Greenland, Peary passed Lockwood's farthest north between three and four weeks later. The coast was found to run north some ten miles further to 83°39′ N. latitude, where it turned abruptly to the east. Striking across the great Polar Sea, Peary struggled on to 83°50′ N., where he was turned back by a considerable expanse of open water. Before he returned to headquarters, however, useful work was accomplished along the North Greenland coast, which was surveyed as far as Independence Bay, the point reached by Peary on his two great journeys across the inland ice-cap in 1892 and 1895. The winter months were spent partly at Fort Conger, partly at Meat Caches, 250 miles to the north.
Another attempt to reach the Pole in the spring of 1901 had early to be abandoned, as neither men nor dogs were in a fit condition to make any prolonged march. Peary accordingly made his way south, and on June 6 came across the Windward with Mrs. Peary and the explorer's little daughter on board. The Windward had gone north in search of Peary in the summer of 1900, and, failing to find him, had wintered in Payer Harbor near Cape Sabine. Here, too, in 1901, came the Erik in search of the Windward. Disappointment was naturally felt when it was found that Peary has failed to reach the Pole, or even to attain a higher northing than that of Nansen and Cagni in the Western Hemisphere. The strain of so long a sojourn in the Arctic regions had naturally been great upon a man of even Peary's iron physique and dauntless courage, but the explorer determined to make one last effort this year. Both the Windward and the Erik sailed south in August, 1901. So far as can be made out from the telegrams to hand, Commander Peary has followed, as far as practicable, the plans which he had laid down according to the information brought home by the Erik, which left him on August 20, 1901, in his temporary camp on the south side of Herschel Bay, on the west side of Smith Sound, about a dozen miles southwest of his permanent quarters at Payer Harbor, near Cape Sabine, about 78°45′ 1ST. He was then stated to have been well provided with all necessaries, although the difficulty of taking sufficient food for the dogs was regarded as rather a serious one. It was also stated that he intended to take with him a "marine equipment," so as to be able to cross open water wherever it should occur. The telegrams to hand do not refer to a boat as part of the equipment, but, as open leads of water were met with, it is presumed that the expedition had some means of crossing them.
The move northwards began with the advance party of six sledges in charge of Peary's faithful colored companion, Henson, on March 3, followed three days later by the main party with 18 sledges. These parties, no doubt, traveled northwards along the ice foot on the American side, close to the shore, the distance to Fort Conger on the north