- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
84

(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
only two or three feet of water under the keel, so that
when the tide went down a little later, the Correct lay
aground. And that made the fifth time on this trip ;
and it was not to be the last time either, as on the
homeward voyage she went aground twice in the
Yenisei estuary.
The land about here was perfectly low ; there was
not a ridge or a mound to be seen anywhere. To the
east of us, on the other side of the wide stretch of water,
we could see the mainland on the right bank of the
Yenisei. It was comparatively high, with steep slopes
down to the river, but perfectly flat above. The bound
less naked tundra extended inland from the bank. The
island to the south of which we lay was quite low and
flat, like all these Brekhovskie Islands. A large part
of it is under water during the great floods of spring and
early summer (June).
As soon as we had anchored, the Turukhansk brought
up two of the lighters, one on each side of the Correct,
so that the transhipment might begin.
On board one of the lighters were two camels from
Mongolia, besides two bears from the Siberian forests
(a third bear had been killed on the way by these two),
a wolf (another one had hanged himself, and a third
had escaped on the way north), and a roebuck. These
animals were going to Europe to be sold. In addition
to them, Christensen had a pointer bitch in pup tied
up on deck, so there was a regular menagerie.
It was strange in this cold, naked, desolate land to
come suddenly upon these camels standing there
patiently, with their oriental phlegm, on the deck of
the big iron lighter from Hamburg. The characteristic
eternal smile on the mouths of these animals, so unlike
everything around us, their humps of fat and the soft
wool with its warm tawny colour were enough to make
84

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