no means warrant. The sea, about Iceland, is at this season, I believe, almost invariably free from ice, even on the N. W. part, where its approach is nearest. The circumstance of its now lying so far to the eastward must, therefore, be extremely rare. During the forty-one days preceding this, we had but three clear days, with two or