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BERING Vitus Jonassen

( Brave, experienced, strong-willed sailor)

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Biography BERING Vitus Jonassen
(1681-1741)
Behring was a true sea wolf - a courageous, experienced, strong-willed sailor and commander. After older brother Sven young Dane entered the naval service and 20 years had already visited the shores of the West Indies. In 1703 he was in Amsterdam, where the admiral KI Cruys recruiting sailors for the future fleet of Russia. Behring was immediately taken to the Russian service, and soon distinguished himself as a young but experienced captain

. In early 1725 Tsar Peter the Great set Bering led expedition, . which were instructed to go to Kamchatka, . to build a ship and they move north along the mainland and the 'search, . where land onaya consorted with America ', . then, . get to the nearest European colonies in America, or met any European ship, . announce its opening,
. What? No one can say for sure that meant the emperor. Clearly, the Bering was mandated to establish the existence of a strait that separates America from Asia, or the Isthmus, which, like the Suez or Panama, connect the continents. But it is equally important that Peter punished Bering pave a direct sea route to America from the Russian possessions in the Pacific - one is 'doomed' to the geographical discoveries of world significance, since no European has not gone this route.

First Kamchatka Expedition completed the task of Peter, although at the cost of immense difficulties. They lay in wait already on land - in Siberia, which cross from the Urals to the Pacific Ocean was much harder than to sail on uncharted seas. For a half years the expedition reached only to Yakutsk. Here Behring learned of his predecessors, including S. Dezhnev, who for 60 years until he passed through the strait between Asia and America. But like a true explorer, Behring was around to make sure he.

Only at the end of 1726 he was with the detachment, of which nearly died on the way from starvation, had reached the ocean, more precisely - the city of Okhotsk Sea of Okhotsk. We had to drag along on sledges and sledges huge baggage: to build and equip the ship, almost all had to carry from Europe.

And in the summer of 1727 Behring came to the bridge of the ship 'Fortune'. But the maiden voyage was a failure - just passing the Okhotsk Sea, the ship returned to flow, it had to leave and the dog sled 800 miles to get to Nizhnekamchatsk, standing right on the Pacific coast. It repeated the Bering and Okhotsk epic built sloop 'Saint Gabriel'. On it, in July 1728 he went to sea.

It was a great moment in the life of 47-year-old captain: 'The desire of my youth - a journey - turned' - he wrote later to relatives in Denmark. And then talked about what we had seen all the pioneers, starting with Henry the Navigator and Columbus - are not known to the world of the island, the natives, not having had the idea of Shih-wheel. Like most travelers, Behring was a romantic at heart, and the sweetness of the opening of unknown lands, a thirst for knowledge led him farther and farther from familiar territory.

. Coldly greeted sea 'of the con-Gabriel': frequent storms, weeks and blew a head wind, constantly walking the rain, mist hung over the sea
. August 10 - in a rare sunny day - the sailors have seen the huge island, which is called the Bering named the St. Lawrence.

But the main event happened later - August 15, 1728, when the sailors noticed that the continent, along which they persevere to the north, fell far astern. This could mean only one thing, the ship entered the strait that separates America from Asia. Tasks Pet-ra Great was done, although Bering never saw the coast of Alaska - prevented the fog.

Bering ordered to turn back. In Nizhnekamchatsk travelers were forced to spend the winter. Only in the spring of 1729-th, first circling sea Kamchatka, they reached Okhotsk. Long and painful return to St. Petersburg ended only a year.

However Bering awaited new swimming. In 1732, he led the Second Kamchatka expedition, . that in 1740 he founded the city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and the packet-boat 'St. Peter' and 'St. Paul' explored the coast of Alaska, . and opened the Aleutian Islands and was first entered into the sea, . later called the Bering.,

. Organization of the expedition was occupied by a complex and troublesome
. Everything needed to build itself from the house in which to live, and ending with the ship on which to sail. Behring, a stern, domineering and quarrelsome, had many enemies, constantly make complaints against him in the capital. But the commander has consistently and adamantly did business. He was already middle-aged and quite able to request the resignation or transfer to a quiet place. But such was the nature of the sea wolf. He settled in Siberia for a long time, brought his wife to Okhotsk and in 1741 went into its last voyage, to finally reach the desired goal - to enter the land of Alaska. But this did not happen. Continuous storms and thick fog, inaccurate maps, and constant danger to sit on the reefs - all this prevented conception. Behring, as the whole team 'St Peter', painfully ill with scurvy. When the ship arrived to the unknown island, the commander moved on a stretcher to the shore and especially for him dug dug. In it, he died from disease and cold, as 31 of his companion of 76 people who went on an expedition. Later, the commander opened the island, which became his tomb, was named Bering Island, and the entire archipelago - Commander Islands.


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BERING Vitus Jonassen, photo, biography
BERING Vitus Jonassen, photo, biography BERING Vitus Jonassen  Brave, experienced, strong-willed sailor, photo, biography
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