Page:Journal of a Voyage to Greenland, in the Year 1821.djvu/123

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ing upwards of a ton and a half, without any calculation being made of the resistance given by the sunken boat, by the boats over the snow, and by fifteen men.

The boats having all returned, and the crews being ready for flincing, the ship was moored to leeward of the field of ice, and the harpooners, with their cutting-knives and blubber-spades, were ready to commence the operation; but the flincing was soon stopped by the rising of another whale about a mile from us. After resting upon the surface for a few minutes, it disappeared in the manner usual when not disturbed, by slowly elevating its back, with a graceful movement of the tail. The boat sent in pursuit, took its station against a piece of flat ice, where it had not remained long, before the fish again rose near a lofty hummock connected with the ice to which the ship was moored; the sea being perfectly smooth, much address was requisite, and the boat was most skilfully sculled upon its back, into which a harpoon was deeply driven; the agitation instantly produced on the still water, was astonishing; and the sudden darting down of the fish, placed the harpooner in considerable danger of being thrown overboard, by the boat's heeling from the action of the tail; and the boat-steerer had also great difficulty in keeping his balance. Instantly, with great velocity, the whale dived under the ice, and ran out six lines in a very short time; a boat with a fresh supply arrived, their lines were united to the others, and the whale continued without the