stefansson-wrangel-09-26-001-042

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27

thought of it and I answered him that, as the wind was blowing pretty
fresh from the north, I thought that might account for the pressure.
Whenever there was pressure during our drift there was always a dis-
cussion about it.

The next Saturday about five A.M. all hands were
awakened by a loud crashing and groaning of the ship and for a few
minutes, she was writhing in her ice dock as if her last hour had
come. But after a while things quieted down. It happened to be
blowing rather strong from the north and everybody was on the alert
that evening. About seven P.M. we got a strong squeezing which
seemed to lift the ship several inches. Fifteen minutes later there
was a loud cracking of timbers, she heeled to starboard several
degrees, and water commenced to pour into the engine room. A few
minutes later the Captain gave orders to abandon the ship.

The only food that was taken out of the ship at this
time was pemmican. The Captain detailed me to look out for all the
bags of clothing that were in Mr. Stefansson's cabin, and also the
rifles, ammunition, etc. We took also a twelve-gauge shotgun, but
the ammunition that was passed out of the ship with this shotgun
was all sixteen-guage loaded shells and the mistake was not dis-
covered until too late.

After the pemmican and other stuff was on the ice,
the Captain ordered me to take the Eskimos and build two large
houses. The walls were made of boxes of bread and sacks of coal
reinforced with snow and covered with the ship’s sail that had been
placed on the ice several weeks before. We lived in those houses
very comfortably until Shipwreck Camp was deserted several weeks
later.

During this time a blizzard was blowing from the north.

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