Page:Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London, Volume 1 (2nd edition).djvu/90

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landing-place, enclosing a paper with the usual information ;. and the requisite bearings having been obtained, we returned to the ship, whose course was then directed for Deception Island, which the accounts of the sealing vessels pointed out as affording the best harbour in South Shetland. Possession Cape is situated in 65 � S., and 61 � W. We procured specimens of its rock, and a small quantity of red snow, similar to that which had been met with in the arctac regions. The Island of Deception.was seen on the next day,--its posi- tion being indicated by an insular peak near it, to which the sealers have applied the appropriate name of Sail Rock. The resera: bianca to a vessel was indeed so perfect that we found it dlmcolt to divest ourselves of the seusatzon to which the presence of a consort naturally gives rise. Deception Island presents a different appearance from the rest of the group. The warmth of the soil and the blackness of the cinders make it appear more like terra firma than s the other islands, and its rocks are also moro denuded of their snowy manfie. On the S.F.. side is an opening of about six hundred feet wide, which affords an entrance to a kind of lake or internal sea.. This lake, whose diameter is about five miles, is very ncady'?circular; and as the diameter of the island itself is only eight miles, the land of course forms a kind of annulus around it. The principal part of the island is composed of alternate layers of ashes and ice, as if the snow of each winter during a series of years, had been prevented from melting in the following summer by the ejection of cinders and ashes from some part where volcanic action is still in progress; and that such is the case appears pro- bable from the fact of there being at least one hundred and fifty holes, from which steam was issuing with a loud hissing noise, and which were visible from the top of one of the hills immediately above the small cove where the Chanticleer was secured. The depth of the lake was ninety-seven fathoms, with a bottom of cinders; and the beaches, which were composed of the same material, abounded with springs of hot water, which afforded the extraordinary spectacle of water, at the temperature of 140 � issuing from beneath the snow-clnd surface of the soil, and running into the sea, which rarely exceeded the freezing point. Alum was procured from some of these springs, and the lee shore of the lake was strewed with irameuse quantities of pumice-stone. The hills, whose height was about one thousand eight hundred feet, were principally tufa, seorise, and a red brick-like substance; but in some places points of obsidian and hard compact lava were seen. The cliffs on the northern side of the entrance rise perpen. dicularly to the height of eight hundred feet, and appear to be of Dig,tiz?d by Google