The First Crossing of Spitzbergen, Being an Account of an Inland Journey of Exploration and Survey… and of an Almost Complete Circumnavigation of the Main Island…. With Contributions by J. W. Gregory, D.Sc. A. Trevor-Battye, and E. J. Garwood.

p. 36-37, describing some passengers on this tour boat: There was a crow’s-nest to be fitted up. All sorts of people came to say good-bye—consuls, agents, dealers, and relatives or acquaintances of passengers. The deck was crowded. Glasses clinked. Every one was in the way of every one else, but the sun shone brightly and all were gay. In the midst of the shindy, Gregory digested geological papers from various journals, cross-questioned any one that came handy about Spitsbergen birds or the Norwegian vocabulary, and went on piling up information generally. “You read always,” said the French gentleman to him. “Yes,” was the merry reply; “you see I am young and have a lot to learn.” Garwood was also busy. He started from England with some work on hand still requiring a preface. With this he had been labouring in the intervals of sea-sickness, negative developing, baggage overhauling, and the rest, at odd moments during the voyage. The hour appointed for sailing came, but the preface lingered. Furiously the author worked on amongst teacups and the debris of food. At last the work was done. A wild rush on shore, and the precious document was consigned to the post and all the printer’s devils.

p. 38: A few minutes later we were again upon the ship. A brief passage carried us into the open sea, and our course was finally set for Spitsbergen. Of what happened during the next twenty-four hours I have but the vaguest idea. The sea was what its admirers might call calm. There were no white caps on it, but a long rolling swell came from the south-west, enough to keep one miserable, even without the marrow-freezing wind. So I remained in my bunk and read, till the boredom of inactivity became intolerable.

p. 233-34, at Advent Point: It goes without saying that there were stories to exchange, but they were only briefly told, for [E. J.]

Garwood was bearer of mails from home, letters and newspapers, which we greedily devoured, each of us seated on a convenient rock, with the water lapping at our feet, the boat bumping on the shingle, and the birds fluttering above from their shelf-planted nests. A knob of ice that afterwards fell close to Gregory’s head suggested that we might have chosen a safer reading-room. Long such charming conditions could not be expected to last.

p. 278: Beyond it we saw, as one mass, the larger islands of Parry, Phipps, and Martens—all cliff-sided, bare, and lonely. The reader will find it hard to share the emotions evoked by the sight of these islands in the mind of one to whom, by much reading of books of Arctic travel, they had long become, if inaccessible and remote, yet definite realities, associated with the doings, the struggles, and the disappointments of great explorers, memorable in the annals of daring and human achievement. There they lay silent, cold, and still, under their pall of cloud and snow, with the gloom of the north enshrouding them.

p. 339, what Conway calls A Summer Resort: Presently the famous Hedgehog Mount or Hornsunds Tind will come in view, towering above all neighbouring hills, and producing the impression of a giant mountain. More or less of the west coast will next be seen, with glaciers coming down from the inland ice to the margin of the sea. He will look into Horn Sound, and will in all probability be taken into Bell Sound, once the harbour of the English whalers. Schoonhoven (improperly but commonly called Recherche Bay) will doubtless be visited. There Arctic glaciers can be investigated close at hand, and even walked upon without difficulty. It was not far from this bay that, in 1630-31, a party of English whalers spent the winter in the blubber-boiling hut, having been accidentally left behind. They were the first men who ever lived through a whole year in Spitsbergen; the account of their adventures made a great sensation in its time and is still worth reading. After passing Bell Sound, the mouth of Ice Fjord is quickly reached. Beautiful, indeed, and highly characteristic is the scene on entering, with the fine mountains on either hand, the great glaciers coming down from the north, and the strange table-hills stretching away to the south. Along the front of these the steamer passes for a few hours before rounding into Advent Bay.