Polar Record


Chukchi Sea, Southern Ocean, Kara Sea: the polar voyages of Captain Eduard Dallmann, whaler, trader, explorer 1830–96

William Barr a1, Reinhard Krause a2 and Peter-Michael Pawlik a3
a1 Arctic Institute of North America, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada
a2 Alfred-Wegener-Institut für Polar- und Meeresforschung, Columbusstrasse, D-2850 Bremerhaven, Germany
a3 Stromer Landstrasse 23d, 28197 Bremen, Germany

Article author query
barr w   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
krause r   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
pawlik p   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


Eduard Dallmann, of Blumenthal on the lower Weser, went to sea at the age of 15 in 1845. He took command of his first ship, the whaling vessel Planet, in 1859 on a whaling voyage to the sperm whaling grounds in the Pacific and to the Sea of Okhotsk. Over the period 1864–66 he commanded the Hawaiian vessel W.C. Talbot on trading voyages to the Alaskan and Chukotka shores of the Bering and Chukchi seas. On 17 August 1866 he sighted and landed on Ostrov Vrangelya (Wrangel Island), a year prior to its sighting by Thomas Long, credited by many with the first sighting. For the following three years he commanded the whaling ship Count Bismarck on a whaling cruise to the tropics, the Sea of Okhotsk, and the Bering and Chukchi seas. In 1873–74 he made the first Antarctic whaling voyage aboard Groenland, and discovered and charted the west coasts of Anvers, Brabant, and Liège islands, as well as many smaller islands and straits including Bismarck Strait. He spent the 1875 whaling season as expert consultant, still aboard Groenland, on the Davis Strait and Baffin Bay whaling grounds. Then, to complete his career in polar waters, from 1877 to 1883 he made annual attempts to haul freight to the mouth of the Yenisey River, to be exchanged for grain cargoes brought down that river by barge. Of the seven attempts, only four were successful, the rest being foiled by ice conditions in the Kara Sea, and on the basis of this record, Baron von Knoop, the Russian entrepreneur who was financing the operation, decided to cut his losses. This ended Dallmann's career in polar waters.

(Received December 2002)