The Eastern Arctic Seas Encyclopedia

2016 Edition
| Editors: Igor S. Zonn, Andrey G. Kostianoy, Aleksandr V. Semenov

Sarychev, Gavriil (Gavrila) Andreevich (1763–1831)

Reference work entry

Sarychev, Gavriil (Gavrila) Andreevich (1763–1831) – was a Russian admiral (1830), scholar, geographer and hydrographer, explorer of the northeastern part of the Pacific Ocean and the Baltic Sea, an honorable member of St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences, and writer. In 1778 graduated from Sea Cadet Corps. Navigated in the Baltic, the White Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea. In 1785 in the rank of lieutenant, he was assigned to the “secret” northeast geographical and astronomical expedition of Joseph Billings. Traveling through Siberia he arrived to Okhotsk and then to Verkhnekolymsk. In 1787 he went down the River Kolyma to its mouth on the ship “Yasashna” that was built there. He tried to leave the Kolyma mouth to the East Siberian Sea and went round the Chukotka Peninsula, but heavy ice prevented him from doing that, leaving the way only to Cape Baranov Kamen. On the shore S. found and excavated a camp of “shelags” (a tribe of the Kolyma Region), collected their household items, and determined settlement borders. These were the first ever excavations of the Arctic region ancient artifacts. Returned to Okhotsk and in spring 1789 described common mouth of the Okhota and Kukhtuy rivers, drawn the plan of the Okhotsk Port, and described and mapped out the seashore to the west from Okhotsk to Aldoma. In autumn went from Okhotsk to Petropavlovsk onboard the ship “Slava Rossiyi” under the command of Billings. On the way to the Kuril Islands, discovered an unknown rocky island, named Ostrov Svyatogo Iony (Saint Jonas’ Island). In 1790 onboard the ship “Slava Rossiyi,” took part in hydrographic works near the Aleutian Islands and reached the Kodiak Island (the Gulf of Alaska). Basing on his visual observation (from the sea), S. described islands Amchitka and Amlya. Explored gulfs of islands Unalaska and Kodiak, examined Chugach Bay, and returned to Petropavlovsk. In 1791 he took the same ship to the Unalaska Island, from where he went to St. Matthew Island. Explored St. Lawrence Island and then the eastern shore of the Bering Strait and the Gvozdev Islands. Near Chukotka coast, in St. Lawrence Bay, headed the expedition and returned to Unalaska.

In the beginning of 1792, S. within 40 days explored the shore (except the southern side) of Unalaska on the kayak accompanied by Aleuts and compiled its first description. In June both ships returned to Petropavlovsk. In autumn he took the boat “Cherniy Orel” to return to Okhotsk. In July 1793 started to Yakutsk and returned to St. Petersburg in April 1794, having crossed Siberia. In 1802 S. headed hydrographic research in the Baltic Sea, which continued until 1817. In 1803 S. was awarded the rank of rear admiral and became a member of the Admiralty. As a result of many years of exploration in the Baltic Sea, S. published an atlas and sailing directions. Since 1809 S. was an honorable member of St. Petersburg Academy of Science. S. is the author of the first geographic Atlas of the North-Western America, Northeastern Asia and waters dividing them (1826). In 1827 in the course of reorganization of the naval ministry appointed chief hydrographer of General Maritime Headquarters.

S’s main works are as follows: Journey of Captain Sarychev’s Fleet in the Northeastern Part of Siberia, the Arctic Sea and the Eastern Ocean During Eight Years with Geographical and Astronomical Sea Expedition, Headed by Fleet Captain Billings from 1785 to 1793 (1802); Journey of Captain Billings through Chukotka Land from the Bering Strait to Nizhniy Kolyma stockade town… (1811); Sea Atlas of all the Baltic Sea with the Gulf of Finland and Kattegat… (1812); Directions for Safe Navigation in the Gulf of Finland, the Baltic Sea and Kattegat (1817); and Geodesic and Hydrographic Instructions on How to Take Measurement of Landscapes, Sea Depths, Gulfs, Rivers, and Mark all of the Above on Sea Maps (1825).

A mountain on the Novaya Zemlya Islands in the Barents Sea, a cape and a strait in the Bering Sea, a volcano in the Okhotsk Sea, and an island in the Chukchi Sea are named after S..

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