Clockwise circulation above Ellesmere Island
On his return journey, Cook said, he was unable to reach his outward caches because an unknown current drifted him far to the west.  Eventually it became known that a westward flowing current does pass through the area that Cook would have traversed on his described return route. This has been advanced as positive evidence of the authenticity of his narrative.  But he might have discovered it by a journey of less than 100 miles to the northwest, which is exactly the extent of his journey indicated in his original notebooks.  (Peary’s protégé, Donald MacMillan, on just such a journey in 1914 noted a strong tide or current at the place he turned back.) Or it could have been just a lucky expedient, since Cook's story made it necessary that he be carried west to explain his inability to reach Axel Heiberg Land and his subsequent absence over the next winter.
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