Page:Journal of a Voyage to Greenland, in the Year 1821.djvu/274

This page has been validated.

220

APPENDIX.

of wine, and primed with pieces of quick match,) to permit the fury of the fire issuing through them to produce instantaneous destruction.

The harpooner appointed to the service of the gun-boat getting better, and on the 7th of June several whales having been seen, all the boats were despatched in readiness for pursuit, and ordered to different stations near the edge of the ice to await the re-appearance of the fish: the particulars of this expedition have already been stated in the journal. Here I had the mortification of seeing five or six ineffectual heaves of hand-harpoons at fish, which would certainly have been taken by a gun; and fortune now conspired to disappoint me, for not a single fish afterwards approached us nearer than 2 or 300 yards, though every effort was made both by lying in wait, and in chase. The harpooner, having evidently received the contagion of prejudice, his conduct so displeased me, that in the anger of my feelings, I determined to take no further part in the exertion; and, strange to say, after the following day, there never was a chance of taking a fish, although we sailed through many hundred leagues of apparently as fine fishing water and as favourable ice as ever were seen.

The opinion formed of the implements[1] by the many experienced persons to whom they were exhibited when in Greenland was without exception, that of general approbation; and I shall here give a copy of a letter from a Greenland Commander, whose experience in the gun-harpoon has particularly distinguished him, and whose opi-

  1. Should they be acceptable to the public, and worthy the adoption of those concerned in the whale-fishery, I respectfully beg leave to recommend Mr. Beckwith, Gun Manufacturer, Skinner-street, London, and Mr. Samuel Moore, Smith, Yarmouth, as persons eminently qualified to give them the highest degree of perfection and utility.