Vivid recreation of the Russian Kamchatka Expedition, authorized by Czar Peter just before his death. Commandeered by the Dane, Vitus Bering, who made a reconnaissance in 1725, the party, due to its inclusion of Academicians, its orders for investigation, its red tape, became a monster of mishaps, quarrels, heartbreaks...but finally got under way. The two boats, St. Peter and St. Paul, parted after early explorations; Bering's ship touched the American Coast several times, but that of Chirikov was not as lucky, and both had their tragedies homeward bound. Bering was landlocked on an island near their Kamchatka base, and there he died, and there Steller, German scientist, made his famous observations. Bering's true charts never received official recognition, but the Northwest passage was opened. Revitalized, effective retelling of courage and devotion to a cause, of the high price paid for scientific knowledge. Good Arctic adventure.