“Passage Through the Ice, June 16, 1818” [drawn by John Ross]


A current was found here, running south (true), a quarter of a mile an hour. In the afternoon we boarded several Greenlandmen, and learnt that none of their ships had been able to penetrate further north than 70° 30', and that we should fall in with the ice in two hours, through which we might sail as far as Hare Island, where it became a solid body. At six we fell in with loose ice, and continued sailing through it. Firm ice was seen westward. We proceeded the next day, steering along the edge of the main ice; a firm field stretching from north to south; we sailed on between large floes and among loose ice, which, as we advanced, became more numerous, and more closely packed, till at length we had only a narrow and crooked channel for our passage. At eight we saw a ridge of icebergs, of every variety and shape that can be imagined; I took sketches of some, and they also appear in the plate which is given of our passage among them. [Ross in his Voyage of Discovery, pp. 46-47.]