Page:Journal of a Voyage to Greenland, in the Year 1821.djvu/53

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VOYAGE TO GREENLAND.

with the richness of ultramarine. This I found to arise from the atmospheric light transmitted through the vacuities of the ice, which possesses the property of decomposing light. Latitude 76° 10′ north.


May 9. 
The wind having blown extremely hard all night, the ship was brought to, and just at the call of the morning watch, a whale was seen going with great rapidity to windward: four boats were sent in pursuit, but from the great head-sea, the most strenuous exertions proved ineffectual to come up with it. The signal of recall, (a ball at the mizen topmast head,) therefore brought them back again to the ship, without the reward which their efforts merited. We lay to all the day, from a continuance of the south-east gale.


May 10. 
The wind, which had unceasingly blown, and often with great violence, since the afternoon of the 1st instant, ceased, and, changing to the east, settled to a pleasant breeze. After breakfast, we made sail to windward, through an immense tract, studded with pieces of heavy hummocky ice, bearing a variety of grotesque forms; one, in particular, resembling an immense bear, at least twenty feet high, was uncommonly curious; as we passed, it appeared to be sculptured from the finest statuary marble, and beautifully polished by the action of the waves. The sun was shining with its richest splendour, and so great was its influence in dazzling the eyes, that Captain Scoresby was obliged to leave the crow's nest, to get a pair of green spectacles. The variety of tints displayed