Status: Needs Review


me, particularly at this time as the wind had just sprung up from
the northwest and the ice began to close in.

By this time the expedition party2 suggested that they would
rather turn back than take any chance of going any farther. I was
perfectly satisfied that I would be taking too many chances by
going farther.

We had a great deal of trouble in getting to Cape Serdze, as the
northwestern wind was pressing the ice and we had to press the
vessel quite hard to break the ice in many places. The vessel
suffered some damage by being stove in and also the propeller was
bent, both blades hitting the ice, so that it was practically disabled.

We experienced very much more trouble in getting back to East
Cape than going up; in fact, we could only make an average of
about eight to ten miles a day along the coast. It was only during
a slack tide that we were able to make any headway at all. In
several places we had to haul the vessel over rock.

We got down to Whalen on the 17th. We were all this time
getting down there—a distance of sixty miles.

On the 18th we came around East Cape, where I tried to dispose
of the cargo, rather than bring it back to Nome, but the natives
could not purchase, and the traders had their winter supplies, so
that I was compelled to bring the supplies back to Nome.

We left East Cape Station on the morning of September 21st.
After going through two miles of ice we came into open water and
crossed the Straits. We arrived in Nome at three o’clock on the
morning of September 22nd.

Very truly yours,

(Signed) Jos. Bernard.

Critics have said, and the feeling was at one time in the minds
of some of the relatives of the Wrangel party, that the tragedy
of the next year might have been prevented by Captain
Bernard who, they assumed, might have reached the island if he
had tried harder. There have always been at least two good
reasons against this view. Captain Bernard is an experienced
navigator with courage tempered only by the necessary caution born
of long familiarity with the ice, so that on his record we would

2 These were some men employed by Lomen Brothers on our behalf
and intended to take the place on Wrangel of any of the men there
who might want to come out.

Notes and Questions

Nobody has written a note for this page yet

Please sign in to write a note for this page