- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
57

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH THE ICE NORTHWARD
57
little and began to doubt how things would turn out,
and whether we should ever get out of this ice again
with a whole skin. There were only two or three of
them who had ever seen a bit of ice before. The
engineer had been full of misgivings, but I don’t think
he was the only one on board who wished himself
safely home out of the ice.
The fore-peak is leaking like a sieve—some of the
plates in the bow must have been loosened—and bilge
tank No. 2 has also begun to make a little water, but
this cannot possibly be due to any direct blow of the
ice ; it is more likely to be a rivet that has given a
little in the scraping we have had ; for it can’t be denied
that there has been some scraping and bumping now
and then as we squeezed our way through the floes.
But now there is some life in the men and the work
goes with a will ; as we slipped past the last floes and
into the channel, all hands stood along the bulwarks
to look at the land and the promising blue surface, on
which the little waves were dancing gaily past us.
There was a new look in their eyes ; now they believed
we should reach the Yenisei after all. And from the
crow’s-nest Johansen reported open water to the north
ward as far as he could see.
It was no great delight to the eyes, though, this
low-lying land—the same grey and drab sand-slopes
that we had had farther south with a little thin grass
up on the plateau.
At 11 p.m. we at last had the beacon on the north
west point of Yamal E. by S. (true) and about 3^
miles away. The lead gave 6 fathoms. Perfectly
ice-free water to the northward ; only a few hummocks of
ice aground here and there. Now there was no doubt
we should get round the north of White Island in
open water.

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