- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
60

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH SIBERIA
and 35*6° in the water. The depth kept between 7
and 12 fathoms.
At 6.30 p.m. we saw some ice ahead, so the log had
to be hauled in. The depth then decreased abruptly
to 5 fathoms, and varied between 5 and 6 fathoms.
Thus we found once more that the ice lay over shallow
banks.
We kept going with constant soundings, and were
soon north of Vilkitsky Island, which lies between the
estuaries of the Obi and the Yenisei. We met a dense
strip of ice, and had to steer farther north for an hour
and a half, before we could again stand more to the
eastward, and make a course straight for the northern
point of the sandbank, to the north of Sibiriakov
Island.
At midnight, when we had made about 22 miles
on this course, we met another good-sized strip of ice,
and had to steer more to the northward for an hour
or so.
Saturday, August 23. At three in the morning we
met large masses of ice, and as they looked like extend
ing far to the north, we steered to the south and south
west in the hope of getting round to the southward of
the ice, and then taking the channel on the west side
of Sibiriakov Island into the Yenisei.
But there was a lot of ice, and various courses
were steered southward among the floes, until the fair
way west of Sibiriakov Island was found to be entirely
closed. On the extreme west, near the land on the
other side, there was perhaps some open water, but it
would have been too shallow to go that way.
At seven in the morning they sighted Sibiriakov
Island, and as the ice barred the way on the south-east,
they had to hold on along the island to get round the
north of it. But suddenly the water shallowred to 4
60

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