As it started to clear for about a half hour yesterday afternoon, we started getting the dogs on board. Mr. Whitney + party using their naphtha launch to tow two whale boats full at a time. This made the work go more rapidly than before, but still they were over hours at it and it soon began raining again making it very disagreeable. We are here now all loaded and ready to sail on a half hours notice. The Bos'n + Billy are still on board but all ready to go. I took 50 dollars to Franke and got his receipt for it. Also returned the original of Dr. Cook's letters to him as he was still asking for it. My write up's of the party are being sent back just as I made them up. Mr. Norton expects to come up next year in the Erik after Mr. Whitney, which will probably mean some mail at least if nothing else. Mr. Whitney is making great plans for his winter here and I guess he will stand it and enjoy it all right, but he will be mighty glad to go home again next summer. Began to clear soon after noon and the last hustle + bustle began, personally I was not near so busy as three years ago. At 4.25 we started our engines and steamed out past the Erik. I hauled down the flag in salute and our real ice journey began. We steamed north past Littleton Island + then west to Cape Sabine + then north through leads in the ice.