- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
56

(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
easy passage into that channel through slack ice in a
north-easterly direction. On the east it could also be
done, more easily, in fact.
It may be guessed that I came down the rigging
pretty quickly and in to the Captain, who was just
taking a well-earned nap. The fires were stoked up
at once ; we weighed anchor and steered to the north
eastward at 6.45 p.m. Soon we were in the land
channel, which was fully a mile in width. It
became a little narrower to the northward, but then
widened out again. We steered northward along the
land and sounded incessantly. The depth was steady
at about 6 and 5\ fathoms.
There was still a fresh wind from the north-north-west,
sometimes approaching a gale. The channel became
wider as we went north. In some places there was a
lot of ice outside us ; but several times it looked as if
there was fairly open water with much blue sky to the
westward, although it was not so easy to see, as the
sun was in that quarter.
When the ice-pilot came up from his after-dinner
nap and heard us getting up the anchor to go in
towards the land, he was not in a very good temper,
and told the Captain on the bridge that this was not to
his mind and he renounced all responsibility for keeping
that course ; the ice might easily drive us ashore, he
thought.
But apart from him there were only cheerful faces
to be seen on board, as soon as it got about that open
water had been sighted under the land.
The spirits of the crew had not exactly been bright
the last few days. They looked out and saw nothing
but ice on every side. It seemed to be closing round
us, and we were always meeting more instead of less.
So it was not to be wondered at if they lost heart a
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