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Gardiner’s Journal: Day 8

Day 8: Thursday, July 14th, 1881

Foggy weather this AM and until 3 bells in the afternoon watch when the weather cleared and allowed the sun to shine one more, but too late in the day to be of any service in the way of observations. The Steward, Bill, has used a great deal of powder & shot this PM, firing at ducks and sea gulls, without hurting any of them however. We succeeded in sighting 18 whales during the day, some of them of very large size.

The cry of “whale ho” always has the effect of bringing “all hands” on deck at once. As the fog lifted the evening we found the shore very close to us, according to the Captain’s estimate about 15 miles, and afforded us a grand sight, this our first view of Greenland. The mountainous coast seems to be one jumbled mass of rocks and ice and snow, not a sign of any green thing to be seen. The thin blue veil which hangs over the mountains blends and contrasts with the different colors of the ice and snow and the sea (which now is a deep blue) and makes a picture grand and sublime in the extreme. The sea at this point is comparatively free of ice and the ship is making good headway steaming 8 ½ or 9 knots per hour. If weather stays favorable, we will probably reach “Godhaven” tomorrow evening. We had a “surface dredge” out for a few hours in the fore-noon, but did not succeed in catching anything in it, except some common sea-weeds. Sun sets tonight at 10:35 PM.

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