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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Expedition scientists stashed away in the Taymyr pasta and barley


At the end of July on the Taymyr Peninsula, to the Cape Depot, landed an unusual landing. In the zone of permafrost scientists brought to bookmark different products and materials to continue the experiment begun in 1900, the Russian Explorer Eduard Toll. In the framework of the polar expedition, the traveler laid a number of grocery depot. One of the warehouses who have not managed to take advantage of scientist who were discovered by public expedition of Dmitry Shparo in 1973. Withdrawn a year later, soup with meat and porridge, biscuits, chocolate and tea, “wintered” in ‘ 74, has lost none of its properties.

Near the historical warehouse it was decided to lay modern products. New tabs and notches were made in the 1980, 2004, 2010. This year took a new stage of scientific and practical expedition organized by the Adventure club with the participation of the Federal Agency for state reserves and thirteen research institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Having been on the Taimyr Peninsula, special correspondent of “MK” has learned, as the benefit to use the natural cold of the Arctic.


photo: Svetlana Finds

The place where Eduard toll laid products in 1900, has become a monument.

Cape Depot with the historical tab get four days. First, nearly two days were going by train to Vorkuta, but then the same fly by helicopter Mi-8 of the Department of aviation of the Federal security service of Russia, with stops to refuel at Cape Stone, Khatanga and Dudinka overnight.

On two sides we have more tons of cargo. We carry a generator, fuel, camp equipment, personal items and Taimyr “stash” — samples of different products and materials which will be laid in permafrost at different periods of storage.

Over the short summer Taimyr filled with green paint. On top of the Peninsula is like a patchwork quilt. Squares thawed tundra interspersed with lakes ovals. Down and then you can see herds of wild deer.

For Khatanga on the slopes of the hills there is snow. Approaching the mountains Byrranga, changing a height of 2750 meters. Feel the ears pop. Below — a cluster of rocks — a real stone “rivers” and “seas”. Martian landscape. For local folks, Dolganov, it is a “dead country” — they never came with wandering on the foothills…

All felt the approach of the Arctic ocean. The sky becomes leaden, flying in the dense fog. Passing low over the Gulf of Middendorf, landing on the edge of the rocky shore.

Breaking a total of 2140 km, the aces put the “spinner” exactly about the post, which marked the warehouse of toll.


photo: Svetlana Finds

The icy wind nearly knocks us down.

In 2004, the Bay was Packed with ice, and now float only a few ice — our leader, head of Department all-Russian research Institute of food biotechnology Vladimir Ledenev, who’s been involved in all previous expeditions.

The camp is broken right on the shore of the Kara sea, which the sailors called ice bag. To this day it is considered the cold sea Land.

— And here is the “frogmen”, — joked one of the members of the expedition, showing two seals, which, surfacing, curiously watching our movements.

Choosing a place for the tents, dig in the sand deep purple and colorless seaweed. Any of the tapes you can pick up and chew. And salt is not necessary!

The tundra scattered tiny Arctic poppies and then on the edge of the ocean lies the ice. To get from summer to winter, is enough to make one step.

Someone knocks: “the Lost world. Ago, during the ice age…” the Nature is the same, which was a hundred, a thousand years ago.

Helicopters circled over the Strait, go to the “point”. We are left alone. To Cape Chelyuskin, where the frontier and the weather station is 353 km from the village of Dixon — 808.

Putting the camp, go to the memorial sign, where a team of polar toll for Parking in the Bay in 1900 laid the research for winter dog sledding grocery warehouse.

Post–fin, standing at the base of the pile of stones banked. In fact, this is not a Cairn is a landmark warehouse, and the historic monument polar explorers-pioneers.

In the gray haze on the horizon, the outlines of the island Ladolam and Islands Rykachev. Each of our expedition, standing on the hill, is silent about his…

Baron Eduard toll, going through the Northern seas to the East on the schooner “Zarya”, was trying to find the legendary Sannikov Land. Died in 1902, returning from Bennett island to the island of New Siberia.

In his book, the researcher pointed out the place where were laid the warehouse. Benchmarks were estimated: the Northern Cape near the island of Observations (as used to be called Ladolam). The height of 5 meters above sea level, the hole marked with a wooden cross.


photo: Svetlana Finds
The shelf life of products in the permafrost can be unlimited.

Grocery depot toll was looking for at the time chief engineer Dickson hydrobase Artemy Divines. In 1961, hydrographs, following on ATVs to Cape Chelyuskin via Cape Depot, I noticed a vertical column, but the time to approach him was gone.

The stock managed to find the Eastern group of the public of the expedition of “Komsomolskaya Pravda” in 1973.

— The tree trunk of driftwood found Vladimir Vladimirov, when by accident walked away from the camp, — says Vladimir Ledenev, who was then included in the Central search team. — The inscription on the log was difficult to read. Vladimir showed ingenuity, applied to the fin white paper, moved it simple with a soft pencil and “shoot” the inscription: “Depot “dawn” 1900″.

Group, and open warehouse toll has brought to Moscow a small amount of bread crumbs and sealed in a tin box oatmeal.

The following year, the members of the expedition Dmitry Shparo, Minimaria of the USSR and State pulled out telescope warehouse chocolate, sugar, tea, matches, and canned for the troops — soup with meat and porridge. On the banks read: “the Factory of canned food F. Aziber in St. Petersburg. Year built — 1900”. In the box in two layers laying of 48 shiny cans, which was interspersed with buckwheat husks. They looked like canned food put in the box yesterday. And the taste was excellent…

34 banks in insulating containers were sent to Moscow. The remaining 14 jars were placed in an aluminum flask and left for further storage.

Also in 1974, in the permafrost was laid down today at the time the warehouse: six sets according to the 23 products of the food industry of the USSR. This concentrates the first and second dishes, canned goods, cereals, biscuits, chocolate, tea… They had to be taken for research in 1980, 2000, 2050.

Depot toll was partially removed and partially filled. Scientific experiment continued. Since then, experts in the food industry visited the Cape Depot three times. In 2000, the expedition did not take place due to transport problems. Scientists went to the Taimyr Peninsula in 2004, and then in 2010.

Tab 2004 in addition to various products have entered the Russian vodka the top three grades, cooked on the alcohol of the highest purification. When six years later it was withdrawn from the permafrost, it was found that its mild flavor has only improved.


photo: Svetlana Finds

“One to go”

Our bookmark in 2016 is very extensive. In the scientific-practical expedition involves 13 research institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

In the headquarters tent experts-industry workers laid out bags products and materials. Soon they will be hidden in aluminum cans in the permafrost, and take them then in 2025 and in 2050.

All-Russian scientific research Institute of Rosrezerv storage provides two aluminum cans with food and industrial raw materials. In “nest egg” for the first time will fall barley, peas, white beans, pasta from durum wheat, olive oil and energy nutrition protein, amino acids, creatine. Seriously replenished the seed Bank. Will also be laid down for storage in the permafrost fleece, rubber, cotton, machine oil.

Institute of food biotechnology prepares tab in the samples with yeast, fungal, bacterial cultures. VNII dairy industry — the freeze-dried starter cultures and bacterial concentrates. Research Institute of the meat industry besides a variety of canned product provides blood and blood products — food albumin.

Also Taimyr replenished warehouse space and baby food will be fed bread, starch and gluten, vitamin preparations, biological food additives, army individual diets.

Forming a tab, go to explore the Peninsula. In one of the nearby coves we find brought water wrecks with antique wrought iron nails, sealed the barrel with diesel fuel, pieces of tar and… fresh bear tracks.

Prompt: “From the camp to leave. One does not walk”. We have two shotguns — pump action and hunting. Plus manual martika-flare gun, pepper sprays, alarms and horn.

Set the night on duty. Our men bear patrol in pairs, for 1.5 hours. The benefit is the polar night. Importantly, no fog.

The owner of these places not long to wait. Appears the next day on the hill next to the camp. Seeing us, stands up to intimidation on his hind legs. The head of the beast on a two-meter height, the spectacle is not for the faint of heart.

Accustomed to cod hummocks, bear sluggish response to the shots in the air. On the coast, polar bears are no competitors, they rightfully lead the food chain of the Arctic.

For the predator we — seals, the object of hunting. To remain stationary, like the pinnipeds, it is impossible. Escape is also impossible.

About how to shoot to kill, can not be considered. Polar bears listed in the Red book. The male part of our expedition, shouting, whistling, stamping feet, swinging arms, rifles, staves, aggressive, goes straight to the beast… And the predator retreats.

But in the morning returned to the excavation from the Bay. Feeling food in cans, pulls the pit tent.

I grab for the gun. To the side of the beast flying rubber bullets. He’s not running away, but only lazily recedes. Moving away of 30 meters, lies on the hill, letting him know who was boss.

As the bear came to the warehouse of toll, we decide to call him Tolik.

Working on opening a warehouse to stop as the weather worsens. Shovels taken ordinary employees and Directors of institutes. In the expedition are all equal.

Scientists remove a layer of soil, then take out the stones, which served as a roof of the warehouse. You have to work knee-deep in mud and… under the supervision of a Fraction.

Guns all the time ready. We know that the bear is able to jump from place to 5-6 meters forward and with one blow of his paw to throw the seal on the ice…

The next day during Breakfast there is a second bear. He is not, and is literally racing towards the camp from the hill “in full sail”. And the speed it can develop is pretty decent — up to 40 kilometers per hour. Sounds command: “Leave the tent!” Those who were on night duty and slept, popping up in the tundra the limp in his socks.

In such a situation, it is important to stick together. We circle the wagons. In the course of going and guns, and a rocket launcher. Come on a bear with a log — fins, shovels, an axe and a chainsaw. To a predator it remains for 15 yards… His only stop rubber bullets. The bear slows his pace and reluctantly retreats. But we know from experience that the predator, which we on the day of his arrival he called Friday, I will be back.

Duty looking at it from the side of the tundra, and Friday comes into the camp from the shore. At two in the morning due to the stalls with products displayed his large white head. One of the members of the expedition, sitting at the entrance to the headquarters tent, time to send in the bear jet with pepper spray.

Beast trying to drive into the water, but it passes the shore and lies on the commanding hill, from where good view of our camp.

There were days when we was “guarded” by two hairy “master”. Probably brought them the smells of our kitchen. These predators can smell a seal or a seal at a distance of over 25 miles and under three feet of ice…

Waiting for that one predator will chase the other. But there it was! The animals lazily, without any jealousy, glancing at each other, and to divide the territory is clearly not going to.

We fear predators into thinking that they are hungry. It is known fact that bears hunt seals from the ice, sitting, waiting for them near the hole when they surface to breathe. Now in the Gulf there is no ice, the predators are forced to go ashore…

But soon we see that one of the bears with a big appetite eat the moss. As explained later, we experienced zoologist and polar bears in the summer can eat all sorts of carrion, and lemmings, berries, mosses, lichens, and other plants.

200 meters from camp we see a lot of burrows of rodents, but to be honest, we are not comforting.


photo: Svetlana Finds
The excavation of the warehouse, scientists conducted under the close supervision of a Fraction.

“It’s sterile”

How can equip your life. Water for tea and soup take the stone bowls, where it has accumulated in the pits after rain. When rocks in a storm, flooded with a wave, the boilers have to substitute the slope, where the tundra meltwater flows. Her color is better not to look. However, experienced hunters we are calm: “there are no germs here at all sterile”.

Despite saragusa rains, work on the excavation of the warehouse continue. Scientists have removed the layer of thawed ground. The probe does not go further: starts the permafrost. To get to the buried aluminum cans in the course are already scrap and the boaster. Permafrost is akin to concrete. To release the lid of the jars of ice, experts use a chisel and hammer…

Due to repeated thawing and freezing of the soil is the tundra a little bit squeezed out the food to the surface. To lids of cans — about 70 centimeters. Opening the locks, raised laid in different years samples. In canvas bags — the seeds of cereals. Can’t resist to not to chew a couple of beans. No smell of rot and mustiness! Wheat if just laid. “It’s time to assign the Arctic a sign of quality”, — joked one of the scientists.

After long-term storage in permafrost seeds to check for germination.

Take out the canned food, food concentrates, dried fruits, candies… All product is immediately placed in insulated containers. The samples will be carefully investigated in the relevant institutions.


photo: Svetlana Finds
On the coast, polar bears are no competitors.

“The skin is black and fur is transparent”

A day later, bear with two cubs. But seeing people in a hurry to take the kids.

By the way, in a known animated cartoon a white bear named Umkoy not accidental. Polar bear-Chukchi — umku.

Behind bear family to camp there are many full-grown animal with yellowish fur. Determine what is most likely male whose weight can reach 600 kilograms, and tons. The beast is sitting 50 meters from us with his head down low, pulls her to the ground. His attacks we recorded three times.

When he falls asleep at the camp, see it in binoculars. Few people know that the skin of polar bears are black and their hair is actually transparent! It is devoid of pigmentation. Because of the optical effect, it seems to us that “Umki” — white.

July 31, comes full. We chase bears 6 times. Tracked one host, who continually rises to the camp, and then another white giant floats from long island to our Cape. Bear paws have paddles as waterfowl. He swims powerfully, as the boat, thrusting his nose and pressing his ears.

The bear himself like a float 40% of its weight falls on subcutaneous fat, says one of the scientists.

To land on our Cape bear did not, got to the beach in a nearby Bay and went to the tundra. After an hour on the same route sailed by another predator.

We understand that we are on the path of seasonal migration of polar bears… Of the seven nights there was not one calm. Bears, arriving and leaving, always tried to visit our camp.

Unexpectedly we found that they are frightened by the impact sound of a spoon on an empty metal canister. A low tone is a concern for the bears, and they back off. Since then, both day and night in the camp was a chime. Armed with the plates, we as shamans, beat them in the circles.

We felt that in total the week saw 15 different ages “amok”.

Our leader Vladimir Ledenev, who has more than a dozen complex Arctic expeditions, admits that he has not had to deal with so many polar bears.

Weather at Cape Depot we still indulge. Among the weeks of damp and rain is a Sunny day when the expression “the southern coast of the Kara sea” takes on a special meaning. On rocky plates in the sun, thousands of stars lit mica inclusions. Guillemots flying just a meter away from us.

But it’s time to say goodbye to the Taimyr Peninsula. The program of the experiment on long-term storage of products and materials in the permafrost developed before 2050. It is clear that in the conditions of natural cold you can store food, products and materials at temperatures below industrial refrigerators. And may be unlimited. That is especially important now that the Arctic is a growing interest.

— In Chile, for hydroelectric power stations use powerful tides, in Germany, throughout the country there are wind turbines, they know where to direct the energy of the wind, ” says the inspirer of the experiment, the Director of the Club “Adventure” Dmitry Shparo. — In Russia, permafrost employ more than 65% of the territory. Natural cold of the Arctic too rich. It is necessary to study and adjust for economic needs.

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