wearethegears


wearethegears

The actual discovery of Yakutat bay

The first view of the land is described as not awakening the feelings of joy which usually accompany the first view of an unknown shore after a long voyage. To quote the navigator’s own words : “Those immense heaps of snow, which covered a barren land without trees, were far from agreeable to our view. The mountains appeared a little remote from the sea, which broke against a bold and level land, elevated about a hundred and fifty or two hundred fathoms. This black rock, which appeared as if calcined by fire, destitute of all verdure, formed a striking contrast to the whiteness of the snow, which was perceptible through the clouds ; it served as the base to a long ridge of mountains, which appeared to stretch fifteen leagues from east to west. At first we thought ourselves very near it, the summit of the mountains appeared to be just over our heads, and the snow cast forth a brightness calculated to deceive eyes not accustomed to it; but in proportion as we advanced we perceived in front of the high ground hillocks covered with trees, which we took for islands.” After some delay, on account of foggy weather, an officer was despatched to the newly discovered land ; but on returning he reported that there was no suitable anchorage to be found. It is difficult at this time to understand the reason for this adverse report, unless a landing was attempted on the western side of Yakutat bay, where there are no harbors. The name ” Bale de Monti ” was given to the inlet in honor of De Monti, the officer who first landed. The location of this bay, as described in the narrative and indicated on the map accompanying the report of the voyage, shows that it corresponds with the Yakutat bay of modern maps. Observations made at this time by M. Dagelet, the astronomer of the expedition, determined the elevation of Mount St. Elias to be 1,980 toises. Considering the toise as equivalent to 6.39459 English feet, this measurement places the elevation of the mountain at 12,660 feet. What method was used in making this measurement is not recorded, and we have therefore no means of deciding the degree of confidence to be placed in it.

Tagged: Toshibacomputer'sThomsonteacherchemistry