Pakhtusov Peter Kuzmich 

Hydrograph, navigator, an outstanding explorer of the Barents, White and Kara Seas, New Earth. 
Born in Kronstadt. His father was a retired 13th grade skipper, a native of the Vologda province, where he returned to reside upon leaving.Pakhtusov’s childhood passed there. After the death of the father, the mother and son moved to Arkhangelsk, where in 1808 the boy was admitted to the Arkhangelsk Military Orphan School. He studied very successfully, despite the fact that the family was in poverty, and he had to give a lot of time and effort to help his mother. Due to extreme poverty, in order to buy books and teaching aids, he was forced to collect chips in the admiralty and sell them or exchange them for writing paper. As a boy, Pakhtusov was extremely brave and strong. In his own small boat, which he got from the money he received from selling chips, he went hunting and fishing alone, often got into storms, spent nights away from the coast. These trips early taught him to the sea, developed strength, accustomed to difficulties and hardships. 
Noticing a capable, physically strong and diligent boy, out of years, the authorities transferred him in 1816 to the Kronstadt Navigation School, where for three years he mastered navigation science, mastered physics, mathematics, and geography. During one of the training voyages, the ship was wrecked. Together with the rescued sailors Pakhtusov was in Copenhagen. 
After graduating from the Pakhtusov School in 1817–1819 sailed from Kronstadt to the shores of France and Spain. In 1820 he successfully passed the final exams and received the title of navigator assistant non-commissioned officer class. In 1821–1826 as a navigator assistant participated in the expeditions of I.N. Ivanov, who made an inventory of the southern coast of the Barents Sea from the Pechora River to the Kanin Peninsula. In 1828–1831 in the rank of conductor, and then the ensign of the Naval Navigator Corps, participated in the White Sea expedition M.F. Reineke. 
Pakhtusov’s cherished dream was the desire to make a voyage to Novaya Zemlya and describe its eastern shore, in those years, especially after the expeditions of A.P.Lazarev and F.P. Litke, considered unreachable. He drafted the study of the east coast and sent him to St. Petersburg to the Hydrographic Department. The project of Pakhtusov assumed the use of only karbasov (at the same time, the project of I.A. Berezhnykh was considered using karbas and a large number of deer) with a team of 10 people and food for half a year. Pakhtusov's project was approved “as the simplest”, but, as is often the case, the implementation was postponed until better times. However, Pakhtusov did not give up. He managed to find patrons who are willing to give money. They turned out to be P. Klokov, Counselor of the Northern District of Ship Woods, and Archangel Merchant V. Brandt. 
Pakhtusov was happy: “The fulfillment of my long-cherished desire delighted me. The cares and the physical inevitability of gathering on such a long journey seemed easy to me. I felt healthier and more fun than ever”.  He himself developed a draft of the vessel. The money released was enough only for the construction of a single-masted karbas, whose length was 12.7 meters, width 4.3 meters, draft 1.8 meters. The deck did not close the middle part of the ship, it was replaced by tarpaulins. The ability to swim on a similar shell in the open, arctic sea at the moment looks incredible. 
On August 1, 1832  the Carbas, called the "Novaya Zemlya", left Arkhangelsk, having 10 people on board. Having endured the most severe storm, in ten days we reached Novaya Zemlya. Began a hydrographic description of the southern coast of Novaya Zemlya, moving to the east. Weather and ice conditions were getting worse, but Pakhtusov did not want to return. For 19 days about 35 kilometers were laid on the map. The short northern summer was ending, and it was clear that wintering was ahead. “Frequent failures in the inventory of fogs, rains and most of the ice made our position unbearable for me. The idea that, despite the early time, we would have to spend the winter without seeing the eastern shore, I was extremely worried”.  An old industrialist hut was found and put in order on the shore. In general, the wintering was successful, thanks to a well-thought-out diet and an active lifestyle. During the wintering period, Pakhtusov conducted regular meteorological observations, which were the first on Novaya Zemlya. In the second half of March, the expedition resumed hydrographic work. Having made a two-week hike, we managed to describe over 130 kilometers of the eastern coast of the southern island. 
In July  the Carbass could begin to move on. Under difficult conditions, overcoming ice jams, we managed to plot the entire east coast of the southern island of Novaya Zemlya from the Kara Gates to Matochkin Shar. 
Realizing that they cannot survive the second wintering in a row, Pakhtusov decides to interrupt work and return to Arkhangelsk through Matochkin Shar. The way home was exceptionally difficult. In the Barents Sea, a battered ship fell into a violent storm. When trying to hit the beach, the carbas was thrown several times onto stones, from which it was possible to film at the cost of incredible efforts. In the end, when the storm subsided, they entered the mouth of the Pechora River and deposited the ship for storage to industrialists. Pakhtusov left the team to rest in Pustozersk, and after establishing a sleigh with the materials he left for Arkhangelsk, where, as it turned out, he had long been considered dead. 
In Arkhangelsk  Pakhtusov prepared a report on the expedition, which was preceded by his famous words: “I will tell you how it was, and you will judge as you please”. And all judged. The results of the Pakhtusov expedition received the highest rating, they talked about it everywhere, the hydrographic department was now ready to give him any help. While the question was settled in instances, Pakhtusov was engaged in self-education: he studied mineralogy, botany, zoology, visited the kunstkamera, and did not intend to restrict himself in subsequent voyages to a simple inventory of the shores. 
The second expedition was equipped much better than the first, but this time Klokov took the lion's share of the costs. Pakhtusov’s instruction instructed to describe the eastern coast of the northern island, “... not yet seen before”, and also try to go as far as possible to the east and north of Cape Desire, to see “... are there any unknown islands yet in this direction”. Great hopes were placed on him: “Your zeal for the inventory of the eastern coast of the southern island of Novaya Zemlya is assured that the expedition entrusted to you now will be crowned with the desired success”. 
Expeditions gave the  schooner "Krotov"and the  karbas "Kazakov" under the command of A.K. Tsivolka. 
On August 5, 1834 the ships left Arkhangelsk and headed for the western entrance to the Strait Matochkin Shar, where arrived in late August. The travelers stopped by ice decided to winter. The ships were unloaded, dragged ashore in a sheltered place and housing was built from the fin and the remnants of old log huts. Life during the wintering season was subject to a strict regime with the thought-out organization of food, work and rest. Due to this, it was possible to avoid diseases of scurvy. 
In March 1835 Pakhtusov conducted a geodesic survey and an inventory of the southern coast of Matochkin Shar on ice, and Tsivolka described 160 kilometers of the eastern coast of Novaya Zemlya. 
In July Matochkin Shar cleared of ice, but access to the Kara Sea was closed. Pakhtusov decided to go to the Barents Sea on the karbas "Kazakov"  and reach the eastern coast of Novaya Zemlya, rounding it from the north. However, in the area of Berh Island off the northwestern coast  the karbas was crushed by ice. The crew escaped and was taken away by an industrialist who accidentally approached the wintering of the expedition in Matochkin Shar. 
During the catastrophe  Pakhtusov, drenched in icy water, had a bad cold, but nothing could make him stop research. Hurrying to do as much as possible, this indomitable person, already seriously ill, on the other karbas passed Matochkin Shar and described the eastern coast of Novaya Zemlya to almost 75°N. Further the way to the north was blocked by solid ice. Only here Pakhtusov decided to turn back. 
Returning to Arkhangelsk in October, he began to write a report on the work done, but he did not have time to fully complete it. The exorbitant labors and deprivations he endured for nearly 900 days of arctic expeditions undermined the once mighty organism. Cold disease has intensified, turned into nervous fever. Being always "of an extremely calm and patient disposition, he became extremely irritable". Despite the special cares and attention of doctors, the disease has completed its work. All beloved Peter Kuzmich Pakhtusov died on November 7, still young, full of plans and aspirations. With deserved honors, he was buried in the fence of the Cathedral Church of the Solombala cemetery in Arkhangelsk. On the grave is a monument of hewn granite, on which is depicted a sailing vessel with the inscription: “Navigators' corps, second lieutenant and cavalier, Peter Kuzmich Pakhtusov. He died in 1835 November 7 days. From the genus of 36 years. From the work suffered in campaigns and d ... o ... ". In the 1990s  the cross disappeared. 
In 2013  at the initiative of the head of the Central Test Site of the Russian Federation on Novaya Zemlya, Andrei Sinitsyn and the mayor of Arkhangelsk, Viktor Pavlenko, the monument was restored from photographs and the cross was restored.


Grave P.K. Pakhtusov

(picture of 1950 by Yu.P. Borodin)

The report of Prince Menshikov on Pakhtusov’s last expedition ended with the words: “At the end of the expedition, Pakhtusov, exhausted by these difficult campaigns, fell ill and died. He left his family in poverty, which does not have the right to a pension under the general charter, because Pakhtusov had not served the statutory period; but as for such campaigns and discoveries officers were always retired even in the service, the maritime authorities, taking into account that this officer died prematurely from the consequences of the work he had transferred in the service, he considers to enter with the idea of ​​assigning his wife his pension, especially as in the statute, extraordinary cases allow exceptions”.  Against the last lines on the report, by the hand of His Majesty, it is written: "To give a full pension". 
In 1866  with funds raised by navigators, he erected a monument in Kronstadt in front of the maritime club building. On a high pedestal is a bronze figure of a naval officer who holds an unfolded map of the New Earth. The inscription on the pedestal: “P.K. Pakhtusov, the researcher of Novaya Zemlya".


Pakhtusov Monument in Kronstadt


Pakhtusov fixed the names of about 100 geographical objects on Novaya Zemlya. These are the bays of Abrosimov, Brandt, Klokov, Reineke, Schubert, the capes of Villamov, Gall, Vishnevsky, Demidov Island in the Pakhtusov Bay, islands Krapivin in the  Kara Gate Strait (conductor Nikolai Mikhailovich Krapivin, satellite and Pakhtusov's assistant in the expedition of 1832-1833. In 1930 the Soviet hydrographs named the bay in the south of the Kabany Nos peninsula on the southern coast of Novaya Zemlya in honor of N.M. Krapivin in Pakhtusov Bay off the southern coast of Novaya Zemlya (Lieutenant Alexander G. Kotelnikov served in 1827 with Pakhtusov in the brig “Lapominka”, which carried out the inventory of the White Sea), Shatilov  Island (midshipman Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Shatilov, who served in the brig "Ketty" in 1825, who carried out the inventory of the White Sea) and others. “I gave the names to distinctive places by the names of persons with whom fate brought me to the service, and to whose attention I owe eternal appreciation”. 
A group of islands in Tsivolki Bay off the east coast of the northern island of Novaya Zemlya. Opened by Pakhtusov in 1835, named by captain F. Schepetov in 1934. 
A group of islands in the Nordensheld archipelago. Named Russian Polar expedition in 1901. 
The island is in the group of Pakhtusov islands off the eastern coast of the northern island of Novaya Zemlya, the largest in this group. Named by F. Schepetov in 1934. It should be said that initially in this group of islands by the name of Pakhtusov   V.A. Rusanov   in 1910, he called another island, which is now called Tsivolki Island. On the modern island of Pakhtusov in 1934, the village of Pakhtusov was organized from the hydrographic vessel "Lomonosov". 
An island in the group of Pakhtusov islands in the Nordenskiöld archipelago. Named by Russian Polar Expedition. 
Mountains on the island of West Svalbard. 
Lake in the south of the southern island of Novaya Zemlya. 
The strait separating the island of Berha from the west coast of the northern island of Novaya Zemlya. Named in 1913 by G.Ya. Sedov. 
Bay on the southern coast of New Earth. The name appeared in the 1930s.


Return to the main page