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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 56.djvu/173

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163
VINLAND AND ITS RUINS.

yond, "there are three small harbors, too intricate and rocky in their entrances to admit vessels of any burden," and Cape Breton itself is "low and rocky and covered with grassy moors." This is unlike the open, harborless coast with long strands and sand banks of the Sagas. Within the Gulf of St. Lawrence the capes which jut to the north are Cape St. George,[1] with rocky, precipitous cliffs six hundred feet above the sea; North Point,[2] on Prince Edward Island, which is broken about five miles down the coast by Tignish River, and beyond that by the red sandstone cliff of Cape Kildare; Escuminiac Point,[3] at the entrance to Miramichi Bay, a broken coast with low sandstone cliffs; and Birch Point,[4] on Miscou Island, with a steep cliff of sandstone ten feet high.

Campobello is a rocky island, and Cape Ann is rocky and has no long, harborless coast.

Cape Cod[5] juts to the north with open water west of it, and beyond that again land. It has also a long, harborless coast on the east, with strands and sand banks, and is scored with bays toward the south.

Cape Cod, then, is the only cape north of Sandy Hook which corresponds to the description in the Saga, and near here we should look for Vinland, leaving the southern shores until later.

Vinland, which was discovered by Leif Erikson, is only described as Vinland in the Flat Island Book. This account states

PSM V56 D0173 Plan of supposed norse ruin in massachusetts.png
Plan of supposed Norse Ruin in Massachusetts.

that Leif Erikson's party "came to a certain island which lay north of the land." That Leif Erikson should have thought that Cape Cod was an island is obvious, because it is impossible from the cape to see the southern shore of Massachusetts Bay twenty miles away.


  1. United States Hydrographic Office Report, No. 100, 1897, p. 70.
  2. Ibid., pp. 130, 152.
  3. Ibid.; p. 157.
  4. Ibid., p. 173.
  5. United States Coast and Geodetic Survey, General Chart of the Coast, No. VII.