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THE LINDA HALL LIBRARY HISTORY OF SCIENCE COLLECTION
 

Voyages: Scientific Circumnavigations 1679 to 1859
  Captain Cook's SecondVoyage 1772-1775
 

During the journey southward, the crew often suffered extremely cold temperatures.

"Towards noon, the gale abated; so that we could carry close-reefed top-sails. But the weather continued thick and hazy, with sleet and snow, which froze on the rigging as it fell, and ornamented the whole with icicles; the mercury in the thermometer being generally below the freezing point."

Ice floes would move about, and there was always the danger of being caught in the ice, at the mercy of a hoped-for thaw that could take longer than provisions would last; or being hit by the ice with a fatal blow that would sink the ship.

 

 

"The Ice Islands, seen the 9th of Jan’ry, 1773"

from A Voyage towards the South Pole and Round the World, Performed in His Majesty's Ships the Resolution and Adventure.


This plate illustrates how the crew collected ice to use for drinking. As Cook describes, they

"hoisted out three boats; and, in about five or six hours, took up as much ice as yielded fifteen tons of good fresh water… The salt water which adhered to the ice, was so trifling as not to be tasted… and the water which the ice yielded, was perfectly sweet and well-tasted… the most expeditious way of watering I ever met with."

Cook: Page 11 of 16. The second voyage.
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