- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
78

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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Full resolution (JPEG) - On this page / på denna sida - IV. Open sea, eastward to the Yenisei

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THROUGH SIBERIA
dawning, and after we had bought a couple of poods of
fresh fish, they put us aboard again.
The big man steered. Again I could not help looking
at him, as he sat in the stern of the boat and managed
the paddle with his superabundant strength and his
calm eyes. What was it that made life worth living to
him ? Could it be the solitude here, or was it rather
something that his dreamy blue eyes saw far away in
the future ?
Then we said good-bye to them, weighed anchor and
went on to the south. We had to take soundings
incessantly ; the depth varied from 12 fathoms to
5J fathoms. At 8 o’clock the lead gave 5 fathoms. It
varied between 5 and 6j, but then the ship took the
ground and stuck fast. The shock was so slight that I
lay in my bunk and knew nothing about it, until the
steward came and announced that it was half-past eight
and we were stuck again.
It was clear that we had come too close to the west
bank for fear of the Yakovleva Kosså (i.e. Yakovleva
sandbank) in the middle of the river. We were fast
forward under the bow. After going ahead and astern
with the engines, and thus working the ship backwards
and forwards, we slipped off again at 11 o’clock.
We then steered more easterly at half-speed to find
the deep channel ; but a quarter of an hour later we
struck again. It took us an hour to get off.
We were still scarcely more than a quarter of the
river’s width from the west bank—not much more than
two miles from it—but the channel ought to lic nearer
this side here, where the river has a bend to the right.
Now we begin to miss the motor-boat Vostrotin wanted to
buy ; it might have gone on ahead and tåken soundings.
The mate was sent in the lifeboat to sound to the east
ward, and soon found deeper water, 10 fathoms. That
78

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