Page:The cruise of the Corwin.djvu/91

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CHAPTER IV

IN PERIL FKOM THE PACK

Steamer Corwin, 
Near the edge of the shore ice,
opposite Koliuchin Island. 
6 P.M., June 2, 1881. 

After leaving Tapkan, twelve miles north-west of Cape Serdzekamen, on the evening of the last day of May, we steamed along the coast to the westward, tracing the edge of the shore-ice, which seemed to be from three to six miles wide. The weather was tranquil, though rather thick at times, and the water was like glass and as smooth as a mill-pond. About half-past five yesterday afternoon we reached the end of the open lead that w r e had been following, one hundred and thirty miles west of Cape Serdzekamen, latitude 68° 28' N., longitude 175° 10' W., having thus early in the season gained a point farther west than the Corwin was able to reach at any time last year.

At this point the firm coast ice united with the great polar pack, and, as there was danger of its drifting south at, any time and cutting us off, we made haste to the eastward, keeping as far offshore as possible, that we might be able to watch the movements of the pack.