Glossary of Terms
related to Arctic Expeditions.
Bay-Ice - Ice newly formed upon the surface of the
sea. The expression is, however, applied
also to ice a foot or two in thickness.
Bestet - The situation of a ship when closely surrounded
Bight - An indentation in a floe of ice, like a bay, by
which name it is sometimes called.
Blink - A peculiar brightness in the atmosphere, often
assuming an arch-like form. The blink
of land, as well as that over large quantities of ice, is usually of a
Bore - The operation of "boring" through loose ice consists
in entering it under a press of
sail, and forcing the ship through by separating the masses.
Brash - Ice broken up into small fragments.
Cache - Literally a hiding place. The places of deposit
of provision in Arctic travel are so
Calf - A mass of ice lying under a floe near its
margin, and when disengaged from that
position, rising with violence to the surface of the water. - see Tongue.
Crow's Nest. - A small circular house, like a cask, fixed
at the masthead, in which the
look-out man sits, either to guide the ship through the ice, or to give
Dock - In a floe may be a natural or artificial: the former
being simply a small "bight," in
which a ship is placed to secure her from the danger of external pressure;
latter, a square space cut out with saws for similar purpose.
Field - A sheet of ice generally of great thickness, and
of too great extent to be seen over
from a ship's masthead.
Fiord - An abrupt opening in the coast-line admitting
Floe - The same as a field, except that its extent can
be distinguished from the ship's
masthead. A "bay-floe" is a floe of ice newly formed.
Floe-piece - An expression generally applied to small
pices of floes, not more than a furlong
Glacier - a mass of ice derived from the atmosphere, sometimes
abutting the sea.
Hummock - A mass of ice rising to a consderable height
above the general level of a floe,
and forming a part of it. Hummocks are originally raised by the pressure
floes against each other.
Ice-anchore - A hook or grapnel adapted to take hold upon
Ice-belt - A continued margin of ice, which in high northern
latitudes, adheres to the coast
above the ordinary level of the sea.
Iceberg - A large floating mass of ice detatched from
Ice-foot - The Danish name of the limited ice-belt of
the more southern coast.
Land-ice - Is ice attached to the land, either in
floes or in heavy grounded masses lying near
Lane of Water - A narrow channel among the masses
of ice, through which a boat or a ship
Lead - A channel through the ice. A ship is said to "take
the right lead" when she follows a
channel conducting her into a more navigatable sea, and vice versa.
Nipped - The situation of a ship when forcibly pressed
by ice on both sides.
Pack - A large body of ice, consisting of seperate
masses, lying close together, and whose
extent cannot be seen.
Pancake-ice - Newly-formed ice, assuming the pecliar conformation
of numberless patches of
"sludge," and giving the surface of the sea the appearance of handsome
Patch of Ice - The same as a pack, but of smaller dimensions.
Pemmican - Meat cured, pulverized, and mixed with fat,
containing much nutriment in a
Sailing-ice - Ice of which the masses are so much separated
as to allow a ship to sail among
Sludge - Ice of the consistence of thick honey, offering
little impediment to a ship while in
this state, but greatly favoring the formation of a "bay-floe."
Stream - A long and narrow, but generally continuous,
collection of loose ice.
Tongue - A mass of ice projecting under water from an
iceberg or floe, and generally
distinguishable at a considerable depth of smooth water. It differs from
a "calf" in
being fixed to, or a part of, the larger body.
Tracking - Towing along a margin of ice.
Water-sky - A dark appearance in the sky, indicating "clear
water" in that direction, and
forming a striking contrast with the "blink" over land or ice.
Young-ice - Nearly the same as "bay-ice," but generally
applied to ice more recently formed
than the latter.
source: Sargent, Epes: Arctic Adventure By Sea And Land.
Phillips,Sampson & Company, 1857,Technical Terms
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