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

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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a few stunted larches scattered here and there, with
long intervals between. They might be about 10 feet
high ; but they were old, 100 to 150 years or so.
Some 60 miles across the tundra here from the
Yenisei there are rich coal measures ; the coal is as
good as the best that comes from Cardiff, it is said.
They have been known for many years, but no regular
working has yet been started. Five hundred tons of
coal were mined in 1905, and carried with reindeer
over the tundra to Dudinka, where they were used by
the Governmenfs great expedition and proved to be
excellent, we heard.
There can be no doubt that these coal measures
might become of great importance in the future. To
lay a railway line over the 60 miles to Dudinka could
offer no difficulty, in spite of the soil being eternaliy
frozen. Any quantity of coal could then be brought
down to the Yenisei, which would make a great difference
to steamship traffic on this great river.
But we had no more time to stay here ; we went
on and anchored 10 versts higher up, by Kabatskiy
Island (i.e. Tavern Island). We had a good deal of
sea there during the night, and the cable was straining
all the time. There was a stiff breeze from the north
east and it set up a nasty short sea, which rose against
the stream. It was strange that here, again, in the
Yenisei we should be afraid of dragging our anchor,
and should have such difficulty in tinding a decently
sheltered harbour.
Saturday, September 6. We proceeded in the morn
ing through the same monotonous flat landscape. The
river winds along with the same flat banks on both sides.
At the bottom is the shelving sandy foreshore, often with
pebbles, then comes a steep slope, formed of sand and
gravel, and then above that the sharp line, where grass

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