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REPORT OF STAFF COMMANDER BOULTON ON SURVEY OF UNGAVA BAY.
Charlottetown, P.E.1. [sic]
October 22nd, 1880.
In pursuance of instructions received from you on the 2nd August of this year, to the effect that I should on arrival of the Honourable Hudson Bay Company's steamer “Labrador,” at Rigoulette from Quebec, proceed in her to Ungava Bay, and make such surveying observations as time and opportunity afforded during the voyage.
I have the honour to inform you that in the interval between the date of your instructions and the departure of the steamer “Labrador” for the north, I undertook and completed a plan of the anchorage at Rigoulette on scale M = 9''.
On the 10th August, I embarked in the steamer “Labrador” and proceeded to Davis Inlet, the first port of calling, where we arrived on 11th August.
I also made a running survey of the southern approach to Hudson Bay Company's post at Davis Inlet, which is situated on the west side of Ukassiksalik Island.
Daylight of the 19th found us off Segleh Bay and thence to Nachvac —— a sketch and patent log and compass was made from the entrance of Nachvac Bay to the Hudson Bay Company's post, some 13 miles further up, where the steamer "Labrador" moored on the same evening.
On the 26th August the steamer “Labrador” left Nachvac for Kokesok, where we arrived on the 28th.
From a sketch made and enclosed, taken in the vicinity of Cape Chudleigh, while steaming between it and the Buttam Islands, I found the contours of both differed from those depicted on the chart No. 1422. A straight course being steered from Chudleigh to Chosok, little of the coast
between them could be seen, and that so low and undefined as to render any attempt to cut it in useless. The steamer “Labrador” lay at Hudson Bay Company's Post Fort Chimo, 25 miles up from the mouth of the river, till the 8th September, when she left on her return to Rigoulette.
During her stay at Fort Chimo
The continuously thick weather prevented as many observations for latitude and meridian distance being taken as I could have wished. Sufficient, however, I think, were obtained, combined with those at Fort Chimo, and the triangulation at each place to give a good approximation of the position of the river, and also to keep in check the running survey made from the bar outside the entrance to Fort Chimo.
From Kai-Wai-Chi-Ak, an Eskimo chief living at Cape Chudleigh, whom I met at Nachvac, I learnt that there is a passage fit for a large vessel, through into the Ungava Bay, about 15 miles south of Cape Chudleigh; this man offered to pilot the steamer “Labrador” through it. If this passage is practicable, and inducements ever offer to small vessels to enter Ungava Bay, it would save them the labour of rounding the Cape where the “race” consequent on the strong current, is heavy and often dangerous.
The Eskimos congregate pretty thickly, I believe, about the missionary settlements on the Labrador coast, to the northward of which the coast is very sparsely inhabited by them, there being only 7 families between Nacvac and Cape Chudleigh.
I have the honour to be, Sir,
Your most obedient servant,
J. G. BOULTON.
Acting Staff Commd. and First
Class Assistant Surveyor, R.N.
Staff Commander W. F. MAXWELL, R.N.,
Commanding Admiralty Survey