- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
14

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH SIBERIA
Tuesday, August 5. At last, on the evening of
August 5, we were able to weigh anchor and steer to the
north through Tromso Sound, which in its grey and
rainy mood did not smile its sweetest on our departure.
A solitary motor-boat came bearing down on us and
put about, steered by a lady, who stood up, tall and
slender, and waved a farewell to us with her free
hand.
Wednesday, August 6. To send off our last mail
we went next day into Honnings-våg; and at ten
o’clock at night we stood out to sea from there to the
eastward. A course was made direct for Vaigach.
Our idea was to attempt a passage through Yugor
Strait or Yugorsky Shar.
The weather was overcast and there was a head
wind, from the north-east and east, with a good deal of
head sea, so that often enough the Correct took small
breakers over her bow, but she worked her way to the
eastward at about seven knots.
There are not many people about in that sea. The
only vessel we saw was a four-masted White Sea trader
the first day after leaving Honnings-våg.
After that the only living creatures to be seen above
the billowy, leaden-grey surface were kittiwakes and
fulmars, and now and then a dark skua darting down
in its hawk-like flight upon a kittiwake that had just
made a catch in the sea. The plaintive cry of the
pursued bird rends the stillness of the sea. It heaves
and plunges in a wildly rocking flight through the air ;
and then it has to drop its catch. The skua darts
down, lightly as a swallow, and snaps it up before it
reaches the water—and then flies calmly on its way.
Friday, August 8. There were still many flights of
kittiwakes to be seen on the second day out from
Honnings-vag. This was in about latitude 70° 45’ N.,
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