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(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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nevertheless, to be able to form an approximate opinion of what
the conditions will be. This may possibly be of great value to
this navigation in the future.
But the navigability of waters like those of the Kara Sea is,
of course, not merely dependent upon the quantity of ice, but
also on its spread and distribution in the sea, and in this respect
the direction and force of the winds and the movements of the
water are naturally of great importance. Even if in one
summer there is no great quantity of ice in the sea, unfavourable
winds may, of course, carry the ice down towards the straits,
for instance—the Kara Strait and the Yugor Strait—thus
rendering their passage very difficult, during part of the summer
in any case ; but in such years moderately easy progress is to
be expected in other parts of the sea.
The relative depths of the sea also have a bearing on the
movements of the water and the distribution of the ice. During
the voyage in the Correct, as also on former occasions, I believe
my experience to have shown that the ice in the Kara Sea, as
in the Arctic Ocean generally, often has a strong tendency to
remain over the shallow parts of the sea. The water has less
movement there, since the uneven bottom offers resistance, and
it is less easy for the wind to move the water and the ice. The
winter ice will, therefore usually lic longer where the sea is
shallow than over deeper parts.
As will appear from all that has been said above, the diffi
culties of navigation from Europe to the estuaries of the Yenisei
and Obi lic almost exclusively in the ice conditions in the Kara
Sea, between Novaya Zemlya and Yamal, and we must be pre
pared in some years to find the passage of this sea difficult,
occasionally very difficult, while the season during which
navigation is possible is always short. If it is desired to go
out and home in the shortest possible time, it may be tåken as
a general rule that ships should not leave Europe very early,
and in difficult years they should leave later than in favourable
ones. We may, perhaps reckon as an average time for the
commencement of navigation in the Kara Sea the latter half of
August, and in some years as late a time as the beginning of
September. As suggested above, it may be possible to form an
opinion some time in advance of the conditions that will prevail

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