stefansson-wrangel-09-25-006-049

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- 49 -

started due south. A short way from the beach we unexpectedly hit soft snow
and I had to get in harness with the dogs. About two miles offshore we again
came to the edge of the rough ice, which was impossible for the small team and
the poor sled that we have. We traveled east about four miles, getting nearer
to the shore all the time, and finally camped on the shore side of the pressure
ridge due south of Cape Hawaii, about two miles offshore. The going ahead
looks very bad and as we only have five dogs in poor condition and the weather
is very cold, it is needless to say that going is very difficult. Unless we
get started south soon I am afraid that we will have to go back to the main
camp and then west, looking for a way through the rough ice."

Since we know that both Knight and Crawford knew that sea
ice is always roughest near the land, we must conclude that they considered the
rickety sled good enough for the rest of the journey if they could only get
past without breakage the first few miles of the crushed inshore ice. They
were looking for a gap in this rampart and were not finding it. Under ordinary
conditions we do not look for such gaps but tackle the ice directly ahead, no
matter how bad it is, making a road with pickaxes. The alternative frequently
employed is to leave the teams behind while men go several miles ahead to
reconnoitre, selecting eventually the least difficult route.

January 11th: "Blowing a light gale from the northeast and
drifting snow. Stayed in camp. Cold and clear."

January 12th: "Broke camp at 9:30 A.M. and traveled until
11:30. We first went south to the pressure ridge and from the top of it saw
smooth ice running east and west. We made a road through several hundred feet
of rubble and got to the smooth ice to find it a lead that had been opened up
some time yesterday. It was covered with young (unsafe) ice and drifted snow
although it had looked like solid ice to us when we started for it. The going
to the east is practically impossible for five dogs and a weak sled, so we

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