Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 43.djvu/560

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big-headed seals, and as we were returning to our ship they were moaning loudly. This was said to be a sign that they were about to start upon a long journey, but was it not rather a sigh of relief when they saw their slaughterers' craft run up her bunting and announce to all that she was a full ship, that her thirst for blood was quenched? Penguins are the strangest creatures ever seen. They are supremely funny as they quack and strut about with their padded feet over the snow, or, coming to a slope, glide swiftly downward toboggan-fashion upon their breasts. If one lands on the piece of ice they are resting upon, they approach fearlessly with a threatening "Quack! quack!" For their inquisitiveness they, too, often received the handle of the club, for it was soon found that their flesh greatly resembled that of the hare, and upon them we had many a tasty and substantial meal. The emperor penguin is very difficult to kill; he will live after his skull has been most hopelessly smashed; the best way to put an end to them is to pith them. Six of us one day set out to capture one alive, and so strong was the bird that five with difficulty kept their hold, and, after he was bound with strong cords and nautical knots, he flapped his flippers and released himself.

The drift ice we came across was not heavier than that of Davis Strait, but the bergs were of very different character, nearly all flat, not pinnacled and not so lofty as those of the north, but of huge length, frequently being four miles in length, sometimes eight or ten, and one we met with was no less than thirty miles long, taking us six hours to steam from end to end at five knots. These are valuable when one can lie under their lee in a gale, but, when they are to leeward, form a dangerous lee shore, and more especially so for sailing ships.

One of the doctors had the good fortune to effect a landing in Erebus and Terror Gulf, obtaining specimens of plants, eggs, and rocks.

The lowest temperature recorded in the ice was 21·1° Fahr., or nearly 11° of frost; this was on the 17th of February, but usually it was about 32° Fahr., more or less.

On the 17th of February we steered for the Falklands, and thence homeward. Our homeward passage has been one continued spell of fine weather; the winds were mostly light, and too frequently head winds. The highest temperature recorded was 84'4° Fahr., in latitude 1° 10′ north, longitude 25° 21′ west, on the 13th of April; for the previous eight days 80° Fahr. and over are recorded, and also on the;5d of April, as well as five days following the 13th of April. From the ice to some degrees north of the line floats were thrown over to record the currents, and the tow-net was over frequently.

While in the ice we met the Jason, a Norwegian bark with