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13th. It blew hard from the West. David and Okkiksuk crossed the bay to explore the state of the ice from the hills. In the evening they returned with intelligence, that the sea was cleared of ice to the northward. David had caught a netsek, (a small species of seal), and we had taken a good draught of trout in the net before our tent.
14th. Jonathan roused us at four in the morning, the wind being in our favour, and we immediately made preparations to depart. After breakfast, as we were praying the Litany, a sudden storm arose. We were assembled in Jonathan's tent, and the stones and pegs, with which it had been fastened down to the ground, being already removed, the tent-skins were soon blown about our heads by the violence of the wind, and we were now obliged patiently to wait till the storm abated. In the midst of our deliberations, accompanied with expressions of our disappointment, Thukkekina gravely observed, that we might very likely get away this summer, and need not be dismayed. Towards evening, it fell calm, and the musquitoes teazed us unmercifully. We supped on fresh salmon, filled our tents with smoke, to keep off our winged tormentors, shut ourselves in, and forgot our grievances and Thukkekina'9 consolations in sound sleep.
15th. In the morning at three o'clock, we took a final leave of Nullatartok bay, and got under way with a favourable, though rather boisterous wind at S. W. having been detained here for twelve days by the ice. After about an hour's sail, we were near the entrance of the inlet, when a sudden gust from the mountains carried away our after-topmast, with sail and tackle. It fell with great noise on the deck, and into the sea. By God's mercy no one was hurt, and we were more particularly thankful, that of the five children on board, none were just then on deck.
It once happened, that the main-yard fell down, and but narrowly missed striking two children, who with a third
were sitting and playing together. They must inevitably have lost their lives, had it fallen upon them. We praised God for their preservation during the whole voyage. By the above-mentioned disaster, we were obliged to run into a small cove, where we repaired the mast with all speed, and proceeded with a gentle wind towards Nachvak, A calm ensued, and as there is no anchorage between Nullatartok and Nachvak, we rowed all night, and felt the advantage of the great length of days, at this season of the year.
16th. The view we had of the magnificent mountains of Nachvak, especially about sun-rise, afforded us and our Esquimaux great gratification. Their south-east extremity much resembles Saddle island near Okkak, being high, steep, and of singular shape. These mountains in gene ral are not unlike those of Kaumayok for picturesque outline. In one place, tremendous precipices form a vast amphitheatre, surmounted by a ledge of green sod, which seemed to be the resort of an immense number of sea-gulls and other fowls, never interrupted by the intrusion of man. They flew with loud screams backwards and forwards over our heads, as if to warn off such unwelcome visitors. In another place, a narrow chasm opens into the mountain, widening into a lagoon, the surrounding rocks resembling the ruins of a large Gothic building, with the green ocean for its pavement, and the sky for its dome. The weather being fine, and the sun cheering us with his bright rays, after a cold and sleepless night, we seemed to acquire new vigour, by the contemplation of the grand features of nature around us. We now perceived some Esquimaux with a woman's boat, in a small bay, preparing to steer for Nachvak. They fired their pieces, and called to us to join them, as they had discovered a stranded whale. Going on shore to survey the remains of this huge animal, we found it by no means a pleasant sight. It lay upon the rocks, occupying a space about thirty feet in diameter, but was much shattered, and in a decaying state. Our people, however, cut off a quantity of blubber from its lips. The greater part of the blubber of this fish was lost, as the Esquimaux had no means of conveying it to Okkak.
The Esquimaux stationed here showed great willingness to assist us; and as our party was much fatigued with rowing all night, they towed us into Nachvak, where we arrived about 2 P. M. Old Kayaluk and a young man, Parnguna, and his wife, were here. The latter called on Brother Kohlmeister, and thanked him for having saved her life. He had forgotten that he had once given her medicine at Okkak in a dangerous illness, but her gratitude was still unbounded.
Reception at Nachvak. Description of the bay. The Esquimaux manner of spearing salmon and trout. Christian deportment of the Okkak and Hopedale Esquimaux. Jonas's address to the Heathen. Love of music general among these Indians. Departure from Nachvak. Danger in doubling the North Cape. Arrival at Sangmiyok bay.
JULY 16th After two or three hours sleep in our cabin,
we went on shore. The Esquimaux, who had here a tem^ porary station, about fifty in number, received us with every mark of attention. Loud shouts of joy resounded from all quarters, and muskets were fired in every direction. They could scarcely wait with patience for our landing, and when we pitched our tent, were all eager to assist; thus we were soon at home among them. Seven tents were standing on the strand, and we found the people here differing much in their manners from the people at Saeglek. Their behaviour was modest and rather bashful, nor were we assailed by bej
gars and importunate intruders, as at the latter place, where beggary seemed quite the fashion, and proved very troublesome to us. But we had no instance of stealing. Thieves are considered by the Esquimaux in general with abhorrence, and with a thief no one is willing to trade. We have discovered, however, that that propensity is not altogether wanting in the northern Esquimaux, who, now and then, if they think that they can do it without detection, will make a little free with their neighbour's property.
The Esquimaux not only gave us a most hearty welcome, but attended our morning and evening prayers with great silence-itod apparent devotion. Indeed, to our great surprise, they behaved altogether with uncommon decorum and regu . larity during our stay.
17th. Being detained with drift-ice at the mouth of the bay, we pitched our tent on shore. We examined the bay more minutely. It extends to the West to a considerable depth, and is not protected by any islands, except a few rocks, at some distance in the sea. The surrounding mountains are very high, steep, and barren, and verdure is found only in the vallies. Here the arnica montana, which the Missionaries have found of great use among the Esquimaux, grows in great abundance. Salmon-trout are caught in every creek and inlet.
Like the salmon, they remain in the rivers and fresh-water lakes during the winter, and return to the sea in spring. The Esquimaux about Okkak and Saeglek, catch them in winter under the ice by spearing. For this purpose, they make two holes in the ice, about eight inches in diameter, and six feet asunder, in a direction from north to south. The northern hole they screen from the sun, by a bank of snow about four feet in height, raised in a semicircle round its southern edge, and form another similar bank on the northside of the southern hole, sloped in such a manner as to reflect the rays of the sun into it. The Esquimaux then lies
down, with his face close to the northern aperture, beneath which the water is strongly illuminated by the sunbeams entering at the southern. In his left hand he holds a red string, with which he plays in the water, to allure the fish, and in his right a spear, ready to strike them as they approach. In this manner they soon take as many as they want.
The salmon-trout on this coast are from twelve to eighteen inches long, and in August and September so fat, that the Esquimaux collect from them a sufficient quantity of oil for their lamps. The immense abundance of these fish on all parts of the coast, would almost at any time save the Esquimaux from starving with hunger; but as seals furnish them both with food and clothing, it is of most consequence to them to attend to this branch of supply. At Hopedale and Nain, however, salmon-trout are caught only in the summer.
We were much pleased with the behaviour of our own Esquimaux, during their stay at Nachvak. In every respect they conducted themselves, in word and deed, as true Christian people. Their conversation with their heathen countrymen, was free and unreserved, and " to the use of edi"fying." Jonathan and Jonas in particular, gave us great satisfaction.
The people having assembled in Jonathan's tent, those who had no room in it, standing without and listening with great order and stillness, Brother Kohlmeistcr addressed them, explaining the aim of our voyage; that we were going, out of love to their nation, to the northern Esquimaux, and to those of Ungava bay, to make known to them the love of God our Saviour; and, by the gospel, to point out to them the way to obtain life everlasting. We knew that they were heathen, who, being ignorant of the way to God, were in bondage to the devil, and would be lost for ever, unless God had mercy upon them and sent them his word, to lead them to Jesus Christ their only Saviour, who shed His blood, and died on the cross to redeem their souls.