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west wide open, there was nothing for it but to build our house near by
and wait till the lead should close.

On the night following our arrival at the lead the easterly wind
which had continued blowing steadily since our departure from shore in-
creased in force and shortly was blowing a gale, with of course the
accompanying thick snow which made it hard for any one to be outside. So
during the time spent in camp there no hunting was done except a few
hours on the first day after our arrival at the lead when seals seemed
to be numerous and we shot and retrieved three. With that strong wind
blowing it was not long before we had considerable evidence of pressure
through the shaking and vibration of the ice. At the edge of the lead
considerable crushing could be seen when I walked over there. It was
evident that the floe on which we were camped was rapidly drifting to
the northeast before the wind.

When I was with Leffingwell and Mikkelsen on their ice trip in 1907*
we had, on returning towards shore, experienced a rapid westward drift
with easterly winds, and when with Stefansson in 1914 from Martin Point
north to latitude 74° and east to Banks Island we had during April and
May had easterly winds before which the ice drifted rapidly to the west
away from our destination and in doing so opened wide leads which delayed
our progress considerably. We had to wait as long as ten days at one
lead before it closed sufficiently to enable us to cross in our sled-
boat. Since then we had learned about the westward drift and the
deplorable end of our flagship, the Karluk; all this data pointed to and
made us practically certain of the existence of a permanent westerly
current in the Beaufort Sea between the parallels of north latitude 70°
and 74°.

When leaving shore on this our fifth ice trip I had immediately
noticed the westward drift and so had, when traveling, till April 8th always
*See Ejnar Mikkelsen: "Conquering the Arctic Ice," Chapters VI and VII.

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