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Breaking the Ice: May 3-4th, 1811

May 3, 2011

On Friday, the wind increased and the ice showed signs of weakening. Open water was just 200 yards from the Resolution, and by means of a boat, which was run onto the ice, and an ice saw, the crew broke up the bay ice sufficiently to allow the ship to turn. On Saturday the struggle continued, and Scoresby used “sallying” to break through. Jackson notes that Scoresby credited his father with having invented this technique, in which the crew rocked the ship by running together across the deck from side to side. It took three hours of this to move the ship through 120 yards, but they were frustrated by the ice continuing to fill the open space, and finally gave up. Scoresby concludes his entry for Saturday May 4th: “The Aimwell came up our tract and lay close to us. Procured some Fresh Ice[.] Saw many Whales in the water to windwd one near the Ship[.] The Chance of Capture even if struck but small[.]

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