Gvozdev Mikhail Spiridonovich*

(1700 or 1704 - after 1759)


Military surveyor, cartographer and navigator, discoverer of North-West America, researcher of the Sea of Okhotsk.

The son of a soldier of the Life Guards Semenov regiment. In 1716–1719 studied at the Moscow School of Mathematics and Navigation, in 1719–1721 - at the St. Petersburg Maritime Academy. After carrying out in 1721–1725 the inventory of the rivers near Novgorod was returned to the academy. Upon its completion in 1727, he was assigned to the expedition of A. Shestakov - D. Pavlutsky. In the autumn of 1730 he arrived in Kamchatka and explored the rivers of the western and eastern banks of the peninsula.

Having survived the famine winter of 1731/32, he led a sea voyage to the Great Land (to Alaska), commanding the Saint Gabriel. In early August 1732, sailed from the mouth of Kamchatka to Cape Dezhnev. Then he headed west, completed the discovery of the islands of Diomede, and for the first time in history crossed from west to east the Bering Strait.

On the first of September (the new style) the “Saint Gabriel” approached the most western point of North America - Cape Prince of Wales, but due to strong waves and wind, the detachment could not land on the coast. Gvozdyev examined and plotted about 300 kilometers of the coast of the Seward Peninsula on an exact map. In October, a ship with a broken mast and a leak in the hold returned to the mouth of Kamchatka. According to a participant in the voyage I. Skurikhin, the bot went southeast for five days along the wooded coast, and then turned to the southwest and at 168° W discovered the island (King).

Before the arrival of the new commander (winter of 1733), Gvozdyov ruled the Kamchatka jails. In 1735, under a false denunciation, a convoy was sent to Tobolsk. Three years - until the establishment of innocence - was detained. In 1739 he shot Okhotsk. In 1741 he was appointed surveyor in the Second Kamchatka Expedition.   During the voyage on a dubel-boat (on a sailing-rowing vessel) in September-October 1741, he described about 800 kilometers of the western coast of the Sea of ​​Okhotsk, in August 1742, with strong winds and thick fogs, described a small portion of the eastern coast of Sakhalin Island. In 1743 he made a map of the Bering Strait, for the first time corresponding to reality.

In 1744 he was transferred to Tomsk, served as a surveyor in the Admiralty team of the city. Later, he surveyed arable land and wooded lands of the Irkutsk province. In 1759 he resigned. The fate of Gvozdeva is unknown.

Islands (on modern maps of Diomede) in the middle part of the Bering Strait. In the middle of the XVIII century, the historian of Siberia G. Miller named.


·          - based on the pupil's polar encyclopedia "The Arctic is my home".


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