- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
133

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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UP THE YENISEI
133
migrations up and down the river, and wc used often
to say that wc had to keep the same course as the
sturgeon.
As I have pointed out before, this channel follows
the east bank of the river for a great part of its length.
No detailed chart of the river, giving its depth across
its whole bed, is in existence. Admiral Vilkitsky has
certainly drawn an interesting large-scale chart of the
Yenisei from Yeniseisk to Golchikha, on which the
channel is marked ; but it is not a chart that anyone
who did not know the river could sail by. There was
no difficulty in our case ; wc had a good pilot on board,
who knew all the banks in the river and promised that,
however drunk he might be, he would take us safely to
Yeniseisk.
But the trouble was that there was no one on board
who could relieve him, and as he could not very well
take the wheel for the whole twenty-four hours, wc were
obliged to anchor every evening. But he knew it was
important for us to get on quickly, and therefore did
not give himself much time for sleep. As soon as day
light came, about five or six o’clock, he was back at his
post, and he never left the wheel till evening.
As wc approached the south end of the channel
between the islands there was a good deal of head-sea,
and the little Omul began to pitch as if she were in the
open sea. Vostrotin told me this bit of the river was
that which the captains of steamboats were most afraid
of on the voyage up and down the Yenisei. There
might be so much sea here that they thought it was not
very safe to tow lighters.
When wc have settled down more and stowed away
some of our things, I dåre say the boat will be habitable
enough ; but at present she is a little crowded, and the
thought that perhaps we may have three weeks of her

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