Page:Journal of a Voyage to Greenland, in the Year 1821.djvu/54

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on these mountains of ice, from the brightness of the sun on objects so constantly changing their form, would exceed the power of an artist to represent, or of the most fertile imagination to conceive.

To an admirer of the art of sailing, nothing could afford a higher treat than was exhibited this day, in passing through a sea covered with pieces of ice, under a pressure of sail, closely hauled, and going at the rate of eight miles an hour. In one direction, was a stream composed of pieces of ice, closely joined; in another, pieces near each other, through which the ship could only make its way by continual tacking, while immense hummocks threatened our destruction, if we did not respect their consequence by giving way to them. Through these we passed without the slightest accident. It was a most gratifying sight, proving great tractability in the ship, prompt and decisive judgment in the commander, and obedience in the crew; it displayed the perfection of nautical excellence, and convinced me, that the best school to attain practical seamanship, is a Greenland voyage. A considerable swell beginning to be observable, and its consequences being known to produce difficulties and dangers among heavy pieces of ice, this, added to the disappointment of not seeing whales in a place where it was usual to find them, induced us to sail to the westward, to get a new situation. The hemisphere having been cloudless all day, with the sun gloriously illuminating both day and night, I was so struck by the delightful temperature, as to watch,