January 22, 2012 11:05
For the first time along the northern coast of Russia Northern Sea Route was in 1878-1879 Swedish polar explorer Nordenskiöld. Again, 33 years later, a similar voyage was to make Russian sailors, Lieutenant Georgi Lvovich Brusilov.
Beautiful "St. Anna"
True, but the courage and experience at sea Brusilov was nothing: neither the ship nor the money to organize the expedition. Came to the aid of his uncle, Admiral. In England, was purchased by the motor-sailing schooner — old, but still a solid and elegant ship "Pandora." Brusilov renamed the "Holy Anna."
Enterprising Lieutenant expected to be fishing along the way and to holds full production, arrived in Vladivostok. This is not only repaying the cost of the expedition, but also could bring considerable revenue.
About three weeks Beauty "St. Anna" was in St. Petersburg on the Neva River at the Nicholas Bridge, attracting worldwide attention. Finally July 28 (old style), 1912, she starred with pier and along the Neva and the Gulf of Finland in the Baltic Sea came heading Copenhagen.
The crew of "St. Anna" was, including the chief of the expedition, from 24 people.
Brusilov and assistant navigator Valerian Ivanovich was Albani. The expedition he came He had seen a sailor.
On "St. Anna" and one was a woman, 20-year-old Hermine A. Zhdanko, daughter of General Zhdanko known hydrograph. The vessel she acted as a nurse.
As the girl was in a polar expedition? Hermine came to St. Petersburg from Nakhichevan-on-Don, shortly before departing schooner came to escape after an illness in the new environment.
General Brusilov and Zhdanko were in long-term friendly relations. Not surprisingly, George L. suggested The term "ride" on the schooner around Scandinavia to Alexandrovsk (now Polar) in the Kola Bay of the Barents Sea.
A week before departure, "St. Anne" from St. Petersburg Hermine told his father in Nakhichevan that Brusilov invited her to the marine excursions that she "would like to do badly." The journey will take two or three weeks. You can go back by train.
"You, of course, just seem very wild — she wrote — but you think about it, why would, in fact, miss such a case, which, perhaps, will never be presented. Now the summer, so will not be cold, my health is much better …
Then they try to go to Vladivostok, but it's not my business. You put yourself in my shoes and tell me, do you yourself would not do it with pleasure? "
The father answered Mime (as named Hermine home) is not known, but it is safe to say, change the intent would be difficult. General determination of his daughter knew well and remembered how she quite young in the infamous Russian-Japanese war would go to the front, which she graduated from nursing school, specifically. Now she enthusiastically boarded snowy schooner, not knowing at what goes fateful voyage.
Up to Alexandrovsk (with stopovers in Copenhagen and Trondheim) were quite successful. But it turned out that the sickness would not be able to continue the voyage, several participants of the expedition, and need to be replaced. Moreover, the letters with ship ship's doctor. The last was especially bad. Learning of this, Hermine said firmly Brusilov that expedition will leave to remain aboard, if necessary, to provide medical care to seafarers.
Come what may
From a letter home, Hermine sent from the road, it is clear that its decision was not hasty, thoughtless, taken from the romantic impulses. No, she and before proved a reliable man and even indispensable. Brusilov in a letter reported by relatives as Hermine gave him the money, which he then desperately needed "to all payments and purchase, not discredit themselves and the expedition." On his decision to continue the voyage Hermine has informed the father and stepmother. "My dear, my dear daddy and mommy! — She wrote. — If you only knew how I was painful to decide on such a long separation from you. I just believe that you do not condemn me for it, I do like the conscience tells me. Believe me, for the love of adventure, I would not dare to upset you. " She described the difficulties that accompanied the expedition with her organization, the constant lack of funds and dishonest people, and then summing Brusilov. "I feel that I received as it should be, and there — come what may." As if sensing her tragic destiny, finish the letter with the words: "Farewell, my lovely, expensive-Gie! .. Forgive your Mima. " 1912 turned out to be extremely difficult in the Arctic. Already 20 years have not seen here as heavy ice. In Ugra Charest, the narrow strait between the mainland and the island of Vaigach, "St. Anna" for a short time to stop, then boldly entered the Kara Sea and moved on, weaving between the ice floes. It was not until the middle of October until the schooner was not solidly frozen into the ice in the field, which meant that winter. She is not afraid of the expedition. In the storerooms and the ship's hold enough of all kinds of food taken per half year. Evenings travelers gathered in the cozy fireplace.
"Hermine A. sitting" for the hostess "- recalled Albani, — and from us to keep up. Not a moment she regretted that the "link", as we said, with us. When we joked about it, she was angry in earnest. In the performance of his official duties "mistress" terribly embarrassed at first. Cost someone to turn to her with a request to pour the tea, she instantly blushed to the roots of the hair, embarrassed that she did not offer. " "St. Anna" together with the ice was moving to the north. First, it did not cause concern. Everyone was certain that far schooner not carry away. Summer comes, and it will be released. But things turned out differently. The spring of 1913. The schooner was already north of Novaya Zemlya in the Arctic Ocean, and went unconscious drift toward the pole. The situation became threatening. Gradually the ship lost its handsome appearance. Dwindling supplies of food, running out of fuel. Many members of the crew began scurvy. Particularly long and scary sick George L.. Its exit Hermine A., tolerate and whims, and strange rage of his unhealthy chief. Of course, thanks to her all patients survived. In the summer of 1913 appeared in the distance and open water open water. But a huge block of ice in which frozen into "St. Anna" was strong. And, although the range was visible water, began to prepare for the second winter. Unfortunately, the friendly relations that prevailed on board, began to deteriorate. Caused a serious rift between the Brusilov and Albanov. The latter asked to be relieved of his duties as a navigator and became a passenger, who lived alone in his cabin.
By this time, "St. Anna" has already passed the islands of Franz Josef Land. What was waiting on the schooner? Almost certainly be able to say that in time it will carry over to the west, but it will happen until the fall of 1915. Expect to hunt here in the desert the polar basin, was not necessary. Long before the release of the ship out of the ice would start a real hunger. At the end of January 1914 Brusilov Albanov asked permission to leave the ship. He wanted to get to a couple of Franz Josef Land, covered over 100 miles. Suddenly Albanov decided to join 13 others. Brusilov not mind. Remaining was enough to control the ship. Navigating through the drifting ice hummocks and open water was incredibly difficult. Earth, Cape Flora, was achieved only two of them — the most Albanov and sailor Alexander Konrad. All of their companions died on the way. And then a miracle happened: soon come to Cape ship "St. Foka" expedition Georgy Sedov, who died on the way to the North Pole. This vessel Albani and Conrad returned home. And that's what happened with the "Saint Anne" and the remaining crew aboard, including a nurse, is not known so far. There is an ancient belief that the woman on the ship — unfortunately. However unlikely this belief is true of Hermine Zhdanko, completely fulfill his duty. "We all loved and adored our doctor — spoke of Hermine Alexandrovna sailor Conrad. — It was a strong woman, the idol of the entire crew. "