K.T. Khlebnikov wrote a biography of his boss, Baranov: Chief Manager of the Russian Colonies in America. In this book he described the wreck of the Juno as taking place November 3, 1811 (O.S.), "not far from the port of Petropavlovsk near the mouth of the Viliui River". When Khlebnikov received news of the wreck on November 5, he and a colleague "immediately set out for the scene of the shipwreck".

The Viliui (Vilyuy) River is not in Kamchatka but in Eastern Siberia and its mouth is on the Lena River, not the sea. Is there another river with the same name? I've looked at some maps without seeing it.

Where did the ship wreck?

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    Could it be a river flowing off of the slopes of Vilyuchik, maybe near the current town of Vilyuchinsk, about 20 km from PPsk? – kimchi lover Jun 16 '18 at 20:00
  • @kimchilover it wouldn't be the town (which is protected inside Avacha Bay) but I think you're right about the volcano. Thanks. – Aaron Brick Jun 16 '18 at 23:06

According to Wikipedia, there are several places named Petropavlovsk in the huge country of Russia. No surprise.

Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky is in Kamchatka and should be the correct Petropavlovsk.

I note that according to Google maps there is a body of water southwest of Petropavlovsk named Vilyuchinskaya Bukhta. That means Vilyuchinskaya Bay.

It would be logical for a Vilyuy river to enter that body of water but I can't see any rivers entering it on the map. I note that the Google Maps map of the area show some very narrow and very straight bodies of water that look like some kind of canals, but when I switch to the satellite view they look like creeks or rivers.

Thus I suspect that you may need better maps than I can find online, or historical maps.

If Khlebnikov received news of the shipwreck two days later, it should have happened within two days walk, ride, or sail of the location he was in when he heard the news. That certainly makes it seem like it was not too far away.

  • Nice find. I see the Vilyucha River entering that bay and that might be just a diminutive form of the same name. I think you got it, thanks! – Aaron Brick Jun 16 '18 at 23:13

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