stefansson-wrangel-09-25-006-024

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that after breaking the ice it carried it out of sight and, as Knight
expresses it, they had before them an open ocean. At other times the wind
blew from seaward and then it packed the moving ice so close against the
land flow that there was no sealing because of the absence of water.

In February they began setting traps again and caught a
number of foxes but the increasing daylight did not bring the expected
increase in the number of polar bears seen. On February 8th we have in the
diary the first signs of worry: "All hands hoping for open water, for the rolled oats and rice will soon be gone if we have to cook dog feed much
longer." Still, the context indicated that they are not really fearing
shortage of food but are merely regretful that these palatable items of diet will no longer be available "for a change."

On February 10th Knight outlines a plan the execution of
which would have prevented most if not all of the serious troubles which
followed. "I have been thinking of establishing a camp on the north coast of
the island in the spring for the purpose of drying meat, for several reasons:
viz. - should Mr. Stefansson intend to make an ice trip (a trip north over the ice) from the island, the fact that the meat is on the north side of the
island will save a great deal of hauling over the mountains or around the
coast. Also I think that there should be two camps of two men each (to pre-
vent the party from getting on each other's nerves by being constantly
together). Another reason is that if Mr. Stefansson does not or cannot come
next summer, we will have all fall to haul the meat to thos camp and with
the meat that will be put up here this will go a long way to tide us over the
winter. Should Mr. Stefansson decide not to stay on the island, it will be a
small matter to go by a ship and pick up the meat which will be on point to
some other place which a ship can reach easily. I have talked this over with

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