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Geographical Notes

    Naturevolume 20pages459460 (1879) | Download Citation



    THE news of the arrival of Prof. Nordenskjöld at Yokohama on the evening of September 2, will have been received with satisfaction by the whole civilised world. The long-looked for solution of the problem of the North-East Passage has thus been practically accomplished. After being imprisoned in the ice near the Tshuctshe settlement for 264 days, viz., from September 28, 1878, until July 18 last, the Vega was at last released, and passing the East Cape, Behring's Strait, on July 20, entered St. Lawrence Bay, which may be said to form part of the Pacific Ocean. Crossing to Port Clarence on the American coast, a short stay was made there, and then the Professor re-crossed to Komian, while all the time dredging operations were carefully made, the formation of the sea-bottom at this spot being particularly interesting on account of the meeting of currents from the Arctic and Pacific oceans. No doubt the Vega will bring home a rich collection of specimens. The voyage was then continued, and after touching at St. Lawrence Island, Prof. Nordenskjöld visited Behring's Island, off the east coast of Kamtchatka, where he received the first news from Europe through the resident agent of the Alaska Trading Company. It was here that the professor discovered the fossil remains of the gigantic marine animal Rhytina stelleri.1 On August 19 he left the island and continued his journey towards Japan. On the 31st the ship encountered a severe gale, during which the maintop was struck by lightning, which also slightly injured several of the crew. Without further accident the Vega anchored at Yokohama at 10.30 P.M. on the 2nd inst., where she will remain for a fortnight. No deaths took place on board since the vessel left Sweden last summer, and thus the high-minded liberality of Herr Dickson, of Gothenburg, who supplied the means for the spirited enterprise of Prof. Nordenskjöld, is by the complete success of the latter deservedly rewarded.

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