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(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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September 15 the fleet sailed back through the Yugor
Strait on its way home.
In 1596 Willem Barentsz attempted to penetrate to the
eastward round the north of Novaya Zemlya, but was
surrounded by ice at Ijs Haven on the north coast in
latitude 76° 7’ N. at the end of August. They had to
winter there, and abandoned the ship next summer,
making for home in their boats. Barentsz died of scurvy
on the way.
The sea-trade between Northern Russia and the estuaries
of the Obi and Yenisei received a fresh impetus from the
foundation, in 1601, of the fortified town of Mangaséya
on the lower course of the Tas, a little above the head
of the Gulf of Tas, which is a branch of the Gulf of
Obi. Voyages between the White Sea and the Obi and
Mangaséya were frequently undertaken in boats of light
draught along the coast to Mutnaya Bay on the west
coast of Yamal, in about latitude 70° 20’ N. There they
ascended the Mutnaya River (i.e. the muddy river) to
the three lakes of Nei-te, which communicate with one
another. From there the boats were drawn across the
low, narrow neck of land to Lake Yambu-to, whence
they followed the Selyonaya (i.e. green) River, also called
(in Samoyede) the Sho-yaga, to the Gulf of Obi, and thence
through the Gulf of Tas up the River Tas to Mangaséya.
There must at times have been a very active trade by
this route. On August 10, 1611, some Englishmen met
at the mouth of the Pechora no fewer than twenty-six
Russian smacks which had been bound for Mangaséya,
but had been forced to return that year by ice.
It looks as though the above-mentioned route by the
rivers across Yamal was not the only one that was known,
but that the way round the north, past White Island, was
also well understood, though perhaps it was not so often
used. Even if the navigators did not succeed in pene
trating every year through the Kara Sea to the Obi and
Mangaséya, and even if the voyage took two years,
through their håving to winter, this trade must have
flourished and was certainly very lucrative. The skins

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