Varnek Alexander Ivanovich 
(15(27).06.1858–10.06.1930)


An outstanding Russian hydrograph, Arctic explorer. 
Born in Petersburg. In the family of Varneks, who lived on Vasilyevsky Island, were artists, architects, literary critic. His grandfather was a famous portrait painter, Professor Emeritus of the Academy of Fine Arts Alexander G. Varnek (1782–1843, father was an academician of architecture I.A. Varnek, who built houses, hospitals and churches in the city on the Neva. In 1878, Varnek graduated from the Maritime College and A midshipman began serving in the Prince Pozharsky frigate, which was sailing abroad, and a year later he was promoted to midshipman. 
During the 1880–1882 Varnek studied at the Maritime Academy, which he graduated from the first category and was seconded to the Hydrographic Department. 
In subsequent years, he made three round-the-world trips on the Oprichnik clipper under the command of Captain 2nd Rank Ivashintsev (1883–1886), on the frigate Minin under the command of Captain 1st Rank Birrilev (1890-1892), on a gunboat “Thundering” under the command of Captain 2nd Rank Roguli (1897–1898), participated in the voyages of the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Finland. For a major contribution to geographical science in 1894, the
Imperial Russian Geographical Society awarded Varnek a silver medal in the department of mathematical and physical geography. 
In 1898–1901 in the rank of Captain 2nd Rank, Varnek was an assistant to the Chief of the Arctic Ocean Hydrographic Expedition A.I.Vilkitsky, and in 1902 he replaced him in this post. Under his leadership, the "Pakhtusov" steamer explored the southwestern part of the Kara Sea and the shore of Vaigach Island. The composition of the crew "Pakhtusov" in different years included P.A. Brovtsyn, K.P. Mordovin, N.V. Morozov, I.S. Sergeev, A.V. Yanov. 
Sergeyev’s ground group, which in 1902 surveyed the northern coast of Vaigach Island, at that time included Lieutenant Admiralty  G.Ya. Sedov. 
In 1902, Varnek presented new geographical names in the Kara Gates Strait for approval by the
Imperial Russian Geographical Society: Brovtsyna Island, Kozlyanin Island, Mikhailov Island, Morozov Island, Mordovina Island, Polilova Island, Chernyshev Island, Shokalsky Island, Sergeev Peninsula, Yanov Island, Ragozin Island,  Novosiltsev Island, Sedov Bay. 
After 1904, Varnek, moving away from direct participation in Arctic research, was engaged in educational, organizational and research work. Over the years, he was an inspector at the classes of the Alexander Lyceum, a member of a commission dealing with the organization of hydrographic research and the creation of projects for Arctic ships, a member of the Maritime Academy and a scientific council on hydrography. In 1904 he was elected a member of the commission A.I. Vilkitsky on the development of the Northern Sea Route. The commission also included outstanding researchers of the Arctic I.S. Sergeev, F.A. Mathisen, N.N. Kolomeitsev, Yu.M. Shokalsky, A.A. Borisov, L.L. Breitfuss and others. In the project developed by the commission, large-scale hydrographic, hydrometeorological and ice surveys were proposed by three ship groups at three sites simultaneously covering the entire Northern Sea Route. The implementation of the project had to be postponed due to the start of the Russian-Japanese war. After it was completed, in 1906 a new commission was formed, headed by Admiral V.P. Verkhovsky (later replaced by AI Vilkitsky). It includes such eminent scientists and naval figures as A.N. Krylov , A.V. Kolchak, F.K. Drizhenko, I.P. Tolmachev, I.B. SpindlerThe main result of the commission’s work was the organization of the famous Arctic Ocean hydrographic expedition of 1910–1915. 
In 1912, Varnek left military service with the rank of lieutenant general for the Admiralty and entered the Northern Shipping Company, in 1914–1916. worked in the central administration of the Marine Ministry. 
In October 1917, the last, tragic stage in the life of Varnek began. He left Petersburg and lived on the estate of Moskalevka, and then in Tuapse, suffering all the burdens of the Civil War in the Caucasus. After the final establishment of Soviet power, Varnek decided without any hesitation about emigration. At any time, the royal general could be destroyed "without trial". 
In March 1920, he and his family evacuated to the Crimea, in October from Sevastopol went to Constantinople, then to Messina in Sicily, in 1924 moved to France, lived in Lyon and Grenoble, and the last two years in the “Russian House” in the town of Sen -Genev de Bois, near Paris, where he died. He was buried at the local Russian cemetery. 
Outstanding services of Varnek to Russia are marked by numerous awards, among which are the orders of St. Stanislav 1 , 2 and 3 degrees, St. Anne 2 and 3 degrees, St. Vladimir 3 and 4 degrees and others.

 

Varnek Bay

(from the archive of P.V. Wittenburg)


Cape on the west coast of the northern island of Novaya Zemlya. Called by G.Ya. Sedov in 1913. 
Cape on the southern shore of the bay Tyrtov of Chekin Bay on the Kara coast of the northern island of Novaya Zemlya. Named in 1901 by A.A. Borisov.

Bay on the southwestern shore of the island Vaigach. First described by a hydrographic expedition under the leadership of A.I. Vilkitsky. The name was approved by the Imperial Russian Geographical Society in 1902. The bay got the name of the village, which appeared under the Soviet regime.

 

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