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were washed away again by the sea breaking heavily against them; so that by these means the island that had started up, disappeared and was not to be found the next year, when orders were given to the outward bound ships to look out for it. The existence of the Blinde Fugle-Skiaer, indeed, has been for some time known, but its situation has been so uncertain, that many people have gone so far as to doubt whether it actually existed, because they might often sail past, and even cruise about, without happening to see it. It is nevertheless extremely dangerous; and it is a most important matter to ascertain correctly where it lies, in order that we may be enabled to use the needful precaution in avoiding it. At the flow of the tide it is not visible, unless there is a sea running sufficiently high to break over it, and even then it is necessary to be very near to perceive it; but in the dark or in hazy weather it would probably not be possible to avoid it, should one be so unfortunate as to fall in with it. At low water, and when the sea is running off, about a cable's length off it may be seen dry. The sea breaks for the
length of two cables. Round about it, the depth of water increases rapidly, and at the distance of from two to eight cables' length from it, the lead has shewn from twentysix to forty fathoms, with small burnt stones resembling lava.
Lieutenant Grove observed the course and distance from thence to the Grenadier's Cap, or the outermost Fugle-Skiaer; and when, on my return homeward, an opportunity offered for me to sail through the channel, I took numerous bearings to the Grenadier's Cap, and thereby ascertained my distance from it as correctly as it can be done at sea. I then shaped my course directly for the Blinde Fugle-Skiaer; kept the log going; steered with the utmost diligence; and found the course from the outermost Fugle-Skiaer to it, to be exactly the same as is laid down by Lieutenant Grove, 470 from the south to the west by the true compass, and the distance just four Danish miles; consequently, according to the situation of the Grenadier's Cap, it lies in 63° 32' 45" and 26° 2' 50". With clear weather, and especially if on
board a tolerably lofty vessel, when between the two, this rock may be seen, or the breakers upon it, just at the time one gets sight of the outermost Fugle-Skiaer; but if the weather is in the least degree hazy, the vessel would be too far from the Fugle-Skiaer to enable a person to see it, so long as the Blinde Fugle-Skiaer was in sight. When I approached the Blinde Fugle-Skiaer I determined, according to the directions Lieutenant Grove had given me, to steer directly for it, and, although we consequently were continually in expectation of seeing it, yet we did not discover it until we were only at the distance of a few cables' lengths, when we saw the sea breaking over it.
Notwithstanding that I had not an observation for the variation of the compass, when close to the Fugle-Skiaerene, yet I can judge nearly to a certainty from other observations, that, in the year 1786, it was from 36° to 37° north-westerly: and, as in the same year, I found it immediately on the western side of Shetland to be 26°, it consequently follows that the variation between Shetland and Iceland is, as nearly as can be calculated, §° for every degree of longitude we go to the westward. The variation increases very much afterwards to the westward of Iceland, and likewise when steering to the northward. I have observed the variation in Faxe Bay, and found it to be in the interior part of it from 37° to 38°, and, at the outer extremity of the same bay, from 38° to 39°; still higher, off Staal-bierg, the northern point of Brede-Bughten (Broad Bay), it was 40° direct westerly. In the channel, under 65° of latitude, and 35° of longitude, I found the variation by a series of observations, to be 45° 10"."