- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
45

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH THE ICE NORTHWARD
45
up, these hummocks become separated from the flat
floes and form greater or smaller blocks, which drift
about in the sea or lic aground, and may last for more
than a year before they melt away.
Sunday, August 17. In the morning there was fog
again—the everlasting fog which is one of the greatest
difficulties of navigation in the ice ; for even if there
is a little open water, one cannot see what one is doing or
where one is going, and may easily sail into the closely
packed ice and have great trouble in getting out again.
The ice was not particularly open, but was drifting
from the south with the southerly wind, which freshened
a little in the course of the forenoon.
We went northward in the fog for a while, but soon
stopped again, as the weather remained thick, and
the ice soon became denser except on the north-west ;
but that direction would have tåken us too far out of
our course, away from land. We preferred to keep nearer
the shore, where there was more prospect of finding a
clear channel to the north as soon as the wind backed
a little. But unfortunately it became more south
westerly and likely to set the ice inshore, although
the ice seemed to be drifting approximately north
ward along the land.
There is one thing necessary when you have to work
your way through the ice, and that is patience, always
patience. We have to wait and hope for better times.
So here we lic in the fog and ice—the same life that
one knows too well—the same cold, dismal wastes.
At ten in the evening it cleared a little and looked
like slack ice for some way to the north. The Captain
got ready for a night on the bridge, and we made some
headway through a good deal of open water. But
after an hour wc were stopped again. Ahead of us
lay unbroken ice in every direction, the worst ice wc

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