“The Vessels Left in the Ice” (1, p. 116-7)

H. M. S. Cove, under the command of Captain James Ross, sailed from Hull on the 6th of January. We understand that the Terror, now fitting out to follow her, under Commander Belcher, as stated in our last, is nearly completed in her hull, and will soon commence entering her men. The vessels mentioned in our last, with the exception of those lying in Home Bay, as we there stated, and the Dordon, have returned; and the following extract of a letter from Peterhead will give some account of their proceedings:—

“Sir,—I am happy to state that the Grenville Bay, another of the whalers that was beset in the middle ice, is now off here. Have seen Captain Taylor, who was on shore getting some fresh provisions and making arrangements for sending home those of her crew belonging to Orkney; he has also on board sixteen men, part of the crews of the lost ships, Dordon, Mary Frances, and Lee. He reports that he got clear 16th Dec., and that the Norfolk, of Berwick, got free three days previously, which vessel he expects is now in Orkney. He drifted down 69½  degrees Davis Straits, and was driven into Hudson Straits by the current on the north side, and was again driven out by the current on the south side, round Bullen’s Island, as far as 90 degrees, on the Labrador coast, where he got clear; at the time when he was relieved, he was driving S. E., and at the rate of 20 miles a day; he has been driven upwards of 600 miles inclosed in the ice; he last saw the Lady Jane on the 15th of December, in lat 59 deg., about five or six miles to the S. W., up the Grenville Bay, surrounded at that time by a good deal of ice; when he last saw the Abram, she was in lat. 62, bearing E. S. E.

“The Grenville Bay had about a month’s provisions in full allowance left; Captain Taylor got half of the provisions of the Dordon, and agreed to take on board half the crew, but a less portion came to his ship. The Abram got a share of the provisions of the Dordon, and Captain Taylor thinks she has on board, including part of the crews of the lost vessels, about 150 men. I found it quite correct that the provisions of the Mary Frances were burnt along with the ship.

“The practice of setting fire to a ship, on being lost or abandoned, appears to be very improper; and surely the wilful destruction of provisions, if such custom exists, cannot be too severely reprobated, nor too soon put a stop to.

“Captain Taylor hopes that the Lady Jane and Abram would be liberated; but from the uncertain current, and the changing of ice, no accurate opinion could be formed how or when. I believe that the Grenville Bay has three fish, about 70 tons.”