“Expedition Doubling Cape Barrow, July 25, 1821” [George Back]


. . . we had recourse to the paddles and keeping close along the shore rounded Cape Barrow when our passage was obstructed by ice—and on attempting to get through it one of the canoes was almost nipped. This was an interesting moment—enveloped in a dense haze and hurried forward by a strong gale we could not even distinguish the summits of the stupendous rocks near us—down whose perpendicular sides streams of water were descending—which after bounding from crag to crag emptied themselves into the sea under canopies of bright blue ice—on the other hand—the perilous situation of the canoes amongst large floating masses of ice—crushing against each other by the fury of the waves—and spouting up wide sheets of white spray—was no less affecting. The weather aided us greatly—and formed a channel along shore—but it was so excessively thick—that we could not distinguish even the tops of the hills we were passing immediately under—that we proceeded in the greatest state of anxiety—between the rocks and the ice. . . [Back, pp. 150-151.]