Journal of a Voyage to the Whale Fishery of  East Greenland in the Year of Our Lord 1820, together with an account of a meeting with a strange Germanic tribe called the ANUKII, and my discovery of a Great Fjord which I name Scoresby Sound after my esteemed Father.

I am Captain William Scoresby of the good ship Baffin, out of the port of Liverpool. In the month of July in the Year of Our Lord 1820 we were lost off the coast of Greenland, held fast in pack ice, and struggling with a rising gale. The Timbers of our vessel were creaking with the strain, our sails were torn in a hundred places, and my crew were in despair.  I fell to my knees on the quarter deck and prayed to the Lord in this fashion:

„Give us a break, oh Lord!“

As I uttered these words the fog cleared, and a strange ship appeared! 

It was no more than twice the length of one of my whale boats, and was blue in colour. Upon the side was the name: „ANUK“. Somehow it propelled towards my good ship Baffin against the wind, and on seeing this some of my more superstitious crew fell down upon their knees and cried „This must be magic!“

The crew of this strange ship waved to me, and so I leaped into a small dinghy and rowed across alone to ask for help and directions in this strange foggy land. As I did so a huge wave filled my small dinghy and it started to sink!

I felt hands upon me and I was dragged aboard the Anuk, more dead than alive.

I cannot begin to tell you of the marvels aboard this small ship, there are so many.

To begin, the crew all spoke a Germanic language which I struggled to understand. 

First they showed me a colored chart upon a lighted box, a chart which moved with the ship. It was as if we were in the heavens and able to see down through the fog.

Then I saw that all the ANUKII tribe (for so I called them) looked closely at small colored boxes at all hours of the day. They claimed they could read books and order hot pizza on these boxes, but this could not be true.

Had I fallen in with some magical wizards? Was this witchcraft?

I looked around for my good ship Baffin, but the fog had closed in and she was not to be seen.

I was now alone with these people, and had to throw myself upon their mercy.

The captain was a woman, another marvel, and she showed me how to make hot coffee upon a stove that she said burned oil sucked from under the ground. This cannot be true, surely? Furthermore, she showed me a curious steam engine which burned the same oil not under a boiler, but inside the cylinders! This steam engine propelled our ship Anuk through the gale and the fog faster than my ship Baffin with a following wind. How could this be possible?

As I marveled at these wonders in the cabin, a strange voice filled the air from another of the magical boxes in this ship. Astonishingly, the voice spoke in the English language:

„Anuk, Anuk, fancy a pint ashore tonight?“ it said.

By some witchcraft my new captain touched a rubber spot and uttered the words:

„Curlew, Curlew, good idea if you are buying. By the way, we have picked up some old English guy out of the sea. Is he yours?“


Text: Graham