Wasp sailed south from New York on 22 June 1822. She reached the Falkland Islands late in October, after which Morrell spent 16 days in fruitless searches for the nonexistent Aurora Islands, before heading for South Georgia, where the ship anchored on 20 November. In his account Morrell wrongly records the position of this anchorage, placing it in open sea about 60 miles (97 km) south-west of the island's coastline. Wasp subsequently headed eastwards to hunt for seals and, according to Morrell, reached the remote Bouvet Island on 6 December, finding this elusive island without apparent difficulty. Historian H.R. Mill notes that Morrell's description of the island's physical features fails to mention the island's most singular characteristic—it is covered by a permanent ice sheet. He then attempted to take the ship southwards but, reaching thick ice at around 60°S, turned northeast towards the Kerguelen Islands where he anchored on 31 December.
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