Second Season: November 1820 to August 1821

  • Rip Bulkeley


Bellingshausen sent his last interim report (B9) by a fast packet boat from Rio, and it seems to have caught up with his previous one from Port Jackson (B8) at London. They arrived simultaneously at St Petersburg, where the Emperor had allowed his exhausted and recently widowed Minister of Marine, the indispensable 67-year-old Marquis de Traversay, to transfer his office permanently to his country villa. It was situated at Romanshchina near Luga, a small town standing in marshy country about 130km from the Admiralty and its Ministry. There ensued a flurry of couriers along the Smolensk road (T1), as the Minister prepared a report on the voyage, which might end at any moment. That document has also survived (de Traversay, 1821), but it is not translated here because it was largely based on Bellingshausen’s interim reports (B7, B8, B9), with a few details, such as the names of recent discoveries, added from the final report (B10),1 which the Minister received only a day or two before completing his summary on 9 August 1821.2


East Wind Coconut Tree Fine Weather Compass Point Naval Officer 
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© Rip Bulkeley 2014

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  • Rip Bulkeley

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