Sarychev Gavriil Andreevich

(1763 - 30.07.(11.08).1831)


General Hydrograph, Admiral of the Imperial Navy, Minister of the Navy and member of the Admiralty College. Known as the polar explorer, the founder of polar archeology and the first Russian writer-marine painter. Honorary Member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences.

He was born in St. Petersburg in the family of an ensign of naval battalions, a puddle in Kronstadt.

The Sarychev family had seven children, but the story, in addition to Gabriel, kept only two names — the sister of Lyubov (in marriage, Bezobrazova) and the older brother Alexei (1760–1827), who graduated from the Sea Cadet Corps, later commanded the Black Sea Squadron Admiral and was a senator.

In 1778, as well as his elder brother, Gabriel graduated from the Naval Cadet Corps, after which he served as a midshipman in the Baltic. Participated in swimming in the North, Norwegian, White, Mediterranean Sea.

In 1785, with the rank of lieutenant, he was appointed commander of the Yasachnaya vessel to a geographical and astronomical expedition under the command of Joseph Billings. In total, the expedition consisted of 141 people, including lieutenants Robert Gall and Christian Bering, staff doctor Mikhail Robek, drawing master Luka Voronin, the "beastleader" and four musicians. The purpose of the expedition was to survey the northeastern part of Russia, determine the longitude and latitude of the mouth of the Kolyma River, map the Chukotka Peninsula and Cape East, as well as a multitude of sea islands up to the American coast and hydrographic survey of this area of the Pacific Ocean. All the newly discovered lands should be “appropriated to the Russian scepter,” and the native population should be treated “affectionately and friendly, instilling good thoughts about the Russians”.

On October 25, 1785, the expedition departed from St. Petersburg, and on March 27, 1786, Captain Sarychev was the first to arrive in Okhotsk. Billings and other satellites caught up with him only in July, after which, leaving Captain Gall to observe the construction of ships in Okhotsk, the expedition went to Kolyma. From the mouth they tried to pass by the Shelag and Chukot promontories, but without success. After that, Billings returned to wintering in Yakutsk and there he began to engage in barter with the local population for the money that he received from the treasury of the Irkutsk province. However, the Irkutsk and Kolyvan governor Jacobi did not pay attention to this deviation from the instructions of the Admiralty Board. The heavy ice situation of the following year did not allow Billings to go on two ships by sea from the mouth of the Kolyma to the Chukotka Peninsula and go around it. It was possible only to produce the first relatively accurate inventory of the coast between Kolyma and the island of Aion (300 kilometers). In the spring of 1788, Billings, together with Sarychev, discovered the tiny island of Iona in the Sea of Okhotsk, while another part of the team visited an unexplored mountainous country (the Udomy basin, the Aldan system) and collected the first information about the Yudomo-May plateau and the Dzhugdzhur ridge, and then filmed Kolyma.

Pel, who replaced Jacobi as governor, demanded from Billings a report on the money spent, whose evasive answer made him turn to the admiralty board. She in October 1789 sent a request to suspend the expedition "for the sake of cost reduction". But it was already too late - Billings left Okhotsk in September, having decided to go around Asia from the East. But he managed to swim only to the Gulf of Lawrence; confident of the Chukchi in the impossibility of swimming in the Arctic Ocean, he left this company. In the spring of 1790, a part of the Billings expedition explored the Kuriles, while he, commanding a vessel, sailed from Kamchatka to Kodiak Island, on the northern shore of Alaska Bay, examined part of the seashore, discovered and described several Aleutian islands. In the summer of 1791, Billings landed on the western coast of the Seward Peninsula (Alaska), and on August 13 in the Gulf of Lawrence transferred the command of the schooner "Glory of Russia" to Sarychev and set off by dry means to explore the Chukotka Peninsula.

After parting with Billings, the next day Sarychev went out to sea in the direction of the Unalashka Island, arrived there on August 29 and stayed for the winter. On September 2, the Black Eagle launch, under the command of Gall, who had become a lieutenant commander by that time, approached the island. As a senior with the rank of him, he took over the command of the schooner, losing the boat to Sarychev. On May 16, 1792 both ships set sail, and by June 19 they returned to Petropavlovsk. In 1794, the expedition returned to St. Petersburg.

The result of this research was the report “Captain Sarychev's fleet voyages in Eastern Siberia, the Arctic Sea and the Eastern Ocean for eight years, during the geographical and astronomical expedition of 1788–1793”. This report included not only geographical, but also meteorological, hydrographic, astronomical, ethnological, biological observations and terrain sketches. Sarychev also compiled geographical maps of the east coast and islands of the Bering Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk — more than a hundred years later, these maps were used almost unchanged in batches.

In 1799–1800, Sarychev commanded the 74-gun ship “Moscow”, in 1802–1806 he headed the Baltic Hydrographic Expedition, and from 1808 he led all hydrographic studies in Russia.

In 1809–1811, he participated in the Russian-Turkish war of 1806–1812, taking command of the squadron. In 1827, Sarychev was appointed chief commander and military governor of Kronstadt, in the same year he became the first and only hydrograph-general of the Main Naval Staff in the history of Russia, heading a special “Department” in the maritime ministry responsible for the preparation of nautical charts. It was also the time when the Naval Navigator Corps was established, whose chief was also considered to be a general hydrograph.

From April 21, 1829 to 1830 in the rank of Admiral Sarychev headed the Marine Ministry.

The last years of his life, Gavriil Andreevich worked on the history of Russian ports.

He died in St. Petersburg from cholera. He was buried at the now not preserved Vyborg cholera cemetery.

An island in the Chukchi Sea near the northwestern coast of the Seward Peninsula (Alaska).

Mountain on the shore of Krestovaya Bay on the west coast of the northern island of Novaya Zemlya. Named on September 4, 1821 by F.P. Litke.


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