Tuesday, April 24, 2018

"This is Russia’s new North Pole base"

Trigger Warning: For those who remember Tsar Peter's trip to England (and who doesn't?) the mention of "Admiralty Yard" in the first paragraph may induce recollections of being declared insolent.*

From The Barents Observer:

It will house up to 62 people and be able to move autonomously around in Arctic ice for up to two years. 
 The Arctic research platform is to be ready for operation in 2020. Illustration by Admship.ru
The Russian Hydrometeorological Service (Roshydromet) has signed a contract with the Admiralty Yard in St. Petersburg over the construction of the North Pole research platform.
The floating self-propelled installation will have ice classification Arc8 and fuel supplies sufficient for two years of autonomous sailing. It will have a crew up to 14 people and can house 48 researchers.
It is to be completed in year 2020. Construction is expected to start early 2019.

«Today’s event marks the start of a principally new and comprehensive phase in the battle for scientific knowledge in the Arctic under condition of melting ice», Roshydromet leader Maksim Yakovenko said as he signed the construction contract with Admiralty Yard Director Aleksandr Buzakov.

«We are proud that Russia here is in the lead», Yakovlenko underlines....

*Or maybe it's just me.
It was a different Admiralty and a different country, a different time and a different place, the past is a foreign land etc, etc.
At any rate, an old tale about Peter the Great's trip to England in 1698 and repeated in Prime Obsession: Bernhard Riemann and the Greatest Unsolved Problem in Mathematics:
From his British trip the following story is well known, though it is almost certainly apocryphal. Staying at John Evelyn's country house outside London, Peter marched into the drawing room one day with a shotgun over his arm and announced, in thick English, "I haff shot a peasant." "No, no, my dear fellow." replied his host, laughing. "You mean a pheasant." "Nyet," said Peter, shaking his head. "It voss a peasant. He voss insolent, unt so I shot him." 
Great story but not borne out by the facts. Pete stayed at Evelyn's home in Deptford which was handy to the naval dockyard (an Admiralty Yard) where the Tsar went incognito to learn the tricks of the navy biz.
Not that it is impossible the writer and the Tsar visited the country place but describing it as Evelyn's is wrong and shows a certain fast-and-loose approach to the truth. 

Evelyn didn't inherit the family estate from his brother until 1699 by which time Peter had returned to Russia and begun building his navy, but this story was told to me almost word-for-word the first time I was described as insolent.
So I looked it up.

And for some reason recalled it in a post about Crispin Odey.
So yes, it's probably just me.

All clear on the trigger warning.