Page:Journal of a Voyage to Greenland, in the Year 1821.djvu/65

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VOYAGE TO GREENLAND.

to the eastward of us, about thirty or forty miles. We were not near enough distinctly to discover the nature of the coast, more than its lofty mountains in the vicinity of Horn Sound, whose summits, crowned with eternal snow, towered some into the clouds, and others above them. It was however sufficiently near to present a picture of extreme dreariness and desolation, full of craggy mountains and deep glens. The first discovery of these islands extending from the seventy-sixth to the eighty-first parallel of north latitude, was made by Barentz in 1594.

From the gale in the night, the ice had collected around us, so that we were in a basin; to get out of which, much display of seamanship was exhibited. The difficulties of yesterday were nothing in comparison to those with which we had now to contend; the pieces of ice were, if possible, more numerous, more closely packed, and of the rockiest hardness. To discover a passage from the entanglement was attempted at every point of the compass; but finding twenty-eight of the thirty-two points to be impenetrable, every address which the ablest judgment could suggest, was not only necessary but employed for the purpose, our situation being so very critical. I spent much time at the head of the ship, to observe the operations, and beheld with admiration the caution and resolution displayed. The ice being of a nature requiring the most prudential choice of attack, it not only appeared conscious of its own power, but, as though determined to succeed, had collected a host of auxiliaries to