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out very strongly that what, in our ignorance and for want of a better name, we must call luck, plays a most important part in the success or failure of an Arctic voyage. The • Tegetthoff,' in company with the · Isbjörn,' remained a week at the Barentz Islands, and formed a depôt, on which they might retreat, in a crevice of a rock, known to the whalers on the coast by the illsounding name of The Three Coffins. During this week the weather was persistently bad; mist and snow hindered them from getting sights to fix their position with sufficient accuracy; and the ice, continuing to press close in on the land, would have prevented their leaving even if they had been ready. It was the 20th before some changes in the ice seemed to make navigation possible: they paid a farewell visit to their friends on board the “ Isbjörn,' and with a fresh wind from the north-east steamed away into the North. In the afternoon they ran into an ice-hole, but during the night, barriers of ice stopped their further progress; the ship, then in latitude 76° 22' N., longitude 63° 3' E., was made fast to a floe, the steam was blown off, and the adventurers awaited the parting asunder of the ice. They waited a very long time. Immediately after the ship had been made fast to the foe, the ice closed in on them from all sides, and they became close prisoners in its grasp. No water was to be seen around; from day to day, week to week, month to month, at the changes of the seasons or of the year, they continued to hope for their deliverance, but it never came. They were no longer discoverers, but
passengers against their will on an ice-floe.
In this position they passed the winter ; the ice pressed closely round them, and the floes, bound together by heavy falls of snow, were frozen into a single field. Holes occasionally formed at but a small distance from the ship, but all efforts
a to reach them were vain, and they quickly froze over, leaving hope of escape farther off than ever. And meanwhile, at the mercy of winds and currents, they drifted continually to the north-east, slowly indeed, but surely. Excursions on the ice, building ice-huts for the swell to engulf, much as children on the shore build battlements of sand to oppose the advancing tide, shooting matches, bear-hunting-and of bears there seems to have been great plenty-were the amusements of the day. The serious business was the continual preparation to abandon the ship if she should be crushed by the ice.
The first serious alarm which they had from this danger was on October 13. As they sat at breakfast, the floe burst across immediately under the ship. They rushed on deck, and found that the ice all round was in motion, and pressing in
on them. Vast masses were reared up out of the plain, and the low groan which issued from them grew into a deep rumbling sound, and rose at last into a furious howl. Noise and confusion reigned supreme.
The floe was crushed, and its blocks, piled into mountains, were driven hither and thither; here towering high above the ship, or forcing the protecting timbers of massive oak against the hull; or there falling down as into an abyss under the ship, so that the quantity of ice beneath her was continually increased, and began at last to lift her above the level of the sea.
Shortly after noon the pressure reached its height; every part of the vessel strained and groaned, the ship heeled over on her side, and huge piles of ice threatened to precipitate themselves upon her. This passed, the ship righted, and the men went below to their dinner. Their time was short; the strain was again felt, and all hastened on deck, carrying their dinner in their hands, or stuffing it into their pockets. The danger appeared imminent; officers and men went to their stations, and carried out the special duties which had been assigned to each in the contemplated abandonment of the ship. Everything was prepared; the boats, with provisions,' stores and ammunition, sledges and tents, were hoisted out; each man, with his bundle, stood ready to start, but no one pretended to know how or whither. Boats or sledges were equally out of the question. The ice, in blocks and floes of all shapes and sizes, was in active motion, rising, falling, rearing, turning, twisting; none was at rest, none on the level. A sledge would at once have been swallowed up, and for a boat there was no water. The very dogs recognised the extremity of the danger, and were completely tamed. Sumbu, a big Lapland dog which had joined at Tromsö, fox-like in nature, cunning and impudent in expression, became timid and humble, meekly offering his paw, unbidden, to all passers-by; and the huge Newfoundlands, on piles of chests, stood motionless, like scared chamois.
About 4 P.m. the pressure moderated; an hour afterwards there was a calm ; the carpenter made his examination, and found that the ship had sustained no serious injury. Owing to her fine lines the pressuit had lifted instead of squeezing her, and the close stowage of her hold, which had rendered her almost a solid body, had resisted what squeezing there was. In the evening there was thirteen inches of water in the well, which was pumped out without difficulty.
This alarm was but the first of a long series. Every noise came to be regarded with suspicious apprehension ; the days were growing shorter, the nights longer; and daily, for one
hundred and thirty days, they went through the same experiences in greater or less measure, almost always in sunless darkness. Every night,' writes Payer, 'we are startled out of our sleep, and like hunted animals up we spring, to await, amid an awful darkness, the end of an enterprise from which all hope of success has departed. It becomes at last a mere mechanical process to seize our rifles and our bag of necessaries ' and rush on deck.' They lost the sun on October 28, and the darkness increased the horrors of their situation,
There is perhaps a very general misunderstanding that the Arctic night is night only in name; that a perpetual twilight reigns; that the reflection of the snow illumines distant objects; that the moon is always at the full; and that the flashes of the Aurora, the merry dancers of the North, are always brilliant. We are not exaggerating when we say that we have, at one time or another, heard each of these propositions, and especially the fragment of a lunar theory, seriously maintained by men who would be generally spoken of as well-informed. It is well, therefore, to say that they are, each and every one of them, misstatements and misconceptions based on absolute error. That in the lower latitudes within the Arctic Circle the twilight at noon is very perceptible; that the moon, when full, shines through the clear air with great brilliance; that the Aurora occasionally gleams with great splendour and beauty; and that what little light there is is intensified by the white lustre of the snow, are points to be readily admitted, but do not alter the great law of nature to which Arctic travellers have to submit. The Arctic night is, practically speaking, as dark as any other night, and the experiences of the officers of the Tegetthoff ' afford us some homely measures of its intensity.
In the beginning of November, in clear weather, day was still distinguishable from night, but the darkness, even at noon, was so great, that mists could not be seen, but felt only. On one occasion, Sumbu was mistaken for a fox, and narrowly escaped being shot. A few weeks later, and even this faint distinction between day and night had disappeared. Occasionally, with full moon and very clear weather, a faint twilight was perceptible at noon, but generally there was no difference between the light of midday and of midnight. The heavens were usually overcast, and the light of the Aurora, during the few minutes of its greatest intensity, seldom exceeded that of the moon in its first quarter.
Christmas and the New Year were celebrated with an attempt at German conviviality, in which the dogs took their part. Jubinal, a Siberian dog of great size and strength, found
his way into one of the cabins, and refused to quit till he had finished a heap of maccaroni. Sumbu, who, being of a close and saving disposition, had accumulated a private hoard in a depôt of his own, got very drunk on the sailors' rum, and his companions, taking advantage of his helpless condition, devoured his stores without scruple.
It was thus, then, that through the darkness of one hundred and eleven days—from October 28 to February 16—in everrecurring danger and ceaseless dread, fast locked in the ice, they drifted to the north. The day came, and the summer followed, but their drift still went on, changing only somewhat in direction. It had been from the first towards the north-east, but from February 2, the ship being then in latitude 78° 45' N., longitude 73° 7' E., it turned towards the north-west, and so continued. The summer had almost passed : it was August 30, 1873, and they had been carried by the drift into 79° 43' N., 59° 33' E., when, about midday, a wall of mist suddenly lifted, and revealed afar off in the north-west the outlines of bold rocks, which in a few minutes seemed to 'grow into a radiant Alpine land.' Their drift then took them a little to the south, and though it soon came back to its former direction, it was not until October 31, in latitude 79° 51' N., longitude 58° 56' E., that the floe in which their ship was embedded brought up against the fast ice of a small island, to which they gave the name of the staunch promoter of their enterprise, Count Wilczek. The sun had left them some days before, and in the scanty hours of twilight which still marked the middle of the day, they were able indeed to visit, but not to explore the land now so near them.
The winter passed away in anxious longing for the light which was to lead them on to discovery; but their night was very long; it lasted for 125 days. In the history of Arctic exploration, two expeditions only—the American expedition in the Polaris,' under Hall, and the English expedition which has just returned--have wintered so far to the north, or had such a long night. On this account, the record of it has a more particular interest, especially at the present time when an eager discussion is raging as to the possible, or necessary, or unavoidable effects of the long-continued darkness on the health of men. But, geographically speaking, a point of greater importance is the direction, and the change in the direction, of the Teget'thoff's' drift during these fourteen successive months. The Austrian officers, both Weyprecht and Payer, seem to have formed the opinion that this drift was caused mainly by the wind, and that currents were of secondary moment. But, in
VOL, CXLV. NO. CCXCVII.
point of fact, this is only another way of saying that drift currents are caused by the wind, and that prevailing winds are subject to deflections very similar to those of currents which the pressure of the coast-line turns into streams.
All analogy shows that we might expect a feeble set towards the north-east over the greater part of Barentz Sea, and along the northern shores of Novaya Zemlya, and that this set would circle back on itself, deflected by the shore-line and by the drift from the Siberian Sea. That the wind must act on a rough surface of broken and piled-up ice with much greater power than on a smooth surface of water, is beyond dispute; and, accepting the evidence of the · Tegetthoff's'observations, the facts of the • Tegetthoff's' drift seem to us quite in accordance with the wind theory of ocean currents. Vice-Admiral Baron von Wüllerstorff-Urbair, in analysing the circumstances of this remarkable drift, has been led to a conclusion similar to that which we have stated; and allowing great value to the direct action of the local winds, he remarks: The curve, at the ' commencement, corresponds pretty nearly with the direction · which the Gulf Stream would take after passing round Norway, 6 and in its further course with that current which comes out of • the sea of Kara between Novaya Zemlya and Cape Taimyr. • It is probable that there exists a sea-current in the seas between
Novaya Zemlya and Franz Josef Land; at any rate, its • existence cannot positively be denied, although the prevailing • winds may produce similar phenomena.?
As the winter passed away, preparations for sledging were carefully made ; and it was agreed on between Payer, who was to command on shore, and Weyprecht, who was to command on board, that the ship should be abandoned in the summer if the ice round her continued fast; that at any rate they must try to avoid a third winter, which, with their crews debilitated, and their medical stores and provisions running low, would in all probability prove fatal. The sledge, with which Payer started on his principal journey on March 26, was built and equipped according to the instructions which had been given them by Sir Leopold M'Clintock: it was thus essentially the same as those since used by the English expedition, with which, either in the dockyard of Portsmouth or in the pages of the illustrated papers, the English public is now well acquainted. The gross weight was, in the present instance, 1,565 lbs. ; to drag which the party consisted of two officers, the two Tyrolese, three sailors and three dogs. Of these Jubinal, the hero of the maccaroni, a dog of extraordinary power, was a Siberian; the dissipated Sumbu was a Laplander; and Torossy, a New