- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
154

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH SIBERIA
TolPs expedition, and also with the search-party that
went to Bennett Island to look for traces of it. His
nåme was Nikiphor Alexéyevich Bégechev, and he was
staying here waiting for the winter to go to the Khåtanga
and Anåbara. He lived by hunting, and had several
times been eastward to the mouths of these two rivers.
He had also discovered a new island there, he said, in
latitude 74° N., and longitude 118° E., 3 minutes south
of Preobrasheniy Island (Transfiguration Island), which
was visited by Nordenskiold. The newly discovered
island was supposed to have an area of about 10,000
square versts (4400 square miles), and he thought there
were about 2000 square versts of coal. It is not quite
clear to me where this island can lic. In any case it
cannot be in the latitude and longitude he gave, as
that would be right out at sea, and moreover, we sailed
straight across it in the Fram on September 15, 1893.
His longitude must be altogether wrong, tåken from
old Russian charts; and Preobrasheniy Island, as
determined by Nordenskiold, lies in about latitude
74° 45’ N. (and longitude 113° E.). If the new island
lay 3 minutes south of this island, it would have to be
the peninsula the north-eastern point of which has
been given the nåme of Cape Preobrashenskoye on
Nordenskiold’s chart, and on which he has marked
"Hoga berg" ("high mountains"); to the south of it
is a wide bay called "Nordvik Bay." The man’s dis
covery then, may be the finding of a strait across the
peninsula from this bay to Khåtanga Bay, and there
is nothing extraordinary in that, as these coasts have
never been properly charted. But what is extraordinary
is that he should have found room for an island of 10,000
square versts ; the length of the island would then have
to be about a degree of latitude. The 2000 square versts
of coal are in themselves no trifle ; for this would corre
-154

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