Baffin (or Bylot) BAY, an extensive gulf or inland sea on the N. E. coast of North America, communicating with the Atlantic by Davis strait, and with the Arctic ocean by Smith sound to the north, and Lancaster sound to the west. It extends about 800 m. from S. E. to N. W., has an average width of 280 m., and is included between the parallels of 68° and 78° N., and the meridians of 50° and 80° W. It was named in honor of William Baffin. It was visited by Capt. Ross in 1818, by Capt. Parry in 1819, by Inglefield in 1852, who established the existence of a channel connecting it with the great polar sea, and by McClure in 1850-'53, who was the first to sail from Behring strait to Baffin bay. The coasts are rocky and precipitous, rising in many places to the height of 1,000 feet, and presenting a vast number of lofty peaks of very singular shape. Innumerable sounds and creeks open on each side of the bay. Black whales of large size, seals, and walrus are captured here, and bears and black foxes and various sea fowl are found on the shores.
The depth of frater, as far as ascertained, varies from 200 to 1,050 fathoms.