Saturday, June 18, 2011

Chelyuskin: Drifting, sinking, rescue (data entry sample)

Drifting from Chukchi Sea to Bering Straight

From 1933-09-23 to 1933-11-04 at location, Initially the ship was drifting eastward, reaching the Bering Straight. Only a few miles separated it from open water, but at that point the drift changed direction towards North-West.

More drifting, and the end of the ship

From 1933-11-04 to 1934-02-13 at location, The ship drifted for another three months, until it was crushed by the ice packs near the island of Kolyuchin, and sank two hours later. The crew had been prepared for this outcome, and managed to unload all the necessary supplies, including bricks and lumber to build temporary dwellings. They built and rebuilt their makeshift airstrip on ice thirteen times before they were rescued.

First rescue

From 1934-03-04 to 1934-03-05 at location, The ship had left Murmansk with 112 people on board. Eight of them disembarked at Cape Chelyuskin, to work at the observatory there. There was an addition: one of the land surveyors on board traveled with his pregnant wife who gave birth to a baby girl as the ship was passing the Kara Sea; the girl was named Karina. There was also a loss: a man was squashed to death by the shifting cargo as the ship was going underwater. 104 people remained on ice. The first aircraft to reach them took 12, eight women and two children (one of them a baby).

Amphibian departure

From 1934-04-02 to 1934-04-03 at location, Chelyuskin traveled with a small amphibian plane. Its pilot and mechanic flew the plane approximately 150km to the village of Vankarem, shortly before the comple evacuation.

Complete evacuation

From 1934-04-07 to 1934-04-13 at location, All the remaining people were flown from their ice settlement to Vankarem. The head of the expedition, Otto Schmidt, fell gravely ill and was immediately taken to an American hospital in Alaska. Fifty three men were flown to the larger villag of Uelen where there was and is a sea port. The rest walked almost 300 miles from Vankarem to Uelen.


Chelyuskin: construction to ice-pack capture (data entry sample)

Boat built

From 1933-03-11 to 1933-03-12 at location Steamship Chelyuskin, named after the 18th century Russian explorer, was built for the Soviet government by the famous Danish shipyard Burmeister and Wain (B&W, Copenhagen). It was classified by Lloyd as "+100 A1 strengthened for navigation in ice."

From Copenhagen to Leningrad

From 1933-06-03 to 1933-06-05 at location, Soon after its maiden voyage on May 6, the ship sailed to Leningrad, where the expedition was to originate. The head of the expedition was Otto Yuliyevich Shmidt, and the ship's captain was V. I. Voronin.

Leningrad to Murmansk via Copenhagen

From 1933-07-16 to 1933-07-24 at location, The first leg of the expedition was from Leningrad to Copenhagen, to correct minor defects discovered in testing. From there, the ship continued to Murmansk.

Murmansk to Cape Chelyuskin

From 1933-08-02 to 1933-09-01 at location, First ice was encountered after sailing out of the Matochkin Straight into the Kara Sea. Helped by an ice-breaker, the ship managed to get through solid ice and continue the voyange on its own, reaching Cape Chelyuskin on September 1.

Cape Chelyuskin to Chukchi Sea

From 1933-09-01 to 1933-09-23 at location, Continuing its journey, the ship reached Chukchi Sea where it was caught in solid ice packs.