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but it is well worth the attention of philosophers. The nature of the expedition, and the want of persons with leisure and ability to make these and many other experiments in the physical sciences, is but too evident in every page of the narrative.
On the 5th of September, another bay was found to the southward, here called Pond's Bay, which was occupied by a long glacier extending a considerable way into the sea. It was therefore impenetrable; but though, from a species of carelessness not unusual throughout the narrative, we are left to our own conjectures, whether the north-west passage may not exist here, on consulting the appended drawings of the land, it is apparent that the high mountainous ridges already described, occupy the whole of the shore. At noon, being abreast of Cape Macculloch, another bay was seen filled in the same manner with ice; and again a second, called Coutts's Inlet; the same mountainous ridges occupying the interior country. At sunset, "we had run down above 70 miles of the coast; and I was completely satisfied there could be no passage between latitude 73° 33' and 72° : This coast nowhere appeared to be inhabited.
On the following day, it being quite calm, and the water smooth, we sounded with the deep-sea clamms, and found one thousand an tisty fathoms, which were the deepest soundings we ever reached in Baffin's Bay. As we had only one hundred and twenty fathons fifteen miles further north, it is evident that the bottom of the sea, like the land, must here be very mountainous. The mud at the bottom was so extremely soft, that the instrument sunk completely into it, and considerable force was required to draw it out. The sea be. ing a dead calm, the line became perfectly pupeodicular; and we had a good opportunity of obtaining the exact depth buiore it started oật of the ground. The instrument canin up completely full, containing about six pounds of mud, mixed with a few stones and some sand. Although this mud was of a substai (2 to appeara.ce much coarser than that which we had before obtained, it was also of a much looser nature, and had in it no insects or organic renibus; but a small star-fish was found attached to the line below the point marking eigin hundred fathoms. The instrument took twenty seven minutes to descend the whole distance. When at five hundred fathoms, it descended at the rate of one fathom per second; and when near one thousand fathoms down, it took one second and a half per fathom. Although the check the ivstrument made to the notion of the line when it struck the bottom was evident to all, I wished to put the fact beyond doubt ; and, for this purpose, I set the instrument so nicely, that the least resistance at the bottom would make it act; and having attached the self-registering thermometer to it, I let it down, first to five hundred fathoms, and in the same manner to six hundred, seven hundred, eight hundred, and a thousand, in succession. At each time it came up empty, and the thermometer cach time showed a lower temperature; proving clearly that the water was colder as it became deeper, and also indicating that the instruinent had not reached the bottom, even as far as the depth of one thousand and five fathoms. It occupied one hour for all hands to pull it up from that depth.
In running further to the southward, the land continued to be traced to the latitude of 71° 22', where it had not been sen by former navigators; and the name of North Ayr is given to a truet never before described. It is remarked, that at this place the mountains near the shore assumed a new character,
being more detached, of a rounder shape, and the tops less covered with snow.' The formality of taking possession was next executed on a spot about a degree to the southward; and traces of inhabitants were then, for the first time, found on this coast. The remains of a habitation, with a fire-place, a human
and other marks of civilization being visible. This territorial acquisition to the empire will not probably be considered by the Colonial Department as a very interesting result of Captain Ross's voyage,
The hopes of discovering the north-west passage, seem in this part of the narrative to be hourly diminishing; as we read of nothing but bays filled with glaciers, and of high land backing the whole coast, which was always seen during the operations of standing in and out, according to the state of the wind and weather, in such a manner as to leave no doubt of the continuity of the coast being every where distinctly traced.
A very large iceberg was driven to the southward of Bruce's Bay, as given in this chart; and its measurements are described, together with the attack of a bear: it was aground in 61 fathoms. A notion has been entertained that such mountains of ice had the peculiar property of moving with vast rapidity against the wind, breaking through and quitting the fields of ice in which they were insulated.
Hence it has very properly been concluded, that they were moved by some invisible force-which could of course be none other than the current running out, or into, the north-west passage, it is indifferent which. Now it would be very proper io ascertain, by what means Fabricius, who appears to be the authority for this belief, ascertained the existence of an under current capable of producing this effect; or how he determined that the berg, and not the field ice, was in motion. We have taken the trouble to make some inquiries among our most intelligent ravigators who frequent Davis's Strait, and we find no authority in support of this fancy. The fact is, that the field ice, which is afloat, quits the berg, which is aground; and as the most conspicuous body is always
conceived to be that in motion, Fabricius, who knew less of the sea than he did of butterflies, imagined that the mountain was sailing against the wind, when the field was sailing before it. These mountains have been found nground in 300 fathoms; but that is not near the limit at which they are known to lie. It is a moderate computation for solid ice, to allow a fathom under water for a foot above; and as icebergs have been seen 600 feet above the surface, they must have been aground in as many fathoms, when Fabricius imagined them afloat.
On the 13th of September, the Expedition stood out 120 miles into the bay, which was then clear of ice; that which had filled it in the commencement of the voyage having disappeared.'-It was thus ascertained, that no land existed in the channel of Davis's Strait, about the latitude of 70° 40', and consequently, that there is no such land as James's Island, which is laid down in most of our charts.' The origin of this island, which Captain Ross's voyage has thus expunged from the charts, appears to exist in an error founded on the inaccurate position given to the land on the opposite side of Davis's Strait. In these charts, Qucen Anne's Cape is laid down in the longitude of 51° nearly, and Cape Walsingham in 68o. As the real longitude of the former is about 54, and that of the latter 60° 45', it is probable that vessels taking their departure from the east side of the Strait, and making the opposite land, at the distance of 170 miles, instead of 400 which it was supposed to be, had mistaken Cape Walsingham, or some other part of the land, for an island.
On the 15th, the Expedition continued running along the land, which still presented mountains not less high, or less covered with snow, than before; and two banks were discovered, having not more than 18 fathoms water on them. These shoals, it is probable, extend across the whole bay to Waygatt Island, where a similar reef exists. That is deducible from the solid barrier of ice which was found in this direction, in proceeding northwards, and from the icebergs being still aground upon it on each side, at their return; all the field ice being melted away. This barrier of grounded icebergs, like that at Cape York before mentioned, appears to be in part the cause of the detention of the ice in the upper part of the bay to a late season; the field ice being incapable of drifting southwards in consequence of this blockade. The vessels were busy till the 18th, in tracing the land which Davis had seen before, and in naming the capes and bays which he had omitted; but the most important part of the observatiors consisted in determining the longitudes with a greater degree of accuracy.
From the 13th to the 21st, the ships continued to beat to the southward, and on that day stood so far across the bay, as again to make the land on the eastern side of it, near Queen Anne's Cape: The depth was forty fathoms; confirming the observations formerly made respecting the shallowness of the water in Baflin's Bay. Mount Raleigh was found to agree precisely with Davis's latitude; but, as usual, differing materially in longitude, as will be obvious on inspecting the chart. It appeared of a pyramidal form to our navigators, and is considered exceedings ly high; and, from the comparison of the longitudes which is here made, the breadth of Davis's Strait in this place is estimated at 160 miles.
The weather had now become so far unsettled, that gales of wind were fiequent; materially impeding the progress of the ships, and particularly that of the Alexander, which aj pears to have combined all the properties of a bad sailer. The usual remarks on the continuity of the land to the southward, interspersed with the ordinary nautical occurrences, are found through several successive days down to the 30th, when the Expedition was in latitude 65° 10', and discovered a bank of small extent. On the 1st of October the ships reached Cumberland Strait, of which they became immediately sensible, by the increased strength of the tides, and by their setting all round the compass in every direction ;-the strength of the current was found to be two miles in the hour. Here the voyage of discovery may be said to terminate, as the following extract shows that this was its authorized conclusion.
• As the first of October was the latest period, which, by my instructions, I was allowed to continue on this service, I was not authorized to proceed up this Strait to explore it, which, perhaps, at the advanced season of the year, might be too hazardous an attempt ; the nights being now long, and the little day-light we had, being generally obscured by fogs or snow, and the rigging of the ship covered with içe. I thought it, however, advisable to finish our operations for this season, by making Resolution Island, the exact situation of which had been laid down by Mr Wales; I, therefore, determined on steering for the southernmost land in sight; we, therefore, crossed the entrance of Cumberland Strait, and, making an allowance for indraft, steered about SSE. It will appear that, in tracing the land from Cape Walsingham, no doubt could be entertained of its continuity until the place where we found Cumberland Strait, which is much further south than it was laid down from the latest authorities the Admiralty were in possession of'; but it is very near the place where Davis placed it in his chart, which has been found since our return. From the circumstance of a current being found at the entrance of this Strait, there is no doubt a niuch better chance of a passage there than in any other place ; and it was a subject of much regret to us, that we had not been able to reach its entrance sooner.
On the 3d of October, the attempt to verify its longitude by means of Resolution Island was considered as too hazardous under the existing circumstances ; viz. thick weather, badsailing ships, a dark moon, spring-tides, a coast surrounded with rocks, and the time I was directed to leave the service on which I was employed being arrived. Our bearings of yesterday were, however, sütticient to convince us, that our observations and chronometers could not be materially wrong. During the last night, which wis both dark and foggy, the Alexander had separated from us considerably; and the wind being light, she did not join us until noon. We then bore up for Cape Farewell, having intimated, by signal, that it was my intention to make that Cape on our passage home. We sounded in three hundred and seventy fathoms, Cape Best on Resolution Island bearing west, distant sixteen leagues, by our reckoning. In the evening a light breeze sprung up from the westward, and we pursued our course.
It is unnecessary, however, to pursue that course any longer. After experiencing a gale of wind to the southward ‘of Cape Farewell, the ships reached Shetland on the 30th of October.
As we have, in the preceding detail, made repeated reference to Captain Ross's instructions, and, as it appears to us, the complete manner in which he executed them, it is necessary to make a few observations on their tenor, that by comparing them with the results of his voyage, the reader may judge whether he has not fulfilled all the expectations which they held out. The source from which they proceed deserves our respect, but not our implicit acquiescence in the speculations on which they appear to have been founded.
It is first stated, that there is reason to suppose that ice is most abundarit near the shores of the continent and islands, and in narrow straits and deep bays; and it may also be expected, that the sea will be most clear of ice where the corrents are strongest, as the stream of
river will continue open long after the sides are frozen up.' This expectation is not wellfounded. The ice is rot most abundant in such situations-as this voyage has proved; and it ought moreover to have been obvious, ihat the depth of water, and not the proximity to land, was one of the main causes, regulating the position and quantity of the ice. Moreover, near the shores, the greater strength of the tide currents, and the sudden inequality of level produced by their rise and fall, use the ice to separate in there pl: sei, where, in the wider seas, it continues unbroken,