Expedition sloop "Discovery" and "Well-intentioned"

At seven o'clock in the evening 3 on July 1819, the Kronstadt raid was abandoned by the sloops "Otkrytie" and "Well-intentioned" under the command of Lieutenant-Commander Mikhail Nikolayevich Vasilyev and Lieutenant-Commander Gleb Semyonovich Shishmaryov. The tasks of the second division were set in another region of the globe, and they were no less important than the first.

Expedition sloop "Discovery" and "Well-intentioned"

The sloop "Discovery" and "Well-intentioned" at the Cape of Good Hope. Artist A. A. Tron

The Antarctic expedition of Russian sloops “Vostok” and “Mirny” is rightfully considered one of the most successful and successful in stories domestic shipping. The resonance in the scientists and in the marine circles at its end was so impressive that it overshadowed all the events connected with another round-the-world voyage that took place at the same time. We are talking about the expedition of the second division (the first were sloops "Vostok" and "Mirny").

Northeast and Northwest Passages

By the beginning of the XNUMXth century, a quantitative and qualitative leap had taken place in geographical research conducted by Russia. The era of round-the-world expeditions began, which became no longer episodic, but regular. This was due not only to an increase in the power of the Russian fleet and the inevitable expansion of its tasks.

Russia during this period had quite significant territorial possessions on the North American continent, the communication of which with the metropolis was carried out exclusively by sea. Russian America, due to its remoteness, needed a whole range of resources and materials that had to be delivered mainly from the Baltic. The northern areas of the Pacific Ocean, a number of sites on the east coast of North America were still little studied. All this required the efforts of not only the crews of the ships belonging to the Russian-American Company, but also, of course, the ships of the Navy.

Even in the present epoch, the huge distances that seafarers had to overcome in their pursuit of Russian America, sharply raised the question of finding more convenient and short routes with remote borders. And the question of the Northeast Passage, which remained by the beginning of the 19th century, that is, the possibility of reaching the Atlantic from the Bering Sea region through the Arctic Ocean, was put on the agenda.

Similar strategic projects were developed in Russia and in the 18th century, however, due to a number of circumstances, they were not implemented. As early as the reign of Peter the Great, an expedition to the Indian Ocean that was never accomplished was planned.

In 1764 and 1765 were undertaken "secret expedition" under the leadership of Vasily Yakovlevich Chichagovwhose goal was to reach Kamchatka across the Northern Ocean. The hypothesis on this score was developed and presented by Catherine II, who had just ascended the throne, by Academician Mikhail Vasilyevich Lomonosov. Expedition Chichagova was able to significantly advance into northern latitudes, however, she was confronted with insurmountable ice.

Later, in 1787, on the orders of Catherine II, preparations began for the first Russian round-the-world expedition on five ships. It was to be headed by the captain of the 1 rank, Grigori Ivanovich Mulovsky, one of the best officers of the navy, who had extensive navpraktiku and owned four foreign languages. Due to the outbreak of the war with Turkey and the sharp cooling of relations with Sweden, the expedition was canceled.

In 1803, the expedition of Ivan Fedorovich Kruzenshtern and Yuri Fedorovich Lisyansky made a voyage around the world, finally paved the way from Kronstadt, bypassing Cape Horn to the Pacific Ocean and the Russian possessions in America. In 1809, such a voyage against the background of a sharp aggravation of relations with England after the conclusion of the Peace of Tilsit made sloop "Diana" under the command of Vasily Mikhailovich Golovnin. The economic and political necessity of Russia's ties with its possessions in North America was so great that similar expeditions began to be conducted regularly.

However, similar enterprises had another side: the voyage was too long and far. Scholars of European countries and Russia have long discussed the possibility of establishing shipping from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean along the north coast of the North American continent, that is, as they said, the North-West Passage.

The origins of this geographical problem went back to the distant XV century, the era of great geographical discoveries. It is believed that Genoese Giovanni Caboto, better known as John Cabot, was the first to get to the spice countries through “North Asia”. In 1495 and 1498 he and subsequently his son, Sebastian Cabot, undertook research expeditions to the shores of North America. Neither spices nor Eastern countries could be found, and practical sponsors from among the Bristol merchants lost all interest in such projects.

But the energetic Sebastian Cabot did not calm down and was able to again draw attention to the atypical way of reaching the countries of the East. Unlike his father, he suggested that representatives of business English circles try to reach the coveted China and India, moving to the northeast: from Western Europe to Eastern Asia, bypassing Northern Europe and Asia. The idea was supported, and not only by words.

In 1553, a trading expedition led by Hugh Willoughby set out from England. Subsequently, the ships were divided. Most of the personnel did not survive the harsh wintering in the north, which turned out to be lands that belonged to the Russian Tsar. Richard Chansler, the captain of the largest ship, was able to reach Moscow and achieve the location of Ivan IV. Neither India nor China were reached by the English navigators, but the company’s sponsors community, encouraged by the returning Chansler, was renamed the Moscow company and successfully traded with Russia up to the year 1917.

Following the British, the Dutch also began to look for a way to Asia through the northern seas that were not inferior to the islanders in business. In 1594 and in 1596, Willem Barents tried to find a route acceptable for shipping, reaching the coast of Spitsbergen and Novaya Zemlya, but the Arctic remained impregnable, resting his brave Dutchman in his possessions.

Map from Atlas van Luna, Amsterdam, 1664

In 1607, the Moscow company hired Captain Henry Hudson. Having received a ship and a crew under his command, Hudson had, following right across the North Pole, to reach Japan. However, he, like many others, was met on the way by insurmountable ice. In the 1608 year, Hudson repeated the attempt, trying to pass the northeast way, and again failed. The disgruntled board of the Moscow company fired Hudson, and he later died in American waters, trying to reach Asia by the Northwest Passage. On the ship, because of the long voyage and lack of provisions, a rebellion broke out, and Hudson, together with his young son and several sailors, simply landed in the boat. More about his fate is not known.

If the search for the so-called northern trade route around Europe and Asia constantly rested on the impossibility of overcoming the heavy polar ice and gradually disappeared, then interest in the North-West Passage, in the existence of which many were sure, on the contrary, did not weaken. In the second half of the XVI century, the British navigator Martin Frobisher, hired by the aforementioned Moscow company, in 1574 – 1578. persistently tried to reach the rich eastern countries, following through the North American waters. He never achieved his goal, although he advanced the geographical knowledge of the then Europeans. Frobisher achieved much more impressive successes afterwards, engaging in privateering.

The British attempted to open the Northwest Passage later, but they only brought new lands and islands on the map of the North American continent, leaving the question of a fast path to Asia open. This geographical puzzle also gave Russian navigators no peace, especially in the context of the possibility of finding a quick way to reach Russian America or return from the Pacific to the Atlantic, without undergoing a long and risky voyage around Cape Horn.

At the beginning of the 19th century, when the British persistently continued to search for the Northwest Passage, an expedition was set up in Russia in order to find an opportunity to pave the most acceptable route for themselves from the Bering Sea to the Atlantic Ocean. In the summer of 1815, Kronstadt left the brig "Rurik" under the command of Lieutenant Otto Yevstafevich Kotzebue. It is worth noting that this expedition was a private initiative of Count Nikolai Petrovich Rumyantsev, and not the government.

The senior officer on the Rurik was Lieutenant Gleb Semyonovich Shishmaryov. "Rurik" successfully arrived in the Pacific basin, went to Kamchatka and in the summer of 1816, reached Cape Dezhnev in the summer. Going into the Arctic Ocean, the ship met with insurmountable ice and was forced to return to the Pacific waters. The next year, 1817, Lieutenant Kotzebue again tried to make an attempt to break through to the north, but faced an unfavorable ice situation in the Bering Sea.

Preparation of the second division

At the end of 1818, a project of a large-scale research enterprise arose in Russian naval circles, with the aim of studying the high latitudes of both hemispheres. It is believed that Ivan Fedorovich Krusenstern was the first to mention this in a letter to the then Minister of the Sea Ivan Ivanovich de Traversay. Such a prominent Russian navigator and scientist, such as Vice-Admiral Gavrila Andreevich Sarychev, as well as Otto Yevstafyevich Kotzebue, who returned from circumnavigation on the Rurik, was named a lieutenant commander.

According to the general plan, it was supposed to form two detachments, or two divisions of ships, each of which would consist of two units. The tasks assigned to these divisions were different, but they were equipped as a single expedition. The first division was ordered to do research on southern latitudes and, if possible, solve the riddle of the presence or absence of an unknown continent there. The second division had to come to grips with research in the North Pacific and finally find a passage from the Bering Sea to the Atlantic.

In March, 1819, Ivan Fedorovich Kruzenshtern, presented the naval minister, Ivan Ivanovich de Traversay, a detailed note on the 21 page, in which he presented his thoughts and recommendations regarding the upcoming expedition. He proposed Vasily Mikhailovich Golovnin as division commanders, but since he had not yet returned from circumnavigation, the candidacy of captain of 2 rank Faddey Faddeevich Bellingshausen was presented. For the post of commander of the second division, Krusenstern recommended Lieutenant-Commander Otto Evstafevich Kotzebue.

The dispatch of both groups of the expedition was originally planned for 1820 year, but since its project received the Highest approval, it was decided to hasten and postpone the start date to the current, 1819 year. As a result of a personnel reshuffle, the captain of the 2 rank, Bellingshausen, became the head of the first division almost six weeks before sailing. Instead of the 8 recommended by Kruzenshtern Kotzebue of May 1819 of the year, Lieutenant-Commander Mikhail Nikolayevich Vasilyev was appointed.

Mikhail Nikolaevich Vasiliev

Lieutenant Vasilyev was also an experienced sailor and officer, who also had combat experience. In 1794, he graduated from the Cadet, the so-called "Greek", corps and was promoted to midshipmen. Two years later, Vasilyev, who already had a solid floating practice in the Gulf of Finland, received the rank of midshipman. In the same year, 1796, he was sent to serve on the Black Sea Fleet for service.

As part of the crew of the brig "Alexander", a young officer took part in the expedition of the Russian fleet on the Mediterranean during the war with France, including operations to capture the islands of Zante (Zakynthos), Cerigo (Kithira) and Corfu (Kerkyra). In 1801, Vasiliev was transferred to the Baltic Fleet, where he sailed on various ships until 1805. This year, already in the rank of lieutenant, he was seconded to the Kaluga province to organize the delivery of recruits to St. Petersburg. Later he was assigned to Rybinsk as an observer for the harvesting and shipment of ship wood at the shipyard.

1809 to 1812 service again on the ships of the Baltic Fleet, and then participation in the Patriotic War 1812 of the year. Distinguished in the defense of Riga. He served in the first detachment of gunboats, took part in the siege of Danzig. He was awarded the Order of St. Anne II degree and St. Vladimir IV degree with a bow.

From 1815 to 1818, Vasiliev was at the port of Kronstadt and went to the Baltic as part of the Practical Squadron of Vice Admiral Roman Vasilyevich Kroon. In 1818, he received under his command the frigate “Pollux”, which carried out military service in Kronstadt, and the following year - was appointed commander of the northern division with the rank of lieutenant commander.

Like the south, this division was to consist of two sloops. They were "Discovery" and "Well-intentioned". The commander of the sloop "Good-natured" became an officer with the rank of lieutenant commander Gleb Semenovich Shishmarev. He was also considered an experienced sailor, he also had combat experience and already went on a world tour.

Gleb Semenovich Shishmarev

Shishmarev entered the Petersburg Cadet Corps in 1794, 1801 received the rank of midshipman. Up to 1809, he served on the Baltic Sea. In 1809, he received under the command of transport "Jack". Due to bad weather conditions and an error in calculating the coordinates, this ship crashed near the island of Biorka in the Gulf of Finland. The court did not admit Gleb Shishmaryov’s guilt in what had happened, and the following year he was promoted to lieutenant. Up to 1815, he served on various ships of the Baltic Fleet, sailing not only in this sea, but also in the waters of the countries of Western and Northern Europe.

In 1815, the town of Gleb Semyonovich Shishmarev was appointed senior officer in the brig "Rurik", commanded by Otto Evstafyevich Kotzebue. In the trip around the world that lasted for almost three years, Shishmarev showed himself from the best side. Upon returning to Russia, he was promoted to lieutenant commander. In 1819, the well-intentioned sloop was commanded to take part in another expedition, also promising to be around the world. Thus, Lieutenant Vasilyev had a reliable and experienced assistant.

Ships and people

To participate in the expedition were selected not without haste, given the tight deadlines, four ships of the sloop class. The sloops "Vostok" and "Otkrytie" were built at the Okhta shipyard under the guidance of shipbuilding engineer Veniamin Fomich Stokke, an Englishman in the Russian service. Discovery was laid out in the 1817 year, and the 1 of May 1818 was launched. It was of the same type with the sloop Vostok and had a displacement of about 900 tons. The ship was armed with 28 guns. The length was 39,7 meters, the width of the mid-frame 10 meters. The maximum draft was equal to the 4,4 meter.

"Well-intentioned", like his fellow "Peace", when laying, was not a sloop, but was listed as a military transport. Under the name “Svir”, the future “Well-intentioned” was laid on November 14 1816 of the year at Lodeynoye Pole. Its builder was the Russian shipbuilder Yakov Anikeevich Kolodkin, and the project was created by the shipmaster Ivan Vasilyevich Kurepanov. The ship was launched on August 3 1818 of the year, and on April 24 of the year 1819 was renamed the “Well-intentioned” and reclassified to the sloop.

Like the Mirny of the same type, it had a displacement of 530 tons and was armed with 20 guns. Its length was 36,5 m, the width of the mid-frame 9,1 m, and the draft - 5 m. "Well-intentioned" inferior to the "Discovery" in speed, however, according to the participants of the expedition, had better seaworthiness. Due to the difference in speed, the Discovery had to reduce the sail area so as not to lose its more slow-moving fellow, and the “Well-intentioned”, on the contrary, to carry full sail during fresh weather.

All this was caused by the controversial decision to send two ships of different types on a long voyage. The Bellingshausen-Lazarev expedition also encountered a similar problem. However, all possible measures were taken so that the ships would not lose each other. For this purpose, a system of signals was developed, there were flares and rockets. Like the Vostok and Mirny, the sloops of the northern division were equipped with the signal system of Lieutenant Commander Alexander Nikolaevich Butakov. The underwater part of all ships was sheathed in copper.

Much attention was paid to the acquisition of crews. The commander-in-chief of the port of Kronstadt was ordered to “select the healthiest servants”, no older than 35 years of age, experienced and knowledgeable in the maritime business. The number of personnel was determined in 74 person on the "Opening" and 83 - on the "well-intentioned". In the first, besides the commander, there were three lieutenants and two midshipmen, on the second, two lieutenants and the same midshipmen.

Aleuts on a kayak

In March 1819, Maritime Minister de Traversay requested the board of the Russian-American company to select at least two people who knew the language and customs of the peoples living in the Alaska region and six Aleuts from Unalashka Island who could walk in single-pole kayaks. The very next day, the company's management replied that they would send an “open order” to the local government with the head of the expedition about the allocation of six Aleuts. With local cadres it was noticeably more intense - at that time in St. Petersburg there were two Aleuts who arrived here in the brig "Rurik" under the command of Kotzebue. It was decided to include them in the expedition, appointing a decent salary.

It is noteworthy that Lieutenant Alexey Petrovich Lazarev, the younger brother of the commander of the Mirny sloop, Mikhail Petrovich Lazarev, was among the officers of the Well-intentioned sloop. The history of its inclusion in the expedition is as follows. Alexey Lazarev was promoted to midshipmen later than his brothers Michael and Andrey - in 1806. In the same year on the ship "Yaroslav" he made the transition from Kronstadt to the island of Corfu. Subsequently sailed on the frigate "Avtoil", part of the squadron of Vice-Admiral Dmitry Nikolaevich Senyavin. In 1812 – 1814 served on various ships of the Baltic Fleet. At the beginning of 1814, he was transferred to the reserve Guards crew and was promoted to lieutenant.

Soon, Alexey Lazarev received the command of the yacht "Torneo", which sailed around the Gulf of Finland under the flag of Grand Duke Constantine. Later, the lieutenant was fortunate enough to be commanded by other court yachts, the Neva and Ceres. Proximity to the high and highest circles of the empire, sea evolution, often in a pleasant female society, and frankly dusty place of service began to adversely affect Alexey Lazarev as a sailor. While his two brothers, Mikhail and Andrey, were at sea, Aleksey led the rich life of the capital secular lion.

We must pay tribute to the young man, in the end he scrupulously analyzed the course of his idle life and made critical conclusions. When Alexey learned that his close friend Gleb Semyonovich Shishmarev was given command of the sloop “Well-intentioned” and went on an expedition around the world, the young man wrote a report asking him to include him in his staff. Alexei Lazarev was transferred from the Guard to the fleet and was appointed lieutenant to "Well-intentioned." So, Lazarev parted with the tumultuous life of the capital officer, left his beloved Avdotya Istomin, a brilliant ballerina, the fatal beauty of St. Petersburg, and went to the "Benevolent" to undergo other storms.

The closest attention was paid to the equipment of the ships for long and dangerous sailing - additional sets of bramsels, awnings and canvas were taken on board. All boats received awnings and covers. A disassembled longboat was immersed on the "Well-intentioned" for conducting research in coastal waters. There was a solid library in existence, and it was noted that booksellers released their goods at an 20-percentage discount. The expedition participants had a large number of navigation and astronomical instruments, as well as various maps. Alexey Petrovich Lazarev in his diary noted that as a result, Russian maps, even of such regions as the coast of England, turned out to be more accurate than their foreign counterparts.

The most important task was to provide the expedition members with proper outfit and a sufficient amount of provisions. On the recommendation of General Staff Doctor Yakov Ivanovich Leighton, the teams of all four sloops of both divisions were supplied with a triple set of winter and summer clothes and underwear. In addition, each received an additional set of blankets and shoes. Provision ships were provided at the rate of three years. Among the available stocks were corned beef, beef broth, granulated sugar, molasses, peas, malt, cereals, crackers, oil, vinegar, wine and other products. Coniferous essence and mustard were used as an anti-scintillant.

Part of the provisions, it was decided to buy abroad, including tea and rum. The repository allocated 100 thousand rubles for both divisions to supplement the parking places with fresh and additional products in order to improve the ration. The total amount of gifts for local residents, with whom it was supposed to come into contact, was more than 25 thousand rubles. These included mostly tools, clothing and various decorations.

Most of the cargo was located on the "well-intentioned" because it had a more spacious hold. Nevertheless, there was not enough space on the ships, and not only the living deck, but also the mess-rooms and even the cabins of the commanders were filled up with various cargoes and materials. Preparation for the expedition was made as soon as possible - in three months. By the end of June, 1819, Discovery and the Well-intentioned, were ready to go to sea.

To be continued ...
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  1. +4
    15 August 2018 08: 01
    Thank you Denis ... look forward to continuing ..
    1. Cat
      15 August 2018 08: 44
      I fully join your commentary Alexey!
      From myself I’ll add it is very much expected ..... continued!
    2. 0
      15 August 2018 08: 45
      Quote: parusnik
      Thank you Denis ... look forward to continuing ..

      I join !!!!!
      in Leningrad ---- Shishmarevsky lane in Zhdanovsky district. Later this area became Primorsky .. The name appeared after the Second World War.
  2. +6
    15 August 2018 08: 27
    [/ quote] So, Lazarev broke up with the turbulent life of the capital's officer, left his beloved Avdotya Istomina, a brilliant ballerina, fatal Petersburg beauty [quote]

    This is the same Istomina, about which Pushkin enthusiastically wrote. And how did she get out with her whims of Lazarev that he had fled from her on a long voyage!
    1. +9
      15 August 2018 10: 00
      Not only Lazarev became a victim of Istomina. Because of the love affairs of this fatal woman, Griboyedov was shot in the finger, and therefore he could no longer play the piano. This is the famous story of the quadruple duel of Zavadovsky - Sheremetev, in which the seconds Griboedov and Yakubovich also fought. As a result, Sheremetev lost his life, and Griboedov lost the mobility of the fingers of his left hand. Lazarev did have a constructive approach. After all, it is thanks to his notes that we can now get acquainted with the details of the expedition of the northern division.
    2. +7
      15 August 2018 10: 18
      Quote: Aviator_
      This is the same Istomin about whom Pushkin enthusiastically wrote.

      Do you mean it? laughing
      Orlov with Istomina in bed
      In poor nudity lay.
      Did not stir in the hot case
      Inconsistent general.
      Do not think dear to offend,
      Took Laisa microscope
      And says: "Let me see,
      What are you me, my dear, e ... ".
      1. BAI
        15 August 2018 10: 32
        Probably all this is:
        Brilliant, semi-airy,
        The magic bow is obedient,
        The nymph is surrounded by a crowd,
        It’s worth Istomin. It,
        With one foot touching the floor,
        The other slowly turns,
        And suddenly a jump, and suddenly flies,
        Flies like fluff from the mouth of Aeolus,
        Now the camp will advise, then it will develop
        And the leg kicks with a quick foot.

        In general, the right trend. For a long time they did not talk about women, as if they were not men.
        1. +1
          15 August 2018 22: 49
          "Stan is a lovely sight! Besides, what a crafty leg!"
          But the artist modestly missed the discussed legs in the picture.
          In the photos that came across, the feet of the ballerinas look rather sad.
      2. 0
        15 August 2018 11: 20
        Quote: Trilobite Master
        ? laughing Inconsistent general.
        Do not think dear to offend,
        Took Laisa microscope

        Like they used to say ---- MELKOSKOB?
        1. +5
          15 August 2018 11: 44
          Melkoscope is a Leskov's word from "Levsha".
      3. +1
        15 August 2018 13: 12
        I was referring to the verse that BAI brought, I think it is from "Eugene Onegin", but special thanks for your quote. The work of these ballerinas is such, even at the beginning of the XNUMXth century, at least at the end (Kshesinskaya).
        1. 0
          15 August 2018 20: 28
          Quote: Aviator_
          The work of these ballerinas is so, at least at the beginning of the XIX century, at least at the end (Kshesinskaya).

          I will not talk about everyone, but I still perceive Volochkov as a tribute to traditions ... smile
  3. +2
    15 August 2018 09: 19
    Thanks to the author for an interesting, but unfamiliar topic for a wide range. Special thanks for the most interesting details - the fate of the participants, details of equipment, supplies, food supplies, etc. I look forward to continuing.
    1. +3
      15 August 2018 10: 08
      Thanks to the readers for the suggested topic. And the voyage of the second division, which is part of the first Russian Antarctic expedition, really remained in the shadow of Vostok and Mirny.
  4. +1
    15 August 2018 10: 27
    Well done, Denis. good
    Interesting topics, a lot of information, high-quality feed. Keep it up.
  5. +2
    15 August 2018 22: 32
    "And as beer is the healthiest drink at sea, it is necessary to give it to people more often"
    Beer pine, spruce beer.
    And then it's rum, but rum.