It included the representatives of the Norilsk Development Agency (NDA), the administration of Taimyr, the researchers from the Museum of Norilsk and the Taimyr Nature Reserves, as well as historians, WWF experts, RussiaDiscovery and Panarctic Star tour operators.
The Maria Pronchishcheva bay is located in the Laptev Sea, about 75 kilometers north of the entrance to the Khatanga bay. The expedition started in Khatanga.
The route passed along the coastal zone of the Khatanga bay, through the Taimyr villages of Novorybnaya and Syndassko. Then the group went to cape Kostisty, Preobrazheniya island, to Pronchishcheva bay, to the village of Popigai, to the Kungasalakh and Taimyr lakes, as well as to the mouth of the Bekada-Nguoma river.
The research trip is another step in the development of the tourist potential of the territories of the Arctic tourist cluster.
“Now the Khatanga bay’s coast is a territory of spontaneous tourism. Flora and fauna of the territory suffer from the indiscriminate ‘raid’ of tourists following the Northern Sea Route. Unorganized travel does not allow tracking the number of guests, assessing the degree of anthropogenic impact and minimizing the negative impact on the fragile Arctic nature”, the NDA website says.
“In recent years, interest in unpopular remote routes, especially arctic areas has been growing. It is important for us to preserve the natural wealth of the Arctic and make tourism a part of the economic industry”, said Anastasia Korol, head of the Tourism Development Department of the NDA. – We saw potential anchors for guests. For example, lake Taimyr or the colorful rocks of Popigai. The settlement is ready to welcome tourists. Tour operators also noted this direction as promising”.
Note that the Arctic routes are becoming more and more popular with tourists from all over the world. So, a year ago Italian yachtsmen made a trip along the Northern Sea Route. Recently we also told about the trip to the Arctic on sailing yachts and a polar captain planning to make a risky journey to the Arctic alone.
As for the expedition of the NDA, in addition to searching for new directions, the participants had other tasks: to study the flora and fauna, to check the coordinates of walrus rookeries and musk oxen herds migrations. The data obtained will make it possible to lay the most interesting and spectacular tourist routes, but at the same time safe from the point of view of preserving the habitual habitat of wild animals.
The members of the expedition brought a lot of artefacts to Norilsk, after being evaluated by experts, they will be transferred to the museums. For example, the funds can be replenished with reindeer saddles, which the Dolgans and Evenks still use today.
Another task was to search for traces of the Great Northern Expedition. In 1736, Vasily Pronchishchev’s detachment on the Yakutsk double-dinghy, having reached the cape, had to take the opposite course. In August, the polar explorer died, and in September Yakutsk entered the mouth of the Olenek river, where Pronchishchev’s wife Tatyana, the first woman – a polar explorer, also died a few days later. In 1740, Yakutsk entered the Khatanga bay by the same route under the command of Hariton Laptev.
As a result of the trip, the expedition members have a lot of work to do: it is necessary to describe promising routes, possible points of attraction for tourists and, of course, the natural features of the territory.
In the near future, the issue about renaming the Maria Pronchishcheva bay into the Tatyana Pronchishcheva bay (the real name of the wife of the polar explorer Vasily Pronchishchev) will be initiated to the Russian Geographical Society. As the This is Taimyr wrote earlier, a toponymic error occurred several centuries ago when decoding maps.
Text: Ekaterina Maximova, Photo: Alexander Zheleznyak