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21st June, 1900 started the expedition of Eduard Toll

Eduard TollOn the 21st of June, 1900 outstanding Russian Arctic explorer and geologist Eduard Toll went to the motor-sailing schooner "Dawn" from the banks of the Neva River in St. Petersburg to the Taimyr Peninsula.

The aim of the expedition was to study the Arctic Ocean, as well as ocean currents in the East Siberian and Kara seas and to research already discovered and mapped islands in this part of the Arctic. With a little luck, Toll expected to open a "big continent" (the legendary "Sannikov Land), in whose existence he believed. In the expedition took part a future Admiral Alexander Kolchak, then only a lieutenant.

Travel map was interesting. The expedition rounded Scandinavia and in July went to the Kola Peninsula and entered the harbor of Catherine's (now Polar), where the schooner was filled with coal. Also on the ship were loaded six dozen of sled dogs.

Further explorers move to the Taimyr. In May, 1902 they began for the sledge-boat transfer to the island Bennett in order to study its geological structure and then move to the south. Meanwhile, Kolchak was sent back to St. Petersburg to deliver scientific data already collected. In July 1902 Eduard Toll and his team of three people left the schooner. By his plan, the "Dawn" was supposed to come to the island Bennett later, after 2 months.

In mid-July, Eduard Toll with hunters Nicholas Diakonoff and Vasilii Gorokhh as well the astronomer Friedrich Seeberg were able in sled dogs to get to the Cape High on the island of New Siberia. Then they began to move around in canoes and in August reached the island Bennett.

Then began a fateful string of bad luck. Due to unfavorable ice conditions schooner "Dawn" has been seriously damaged and could not continue the voyage. In addition, Eduard Toll with three companions did not return by the agreed deadline. In this connection, the captain of the schooner Mathiesen decided to take a schooner in the harbor of Tiksi and run aground.

The Academy of Sciences has organized a new expedition headed by Lieutenant Kolchak to find the missing Eduard Toll. Only on 4th of August, 1903 a search expedition was able to get to the island Bennett, where it was possible to find diaries and maps of Toll, as well as a note, which indicated that the travelers went to the south on October, 26 1902 having surplus of provision only on two or three weeks. It finally became clear that Eduard Toll and his companions did not survive.

This Day in History 21-06-2013