#21 of 25 published by John Player & Sons, 1930
The whaler ‘Diana’, a screw steamship, sailed on the 1st February 1866 for Greenland and the Davis Straits under the Command of Captain Gravill.
In Melville Bay the ‘Diana’, became trapped in pack ice and after three days of trying to break out Capt. Gravill decided to drift with the ice.
The “Diana” was trapped for six months, from 21st September 1866 until March 17th, 1867, finally escaping as the pack broke up. Her scurvy-ridden crew then forced her across the Atlantic, reaching Ronas Voe in the Shetlands on April 2nd. The reporter from The Scotsman was appalled:
“Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner might have sailed in such a ghastly ship, battered and ice-crushed, sails and cordage blown away, boats and spars cut up for fuel in the awful Arctic winter, the main deck a charnel house not to be described. The miserable scurvy-stricken, dysentery-worn men who looked over her bulwarks were a spectacle, once seen, never to be forgotten… Most pitiable of all were the ship’s boys, their young faces wearing a strange aged look not easily to be described. “
Thirteen crew, including the captain died during the voyage.
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