inconceivably fine. Having thus forced a passage, we were enabled to keep our course all night.
May 13. The morning was beautifully bright, when we fell in with eight ships, that, like ourselves, had been endeavouring to get to the northward, and spoke one of them, from whom we learned, that neither they nor any other ship they had met with, (though some had been long upon the station,) had seen a whale. Finding the ice to be impenetrable, they all sailed away, with the exception of the Manchester of Hull, whose master came on board to request that Captain Scoresby would allow his surgeon to visit a man under serious indisposition; this was most readily granted, and the surgeon despatched. From the commander of this ship, the following information was obtained:—"that he had been upwards of a month on this station; had spoken many vessels, none of which had seen a whale; and had also found, with them, the ice so close, as to prevent further progress to the north." This, according with the observations which we had made of the extraordinary compactness of the ice, and of the direction in which it was running, confirmed Captain Scoresby in the opinion that it was what is called a close season, with a greater extension of the ice than had occurred for several years. It may here be interesting to point out the distinction between an open and a close season. The most usual course of the summer ice, which constitutes what is called an open season in the Greenland sea, commences about two degrees