First Kamchatka Expedition (1725–1730)
First Kamchatka Expedition (1725–1730) – In January 1725, Peter I prepared a special instruction for Vitus Bering before sending him to the expedition to study the northeast passage and, above all, to prove the existence of a strait between Asia and America. In addition to the chief of the expedition Vitus Bering, the crew included officers A.I. Chirikov, M.P. Shpanberg, and P.A. Chaplin and two surveyors – in all, approx. 70 people. After the construction of the ship “St. Gabriel” in Nizhnekamchatsk, in July 1728, the expedition sailed to Chukotka. Having passed the strait (Bering), they turned back, without seeing American shores. At the beginning of 1730, Vitus Bering handed the ship over to the military expedition used against the rebellious Chukchi. The conquest of the Chukchi failed, and the head of the expedition D.I. Pavlutski sent in 1732 sub-navigator I. Fedorov and surveyor M.S. Gvozdev onboard of “St. Gabriel” to examine the both shores of the strait and put it on the map, which was successfully done.
The first expedition conducted an instrumental survey of the coast from Cape Karaginskiy at the Kamchatka Peninsula to Cape Dezhnev, gave a description of currents and winds and the nature of the population, and discovered several islands. The expedition was a prelude to the Great Northern (Second Kamchatka) Expedition).