James Fitzjames Letter to Edward Sabine [June] (1845 June 3)

HM Erebus

Off the North Coast of Scotland

3rd June 1845

My Dear Col Sabine

Your note of the 28th came to Stromness that night and I thank you for it.

We left Stromness this morning and we are now being towed (with the Terror) by the Rattler. Bleuer has the Transport – And this will go by the steamers when they leave us which will be this evening when they shall have towed us some 30 miles from the "Old Man of Bay" – I fear however that we are to have a Westerly wind.

While at Stromness I took a complete set of observations with Fox using both deflectors separately and together and the 3 weighs you used -

I also with Hodgson took a set of deflections and vibrations with the Terror's Unifilar. The deflections were tolerably satisfactory – the vibrations not quite so.

I think that I observed that a small bank of sandstone under which the instrument was placed affected the needle.

I am terribly disappointed with my Fox which is rotten. To crown all it is sunk so low in the gunwale stand that the line exactly comes on with the point of the needle at 70˚ and at 80˚. I shall not be able to set it. So we raise the cable and we waited to try the Unifilar on it at sea. Crozier has been try[ing] vibrations with Hanoleen at sea very well.

I intended writing you a long letter but find I really have not time – this will assure you however that we are all well and happy. All your friends here desire to be remembered to you – will you kindly remember me to Mrs. Sabine – and believe me to be

Your's very sincerely

James Fitzjames

About this document ...

  • Written by: James Fitzjames
  • Written to: Edward Sabine
  • Archive: British National Archives
  • Collection: BJ3-17 Sir Edward Sabine: Correspondence and papers. Personal letters and Papers
  • Date: 1845 June 3
Sunken ship