Page:The cruise of the Corwin.djvu/102

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CHAPTER V


A CHUKCHI ORATOR


Steamer Corwin,   
St. Lawrence Bay, Siberia, June 6, 1881.

Yesterday morning at half-past one o'clock, when we were within twenty-five miles of Plover Bay, where we hoped to be able to repair our rudder, we found that the ice-pack was crowding us closer and closer inshore, and that in our partly disabled condition it would not be safe to proceed farther. Accordingly we turned back and put into St. Lawrence Bay, to await some favorable movement in the ice.

We dropped anchor at half-past seven in the morning opposite a small Chukchi settlement. In a few hours the wind began to blow fresh from the north, steadily increasing in force, until at eight in the evening it was blowing a gale, and we were glad that we were in a good harbor instead of being out at sea, slashing and tumbling about with a broken rudder among the wind-driven ice. It also rained and snowed most of the afternoon, the blue and gray sleet mingling in grand uproar with the white scud swept from the crests of the waves, making about as stormy and gloomy an atmosphere

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