It now occurred to some of the crew, to endeavor to save some bread; and Mr. Boyd, the first mate, with great resolution, went into the cabin and gave out some bread, and two bottles of rum; but so rapidly did she fill, from the timber of her cargo shifting, that he was forced to break through the sky-light to save himself. Their small stock of provisions was now put into the binnacle, as a secure place. It had been there but a few minutes, when a tremendous sea struck them, and carried away the binnacle.
They had now little hope left—the wheel was broken, and they proceeded to secure themselves as well as they could, some in the fore-top, and the rest were lashing themselves to the taffrail; before they could accomplish the latter plan, another sea, if possible, more heavy than the former, hurried them all from their places, and washed two of the men overboard; they were seen swimming for the ship, a short time, when a wave hurried them from the sight of their lamenting comrades.
They now endeavored to keep the ship before the wind, which they were partially enabled to do through the night. The next day another man died from cold and hunger.
The deck was now blown up, and her side stove in, all hands had given themselves up, when, on the 30th at noon, they were roused by the cry of “a sail!” and they had the satisfaction to see her bear down for them. She was the brig George, of Portland; and Captain Wildridge sent his long-boat to take them from the wreck.
The masses of ice by which the ocean is traversed assume a vast variety of shapes, but may be comprehended in two general classes. The first consists of sheets of ice, analogous to those which annually cover the the lakes and rivers of northern lands. They present a surface which is generally level, but here and there diversified by projections, called hummocks, which arise from the ice having been thrown up by some pressure or force to which it has been subject. Sheets of ice, which are so large that their whole extent of surface cannot be seen from the masthead of a vessel, are called fields. They have sometimes an area of more than a hundred square miles, and rise above the level of the sea from two to eight feet. When a piece of ice, though of a considerable size, can be distinguished in its extent, it is termed a floe. A number of sheets, large or small, joining each other, and stretching out in any particular direction, constitute a stream. Captain Cook found a stream extending across Behring’s Straits, connecting eastern Asia with the western extremity of North America. Owing to the vast extent of some fields of ice, they would undoubtedly be conducted to a lower latitude in the Atlantic before their dissolution, under the influence of a warmer climate, but for the intervention of other causes.