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On 30th of June, 1648 Semyon Dezhnev went to see to discover the Bering Strait

On 30th of June, 1648 expedition of 90 people went out to see from the Kolyma on 7 ships and turned to the East. During their long trip a few of the vessels suffered shipwreck. Semyon Dezhnev successfully finished his distance and has become the first man who managed to get out into the Pacific Ocean from the Arctic Ocean in the whole history. He discovered the Bering Strait and proved Asia is not connected with the American continent.

The expedition lost their ships due to the storms in the see, which happened one after another. In September, 1648 only 3 of them made it to Chukotski Cape, what later was renamed (at present time it’s mapped as Cape Dezhnev). In the strait the sailors found 2 small islands. Only in 80 years an outstanding sailor Vitus Bering would reach the strait, what consequently was named after his name. The small islands would get the names Big Diomede Island (the Western one) and Little Diomede (the Eastern one). However, in XIX century the Western island would obtain the name after Ratmonov (in honor of the organizator of the first Russian cruise round the world. A map of Russia clearly demonstrates that now between these islands there is the state border between Russian and America.

Dezhnev crossed all the Bering Strait, dividing Chukotka from Alaska, from north to south whereas Vitus Bering sailed only in the Southern part.

Semyon Dezhnev was a Kazak chieftain, Russian sailor and pathfinder, an investigator of the Eastern and Nothern Siberia, born approximately in 1605. At first he served as a common Kazak in Tobolsk. For the period of 1636-1646 he disarmed the Yakuts. In 1641 Semyon Dezhnev switched to Yakut pit with its untouched alien tribes. In 1639-1640 he conquered indigenous duke Sahei. Maps of the Anadyr river-banks and maps of a part of the Anyuy are also Semyon Dezhnev’s achievement. Later on, in 1659-1668, Dezhnev carried out expeditions in lower courses of the rivers Lena, Olenyok, Vilyuy.

From 1664 up to 1665 Dezhnev managed to be in Moscow, where his work was highly rewarded. He was assigned to a rank of chieftain. The contribution of this remarkable investigator in development of cartography can hardly be underestimated. Not only important discoveries and maps came up in the world thanks for him but also interesting descriptions of the investigations in the most north-east point were created by him.

Such a figure as that common Russian man, who was distinguished by such a virile character and has made significant geographical discoveries, is kept in the history with care. On the 250th anniversary date of Semyon Dezhnev’s expeditions according to the Tsar’s order the Eastern cape was renamed by the Bering Cape.

If one has a map of Siberia, he will definitely find the Bering See bay, a village near the Amur, a chain of mountains and the cape of Chukots Peninsula, named after Semyon Ivanovich Dezhnev.

This Day in History 30-06-2012