- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
42

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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Full resolution (JPEG) - On this page / på denna sida - III. Through the ice northward along Yamal

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THROUGH SIBERIA
Friday, August 15. Next forenoon the fog lifted
a good deal and we could see a lot of open water to
the northward from the crow’s-nest. We also had a
sight of the land inshore of us. It was the same low
land, with a flat sandy beach and steep slopes above
it, that is to be seen everywhere in Yamal.
We steamed northward, but the fog came on again
and there was not much to be seen. We slowed down
and went through the clear channel we had observed
from the crow’s-nest; but after about three hours the
passage became closed, and we had to wait again.
The ice was much worn and everywhere thin. We
saw floes that might have been a mile in length, but
so worn that there were holes and cracks in them in
every direction, and it was a marvel that they still
held together. This shows how little movement there
can have been in this ice, for the first strong wind
must have broken up these floes into small pieces,
and then they would soon have disappeared. They
cannot have come from any distance and were most
probably winter ice from somewhere in the neigh
bourhood.
The ice now lay pretty close to the north of us ;
but judging from the blue colour of the air, there must
have been fairly open water not so very far in that
direction, if only we could have got to it. The depth
did not vary much. We were now lying at anchor
in 9 fathoms of water. There was little current
in the daytime ; it seemed to change with the tide, as
before ; but after midnight, at about one o’clock—
which again found us at the card-table—it began to
set the ice southward at about a mile an hour.
Saturday, August 16. Next morning the ice had
slackened a good deal, and we could weigh anchor and
steam to the north. The depth was still the same,
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