|Trip on the schooner
Fury and Hecla Straits
Monroe Grey Barnard
Summer of 1927
|Transcribed by George G. Barnard II 12/24/1991|
June 11, 1927
I get my last things in N.Y. for trip, film, toothpaste, etc. In the morning I go up by train to Rye. Get $20.00 in new bills at bank in Rye. Taxi driver seems to be upset because of price cutting. The launch at the A.Y.C. takes me out to the Morrissey. The day is spent in painting the rail and outside of ship. Under stern is dirty and difficult, rather rough.
Mr. Parks asks me to spend night at his house. Have fine supper. Evening is spent at their house singing and playing of musical instruments by various members. Get to bed at 12:30.
June 12, 1927
Morning finds all of us up very early in order to get everything in shape. After good breakfast we drive to the A.Y.C. and load up one of the motor boats with provisions; potatoes, turnips, oranges, grapefruits, parts for the diesel and so forth. Morning is spent in getting things on board and down into the hold. There is a send-off given at the A.Y.C. for all of us. Among others William Beebe attends. After lunch I go out to the M. and take John Papes things out. He has exam that afternoon at 4 o'clock in geology. The afternoon goes very slowly. At about 5 o'clock Vivia and father and Royal come on board. We are about ready to pull anchor and start the diesel. She backfires, draws water into the cylinder, and breaks the piston head in 1st cylinder. Causes much disturbance. We go over slowly on two cylinders to the casino with many visitors on board. George Weymouth in the meantime drives to N.Y. to get parts for the diesel. The engine is repaired by 10:30 o'clock. We go in for supper at the casino, but it is a bit formal and rather warm. The time seems to go slowly. I decide to go out to the M. at 11:00 and get into launch but she stops only a few feet from the dock. To get in I take off my shoes and stockings and kick astern. Dennis and I then get into a small half floating skiff and row out to the M. Go to bed at 12:00. We leave at 3 a.m. The next morning all up at 7:00 o'clock. Very fine day. Spend morning cleaning up and arranging personals. Afternoon we put a cut-out switch for generator aft. Ground swells make me feel a little uncomfortable. The late evening is rough.
In the morning I paint wash stand and pantry floor. Afternoon clean guns. We pass in distance several whales spouting. At about 5 o'clock U.S. cutter gives us the once over and goes off.
Morning testing batteries and arranging them to charge at 60 volts. Today is rather rough. I manage to hold my own. In the late afternoon we pass close by a two-master, apparently a rum runner as they are not sailing, but make inquiries whether we have seen a four master. We did two days before. We ask our location: fifty miles east of seal island. In the evening I play bridge with Gould, Doc and Cadzow. We lost.
Still rough bet hold my own. Spend most of day lying down. No lunch for me. Supper, yes. Today we see sharks and black fish.
Morning is rough. I sweep up floor after a fashion. Lie down till eleven when we stop. I hear that we are going to fish. George Weymouth goes in swimming so I borrow suit from "Will" Bartlett. It is all cotton and big enough for two of me. I decide I am never too sick to swim. The water is remarkably clear and beautiful prussian blue (light) in color. We stop in fifty fathoms of water. Doc and Cadzow each catch two cod fish. Putnam gets into the water. Awfully cold, registers 48 degrees F. Mrs. Putnam also takes a dip. I dive off rigging. This gives me good appetite for lunch. In afternoon I make spring for Putnams rifle. (firing pin spring)
Off North Nova Scotia batteries need attention. Belt slips off generator. Power never ___field. Morning print first edition of Morrissey Morning Madness. Radio press. In morning I oil up my packs with neatsfoot oil. Cadzow and I make harpoon staff. Cameras seem to be in the foreground. They are the main topic of discussion. There must be a half dozen or more graflexes on board. For lunch we have more fresh codfish. It certainly is good, coming from the immaculately clean salt water and also being so fresh. After lunch all turn out on deck. We all take a few shots at clay pigeons. I hit three out of four. I try throwing clay pigeons my first time with no success. Afterwards I get the knack. Group photos are taken. A great many pictures featuring David and Denec seem to be taken. The evening brings a heavy fog so necessitates getting life boats and motor boats ready in case of hitting berg during the night. Each has a keg of fresh water, gas, oil, and food. The night passes without a mishap.
Today we see land for the first time in a week. We pass Cape Race and the east shore of Newfoundland. Our first ice berg on port. The boys climb around on the rigging. We debate when we will arrive at Brigus, the next day. The night is spent under a strong breeze. The boat is at an angle of about 45 degrees. Clothes, dishes, cups, books and boxes all slide onto floor over to my side of boat. I awake in the morning quite oblivious to all the upheaval. Slept through it all.
This morning we enter the bay in which Brigus sits. Slowly but surely we buck our way against a stiff head wind. As we pass the lighthouse on our right going in we are hailed by three shots from the keeper. We dock at about eleven o'clock. Many village people are on dock to greet us. Feels queer to be on terra firma again. We see ice cream and go in. Few dishes, dirty. Ice cream is only starch pudding. (N.G.) We try soda water. Luke warm tasting like ink. (N.G.) We have lunch at Brigus Hotel. Good but cost $1.25. Imitation of U.S. (prices) ______ made of pennies.
Brigus-Rigi Kulin, Scotland. Dilapidation, barren, many small streets. Fish used as fertilizer. Immaculately clean salt water, resembling glacial water in color. Steep cliffs. Mines Faggots of wood for winter. Capt. Bartletts house. Nice mother. lovely table, silverware, table cloth. Lobster salad. Many medals. Hubford medals given only to three people, Bartlett, Byrd and (?). Many photos from well known people, Roosevelt, etc.
Houses are mostly all falling to pieces. Was a great port in its day. Many children drying fish on fir tree beds. Small valleys. Very fertile farming. Small oasis. Tunnel in 15 foot down to pier. Electric power forty miles away brought to Brigus. Catholic church. Nice windows. Depot. Narrow gauge tracks across hills to iron mine. Iron carried by mule. Water exceedingly phosphorescent. Many fences. Talked with man who lived in N.Y. for 12 years. Helped build Old Plaza Hotel. Iron worker.
Railway narrow gauge. Man asks about ------ ------- mica in granite. Thinks it is gold.
I sleep till ten o'clock. Paint dories in morning. Swim at noon. Rather cold. Lunch at the Bartletts. Charge batteries. In evening storytelling in town hall by last years novices. Full house.Putnam and Bartlett both give good brief talks. Story of calves, Hell and No, she thinks you are twins! Story about Bartlett and fish scales. My God she weighs twenty-two lbs.
After talks we all go over to Bartletts for refreshments. Very nice. Bob devoted to her.
We leave Brigus at about noon. It is a long ways to the ocean, but we have a good wind with us all along. Outside of Brigus we begin to see nioni and more ice bergs.
The coast of Newfoundland is very Bare and desolate. Not much vegetation other than shrubbery. Today is rainy and wet. I get four watches, one water tight, two South Bends and a stop watch. Also one very fine chronometer. Set them all going by Arlington time signals. Study a little about latitude and longitude. Very rough, and we have salt cod-fish for supper. That finishes me. I don't feed the fish though. Go to bed early. Mr P. does! (feed the fish)
Today we go slowly through ice floes. Turning in and out. I admire the piloting. One man fore and one man aft at the wheel. The signals are starboard, port, and steady-HEY! We pass two small steamers in the morning going southward. Oh yes! The morning I spend asleep. No breakfast! it is still rough. I get George Weymouth to show me the Magnetic Dip Circle inst. Not very difficult to manipulate but takes lots of time to take a complete reading. Three hours or more.
Today is a long day through much ice. in the morning we pass the Beothica steamer from St. Johns plying up the coast.It has been trying to get through the ice but is not successful and turns around for the south again to come up later. We come to one dead end but only have to retrace about a mile to get outside of Ragged Island to enable us to pass through. Few open spaces in the ice. From the bow it always appears impassable more than a quarter mile ahead, but we manage to get through. At night there are always two men on, one at the wheel and the other on watch.
This morning I feel of the generator in rear propeller shaft. Very hot. Oil drain plug had fallen out. Replaced this and filled grease cups after removing generator. Very small, slippery and dirty working quarters. In the afternoon movies are taken of us climbing the rigging. It is a lot of fun climbing around. The foremast makes a very fine pinnacle on which to sit. Early in the morning the wheel was tied fast because of the ice. We spent three hours going around in a circle. Today we see our first seal.
Early in the morning we are all awakened by the sound of chains clattering. We are in the port of Mokovick. Very small. Suggests Timagami. One Moravian Mission Church. Three teachers. Twenty children at school. Hudsons' Bay Co. post. Doc buys pair of snowshoes for $6.00. Very broad and short.
Some of the party go fishing in small boat up stream at end of bay. No luck. I go for a walk up to top of large hill directly back of the community. Bayou other side. Some snow still left in drifts.There is a small pool on top in which are models of small boats made by some of the children.
The church is quite small. No decorations inside. In the rear is a small organ. According to reports nearly all inhabitants attend. Doc Heinbecker hears of a case of a woman (native) with an infection. He treats her. They, the missionaries, have a small english radio set, home built. (out of order) Aerial is disconnected but set seemed to be in working order. Probable trouble "A" battery had run down. Could do no good. One of the natives brings a part of his boat engine to us to repair which we are able to do. Later this sorry chap brings on board a seal skin to trade or sell. He wants too much. he also has some skin boots. I want a pair, but preferably fur lined. Expect to get some farther north. A very old eskimo, of the mongolian type (chinese), told me of having gone to the fair in Chicago when he was a young boy. he had also gone to N.Y. He wants me to write to him. I didn't say yes because... We leave at twelve o'clock. At three o'clock we stop at Turnovich, a small island where Will Bartlett, Capt. Bobs' father had lived in the summertime for 35 years. This was a great fishing center but was now in complete ruin. "Will" said they used to make $20,000 in one season. Finally in about 1912-13 they had a couple of poor years which ruined their entire business. The island is small, not more than two hundred yards across. The wharf and store houses still stand. One small house, very lonely, is the only dwelling quarter there. the island has a very small harbor of its' own. It's small but deep. Just about enough room for us to turn around in. Mr. P leaves some provisions in the house. A small soapstone mold for casting fish hooks and sinkers. Our stop here is very short, about an hour or so. Soon we are on our way again, bow turned to the north.
The sunsets here are perfectly marvelous and instead of lasting but a few short minutes, they last for two hours or more. The lavender clouds, _______ ice, and green sea with the mountains and hills all around make an unforgettable picture. At dusk at about eleven o'clock we stop as its getting too dark to continue safely over unknown waters. I get into my bunk and am just about going to sleep when someone suggests going hunting. So out I spring, dress and I'm ready. Geo. Weymouth and I take the large flat (flatboat) with a shotgun and start north. It is still rather light as the sun doesn't set very far below the horizon.
George and I have an argument as to which shore is nearer. I let him have his way and we row for about a mile and then turn back. Finally we arrive at the eastern island. We didn't see anything but a few turins. We were just ready to leave when I heard a small sound to my left and below me. having a flashlight at hand we looked down into a crevasse perhaps eight or ten inches wide at its lowest extremity. As I looked down I first saw two bright red spots and jet black above. It was a turin. Between the two of us we managed to catch and take him back to the Morrissey. Tried to put him in Doc's bed but he was awake. Doc let him out the next morning.
Today we have an old native as a pilot who boarded our schooner early in the morning. We pass the day going between many islands until about one o'clock in the afternoon when as we are passing around a low point of land we run aground. The tide is going out and has not far to go so there is nothing to do but wait for it to rise again. A small anchor is thrown overboard and pulled on by the winch but to no avail. The rope is fastened taught so as to keep us from blowing shore-ward as we come afloat again. When the tide was ebb there was an apparent list of ten or fifteen degrees. At about four o'clock we were again afloat. The bottom being of sand and gravel did us no harm. While we aground I took a swim but only in and out twice. The water was too cold. I felt fine afterwards. Temperature was about 37 degrees F. The rest of the day was quiet. The pilot leaves us.
Today we take on two more men, eskimos who are to pilot us north to Black Island. They are about thirty five years old and are quite amiable. Doc makes four tests on each of them. Smallpox, dyptheria, Schick and poison ivy. The tests come out negative in all cases. Today we take the motor boat out to take movies of the Morrissey from shore as we pass between high hills on each side. After the pictures are taken Mr. Putnam asks if I would like to go in the launch with them for a while. So we take a narrow cutoff in the motorboat while the Morrissey goes way around the island. On the way we pass hundreds of ducks and try to get a few. Having only a twenty gauge shotgun at hand we are not overly successful but manage to get four. So we go back to the Morrissey for a larger size gun. After we have our larger size gun and more ammunition of course there are no ducks.
Late at night we anchor at Black Island, next to another schooner about 80 or 90 feet long, the Bluebell. She came up from St John. In the evening I read about Sculpon Island. The home ...
Early in the morning the anchor is pulled up and we hear for Sculpon Island about four ar five miles from Black Island. At Sculpon Island are supposed to be the remains of houses inhabited by norsemen in about 1100 A.D., supposed to have been discovered by a missionary about thirty five years ago. AT about one o'clock we stop several hundred yards west of Sculpon Island. Luckily it is a lovely day, the sun shining bright. We lower the launch and two of the flats. Here and there are small growlers between us and shore. Several go to shore in the launch. The second load going to shore is pictured. Just as we landed a small ice berg tipped over directly behind us. Unfortunately too late for the movies. Sculpon I. is about three miles long, a ridge of hills running as a backbone. The ground where we land is covered with many small round stone, about six to eight inches in diameter.The morning is spent in investigating and digging nearby. I found nothing but several small bones. At the south end of the island are several natural caves used apparently at some time for caches. Though some time was spent in excavating, nothing was found. After having been on board for so long it tasted good to be drinking fresh spring water again.
After a good hearty lunch on shore, during which we all made exchanges of ideas and information of finds, most of the party headed for the N>E> end of the island to a small neck of land connected to Sculpon only at low tide. Here were found ten or twelve remains of houses from six to 15 or 16 ft. square. A skeleton, sword, stone bowls and gourds were unearthed. Macmillan had made a report of ruins on Sculpon I. last year when he was north. During the afternoon I circumnavigated the island. The only objects of interest that I found were small pieces of birch bark and in one place amid a pile of boulders, a fragment of limestone with small crinoid stew and fossils present. This was the only limestone seen. Probably carried south on a glacier or ice berg at some time.
Today was quiet, most of the crowd spent the day sleeping and resting. Nothing eventful.
This morning all were up at seven o'clock. Had a good nights sleep after work of the seventh. Immediately after breakfast all hands were on deck at their posts. I took the bow with five others. The ice was quite heavy but loose. We worked all morning and all afternoon with a few minutes off for lunch which was eaten in shifts. At about four o'clock we all but 150 feet to go, to get to a lead going to the open shore water when the wind changed, closing the ice in on us, leaving us quite helpless. The ice slowly blew around to the north of us till there was maybe one half mile of ice between us and the open. No hope of getting out till tomorrow. Now for four or five days the shore has been but about two or three miles from us but unapproachable. Had a bridge game in the evening and won. To bed at eleven. There was a great deal of rough-housing in our cabin between Denic and Henry till Mr Putnam came and quelled it.
All up at six when the ice to the north of us had loosened up. Capt. Bob took his post in the barrel. The motor boats were put off the ice pan. We unhitched and once again we were at it. Presley in the rear , with orders from Capt. Five of us in front catching onto the rigging as well as we could and pushing the ice aside. In two hours we were free. What a feeling of freedom. All sails were hoisted and in one half hour a very stiff wind had started. Both launches and whaleboat were in tow in the rear. The whale boat hitched both fore and aft. The painter on the whale boat gave way turning it completely around. Denic, Dave Huey, and George were aboard. They cut the rear loose and were adrift. It was too rough to manage to fasten on astern so they made for the lee of shore. The wind all this time blowing hard. We watched them and saw they had beached themselves. We were one and one half miles out. Somewhere we must get into a bay and beach the Morrissey in order to fix our propeller. Tacking back and forth we gradually neared the shore. The wind off our port side being so strong as to push over the Morrissey till the top of her rail was awash. We then lost our new tarpaulin and one wash tub. Going about eight or ten knots we lost both. On one of our tacks we tried to signal the four on shore but to no avail, so we kept northward passing over a reef and not more than one hundred and fifty feet from an exposed portion. We had turned about and had just turned into a nice bay when a cleat gave way and letting the jib and jumbo loose to the winds. There was nothing to do now but drop anchor. Fortunately we drifted on a bit into the lee of a mountain on a point, bays going westward both sides of her. The whale boat was still out of sight so in a few minutes the launch was made ready with ten gallons of extra gas, food and chocolate to find the four men we whom we had last seen some two miles across the bay and around a point south. Bob Peary, Dicky and Mr. P went in the launch. They had not been gone for more than ten minutes when aloft in the barrel I sighted the whaleboat a mile off heading this way. They unknowingly passed each other one in the lead, the small launch in the open. As I watched the launch make her way across the bay 5 thought each time she went down that she wouldn't come up again. Having sighted the whaleboat a flag was hoisted in hopes of signaling the launch but to no avail as they were more than a mile off. When the whaleboat came in all on board were drenched to the skin all over in spite of their oilskins. All had food and warmed up. After one hour and a half I climbed aloft and sighted the launch on its return. It was only visible at the tops of the waves. When they pulled alongside all were wet. Mr Putnam was quite vexed. A few oaths relieved him. He seemed for a few moments to revert an_____- , somewhat as a child might after being stimulated by a sweet of some sort. now that all hands were on board we all felt relieved. Supper was ready soon. Thanks to Billy the cook, it tasted fine. baked beans, bread and butter, cheese, apple sauce, tea, pineapples sliced and after dinner mints. Not half bad. All went to bed at eight or nine o'clock.
All up at 7 o'clock. After breakfast we pulled up the anchor. Raining rather hard but not cold. On the mountains nearby there was snow on top gradually fading away as the snow turned to rain. As we rounded the point going westward with the whaleboats and launch pushing in back, the rain lightened a bit. At about 9 o'clock Mr. P. decided to unpack the small johnson boat. This is a small boat about ten feet long with a broad round bottom and one end flat to enable the motor to be fastened on. We put the boat over and attached the johnson. Mr. P. was in back but she wouldn't run. Too much drizzle. Took it inside engine (room) and finally managed to get it going. Took it out in boat with Mr. P. to end of bay. To our right rose 2 mountains with very steep sides. high. 1750 feet. To the end of the bay and way beyond were many beautiful barren snow covered mountains. At the end of the bay we got out and went up a nearby hill. Many fjords all around, very shallow. We came back and spent the afternoon pushing barrels to the forward to raise up the stern for beaching the Morrissey tomorrow morning, in order to put in the new propeller and propeller shaft. It took a good deal of work to move everything on deck fore. Several of the party went hiking ashore where they came across one eskimo hut, walrus jaw bones, various specimens of quartz, mica, hornblends and granite (gneirs) also they came across the corpse of a baby eskimo covered with a piece of caribou skin. The baby was apparently a couple of months old and probably died last winter. It was in fairly good condition. Bob Peary and Capt. Bob with one or two of the crew removed the rudder so as to be ready to beach in the morning. There was one good nick an inch or two deep in the stock of the rudder. After supper when Mr. P. came back he said I should go on some trip in a day or two. We also talk of making a small portable radio for our trip up the maze of Baffin land in the whaleboat.
In the morning George, Larry and I go ashore with the theodolite to shoot the sun. Being a rather cloudy day it was with difficulty we managed to make any observations. At a bit after noon we made four good shots. From these readings we calculated our latitude to be about 59 degrees 36 min. Our longitude was 64 degrees W. At about 4 p.m. we backed the Morrissey up to shore. We also moved all of the ammunition fore. As soon as the Morrissey was backed she was made fast. At about nine or ten I started to get things going by loosening the propeller coupling. Soon the tide was low enough to see the propeller. A ------- was made fast to the propeller and she was pulled out. The rudder had been removed earlier in the day. The greatest difficulty was in getting the coupling off the shaft. We worked till three or four o'clock in the morning. By then we had the new propeller and shaft on. It only remained to file notches in the shaft for the coupling.
This morning I slept till ten or eleven o'clock. Got up and after lunch took a nap. At about four at high tide we ran off of the shore and anchored. Right away we started moving things on deck back to their former positions. George, Johnny and I decide to take a hike up the highest peak in view. We leave at 9:30 p.m. Henry took us over to the shore south, across the bay. We each had a knapsack with blankets and food for a couple of days. As we hiked I got tired but soon came into my second wind. Making our way along the south shore along a large slide of rugged rocks is very slow going and unsafe. As we came to the end of the rocky formation we made our way upwards to a snow covered saddle, where we made camp. Johnny and George slept together. We had some coffee and an orange apiece and then turned in. The moon which was full rose beautifully in the west over snow clad mountains. It rose but a few degrees and settled in less than two or three hours. There were quite a few mosquitos, but in my sleeping bag I managed to evade them. We had some discussion as to the distance away to the slope of the mountain. To settle this I suggested firing a shot and timing the echo. From this we figured 3500 feet which checked in the morning. We all awoke at 8:30 in the morning to a bright sunny day. Johnny and George did not feel very well.
After coffee, hard tack, and bread and butter and bacon we arranged things in ------ and started towards our goal. After a half hour had passed, Johnny and George both complained of sickness. After some deliberation Johnny decided to stay behind. George and I finally commandeered the summit after three hours climb. The rocky slope was about 45 degrees, formed by broken stones. This was not safe climbing. The top was rounded off somewhat and was covered with snow for the last half-mile. Fortunately I had with me 35 or 40 feet of good rope with which we tied ourselves together in case of emergency. The south side of the summit dropped off abruptly. George and had an orange, chocolate and some corned beef for lunch. After lunch we spent some time rolling large boulders over the side. The sounds of the rocks crashing down was ominous. Going up through the snow was slow going because with every step we would sink in to our knees and sometimes deeper. Going down was much easier for where the snow was steep we would sit down and slide. It was rather cold and wet. In all we slid about a half a mile. Coming down we had to make use of my rope to get down to a small ledge immediately above the top of our slide. This slide was exceedingly steep but we took a chance and slid some 400 or 500 feet unscathed to safety. When we reached camp, a note greeted us from Johnny saying he had left and if he needed help he would fire three shots. Going back we went the longest way around the lake, but the easiest. We met Johnny half way around basking in the sun amidst a swarm of mosquitos. (see map) Fortunately when we arrived at the edge of the bay we did not have to wait long for one of the motorboats. I went to bed immediately.
This morning I didn't feel very ambitious so rested. In the afternoon as we were still ice bound I decided to go ashore and make a plane ----- survey of the bay and mountains. Being alone it was rather slow work measuring out a base line. I had made all my observations at one end and was ready to complete them at the other end when I was called aboard as they were all ready to leave. This was certainly discouraging after having worked for three hours amid swarms of mosquitos to have to stop, when five or ten minutes more would have given some interesting data on the bay. We pulled out but had to go slowly amid the ice.
This morning decided to put a petcock on the gas tank in order to stop the gas from bubbling back while filling the tank. Took the carburetor on the gas generator to pieces. Afterwards the engine ran like a top. In the afternoon Al decided to wash my clothes so took all off but my pants. Henry got playful throwing cold water on me. I took off my pants and washed the rest of my things naked. Again I was attacked so I grabbed a bucket of wash water (dirty) and shinnied up a couple of ropes after Henry, but of course all the water I had with me spilled on yours truly. I told Henry I'd get even with him. Went down stairs and put on my fur cap, a pair of rubber boots and a neckerchief around my loins. Capt. Bob said it was the funniest thing he had seen in years. He said I was better than Charlie Chaplin. I called this outfit my arctic clothes. " the friendly arctic" The boys stole a photo of me. Hope to get one. The radio works fine tonight. KDKA comes in about 7. We are circling in and about Cape Chidley trying to find a break in the ice in order that we can get across the straights (Hudson) to Resolution Island. The tide around here is around 16 to 19 feet while but 50 miles or so north it is but from 5 to 6 feet
Today is rather quiet. We are still trying to get out. In the afternoon we have started going eastward to get entirely out of the ice. Nothing important.
Today we have found our way out through the ice and we sight Resolution Island in the late morning. At about five or six o'clock as we pass through the narrows there is a very evident tide current. It is so strong as to make navigating difficult. Through the many strong eddies the bow is pulled first strongly to the port and then back again, at times turning us nearly ninety degrees off our course. The growlers are carried around in merry style. One would say the current would reach a speed of seven or eight knots in some places. The fast whirling of the water would be unbelievable unless seen. Today I tied hanging from the main stay and way between the two masts. As I let myself backward and looked down it certainly far. Bob showed us a new way of sliding down the two ropes running near the forestay. Each rope passes under an arm and a leg forming a regular track on which to slide. The slide must be 75' or 80' long. It is advisable to have on a heavy coat and a pair of heavy gloves when doing this. To stop one merely grabs the ropes. Another stunt is that of jumping off the foresail boom hanging from a piece of rope and swinging aft to the main boom passing between the rigging and the main mast. Tonight there is a glorious sunset, they daily seem to become more so because of their elongation. A sunset in the north lasts for several hours.
This morning it is quite rough. Yours truly prefers to stay in bed and forfeit his breakfast. I felt rather nauseated for most of the day. After supper I fed the fish.
Today is not so rough but still it is not calm. I had a small breakfast and took it easy for most of the morning. Today we approach what seems to be Big Island. There is a good deal of controversy in reference to this. From Larrys' meridian observation it would appear that it is Big Island. Supper is a gala event for us as we have scrambled eggs on toast, cocoa, bread and butter, dates, canned cherries, and fig newtons. As we were seated on the aft deck Mr. Putnam looked down and said, "I have something to say to you Barney. I am a little disappointed." So I asked him what the trouble was. He looked down and replied. "Why, your socks do not match!" I checked up on him and he was right. I told him that yesterday for me they matched perfectly.
It was finally decided that we were approaching Big Island, so Don, Larry, Mr P., Bob and I took the launch and left the M. for the shore, In order to look for any cairns which would be the outposts of Ash Inlet. After an hour of travel we came to an inlet with cairns on the top of two islands. All of this time to M had stayed well out to seaward, but in our general direction. We go back to report to the M. As we enter Ash Inlet the launch leads the M. taking careful soundings. It's having been about eleven o'clock and rather dark made it extremely difficult to estimate distances. (During the night our bow came crashing down on a growler and broke our bobstay.) The harbor appeared to go in at least two miles, as viewed from the masthead. Mr. P, Bob, and I went in again to see if there were any eskimos, but found nothing. Had a tie game of checkers with George in the engine room.
This morning what had appeared to have been a long inlet was but a small narrow inlet, perhaps 120 feet across extending inland one half mile. Being a nice day Mr P. suggested we go duck hunting so Mr P., John, Ed, and I took the launch with food for lunch. (30 foot tide here)
In the morning, the water running low, it was necessary to get fresh water. We let a dory down over the side with four barrels and five buckets. Up the inlet over a quarter mile and to the right we found a large stream emptying into the ocean. Here we filled the barrels and five buckets. Three trips filled our main tank on deck. Within a few feet of the brook we found stone foundations remains of eskimo habitation. There was also an eskimo gull shield. This, a small rock wall, was used to hide behind to kill gulls.
After passing out between some narrow channels between islands and ledges we came to our first batch of ducks. Only got two here. We saw three seals but missed them all. A heavy fog made it a bit confusing in finding our way around. As we passed around one point of land open to the sea, we passed through some swiftly moving water resembling a small maelstrom. The small pieces of ice floating around moved with the current four miles an hour or so. We had a good lunch and hot coffee. Ed Manley took a shot at a flock of ducks with a .22. One came down, shot in the neck. When we came back in the evening we had 12 or 15 ducks.
Today, early in the morning at about 7 a.m. we pulled anchor and were on our way to Amadjvack. Today for most was uneventful. In the evening for supper we had some pancakes. Rather soggy. Tonight is the Dempsey-Sharkey fight. Just as Ed was ready to go listen in we dragged anchor near a small island. Mr P. asked if I would like to go with him, Johnny and Dickey in towards shore to find Amadjvack. I said yes. We all left in the launch at about eleven o'clock. We struck directly in for shore among many confusing islands. After striking mainland we continued in a westerly direction until we came to a small round knob shaped island on which was a cairn. Johnny and Mr. P. went up but could see nothing. Across about a half mile was another hill with cairn up which Mr. P. and I went. Nearly north and around the point. I sighted three small houses about three miles away. This was Amadjvack. On the hill we saw an arctic hare. He was large and fluffy. "Capt. announced that we missed by only a few feet a nasty shoal today, which at the rate were going, might well have busted us up for fair." In the distance he looked very tempting as a pet. He would make quite an armful. I signalled the boat which went around the point into the harbor. Where we landed we found two fresh seal caches and a photo of some fellow at a radio set.
We finally pulled into Amadjvack at about 4:30 a.m. It was 7:30 by their time. They hadn't seen anyone except from Cape Dorsett for a year. Two rather nice scotch boys, one from Aberdeen and the other from north of Glasgow, Mr David Worth and Mr. Campbell. About 23 and 20 years of age. They had an old eskimo woman, fat and heavy, that they called in private, "fairy" and her husband "toots." They certainly were glad to see us. They said the ice had been out of the harbor but a week. Hudsons Bay Co. store, files, planes, lamps, U.S. playing cards, snow knives, yankee drills, blankets, shirts, etc. (not the best thing in the world but the next thing to it.) We all had breakfast together. Fairy made some sinkers. Surprised to find butter. Fairly good. They have Victor and Westinghouse radio set. Epictetris and Marcus Ansibirs. Copy map of route to Lake Amadjavack by Soper. (1926) We take on a guide Alisha and go back to ship. Must have been about 35 miles coming in and 20 going out. Mr. P. is completely turned around. I show him sketch of what I know to be the right from major land marks. So he said alright. When we were nearly out to the M. we passed a whale boat sailing full of eskimos and to our surprise, Doc, Dan, Denic, and George. Arriving back at the M. at about eleven o'clock we have some lunch and go to bed. In the meantime the M. moved on a mile or so to an eskimo settlement. Got up in the afternoon somewhat refreshed. Went onto island. Traded a knife and some needles for sealskins. Skins are worth about $.30 Amadjvarack. These are mother sealskins of "sealskin coat" fame. Also traded a mirror for the cutting head of a harpoon. Went into some old the tents. Awfully dirty with raw seal meat lying around half cut up ready to be eaten anytime. There bedding is made up of caribou skins. Fairly soft. All seem to have alarm clocks. D.D. trades a rifle and 1000 cartridges for a kayak. About $20.00 or so. All eskimos seem to be more than friendly. Very sociable. Some have accordions and play scotch ballads. They have a very good ear for music and a fine sense of rhythm. Tonight saw beautiful sunset like this: It was rather misty. To bed early.
Slept through breakfast in morning. Went as engineer in whaleboat to Amadjavack again. Mr. P. had roiruiaks made. (coats) On way in left Dan and Denic at site of alleged ancient eskimo ruins. Alisha was with us. At Amadjvack talked with men and had lunch. Mr. P. took in some eggs for scrambling. Very good. Had some more of "fairy's sinkers". After lunch Mr. P. and gang went across bay to fish for trout. No luck. I stayed to help Mr. work with his engine. Fixed magneto but engine had such a knock in the connecting rod that it would not turn over more than twice. Couldn't get any fox skins as they were all packed and books closed for the Muscovic to pick up and take back to England. They pay eskimos from $20.00 to $30.00 for blue fox skins. Mr. Wark gave me a nice walrus tusk on departing for helping him with engine. He and Mr. Campbell accompanied us to the M. trailing a whaleboat with four eskimos and a sick eskimo woman behind us. During this time Doc made his tests on eskimo woman. Went to bed early.
Wark and Campbell have to sign contract for five years with outside communication by mail once a year. At end of period they have one years vacation with pay and then return for three years at a time working up by seniority. They didn't seem to mind it up here. Mr. Wark described sunset here on Christmas eve as follows; They say that the horizon moon light nights are bright as day. The days are but three to four hours long on the shortest days. Mr. Wark also said he had witnessed the rare sight of seeing a cross in the sky as:
Today we are off to Cape Dorset. Their boat had left a day before. They had come all the way down, some 150 miles for just two bags of salt. Today enroute we began to get things ready for Dan, Doc, and Freddy for their shore stay at Cape Dorset. All afternoon I worked with George on the whaleboat getting the water out of engine and cleaning it up.
This evening we saw our first walrus. There was a small group of 8 or 10 on a pan, asleep. And another group of same size on another pan nearby. We drew lots to see who would go out in the "miraco" to shoot them. Johnny and Denic go with Mr. P. I climbed aloft to top of foremast and watched, reporting what I could see through telescope. In a few minutes we heard shots and then we started with the M. towards them. They must have hit one or two but they, the walrus, slipped off into the water and were lost. These walrus were very large, weighing according to the skipper 2000 to 3000 pounds each. We fooled around a while but couldn't get the wounded walrus with our harpoon.
This morning at about eleven o'clock, after having crossed Gordon Bay, Alisha sighted a small sailing vessel, (whaleboat) four or five miles away. It was full of eskimos. Mr. P. Bob and I went towards them in the launch and towed them to the Morrisey. They showed us the way in, about five miles to the Hudsons Bay Post at Cape Dorset. As we approached we could see no less than four sailing whaleboats. A large motor boat came out from the post to meet us with Mr. and Mrs. Ewing and two other white men aboard. Mr. Ewing comes from St. John's and therefore knows of Capt. Bob. At first he thought we were the Hudsons Bay boat, but as soon as he saw the name Morrisey he said, "It must be Bob and Will Bartlett." They certainly were glad to see us. After jumping on board we made our way into harbor. Spent the afternoon looking around the eskimo camps for walrus tusks. Found a good lot. Geo. and took the canoe across to the east and climbed up a small rocky hill. There we came across an unusual white quartz formation measuring about 30' by 40'. From a distance this looked like a white sheet of paper against a granite background. Geo. showed the eskimos a few simple tricks at which they marvelled.
Today we planned to leave but a heavy fog set in, tying us up another day. I took a walk alone northward along the shore in the hopes of finding more ruins and perhaps a pair of walrus tusks, but no luck. In the afternoon Geo. and I visited all the eskimo tents. Traded a few handkerchiefs for various pieces of carved ivory. These people are exceedingly trusting and very kind. Mr. Ewing had a narwhal tusk which caught my eye, but his wife wanted to make a lampstand from it. Dan, Doc and Freddy set up their tents to stay for six weeks till we return from Foxes channel. Took on another eskimo guide here.
Early this morning we left Cape Dorset, heading towards Mill Island, so called because of the ice that mills around continuously. Hardly more than a few miles out of Cape Dorset we again met up with heavy ice moving from 3 to 5 knots. We became caught once, necessitating five or more of us getting down on the ice in front of the M. and pushing the bow around. Capt. Bob found a nice harbor here at Mill Island. According to all records no white man has ever set foot on this island before. As we approached Mr. P. Geo. (of the crew) and I headed into the harbor in the launch in order to take soundings. The entrance was narrow but deep, about eighteen fathoms. Here the tide was very swift, carrying the nose of the launch off her course several times.
The surface of the water was quite rough resembling swiftly moving river water. We reported to Capt. Bob and went in with M.
Upon arrival had supper and immediately afterwards Mr. p., Johnny, Ed, and Bob, and eskimos took the whaleboat on a trip of exploration to the south. I turned in early.
This morning we were all up early. Geo., Larry and I go ashore to make a complete set of magnetic observations. We set up a base line from which we expect to map out the harbor and islands. Spend most of the day taking the Mag. Dip, total intensity, lat, and long and declination.
Denic and Junious make a fine discovery of some fine ruins, camp is lightly covered with moss and dirt to a depth of ten inches to a foot. They carefully excavate these remains, comprising three rooms and uncover many fine specimens. These are mostly made of stone. They find arrowheads, flint, one small (3") ivory carved bear. Ivory needles, etc. These remains were estimated to have been one thousand or more years old. Fog prevented us from taking an observation for longitude, though we made an observation for lat. meridian. At about seven o'clock the whale boat returned.
All up early. Mr. P., John, Pawwow, Bob, Kelly and I made arrangements for another trip in the whale boat to the south. I took two sweaters, one leather windbreaker, a sheepskin coat, one aviators helmet and a pair of mittens besides my A & F sleeping bag. It took us about two and a half to three hours to get to the southern tip of the island. On our way we encountered a good deal of ice. I was acting engineer, Mr. P. at the helm. Swift tidal currents pulled us around quite a bit. On arrival we stop in a small cove and unload the cameras. The shore line was as:
As the tide turned we waited for the jam at the point, of the day before but it didn't come though the tidal currents were very strong. Their was a good fog all around, hiding the sheet of ice. As the tide turned we heard a roaring sound in the distance getting louder and louder, till the edge of the ice was visible. It gradually closed in on the point what had been open water for 1/2 mile was now a solid jam. after waiting for two hours with a few movies we went back to the boat and had some lunch prepared by Mr. P. Hot cocoa, bread and butter, smoked beef, (sliced thin), cookies, and canned fresh pineapple, Very good. Just as we had finished dinner the eskimo called out " Nanook". We all got our rifles and went on to shore to see across the bay. It was only through difficulty that we could finally see 1/2 mile or more away, a small yellow form moving slowly. It was a polar bear! Johnny and Bobby made their way across the moving ice, jumping from piece to piece until they were abreast with their prey. Mr. P. and I stayed back as did Kelly also. The husky would not go out across the ice, much to my surprise. It was not safe as the flow of ice was strong. We heard several shots, eleven in all and through the glasses could see Johnny and Bobby stopping down at the ice. They had the bear! The fog then closed in so that we couldn't see them any more. In the meantime ice had closed in the harbor entrance locking our boat in. Mr. P. and the husky rowed over in the "miraco" but with improvised paddles for due to someones' carelessness the oars had been left ashore. Naturally Mr. Putnam was furious. I and Kelly waited in the whaleboat hoping for a good opening in the ice, but no. Finally Mr. P. came back with Johnny. By then the ice had opened enough to get through and out around the point. The "miraco" met us around the point. On the other side Bob and the eskimo were waiting with the bear. He was tied up and pulled upon the beach. Shortly we had supper on board and then made camp and to bed. Johnny and Bob slept aboard, Mr. P., Kelly and the husky in the tent. I preferred to sleep outside in spite of the cold rain, so I took the tent and found a level spot on the gravel saddle and spent the night alone there and slept feeling comfortable in spite of the rain and drizzle.
In the morning Johnny came to my quarters and woke me up. After cleaning up an a good hot breakfast, Bob and John made a map of the nearby shore line and adjacent islands. In the meantime I took a small hike up the hill and found the island we were camped on to be of considerable size. Mr. P. saw two ptarmigans, male and female. Unfortunately I missed seeing them. The bear, which last night had been on the waters edge was now high and dry ten or fifteen feet from the water. Our bear, which weighed probably 600 or 700 pounds was too heavy to move down offshore so we had to wait for the tide to come in. The tide having such a great change took a short time to come in enough to float our bear. We towed him out fifty feet or more while Kelly grinded off a few feet of fiber. The problem was now to get him into the whaleboat. Bob suggested using a parbuckle. We pulled with all our might and finally after shipping a considerable quantity of water, we hauled him in. But he was too heavy to move readily after getting him aboard so we had to put the "miraco" aboard and all of us had to ride on the port side to even up the keel. Our aim today was to circumnavigate Mill Island. So the ice being fairly open we started on our long journey around the island, which seemed to be somewhat oval shaped, probably in the neighborhood of sixty miles around. Always expecting some point ahead to be the end of the island our trip seemed endless. We had no trouble other than the carburetor lead to engine freezing up inside with water. Had to take it off twice in order to clean it out. Finally I wrapped a towel around it in order to enlarge the evaporating area. This helped very much. At nearly 5:30 o'clock we were once again heading S.S.E., the course we had started on, so it could not be long before we were to reach the M. It was awfully cold and damp for the whole way with a strong breeze blowing. Glad to be back on board again with a good supper and to bed.
This morning I did not get up for breakfast. Later Geo. and I went in to test out my rifle on a target with a few shots. Though I had placed it against a sand bank, the first shot tore the whole target to shreds so I could not tell how it was hitting except that it hit and hit hard. I also investigated the ruins. Dicky and Denic had dug them out pretty well by now.
This was the last entry except for a eskimo- english dictionary and one note which follows. GGBII
Side arms for beaching (iron)]
Sheet iron on cook box
Pins through spray hood oar
Extra needle for primus
Radio- Waterproof box
Resistance too low
10 ohm instead of 30 ohm
Coils should not be wound with tape
Hedgehog transformers not best
|(I want a drink)||imigu-pa|
|(Do you want a drink)||imigu-pi|
|Hungry (are you)||kak-pi|
|(I am hungry)||kak-poong-a|
|How much (many)||ha-chik|
|(Do you hear)||too-skak-pi|
|Man in Kayak||pa-ook-took|
|More (have you any)||pi-ta-ha-ka-nik-pi|
|Ptarmigan||ka-ioo (ta-gi-oo) (kang-oo)|
|See (do you)||tuk-oo-vi|
|Thank you||koo-ya-namik or ak-soo-mi|
|Tomorrow||a-ook-pak or kar-oo-pung|
|White whale||ki-la-loo-a (ung)|
|What (is it)||na-mi-pa|
|What's your name||ki-na-vik|
|What do you call this||e-tchinga|