The father of the future sailor, Andrei Petrovich Rimsky-Korsakov, was a very educated man, he worked in a foreign college, the Ministry of Justice, and at the age of more than forty years (in 1831) he was appointed civilian governor of the Volyn province. Judging by the reviews of contemporaries, at the post he showed himself to be a kind and humane person who tried, to the best of his ability, to limit violence and arbitrariness of those in power. Not having made a fortune in the service, and having lost the family estate by his lifely impracticality, Andrei Petrovich lived out his life in a small log house after retirement in the county Tikhvin. A remarkable fact - being an opponent of serfdom, he released all of his courtyards, many of whom remained in his house as an employed servant. The spouse of Andrei Petrovich was Sofya Vasilievna - the daughter of the Oryol landowner and the serf. She was described as a smart and talented woman who had a great influence on the upbringing of both sons.
Voin Andreevich was born on the estate of his mother's relatives in the Oryol province 14 July 1822. Aversion to unprincipled careerism and despotism, independence of judgment, directness and honesty, characteristic of Andrei Petrovich, served as a good example for the boy. From childhood, his father used to explain to him that the duty of a man lies in honest service to the motherland, as an example he put his brother. Nikolai Petrovich Rimsky-Korsakov devoted himself to the maritime service, but during the Patriotic War he transferred to the ground forces, distinguished himself in the battles of Smolensk and Borodino. Later he returned to the fleet and participated in the round-the-world expedition of Kotzebue.
Eight years old, the Warrior, or home-style Warrior, was sent to the sea unit of the Alexander Corps, located in Tsarskoye Selo. Prior to that, the boy studied in a French boarding school, where he received the basics of primary education. The future navigator could not immediately enter the hull, it took him to patrol his influential uncle. Three years later, Voin Andreevich was enrolled in the Naval Cadet Corps, located on Vasilyevsky Island in St. Petersburg.
In those years, the head of the hull was an outstanding Russian navigator Ivan Kruzenshtern. In order to improve the conditions for the placement and training of cadets, he undertook a number of reforms, but under the conditions of the most severe Nikolaev reaction, all the director's good intentions turned out to be half measures and could not change the essence of the educational system. Pupils of the corps of those years wrote: “At first, the newcomers had a hard time from the persecutions of their comrades ... The treatment of the cadets with each other, their morals were truly barbaric .... We fought incessantly. ”
Often, Emperor Nicholas I visited the corps. If he found any irregularities, he would arrange cruel dressing throughout the establishment. A curious and undoubtedly far from an isolated incident was described in a letter to parents in the summer of 1836 by Voin himself: “The emperor visited the corps, was dissatisfied with us, parsed. After that, we spent three weeks studying rifle excursion seven hours a day, there were no classes. ” Much later, when he became a naval officer, Voin Andreevich wrote bitterly: “I wouldn’t hesitate to say that the tour of the commanders was by no means parental, as it would be with the children of our age - it was cruel and hardened us.”
Students of the corps did not have vacations per se. In the summer months, pupils sailed on training ships, getting acquainted with the practical service of sailing sailors fleet. The warrior Andreevich noted: “They didn’t let anyone in their native summer, and nobody, rightly, even dreamed about it .... There was no system in training, only work — to set sail, to anchor them, anchoring, and to repeat the overstep twenty times .... Despite this, we instantly learned the sea language, learned to go down on gear and run on guys, learned by heart the production of signals ... and how we were carried away by these activities! How they tried to overtake each other, with what enthusiasm they ran in their hands with a brass lapar! ” In 1837, Rimsky-Korsakov was promoted to midshipman, and by that time he was the eighth year in academic performance. At the end of 1838, a sixteen-year-old man successfully graduated from the Marine Corps, receiving the rank of midshipman. The first ship to serve Voin Andreyevich was the frigate Alexander Nevsky.
Soon followed a new direction - the brig "Patroclus", then the young midshipman switched to the frigate "Melpomene", then to the brig "Nestor". All ships performed one task - in the summer months they sailed across the Baltic Sea and its bays, and in the winter they stood in Revel or Kronstadt. Voin Andreevich persistently engaged in self-education - he studied foreign languages, read a lot, attended musical evenings. His favorite authors were Shakespeare, Byron, Swift and Walter Scott. In Revel, a nineteen-year-old sailor took piano lessons from a local music teacher. In addition to the classics, the midshipman Rimsky-Korsakov studied many scientific articles, both Russian and foreign. First of all he was interested in navigation, ship architecture and hydrography. He did not forget about constant physical training, preferring swimming and horse riding.
During these years, while still a very young officer, he wrote: “I have a sincere and genuine desire to be useful to the Fatherland. According to my present thoughts, I’m ready to spend a century at the rank of midshipman, if only I was given the opportunity to prove myself ... ”However, in the well-trodden Baltic ways there was little chance of becoming a pioneer. Recalling uncle's stories about world voyage, about unknown islands, about typhoons and about meetings with aborigines, Rimsky-Korsakov dreamed of distant seas and bold discoveries.
In the meantime, the diligent officer was successfully promoted. In 1843, he was promoted to lieutenant, and in August 1845 was transferred to Ingermanland, who was going abroad. On it, an inquisitive and observant officer first visited Plymouth, Copenhagen, Gibraltar and the Mediterranean. Returning from a hike, Voin Andreevich began writing articles for the Maritime Collection. One of his first works was devoted to meeting with the British military courts. The author praised the skills and teamwork, equipment ships, cleanliness and tidiness of the premises. However, Voin Andreevich condemned the ostentatious luxury of the officers' cabins, as well as the caste isolation of the English military elite. Writing Rimsky-Korsakov successfully combined with the work of a translator. Together with his friend Golovin during the wintering season in 1847, he translated the works of French admiral Julien de la Graviere, which later became the reference book for officers of the Russian fleet.
At 1851, the twenty-nine-year-old Warrior Andreevich first went to sea captain of the ship. True, he commanded not a multi-cannon frigate, but a small ship - a tender “Swan”. For about two years he sailed on it, studying the skerries of the Gulf of Bothnia and the Gulf of Finland, exploring winding fairways, finding places suitable for anchorage. In winter, the captain of the "Swan" worked on articles for the "Sea collection" and continued to dream of the ocean expanses.
And finally, his wish was fulfilled. Maritime authorities drew attention to the initiative and capable officer, clearly deserving more than command of the auxiliary vessel. He was included in the number of participants in the expedition of Efim Vasilyevich Putyatin, who was going to the shores of Japan.
At the beginning of the journey - from Kronstadt to Portsmouth - Rimsky-Korsakov was part of the command of the frigate "Pallas". October 30 1852 frigate anchored in the British port. Here a young sailor took command of a steam schooner "Vostok", bought from the British. It was a strong ship with a steam engine that was powerful enough for those times. The crew of the schooner was not numerous - only thirty-seven people, including six officers.
6 January The 1853 frigate Pallas and the schooner Vostok left Portsmouth, leaving for the South Atlantic. The schooner Rimsky-Korsakov was the first domestic steam vessel to cross the equator. By the way, much of the adventures of Voin Andreevich became known to historians from his numerous letters to his parents. In them the navigator was extremely frank, often giving rather sharp characteristics of high-ranking dignitaries. And vice versa, the navigator usually spoke of ordinary sailors and people, ordinary workers with great warmth. He was characterized by the independence of actions and judgments, but only to the extent that this allowed the rigid framework of naval subordination and discipline.
Passing the southern tip of Africa, Putyatin’s expedition headed for Hong Kong. The Indian Ocean met the small schooner of the Warrior Andreevich, who had already become a lieutenant commander, inhospitable. The raging storm orderly patted the ship. Fortunately, the storm was short and 11 June "East" arrived in Hong Kong. Simple Chinese caused a feeling of sincere sympathy in Voin Andreevich. By that time, the feudal system of the Middle Kingdom was in a deep crisis. The Russian sailor saw the fantastic riches of tangerines and the poverty of the common people living in squalid huts, on rafts and in junks. The invasion of the British further exacerbated social contradictions. Hong Kong became a smuggling center for opium, bringing unthinkable profits to British merchants. Voin Andreevich also turned his attention to the deep hatred of the Chinese towards the British, who were allowing themselves to oppress the locals.
9 August Putyatin ships came to Nagasaki. The mission of Efim Vasilievich promised to be heavy and protracted, so the admiral did not detain Rimsky-Korsakov. On his instructions to 18 August 1853, the schooner Vostok left the Japanese port, receiving an order to study the Tatar Strait and the mouth of the Amur. On the twelfth day, the schooner reached the shores of Sakhalin and followed the Tatar Strait. The crew conducted surveys and inventory of the shores, made measurements of the depths. Swimming along the unexplored strait was difficult - the harsh climate, the absence of anchorage, constant thick fog prevented the study of the region. Seamen had to cope with all the problems on their own, without any hope of help.
The captain of the ship noted not only the hydrographic conditions of navigation, but also the surrounding nature, the possibilities of economic development of the area. The navigator showed interest in the aboriginal population of the coast of the Tatar Strait, in their customs, way of life, and national character. He tried to arrange them to polite treatment and gifts. In the diaries of Rimsky-Korsakov one can find interesting descriptions for ethnographers of settlements, houses, household items of Aboriginal people. The names of local tribes mentioned by him correspond to the modern ulchi, nanai, udehe, orchi and evenki.
Cape Lazarev, the place where the mainland is closest to Sakhalin, the schooner passed safely and entered the Amur Estuary. This section of the path has so far been considered inaccessible to sea ships. One local resident volunteered to work as a pilot and navigate the Vostok along the fairway. But from the very first attempts, his inexperience in handling a large sea vessel became clear. The captain had only one thing to do — rely on his own intuition and frequent depth measurements. Time after time, the schooner ran into insurmountable shoals and returned to its starting point. More than once the keel was scratching the sandy ground, and the "East" shuddered, it seemed, already ready to go aground.
In the end, Voin Andreevich was able to find a practically elusive fairway and navigate his ship at the mouth of the Amur River. The most difficult voyage showed that the Tatar Strait was fully accessible to the sea-going ships. The studies of the brave navigator were of great practical importance, doubly more valuable due to the complicated international situation.
Schooner East in b. St. Transfiguration
13 September 1853 of the year “Vostok” approached Cape Prong, and Voin Andreyevich visited the nearby Petrovsky winter quarters, officially considered the factor of the Russian-American company and serving as the main base of the Amur expedition of Gennady Nevelsky. About wintering Rimsky-Korsakov wrote: “It's nice to see in the midst of lifeless nature, for 13 thousands of miles from Russia, fifty people are remote guys, masters of all hands: instantly they will cut down your hut, shoot a sea lion or seal, deftly roll you on deer, dogs or a simple boarding Gilyak boat ".
A few days later the schooner went off the anchor and set off on the return journey. After just two and a half months, the Vostok returned to Nagasaki. It seems to be a small term. However, how much of the most valuable information was found out by the thirty-year-old Warrior Andreevich during this time. He had detailed descriptions of uncharted shores, hydrological studies of the Tatar Strait and the Amursky Estuary with detailed measurements of the fairway and, finally, a number of open coal deposits. Rimsky-Korsakov’s solid report pleased the admiral. Later Putyatin admitted that he had almost stopped believing in the safe return of the ship.
Only a week the schooner stayed in Nagasaki. In November, she went to Shanghai in order to repair the damage, make current repairs and collect mail from Europe. The situation in the world at that time continued to escalate. In China itself, there were bloody battles between rebels who opposed the monarchy and the imperial forces. Seamen learned from local newspapers that Turkey had declared war on Russia, while Anglo-French ships entered the Bosphorus Strait. In the port of Shanghai stood the French and British ships. And although Voin Andreevich exchanged courtesy visits with their captains, he had to expect any surprises. Therefore, the sailor hurried out to the sea. Sails were fixed and put in rigging in order already on the move.
December 31 The long-awaited negotiations with the Japanese authorities began on December 1853. While they were walking, Admiral Putyatin twice sent the schooner to Shanghai to collect letters from Europe. During the second voyage, the Vostok collided with the British reconnaissance ship at the mouth of the Yangtze and was forced to break away from the chase. After the mail delivery, Evfimy Vasilyevich sent Rimsky-Korsakov to the Imperial Harbor, located in the Tatar Strait. In this place in the summer of 1853, the Russian military post was founded. From the settlers arrived Warrior Andreevich heard dark stories about the first wintering. People suffered scurvy and hunger, dozens of people died. The reason lay in the harsh local climate, lack of food, especially fresh, dampness of hastily erected buildings.
In the summer of 1954, the schooner Vostok made another trip to Petrovsky winter hut. Then the captain was ordered to get to the Nicholas post and take Nikolai Muravyev on board. Voin Andreevich delivered a famous statesman to Ayan, from where the governor-general sent a courier to St. Petersburg with letters about the situation in the Far East. After that, Rimsky-Korsakov was ordered to deliver mail to Petropavlovsk-on-Kamchatka, the then main naval base of Russia in the Pacific.
The assignment was very dangerous, since it was already clear to all about the inevitability of a clash with the forces of the hostile coalition at the eastern borders of our country. In addition, the voyage of the Vostok was extremely unsuccessful. The ship got into a strong storm, began to flow in the bottom. By sheer chance, the schooner managed to meet the transport “Baikal”, which received a warning about the presence of an enemy squadron near Petropavlovsk-on-Kamchatka and was heading to Bolsheretsk. Rimsky-Korsakov decided to give him all the Kamchatka mail with a request to transfer it to the local police officer.
The “East” was forced to stand near the island of Paramushir in order to close up the flow, which is increasing with each passing hour. A gap, which allowed water to pass through, was formed between the outer padding and the screw shaft. The position of the ship has become threatening. The three pumps on the schooner were not enough to manage to pump out the water arriving in the hold. The whole team had to take on the buckets. The first attempts to cope with the leak were unsuccessful. Kilev ship was impossible - on the islands of the northern group of the Kuril Islands there was no forest, which could fit in the backwaters. After consulting with the officers, Voin Andreevich decided to caulk the gap. Initially, this plan seemed impracticable. It was impossible to crawl to the shaft in a tight space under the lower floor. However, “need will teach everything,” as Voin Andreevich wrote in his diaries. He instructed to cut a square foot hatch in his cabin. Through him a puny boy, an assistant driver made his way to the shaft hole. With its help, the shaft was wrapped with an oiled linen tape, which was then pressed to the gap with boarding peaks. After that, the flow almost stopped, and the Vostok managed to get to Bolsheretsk.
On the third day of the berth, Vasily Zavoyko, a drug officer from Kamchatka Governor, arrived with a mail on board the ship. A living witness to the defense of the city of Petropavlovsk, exhausted and haggard after a difficult ride through the passes and mountain trails, told the last news. On August 17, Anglo-French ships appeared in front of the city - three frigates, one steamer, a corvette and a brig. In addition to the six coastal defense batteries installed on the coastal hills, the entrance to the bay was protected only by two Russian ships - the Dvina transport and the Aurora frigate. The enemy had more than threefold superiority in artillery barrels, a large margin in human power. But the defenders of the port of Petropavlovsk well remembered the commandment of Suvorov - "to fight not by number, but by skill." Russian sailors, soldiers and volunteer citizens showed unprecedented heroism, defeating and dropping enemy troops in the sea. On the tenth day the Allied squadron left Avacha Bay.
In Bolsheretsk, Rimsky-Korsakov smashed his leg badly, but did not exempt himself from the duty of the watch. On the watch, he sat, lowering his wounded leg into the tub and wrapping it in his overcoat so that the wound would not be wet by the salty spray of the waves. The schooner itself also needed major repairs. However, it had to be postponed until returning to the mouth of the Amur. The return trip was more successful, having withstood a storm with a strong snowstorm at the northern tip of Sakhalin, the Vostok 10 of October anchored near Petrovsky winter quarters. The schooner was pulled ashore, and all winter, Voin Andreevich was engaged in repairing it and preparing for future navigation, and also accommodating the crew on the coast, providing food for people. In his spare time, the restless navigator liked to take long walks. He hunted grouse, kept his notes, and ran on skis. Very soon he had to make sure that the best mode of transport in local conditions was sled dogs. Having acquired his own dog sledding, Voin Andreevich traveled to the Nicholas post to his friend and like-minded person, Gennady Nevelsky. In his letters home he noted: “What can I tell you about our desert? The void here is not so terrible, thanks to a sufficient number of the public .... There was a home performance three times at Christmas time, and on New Year's Eve Nevelsky held a costume ball, in which all who were here, without exception, participated. I chose the clothes of a medieval bourgeois, I ordered it myself and composed it ... "
Spring 1855 of the year brought new alarms. A repeated attack by the Allied squadron on Petropavlovsk was expected, in connection with which Zavoiko fought the coastal batteries and took the entire garrison and supplies from the city. The defense of the Amur mouth and the approaches to it acquired a dominant significance. It was necessary to prepare for the battle at Petrovsky winter hut. Rimsky-Korsakov regularly trained sailors in rifle shooting. All ships of the Kamchatka squadron, including the heavy frigate Aurora, successfully reached Nikolayevsk through the fairway explored by the schooner Vostok. All attempts of the Anglo-French ships to find them were unsuccessful. The enemy landed in De-Kastri and Ayan, blocked the northern entrances to the Amur estuary, but did not dare to enter the mouth.
All summer 1855 "Vostok" performed small sending orders, it was time for interesting research, and Voin Andreevich began to think about returning to the Baltic. However, in the fall, the schooner was stuck in shallow water, exploring one of the Amur side canals from the Mariinsky Lent. The crew was forced to winter, waiting for spring high water. In the middle of winter, Zavoiko developed a plan for a new campaign in the DeKastri Bay area. Lieutenant Colonel Seslavin was assigned to command a detachment of a thousand people, and Rimsky-Korsakov was appointed his deputy. Zavoyko argued that "the specific conditions of the battle with the landing of the enemy will require knowledge of the naval service .... Dear Warrior Andreevich can hand over the schooner to someone else. ” In the next letter to the parents, the sailor was ironic about the fact that he already had to be both a house builder and a shipbuilder: “It was not enough that I was made a cavalryman or made a veterinarian, or perhaps a deacon, as people knowledgeable in such crafts , in the edges of these few. "
However, Vasily Zavoyko’s plan to strengthen De-Kastri disappeared by itself - at the end of winter the news of a truce came, and soon a heavy Paris treaty was signed. The service of Rimsky-Korsakov in the Far East came to an end, at the beginning of the summer of 1856, he surrendered the schooner and, taking command of the corvette "Olivuz", received an order to sail to Kronstadt. However, before that he managed to fulfill his cherished dream - to climb five hundred versts up the Amur from the Mariinsky Lent. He swam in the "native" boat, along with three civilian rowers. On the banks of the great river, he saw thickets of wild grapes, Manchurian walnut, lush meadows, and endless rows of excellent timber. Voin Andreevich wrote: “The river is deep, huge, wide, grateful in all respects. In the future, Russia will have a lot of benefits from it ... ”.
From the Far East, the navigator returned as a second-rank captain, commander of an outdated, but still good combat ship with a crew of two hundred. The new order did not have to wait long - soon Rimsky-Korsakov entered the disposal of Captain First Rank K.N. Posyet, who was commissioned to sail on the "Olivuz" to Japan and exchange ratification instruments of the Simodos Treaty.
Konstantin Nikolaevich was a good friend of Voin Andreevich, who valued him for his calm and balanced character, education and efficiency. On the way to the Japanese islands, the ship entered the Imperial Harbor, in which the sailors bitterly found the buildings of the Konstantinovsky post burned to the ground, built at the cost of tremendous effort and deprivation. And it happened after the conclusion of peace. Warrior Andreevich, who always appreciated the labor of soldiers and sailors, was indignant at the sight of this senseless and barbaric act committed by British pirates.
October 27 "Olivuts" anchored in the bay Shimoda. During his stay in Japan, the inquisitive sailor made a number of walks along the road leading deep into the island: "I saw the local population, Japanese life without the slightest foreign impurity, in the form in which it existed for hundreds of years." And soon after the exchange of letters, Posiet and Rimsky-Korsakov broke up. The corvette’s backward voyage was unfortunate. The first misfortune occurred after the replenishment of food stocks in Hong Kong. Voin Andreevich wrote about this incident: “The Chinese baker put arsenic in the bread. Everyone who tried the bread at breakfast was poisoned, including me. Fortunately, there was so much poison that vomiting showed up before digestion began, and very soon everyone was given a medical allowance. So there was not a single death, everyone got off with only a long illness. ” In his report, Rimsky-Korsakov tried to explain the reasons for the sabotage by the hatred of the Chinese towards the British, which, unfortunately, was equally transferred to all white Europeans. The second misfortune overtook the crew "Olivutsy" in the Indian Ocean. An epidemic of dysentery broke out among the sailors. Voin Andreevich took the most decisive measures to stop the spread of a debilitating disease. However, over three dozen sailors were out of service, many of them died.
The corvette arrived in Kronstadt in the middle of September 1857. The top naval authorities greeted the captain with honor. Obvious were his services to Russia, in the fleet Rimsky-Korsakov deservedly enjoyed the reputation of a dashing commander and an excellent sailor. In November, 1857, he managed to go to his native Tikhvin, to please elderly parents with stories and strange gifts. A few days later the sailor returned to Kronstadt, taking up sketches about the Far East. These articles, published in 1858 in three editions of the Maritime Collection, are invaluable evidence of the feat of the Russian sailors, and in particular, the crew of the schooner Vostok.
During the next navigation, Voin Andreevich was appointed commander of the Artillery Training Ship "Prokhor", remaining in this position until 1860. According to the records of his colleagues, he managed to organize an excellent training of gun commanders, who then transferred to other ships of the Baltic Fleet.
In the winter of 1860, the captain of the first rank, Rimsky-Korsakov, became the chief of staff of the commander of the port of Kronstadt. Voin Andreevich perfectly understood that the sailing fleet came to an end and a new era of the steam fleet began, putting forward very different demands. Therefore, he ardently advocated the need for progressive change, in particular, equipping the naval forces with advanced equipment and upgrading the naval education system. A year later, Rimsky-Korsakov headed the Naval Cadet Corps, the main educational institution of the Russian fleet. By the way, nothing has changed in this place since he left it. In the corridors, as before, the Cadets fought with mortal combat, the strong tormented the weak, and the teaching of general subjects left much to be desired.
The new director successfully implemented a number of unique reforms - the institute of non-commissioned officers was abolished, not only the sons of hereditary nobles, but also the children of civilian officials and senior officers, regardless of their origin, were taken into the corps, the system of constant supervision was replaced with the principles of trust in pupils . Relying on his richest life experience, Rimsky-Korsakov sought to give future officers systematic and serious knowledge, both general and special. On his initiative, practice on the construction of lifeboats and instrumental surveys were added to the curriculum. Interesting documents have been preserved confirming that the principal of the school conducted excursions to the museums of the Mining Institute, the gas plant, the workshops of the St. Petersburg port, the Pulkovo Observatory, the exhibitions of the Academy of Arts for the pupils. Voin Andreevich paid the most serious attention to the level of training of teachers and tutors of the corps, forcing them to constantly expand their horizons and knowledge. The director himself led the training squadron voyages during the summer months, seeking to cultivate in the Cadets a love for the sea and navy, a sense of camaraderie and collectivism, initiative and resourcefulness, physical endurance. Rimsky-Korsakov paid much attention to popularization of Russian maritime traditions. He was the organizer of public lectures on the history of our fleet, initiated the installation of a monument to the heroes of Gangutsky battle, knocked out funds for the construction of a monument to Krusenstern in front of the school building on the Neva embankment.
In the last years of his life, Rimsky-Korsakov, who had already become vice-admiral, was seriously ill. Perhaps these were the consequences of Hong Kong poisoning, and perhaps affected by the enormous physical exertion that fell on the sailor’s share during his Far Eastern voyages. In the autumn of 1871, his health deteriorated, he was given a leave, and he went to Italy for treatment. Together with him went the wife Maria Fedorovna and three small children. On November 4 in the city of Pisa, Warrior Andreevich died unexpectedly from heart paralysis. He was 49 years old. Lieutenant Nikolai Andreevich Rimsky-Korsakov, the future great composer, went to Italy for the body of his deceased brother - his good mentor and elder friend. The remains of the 30 explorer 1871, delivered by rail, were buried in Smolensk cemetery in St. Petersburg.
According to the book by Lev Mikhailovich Demin "Through the fogs and storms."