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Dezhnev's ship

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Dezhnev's ship

Postby shipstamps » Sun Dec 07, 2008 8:16 am


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Two stamps commemorate the tercentenary of the discovery of the Bering Straits— which separate Siberia from Alaska —by the Cossack Semyon Dezhnev (Simon Deshnev) in 1648, 80 years before Bering sailed through them. Dezhnev left the mouth of the Kolyma River, Eastern Siberia, on June 20, 1648, in a shallow wooden vessel known as a kochi. The kochi was built without nails, had no hawsers worthy of the name and was provided with very primitive sails. It was intended for river use, the Cossacks having no navigating instruments of any kind, and must have leaked rather badly, necessitating baling, as there were no means of caulking the boat, pitch being unknown to the builders.
Dezhnev was born in Yakutsk province in the town of Ustyug, and the report of his memorable voyage was found in the archives of Yakutsk in 1736 by the celebrated German historian Gerhard Friedrich Muller, who gave a full account of it in one of his books. It appears that Dezhnev was a member of a party of Cossacks under the leadership of Fedor Alexeyev who were exploring Eastern Siberia in search of furs and walrus tusks. They sailed from the Kolyma in six kochi and headed eastwards, Dezhnev being in command of one of the boats, with six comrades. He relates how the expedition doubled the Great Stone Cape (Cape Dezhnev or East Cape), where two islands were sighted. He is obviously referring to the islands of St. Diomede and Qrogdev.
After rounding the cape (which is shown on the second stamp of the set) they encountered driving ice and gales which overwhelmed their primitive craft. All but Dezhnev's party perished. He and his men escaped drowning, but were wrecked on the Siberian shore South of the mouth of the River Anadyr. The country was barren, wood was unobtainable, and the party wandered forlornly for 10 weeks; how they managed to survive remains a mystery. Eventually they reached the Anadyr and following its banks came to a native settlement. This they attacked and subdued, razed the natives' homes and built their own zimovie, or fort, which they called Anadyrsk. Later they explored the river by the simple process of floating down it on logs, and struck lucky by discovering a sandbank on which lay a fortune in walrus ivory.
It was not until 14 years later that Dezhnev sent a report of his epic voyage to Yakutsk. Seventy-four years after Muller found the report and proclaimed Dezhnev's achievement to the world, becoming his champion as the first man to sail through the Bering Straits. While there have been no doubts about the authenticity of the document found at Yakutsk as being that of Dezhnev, many historians doubt the veracity of his account. The Soviet Post Office has been impartial on this issue, having previously issued two stamps to commemorate the voyage of Titus Bering through the straits.
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Re: Dezhnev's ship

Postby Anatol » Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:01 pm

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Expedition S. Dezhnev 1648.
Russia1990; 5k. Рostal envelope.
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Re: Dezhnev's ship

Postby Anatol » Thu Dec 20, 2018 2:28 pm

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Expedition S. Dezhnev 1648.
Russia1966;4k. Рostal envelope.
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