Latyntsev V.N. Russian ships off the coast of Alaska
Her training was carried out in an emergency rush, because the company was approved at the top. The exit of the ships was controlled by the Maritime Minister of the Marquis de Traverse, who during this period even transferred his residence on board the yacht in Kronstadt. All preparations have been made, orders given. Sailors leaving their native shores, waited a long way.
Across the Atlantic
11 July "Discovery" and "Well-intentioned" anchored in Danish Copenhagen. There after a day arrived sloops First Division "East" and "Peace". On-site were made the necessary purchases. Thus, the Danish Rear Admiral Lavernon acquired the maps compiled by him and the North Sea, Kattegat, and Norwegian waters. Aleksey Petrovich Lazarev noted that the maps obtained in the Admiralty, which the Russian scholar geographer Gavrila Andreevich Sarychev had once worked on, were more accurate.
On July 20, the ships of both divisions raised sails and anchored. A week later, they took Portsmouth. Another Russian sloop, the Kamchatka, was returning from a voyage around the world. He was commanded by Vasily Mikhailovich Golovnin. During the stay in Portsmouth, various scientific instruments were procured, the production of which in Russia was either not established or was not developed enough. These included a telescope, four sextants, three barometers, two chronometers and telescopes. The equipment was delivered from London.
Taking this opportunity, the Russian officers inspected the Carisbrooke castle in Newport, where King Charles I was imprisoned at one time. Lazarev noted that in England “money was needed everywhere” - three shillings per person were claimed for visiting the castle.
In addition to the tools, purchased anti-scoring agents, including coniferous essence and fifty cans of concentrated citric acid, were also loaded on board. Among other things, there were also 142 cans of Donkin meat and 240 cans with broth. These were massive tinplate tins coated with tin to prevent corrosion. This name of the new-fangled then still canned food received in honor of the London engineer and industrialist Brian Donkin, the first to establish the release of canned food. It should be noted that the British Admiralty entered into the first contract for the supply of long-term storage products in 1818.
29 August Portsmouth abandoned "East" and "Peace", 31-go - "Discovery" and "Well-intentioned". 1 September 1819, the ships of the northern division left behind Lizard lighthouses, and along with them - Europe. Ahead of waiting for the Atlantic.
Initially, the captain of the 2 rank Mikhail Nikolayevich Vasilyev planned, bypassing the Canary Islands, to go straight to the Cape of Good Hope. In mid-October, the ships crossed the equator. Of course, it did not go without a ceremony. The role of Neptune fell to sailor Ignatiev, originally from Kamchadals. At one time, he had already successfully experienced a similar procedure on the Rurik brig, under the command of Otto Kotzebue, returning home. The crossing of the equator was fun and festive.
Much less joyful were the reports about the increasing number of spoiled rye rusks. Through the efforts naval the intendants for ships leaving for long voyages were written off provisions of far from the best quality. The created ship commission rejected and ordered to throw overboard almost one hundred and fifty poods of spoiled and worm-eaten crackers. It is likely that this very reason influenced the initial decision of Captain Vasiliev not to enter South America. Soon after overcoming the equator, he notified Lieutenant Commander Shishmarev of his intention to still go to Rio de Janeiro.
On November 1, the sloops approached the Brazilian shores near the Santa Cruz fortress and soon anchored in the roads of Rio de Janeiro. Fresh food was purchased in the city, including rice, fruit, vegetables, and rum. Rio de Janeiro was already the center of brisk trade, and the English merchants were the most favored. They paid no more than 15% duty on their goods, while their foreign colleagues paid 24%. The relevant agreement was reached in due time between the Portuguese king and the English government.
A strong impression on the crew members of the Russian ships, who were stationed in the harbor (right there were "East" and "Peace"), had the arrival of a slave ship from Africa. Black slave labor was widely used in the local economy.
22 November 1819, after saying goodbye to comrades from the southern division, "Well-intentioned" and "Discovery" headed for the Cape of Good Hope.
The captain of the 2 rank Vasilyev decided to make the transition to Australia without making any calls to the ports. Lieutenant Shishmarev, who offered to make a stop at the Cape of Good Hope, the expedition commander replied that since there are no seriously sick ships and there is a large supply of fresh water, he does not see any reason to waste time on parking.
Round-the-world voyage of the sloops "Discovery" and "Well-intentioned"
The new 1820 year “Well-intentioned” and “Discovery” was already met in the Indian Ocean. Together with the New Year came a strong storm with a thunderstorm. 10 February in the conditions of the next storm sloops lost each other - “Discovery” went ahead. The sailors will meet again just off the coast of Australia.
February 16 from ships noticed the coast of this continent. Sloops anchored in the harbor of Sydney. The entry of foreign ships was a significant event in the unhurried life of the local English colony. Governor-General Lachlan Macquarie, who headed it, gave a warm welcome to the Russian sailors. Invitations to evenings and dinners rained down from a horn of plenty and soon became quite bored with Russian officers. In addition to fresh fresh water, a large amount of firewood was shipped, since on the shore trees grew in abundance. The corps of the "well-intentioned" and "Discoveries" were inspected and painted.
16 March, the sloops raised their anchors and left the harbor of Sydney. Actually, this was planned to be done a few days earlier, but the reason for the delay was a strong nasty wind. The course was taken first to the northeast and then to the north, leaving to the west of the island of Fiji. Captain Vasilyev decided to divide his ships: the Otkrytie sloop was to go immediately to Petropavlovsk, and the “Well-intentioned” ship to go to San Francisco. Subsequently, due to the unfavorable direction of the wind, the captain made adjustments to his plan and ordered both ships to follow along.
The region through which the sloops passed is replete with islands, and it is not surprising that the sailor Potapov, who was at the salutary of "Well-intentioned", noticed the islands on 17 on April. They turned out to be eleven low-lying coral islands, known as the Islands of the “Well-intentioned”. Subsequently, however, it turned out that this archipelago was seen earlier by other navigators, but it was Russian sailors who plotted their exact coordinates on the map. Since no one has seriously investigated this issue, the priority of the scientific discovery of the archipelago remains with the Vasilyev-Shishmaryov expedition. There were contacts with the local population, which showed careful friendliness. The islanders, apparently, saw Europeans for the first time.
25 May at the parallel of 33 degrees north latitude "Well-intentioned" received the order of captain Vasilyev to follow to the island of Unalashka, and "Discovery" was to go to Petropavlovsk. The meeting point was the so-called Zund Kotzebue, opened by this navigator in 1816 and mistaken for the strait, which is the Northeast Passage, and in fact, a deep bay on the west coast of Alaska.
Being in the area of the Aleutian Islands, from the "Well-intentioned" we saw the island of Novo-Gorely, or, as it was also called, the island of John the Theologian. It is noteworthy that this island rose from the bottom of the sea in 1796 due to an earthquake. In 1814, industrialists first visited it, but found it unsuitable for some practical use. The staff naturalist of the expedition Fedor Stein and Alexei Lazarev examined the shore on a boat, not finding, however, a convenient place to disembark. But they noticed a large colony of sea lions, showing rather noticeable curiosity to the boat.
3 June 1820 of the Year "Well-intentioned" arrived on the island of Unalaska. The local authorities, which were represented by the office of the Russian-American company, showed their cordiality, sending in response to a request for fresh provisions of a live bull. Having studied the documents sent from the company's headquarters in St. Petersburg about the allocation of six translators, the local authorities were forced to refuse due to the lack of such. With translators, unlike gobies, Unalashka was tight.
Captain Harbor on Unalaska Island
Parking in the captain's harbor of the island used to the maximum. First of all, the sails that had been greatly broken in the tropics were put in order, the hull was painted, and other minor repairs were made.
There were expedition members and other activities. The governor of the island, an official of the Russian-American company, I. A. Kryukov, addressed the commander of the “Well-intentioned” lieutenant commander Shishmarev with a rather unusual request. Kryukov asked to send a priest to the shore who would baptize and marry the Aleuts and Russians living on the island. On board, priest Mikhail Ivanov took up his immediate duties immediately. In total, 175 Aleuts of both sexes and Creoles (children from mixed marriages) were baptized. Including the children of 56-year-old Kryukov were baptized.
The expeditions were nevertheless provided by six local residents - the Aleuts, who had four canodes, which they were supposed to use in carrying out the described works near the shallow water coast. 17 June, after two weeks of being at the island of Unalaska, the sloop "Well-intentioned" raised anchor and went out to sea.
Accompanied by frequent fogs, the “Well-intentioned”, leaving the Aleutian ridge behind the stern, followed north. It was a region formally controlled by a Russian-American company. This structure has widely used the services of the local population, first of all the Aleuts, while paying them a rather insignificant reward.
Only in the fall of X. NUMX in the fall of 1818, as the main ruler of Russian America, Lieutenant Semen Yakovlevich Yanovsky, the natives received a double payment. So, instead of 5 – 10 rubles, 10 – 20 was paid for the killed whale, 5 was given for the beaver before, and now 10 rubles for the beaver. 5 was rewarded with pennies for the caught cod, but they hadn’t paid anything before. Premiums for other animals were also doubled. For comparison, before moving to Australia, Alexei Petrovich Lazarev and various officers stocked up various animals in Rio de Janeiro, purchasing a duck for 4 rubles, chicken for 2 rubles 50 kopecks and turkey - from 5 to 8 rubles translated into Russian money. Prices Lazarev found very inexpensive.
June 23 was seen located on the Bering Strait of St. Lawrence Island. It was discovered by Russian navigator Vitus Bering in August 1728. A village was noticed on the shore, and Shishmarev ordered the landing. Locals enthusiastically greeted the guests, offering products from the bones and skins of various animals. In exchange, they asked only for tobacco. A slow barter trade began, and the Aborigines tried not to offend or deceive. They were presented with several tools and household items, such as needles.
Voronin Luka Alekseevich. Type of summer Chukchi yurts and anchor place in the lip of the St. Lawrence
After long negotiations with the help of gestures, Shishmarev and Lazarev were even allowed to inspect the yurts, which, however, were immediately abandoned due to the extremely unfavorable air atmosphere. Having stayed on the island of St. Lawrence for a short time, "Well-intentioned" moved further to the north.
Increasingly, the ship was enveloped in fog, although no ice was encountered. 7 July 1820, the crew of the “Well-intentioned” could simultaneously observe Cape Dezhnev, the easternmost tip of Eurasia, both the islands of Gvozdeva (Diomede) in the Bering Strait and Cape Prince of Wales, the westernmost point of North America. Thus, the error of Otto Kotzebue Yevstafyevich, who considered that there are three islands of Gvochev, and not two, was corrected.
Reaching Kotzebue Bay on July 11, "Well-intentioned" anchored there. Waiting for the Otkritie sloop still in transit, Shishmarev examined the shores of Kotzebue Bay - it was noted that there was ice along the shore, and there were frequent fogs.
Representatives of the local population, about fifty people, these days made a visit to the Russian seamen with a commercial bias. Having approached the board of the sloop on their canoes, they began to offer their skins and bone products in exchange for all the same tobacco. Sailors simply gave Aboriginal tobacco and various small decorations, without taking anything in return. The Americans were somewhat surprised by this way of doing business. However, a certain amount of jewelry and things from the bone were bartered for tools so valued by the natives.
It was not a single contact with the local population. A few days later a rather large party of sailors headed by Lieutenant Lazarev and naturalist Stein landed on the shore. A rather large settlement was noticed from the ship. Once again, the Aborigines were presented with tobacco, although they accepted it not with such enthusiasm as the inhabitants of St. Lawrence Island. Much more willingly exchanged needles and tools. One of the most curious Aborigines began to unscrew the gilded and brightly shining buttons from the uniform of Lieutenant Lazarev. Alexey Petrovich had to demonstrate his most determined intentions to protect his uniform from damage.
14 July in 8 hours of the morning, to the great joy of all sailors, appeared sloop "Discovery", which soon anchored near the "Well-intentioned" in Kotzebue Bay. On July 18, both ships left the berth and headed north. On the way, they were met by the brig "Pedler" under the American flag, who arrived in the local waters to trade barter with the aborigines, bartering their valuable hides for gunpowder, guns and tools. The American captain who paid the courtesy visit was so kind that he brought some pineapples as gifts. As Lazarev noted in his notes, “I must admit that enlightened Americans are agile in trade, they will barely hear of any new discovery, as they will already be there with goods.”
After bidding farewell to enterprising Americans, the Russian sloops continued to carry out the task entrusted to them: research and inventory of the west coast of Alaska. The ships left astern of the Bering Strait and found themselves in the Chukchi Sea. The Discovery sloop, detached from his partner in the fog, managed to reach the latitude of 76 degrees 6 minutes, i.e., 25 miles further than the parallel reached by the English expedition of James Cook in 1778 during his third round-the-world voyage.
The "well-intentioned" met in front of him impassable ices at latitude 69 ° 1 '. On July 31, the sloops re-joined after almost a ten-day separation. On this day, the captain of the 2 rank Vasilyev ordered to return to the island of St. Lawrence. Despite the fact that the required Northeast Passage on the west coast of Alaska was never found, Russian researchers managed to collect and systematize a large amount of data on this extremely poorly studied region.
After completing the inventory of the island of St. Lawrence, 21 in August "Discovery" and "Well-intentioned" anchored in the captain's harbor of the island of Unalaska. In accordance with the instructions received, the expedition command planned to spend the winter of 1820 – 1821 in lower latitudes, doing research on the American coast and Pacific islands. During the stay, which lasted a week, water supplies and provisions were replenished, firewood was stocked. Since the “Well-intentioned”, converted from transport, had more capacious holds, he performed the duty of the carrier of a piece of food destined for the less capacious “Discovery”. Overload data stocks and engaged seafarers of both sloops. 28 August ships left Unalashka.
Winter 1820 – 1821's
The destination is now the port of Novo-Arkhangelsk on Sitka Island (Baranova Island), which is the center of the Russian possessions in North America. The number of Russian colonies here was a little over 200 people. Both sloops arrived at the September 20 port. At that time, the schooner "Baranov", owned by the Russian-American company, stood in the harbor.
View of the central part of Novo-Arkhangelsk
In Novo-Arkhangelsk, the disassembled deck boat and other cargoes were removed from the hold of the “Well-intentioned”. Lieutenant Ignatiev and a group of ship carpenters began to assemble it. The boat was durable, the details of the design are made of oak, and the bottom is sheathed with copper sheets. Since the disassembled bot lay almost at the very bottom of the hold, from there it was necessary to take out a large amount of cargo, some of which were temporarily placed on the Baranovo. Since the bot, by virtue of its design, was heavy, more than 2 thousand pounds, then stone ballast was loaded instead. After this rather time-consuming procedure and the traditional replenishment of stocks, the ships were again ready to go.
October 24 1820, the sloops left Sitka Island. By order of the captain of 2 rank Vasilyev, the second division was to follow to the port of St. Francis (now San Francisco), which was part of the Spanish possessions in America. There it was planned to carry out a more thorough repair of the hulls and rigging of both sloops, since it was not possible at that time in the Russian possessions.
In the case of a rare departure during the voyage, this same place was a rendezvous point. In general, the difference in tactical and technical characteristics between the two ships was constantly felt during the voyage. And the fact that the more high-speed sloop "Discovery" often left far behind the stern of its more low-speed comrade was not uncommon.
On November 10, the sloops entered the harbor of St. Francis with a small interval. Having exchanged fireworks with the Spanish fortress, the ships anchored and proceeded with the maintenance work. On camp, a camp was set up along with a field observatory, in which astronomical observations were regularly conducted. An oven for making crackers was also folded. Russian ships stood in this place for about three months.
During this time, a large amount of not only repair, but also research work was carried out. Captain-Lieutenant Shishmarev and navigator Rydalev explored the Bay of San Francisco - it was the first inventory and geodetic survey of the area, made by the Europeans.
February 10, the new 1821 of the year, Otkritie and Well-intentioned, left the Spanish possessions and headed for the Hawaiian Islands. They were in the area from mid-March to 5 April. The interest in the Hawaiian Islands at that time was quite understandable, because of the advantageous location in the Pacific Ocean, serious arching of the leading maritime powers developed around this archipelago.
The islands were formally independent, but the envoys and emissaries of England, the North American States and Spain worked tirelessly in the vast field of secret diplomacy. The efforts of the parties were reduced to the struggle for the location of the local king Kamehamea II. In the course were persuasions, threats, bribery and other set of never-obsolete tools of political intrigue. It is not surprising that the Hawaiian king, full of plenty of attention from “civilized” countries, began to seek support and protection from Russia.
Through the Russian authorities in Kamchatka on behalf of Peter Ivanovich Rikord, the Hawaiian king appealed to Tsar Alexander I with a request for protection and protection. For several reasons, including because of the extreme remoteness of the region, and because of the unwillingness to spoil relations with “Western partners,” primarily with England, the message was ignored. By the time the Vasiliev-Shishmaryov expedition arrived in Honolulu 20 March 1821, the Hawaiian Islands had partly turned into the whaling base of the North American States - in the harbor Russian sailors saw five American whaling ships at once. In addition, sandalwood was commercially exported from the archipelago.
King Kamehamea II kindly received guests and proudly showed them his personal yacht, bought from Americans for sandalwood with a total value of “modest” 400 thousand rubles. The invaluable resources of their own country, without the slightest doubt, exchanged the king for personal luxury items.
On April 5, having filled with water and replenished supplies of provisions, Otkrytie and Well-intentioned left the hospitable Hawaiian Islands. The ships went north again.
And again the sailors waited for the harbor of Novo-Arkhangelsk. The sloops arrived here in mid-May 1821. The seagoing boat was completely launched, fully assembled and equipped by this time by Lieutenant Ignatiev and the team of carpenters. Having spent some time there, “Discovery” and “Well-intentioned” moved to Unalashka, and all this time the bot was in tow, “Discovery”.
25 June 1821, the three ships have already left the island to perform the tasks. The Discovery and the bot that was with him were supposed to be engaged in describing the shores of Alaska right up to the Bering Strait. “Well-intentioned” was instructed to check the existence of several islands marked on maps since the 18th century, to finish the inventory of St. Lawrence Island and July 6 to go to Cape Dezhnev.
Searching for the islands plotted on the maps of the third round-the-world expedition of James Cook, the “Well-intentioned” approached the Algaian coast and again visited St. Lawrence Island. Further, having overcome the Bering Strait, the sloop proceeded to the Chukchi Sea. On July 19, the crew saw Cape Heart-Kamen, located about 75 miles northwest of Cape Dezhnev.
Reaching the coordinates 70 degrees 13 minutes north latitude, "Well-intentioned" faced with heavy ice conditions. The sloop was trapped by floating ice floes and tilted at 45 degrees. The ship was in such a critical position for about a day, until finally the favorable direction of the wind prevented it from slipping out of the trap. Seeing the complete uselessness of efforts to penetrate further, Captain-Lieutenant Shishmarev gave the order to turn south.
"Discovery" after leaving Unalashka moved to the southeast coast of Alaska. The boat under the command of Lieutenant A.P. Avilov was sent for an inventory and survey of the Norton Sound Bay, and the captain of the 2 rank Vasilyev sent his ship along the coast of Alaska to the north. July 11 Russian sailors opened a large island, named after their ship Discovery. Now it is the island of Nunivak.
Passing the Bering Strait and describing the American coast to the north of it, reaching the coordinates 70 degrees 20 minutes north latitude, Vasiliev turned back. As in the case of the "well-intentioned", this decision was caused by heavy ice conditions.
Peter and Paul port, Kamchatka. 19th century engraving
8 September 1821, the sloop "Discovery" arrived in the port of Petropavlovsk. After 12 days, the “Well-intentioned” came to the same place. Boat of Lieutenant A. P. Avilov was already in this port. October 15 1821, after conducting maintenance and replenishing stocks, "Discovery" and "Well-intentioned" went back.
The ships again went to the Hawaiian Islands and, having left their 18 December, headed for Cape Horn. 11 March 1822, the sloops of the second division, anchored in the harbor of Rio de Janeiro. The parking in this place lasted almost seven weeks - Vasilyev decided to give a thorough rest to his people. On May 3, the Brazilian shores were left astern, and on May 27, the Russian ships again crossed the equator. 16 July they were met by Copenhagen.
1 August 1822 “Discovery” and “Well-intentioned” retracted to their native Kronstadt harbor. Their round-the-world odyssey is over. The expedition of the northern division, in contrast to the southern, was not marked by equally outstanding geographical discoveries, and the task to go through the Arctic Ocean into the Atlantic along the northern coast of Alaska and Canada was impossible for sailing ships.
However, swimming not only ended safely, but also greatly enriched the science of that time. Little-studied regions of Alaska and a number of islands were described in detail and mapped. Throughout the expedition, a whole complex of astronomical, magnetic and meteorological observations was carried out.
Silver medal in honor of the expedition of the sloops “Discovery” and “Well-intentioned” with the profile of Alexander I on the obverse
For his successful expedition, Mikhail Nikolayevich Vasiliev in February 1823 became captain of the 1 rank and was awarded the Order of Saint Vladimir, III degree, and for participation in the 18 campaigns was awarded the Order of Saint George IV. Lieutenant Shishmarev was promoted to captain of rank 2 and was also awarded with the Order of Saint George, IV degree, for participation in the 18 campaigns.
Detailed and fascinating notes by Lieutenant Alexei Petrovich Lazarev, who preferred the round-the-world odyssey to the brilliant everyday life of a guard officer in the capital, were preserved on the navigation of the Otkrytie and the Well-intentioned sloops.
Expedition sloop "Discovery" and "Well-intentioned"