Sarma: the deadly winds of Baikal

Nature 18/12/19 Sarma: deadly wind of Baikal

This is just an inexperienced newbie Baikal seems calm and peaceful, the local know – it is impossible to offend the spirits of the sea: will throw a sinister winds, which will not leave in its path is destroyed. And one of the four main Baikal winds – deadly Sarma.

the Fear and terror of lake Baikal

the Natives believe that the cause of the devastating Sarma is the revenge of the Baikal spirits who do not tolerate even the slightest misconduct on the lake. Nothing to throw in the water and especially not to spit, not to inflame the fires on the banks and not to call the Baikal lake (the sea!) – three main rules that must be observed by everyone. Sometimes the appearance of the hurricane is explained by a legend about a wronged beauty Sarma, whose love was rejected a mighty handsome Baikal.

But it is clear that the emergence of the Sarma (or another Mountain) has a scientific explanation. Place of birth hurricane squally wind – the valley of the river Sarma. Breaking away from a 500-meter height of the Primorsky ridge the air is gaining mad speed (40 meters per second) passes through the Sarminskoe gorge, as through a wind tunnel, and then crashes on the Small Sea and the Western part of lake Baikal, destroying everything in its path. Usually Sarma raging not more than two or three hours, but can rage for several days.

most Often, the CAPM appears in winter or autumn. Enormous power and speed of the air flow leads to disastrous consequences: uprooted centuries-old trees, gone and missing livestock is only a small part of the troubles that can cause a hurricane. Living in the village of Sarma further strengthen the roof, tying them to the ground, because the wind costs nothing to disrupt the roof. And yet Sarma could easily disperse the boat to flip and sink the barges to break up on the rocks large vessels.

the Bare ice and rock polynyas

About the danger of the MSARs in the 17th century mentioned by the famous traveler, diplomat and merchant Evert Ides. In his notes of travels in Siberia, he colorfully described the winter ferry on the Baikal ice. The hurricane wind was so strong that “demolished all the snow”. The surface became so slippery that the horses simply could not move – constantly falling. It is no coincidence that the old-timers shod horses and bulls with special spines that help them stay on the ice.

According to Idesa, a terrible tragedy may end up crossing to the unshod horses near not frozen wormwood, which is found on the lake abound. The horse fell and wind them together with the sleigh carries to the nearest sagebrush. To keep them is impossible, and not to divide only one thing – to drop everything and watch as the water goes under the horse, the sleigh and all the baggage.

the Tragedy of “Jacob”

On account of Sarma dozens of shipwrecks, but the most tragic is the accident involving the ship “Jacob” in the night from 14 to 15 October, 1901. Post-Nizhneangarsk “James” pulled in tow three of a sailboat. The biggest “Potapov”, on Board of which were five dozen barrels of fish and caviar, 15 team members, 160 workers, fishermen and dozens of “birds” – passengers who decided to get to Irkutsk. The second and third sailing – the smaller ones belonged to the local merchants.

“Yakov” has been successfully held the Small sea, but 15 miles to the Cape Mare’s Head is the captain of the ship became suspicious. White cloud eyes began to grow and darken. For Baikal water “spinning wing”. Followed by several strong gusts of wind. Sharply colder, it started to Blizzard. Escaped from the gorge Sarma gaining strength. The whole caravan began to blow off the rocks, the ship “lay on the left side”. His right wheel molatelo the air, while the left strove to break off under heavy, dark water.

to save the steamer, captain unhooked sailboats. “Potapov” vanished without a trace in the waters of lake Baikal (later he was found only a few bummerdata boards). Two other schooners of ice, caught on protruding from the water rock. For two days that raged Sarma, killing 176 people, including 4 children.

the Fatal place

after a year in the same place – from the ill-fated Cape Mare’s Head and almost at the same time, there was an identical crash. In late September, 1902, the steamer “Alexander Nevsky” was towing three barges. The onslaught of sarmy was so strong and rapid that the captain had very little time to think. He gave the order to cut the ropes. Marching past the barge, threw up on the beach and its passengers managed to escape. The other two broke on the rocks of the Mare’s Head. The bitter cold gave the passengers no chance – even those who managed to escape the water died of hypothermia. The ship miraculously survived – the captain managed to bring the ship on a Lee shore and secure on two anchors, while the wheels were spinning at full speed all the time while raging element.

In the early 50’s of the last century near the Mare’s Head from Sarma killed two hundred passengers on a big boat. It was young people who came to the summer camp at Seminozhenko. Locals said that the wind was sent on holiday as a punishment – they allegedly went on a tour to the mountain where the nest there disturbed the spirits of the island “Holy eagles”. A long time the fishermen were caught from the lake human bones, because according to popular belief, Baikal “buries the drowned in its waters”.

Chronicles “Excalibr”

In the local history archival documents preserved Chronicles of the sailing ship “Excalibur”, which describes how throughout the travel of French tourists and the team suffered from the Baikal winds of Verhovik, Kultuk and Sarma.

First Verhovik blowing at a speed of 25-30 m/sec. at the Cape sun deprived sailboat steering, the next day from the night Kultuk, the ship lost fin, and the next day the squalls Sarma took “Excalibre” outboard motor and threw the ship to the island of Olkhon. After repair sailboat tried to continue, but Verhovik at Sandy Bay broke a 12-metre grotto-a mast, and which lasted several days, the storm caused by the Tub, stripped the ship, the mizzen mast and threw away on the Eastern shore of Baikal.

a Deadly fishing

Irkutsk scientist-ethnographer Alexander Chernyshev in his book cites the example of the fishing, after which managed to escape only one fisherman. Four residents of Eumora decided to go fishing on the lake, but due to inexperience or other reasons did not notice the approach of Sarma. Felt that the dark ragged clouds over Sarminskoe gorge “themselves resolve.”

unfortunately, the would-be fishermen did not know that they have only 2 hours to return – that’s how much time usually passes from the characteristic appearance of the clouds before the storm. Flown Sarma in a moment turned light duralumin the boat the fishermen were in the cold November water. Only one managed to cling to the upturned vessel and watch as the comrades one after another go under the water. For years the survivors could not share with anyone what happened – too bad we have been experiencing.

the List of victims Sarma is complete and the other cases. At the end of December 1870 30 passengers and sailors died and their ship “innocent” burned out “from all-destroying storms, bringing down trees like straw.” In 1872 – came to the Sarma ship “Dmitry” disappeared without a trace. In November of 1932 flown Sarma threw stones on the steamer “Schmidt” together with a barge Laden with a good catch.

Faina Shatrov

© Russian Seven

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