Thrilling Stories Of The Ocean eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 130 pages of information about Thrilling Stories Of The Ocean.
as, in rowing round the berg, they found it perpendicular in every place but one.  When they had ascended to the top, which was perfectly flat, they discovered a white bear in quiet possession of the mass, who plunged into the sea without hesitation, and effected his escape.  The party found the ice berg to be four thousand one hundred and sixty-nine yards long, three thousand eight hundred and sixty-nine yards broad, and fifty-one feet high, being aground in sixty-one fathoms.  Its appearance was like that of the back of the Isle of Wight, and the cliffs resembled those of the chalk range to the west of Dover.  The weight of this mass was calculated to amount to one billion two hundred and ninety two millions three hundred and ninety seven thousand six hundred and seventy-three tons.

[Illustration:  A white bear.]

An ice berg examined by Captain Graah, on the east coast of Greenland, rose one hundred and twenty feet out of the water, had a circumference of four thousand feet at the base, and its solid contents were estimated to be upwards of nine hundred millions of cubic feet.  When viewed at a distance, nothing can be more interesting than the appearance of a considerable number of these formations, exhibiting an infinite variety of shape, and requiring no stretch of imagination to convert them into a series of floating towers, castles, churches, obelisks, and pyramids, or a snowy range of Alpine heights.  No pencil, an observer has remarked, has ever given any thing like the true effect of an ice berg.  In a picture they are huge, uncouth masses, stuck in the sea; while their chief beauty and grandeur—­their slow stately motion, the whirling of the snow about their summits, and the fearful crackling of their parts—­they cannot give.  The ice of the bergs is compact and solid, or of a fine green tint verging to blue; and large pieces may be frequently obtained, equal to the most beautiful crystal in transparency.  It is stated by Scoresby, that with a portion of this ice, of by no means regular convexity, used as a burning lens, he has frequently burnt wood, fired gunpowder, melted lead, and lit the sailors’ pipes, to their no small astonishment, the ice itself remaining in the mean while perfectly fixed and pellucid.


The Atahualpa, of Boston, left that port in August, 1803, bound to the north-west coast of America, for the purpose of trading with the natives.  She arrived on the coast in the month of January, 1804; and, after visiting the several islands, and purchasing skins, on the 5th of June, 1805, weighed anchor from Chockokee, on the north-west coast, and made sail.  On the 8th, arrived at Millbank sound, and came to an anchor within musket-shot of the village.  Soon after her arrival, the chief of the Indians, by the name of Keite, came off to the ship, with some of his tribe, and informed the captain that the Caroline, Captain Sturgess, had sailed from thence ten days before.

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Thrilling Stories Of The Ocean from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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