October 4, 2015
Expedition visits Marre-Sale polar station
The sea calmed down, and Kartesh continued her way along the western coast of Yamal to the Baydaratskaya Bay in order to research microorganisms and to examine submerged pipelines with remotely operated underwater vehicles. The expedition participants decided to stop over at a polar station called Marre-Sale, which dates back to 1912.
The following text represents certain extracts taken from V. Dubrovin’s article titled Notes On History of Weather Station Marre-Sale: Events and People. V.A. Dubrovin is the head of geocryology sector at VSEGINGEO research institute.
After the events of Russo-Japanese war, regular trade routes via the Kara Sea began to re-establish. Relevance of the ice situation monitoring system could be no longer underestimated, as vessels had to be provided with the weather data.
The authorities decided to build a radiotelegraph station at Cape Marre-Sale (the Yamal Peninsula) in early 1912. The station construction were complicated by difficult ice situation in the Baydaratskaya Bay and by the shortage of construction materials and food supplies. Nevertheless, the first communication session was carried on September 2, 1912.
The launch of four polar weather stations in Arkhangelsk, at the Yugorsky Strait, on Vaygach Island and in Marre-Sale was marked by the Emperor's telegram and acknowledged as a milestone event for the Russian arctic navigation development.
A meteorological center was established at the station only in spring 1914 by N. Georgyevsky and P. Berezkin. They observed and recorded air temperature, air pressure, wind strength and direction, and precipitation depth. They reported atmospheric phenomena, sea and ice cover condition, and ice motion.
The polar station has lived through light and dark chapters of history, which came to the period of dilapidation and decay.
Valery Gubenko was assigned as a station manager in 2012. Being an energetic, well-meaning person and a highly qualified specialist, he brought the station back to life, repaired dilapidated buildings, fixed generators, mended the roof, restored the sauna, reestablished outdoor lighting system, lay pipeline to the diesel-engine room and repaired the greenhouse. Yelena Gubenko, his wife, is a worthy assistant. We would like to wish Valery to save those qualities of a genuine polar leader and never lose them.
Expedition participants were lucky to make acquaintance with this wondrous radiant, hard-working and hospitable couple. Vladimir and Yelena were happy to show us around the station, told about their work and got us in their office. They showed us one of their favorite pets, a budgie, and complained that they had only a female; the careless male budgerigar had flown out of the cage and had selflessly taken wing to study the limitless spaces of the Arctic. Unfortunately, he had not returned.
The station dwellers enthusiastically supported the idea to set up a small photography exhibition on the walls of the station. We hope that vivid pictures will bring many positive emotions to these wonderful people.