Page:The cruise of the Corwin.djvu/44

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THE CRUISE OF THE CORWIN

this season of the year, the average temperature for the first day or two being about 55° F., falling gradually to 35° as we approached Unalaska, accompanied by blustering squalls of snow and hail, suggestive of much higher latitudes than this.

On the morning of the fifteenth we met a gale from the northeast, against which the Corwin forced her way with easy strength, rising and falling on the foam-streaked waves as lightly as a duck. We first sighted land on the morning of the seventeenth, near the southeast extremity of Unalaska Island. Two black out standing masses of jagged lava were visible, with the bases of snowy peaks back of them, while all the highlands were buried beneath storm-clouds. After we had approached within three or four miles of the shore, a ragged opening in the clouds disclosed a closely packed cluster of peaks, laden with snow, looming far into the stormy sky for a few moments in tolerably clear relief, then fading again hi the gloom of the clouds and fresh squalls of blinding snow and hail. The fall of the snowflakes among the dark, heaving waves and curling breakers was a most impressive sight.

Groping cautiously along the coast, we at length entered the Akutan Pass. A heavy flood tide was setting through it against the north-