BAF'FIN'S BAY, a gulf, or rather sea, on the n.e. coast of North America, extending between that continent and Greenland; lat. 6S° to 78° n., and long. 51° to 80° east. It is about 800 in. long, with an average breadth of 280. Its greatest depth is 6890 feet. The tides do not rise more than 10 feet. The currents are generally towards the s., though recent investigations would seem to show that on the e. side of Davis' strait and 13. B. a current from Spitzbergen flows northwards round cape Farewell. The shores are for the most part lofty and precipitous, backed by ranges of snow-clad mountains. The pre vailing rocks are granite and gneiss. The principal animals inhabiting the coasts are, on land, bears, black foxes, and hares; in the sea, the black whale, walrus, and seal, gulls, ducks, and other sea-fowls. The s. shore of Whale sound on the e. coast in lat.
77° 20' n. was found by rapt. Inglefield in 1832 to be inhabited. There are Danish set tlements on Disco and Whale islands. B. B. communicates with the Atlantic ocean by Davis' strait; and with the Arctic ocean by Smith sound on the n., and Lancaster sound on the west. Wellington strait, which forms the n.w. outlet of Lancaster sound, was entered in 1852 by Sir E. Belcher. B. B. was first explored in 1616 by William Baffin. after whom it was called, and who was pilot of the expedition, which was commanded by By lot. Baffin's title to this honor seems to have been most faithfully earned; and the accuracy of ,his observations and descriptions has been confirmed by subsequent navigators. Whale and seal fishing are prosecuted to a large extent in B. B., which, on account of ice, is only navigable for some two months iu summer.