1876 - Charles Gardiner, Gentleman
Third Visit to Barents’ Winter Quarters
[In 1875, a Norwegian walrus hunter named M. Gundersen had sailed around Novaya Zemlya. He was the second visitor after Carlsen in 1871 and retrieved several objects.]
July 29th: After breakfast we go ashore and visit the ruins of Barents’ winter quarters. Everything that was not pulled down by Captain Carlsen in 1871, has by this time tumbled down; not a vestige of the old house remains standing. After a hard day’s work among the ruins we brought to light a good many relics, among which is a bible in tolerable state of preservation. Many other things we find, but they are merely pulp, an in a thousand pieces; bits of rope we find as strong as the day they were made, clothes, boots, pieces of sail, candles, old knives, carpenter’s tools, nails, gloves, a few old coins, the remnants of a compass, hand-lead, the lock of a flint and steel gun, bullets, shot, and powder cases, etc. etc. All these things are immensely interesting, having been lying here 280 years, exposed to all vicissitudes of an Arctic climate.
July 30th: A thick fog […]
August 1st: Another thick fog hardly any wind. Visit the ruins of Barents’s house again. We grub up nearly the whole floor of the house, but find scarcely anything more. Two sodden pocket-books, a pair of compasses, a harpoon, and two spears, with a few broken knives and a heap of shoes and rotten clothing is about all. I do not think that there can be much left now, as we haunted everywhere and grubbed in every nook and corner.
August 2nd: Today the fog clears off sufficiently to enable us to make a start. We steam ahead at 7 p.m.
The Barents Relics: Recovered in the Summer of 1876 by Charles L.W. Gardiner, Esq. and Presented to the Dutch Government, Described and Explained by J.K.J. de Jonge