Page:Journal of a Voyage to Greenland, in the Year 1821.djvu/47

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27
VOYAGE TO GREENLAND.

prised at the great height of many of the pieces, forming extensive pyramids, and a lofty dome, which was observable at some distance. We now entered a bay of ice, about fifteen miles in depth, but the extent of it was beyond the reach of the eye to determine. Its boundary presented an unceasing variety of forms; but those that most arrested my attention, resembled sarcophagi, cromlechs, and that beautiful relic of antiquity on Salisbury plain, Stonehenge. The wind was now blowing a strong breeze; and the working of the ship to clear the large floating incumbrances, with which the bay was studded, was a piece of sailing, that excelled any thing of the kind I had ever before witnessed. At the main topgallant-mast head, the most elevated situation in the ship, a screen of a cylindrical form, termed "a crow's nest[1]," was fixed, to afford shelter from the severity of the weather, where, by the command of an extensive view, openings in the ice might be observed, dangers avoided, whales discovered, and movements made in order to enable the ship to attain its destined object. Here our captain took his station in all difficult and arduous situations. At twelve o'clock, having made arrangements for entering the ice, he surveyed the surrounding scene, to discover the most practicable part, which he found to consist of a small neck of ice, about thirty yards in breadth, that separated the ocean from some

  1. The "crow's nest" is often formed and hooped in the manner of a cask.