- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
55

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH THE ICE NORTHWARD
55
the eastward, when we reach the latitude of White
Island (Beli Ostrov) ? The ice-pilot thinks no doubt
that we shall find open sea, but why ?
I have therefore argued, and I still think, that it
is wisest to keep as near the land as possible, so as to
use the land channel, which—if it is not already there,
as I now suspect it to be—must in any case open out
as soon as there is a calm or the slightest easterly wind,
so that the ice will drift a little out to sea.
And it would be strange, by the way, if there were
not some open water under the land with the north
westerly and westerly drift we have seen in the ice
yesterday and last night.
Our latitude by a good noon altitude was 72° 15’ N.,
which was 10 or 12 miles to the north of the dead
reckoning. The longitude, judging by the soundings,
should have been 68° 20’ E., and by observation was
68° 10’ E.
After sitting in the cabin developing photographs
all day, I took a turn on deck and in the crow’s-nest
at about six in the afternoon, to stretch my legs a little,
and also to have a look round ; for it was tolerably
clear.
But no sooner had I put the glass to my eyes than
I saw open blue water in a north-easterly direction
(E.N.E. true) in towards land. It might have been
only about 6 miles away. This must be the broad,
blue land channel, with only a few pieces of ice here
and there. It extended northward along the shore.
I could follow it a good way with the glass, but then it
was lost behind the ice on the horizon. In an easterly
and east-south-easterly direction (E.S.E. and S.E. true)
I again saw open water under the land.
It was clear that there was a broad land channel
all the way, just as might be expected, and I saw an

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