- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
148

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH SIBERIA
bank of the river at Levinski Pesdk (i.e., Levin’s sand),
where the captain and crew were to buy fish for salting
for the winter. They were mostly Russians who lived
here, in a few mud-huts on the slopes above the long,
flat sandy shore. They were at that moment engaged
in fishing with seines, several boats’ crews of them.
The fishing is done in this way. A man stays on
shore and holds a long line made fast to one end of the
seine, while the boat rows out as far as the line will reach ;
then they begin to east the seine as the boat rows along
the shore down stream. When they come to the end of
the seine, they row to land as fast as they can with the
line that is made fast to the lower end ; and then the
thing is to haul both ends ashore as quickly as possible.
It is hard work, and they generally wear broad belts of
birch-bark round their waists and pull with them. When
the middle of the net is coming near the shore, one of
them wades out to see that it comes in properly and the
fish do not get away. They caught some fish, mostly
muksun, in the casts made while we were there ; but it
was nothing very great.
On the whole they were not very well satisfied with
the fishing this year. They had caught some seld a
few days before, and it promised well, they thought,
until three belugas came blowing up the river ; then the
fish fell off again. Here we met with the same super
stition that it is the whale or the beluga that drives the
fish to land and up the river, but may also drive them
out again. These belugas were still above here, they
thought, as they had not seen them go out again. In
any case, it is interesting to know that the beluga goes
so far up the river. The ringed seal is said often to go
as far up as they.
Here we saw an unusually large and powerful
sledge-dog. In size he was something like a small
148

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