Tapkan, Siberia, May 31, 1881.]
After inquiring about the movements of the ice and the whaling fleet, we weighed anchor and steered for Plover Bay on the coast of Siberia, taking several of the natives with us. They had a few poles for the frame of a boat and skins to cover it, and for food a piece of walrus flesh which they ate raw. This, with a gun and a few odds and ends, was all their property, yet they seemed more confident of their ability to earn a living than most whites on their farms.
The afternoon was clear and the mountains about Plover Bay showed themselves in bold relief, quite imposing and Yosemitic in sculpture and composition. There was so much ice at the mouth of the bay, which is a glacial fiord, that we could not enter. In the edge of the pack we spoke the whaler Rainbow, and delivered the Arctic mail. Then we proceeded a short distance northward, put into Marcus Bay, and anchored in front of a small Chukchi settlement. A boatful of natives came aboard