Spafaryev Islands

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Spafaryev Islands
Остров Спарафьева
Island group
Spafaryev and Talan Islands
Spafaryev and Talan Islands
Location of the Spafaryev Islands in the Sea of Okhotsk.
Location of the Spafaryev Islands in the Sea of Okhotsk.
Country Russian Federation
Federal subject Far Eastern Federal District
Oblast Magadan Oblast

The Spafaryev Islands, or Spafaryev Island (Остров Спарафьева; Ostrov Spafar’yeva), a relatively large double island, are located in the Sea of Okhotsk. It lies 7 km east of the Antamlan Peninsula (also known as Khmitevsky), the southernmost peninsula enclosing the Taui Bay (Тауйская губа; Tauyskaya Guba) from its western side.

Administratively these islands belong to the Magadan Oblast of the Russian Federation.


The Spafaryev Islands were named after Major General knight Leontiy Spafaryev (1765–1847) of the Imperial Russian Navy. Spafaryev was Director of the Russian Lighthouse Administration and cartographer of the Russian Admiralty.[1]


The islands were frequented by American whaleships hunting bowhead whales between 1853 and 1861.[2] Talan was called Green Island, while Spafaryev was called Fog Island.[3] Boats were sent ashore Spafaryev to search for whales.[4]


The Spafaryev Islands are composed of two islands joined by a narrow landspit, less than 750 m wide.

  • The northern "island", Ryabokon Island (Ostrov Ryabokon’), is roughly triangular in shape. It is the larger of the two, being 9 km (5.6 mi) long and having a maximum width of 5 km (3.1 mi).
  • Spafaryev Island proper is located at the southern end. It is roughly shovel-shaped and is 7 km (4.3 mi) long and has a maximum width of 4.5 km (2.8 mi).[5]
  • Talan Island (Остров Талан) 59°18′N 149°05′E / 59.300°N 149.083°E / 59.300; 149.083, is a small roundish island, which lies 11 km (6.8 mi) to the north of Spafaryev's northern tip. It is 2 km (1.2 mi) across.[6][7][8]


  1. ^ L. Spafarieff or Spafaryev
  2. ^ Betsey Williams, of Stonington, Aug. 13, 20-21, 1853, Nicholson Whaling Collection (NWC); Florida, of Fairhaven, Sep. 8, 1861. In Williams, H. (1964). One whaling family. Boston, Houghton Mifflin.
  3. ^ Pacific, of Fairhaven, Aug. 3, 1855, NWC.
  4. ^ Daniel Wood, of New Bedford, Aug. 26-27, 1853, NWC.
  5. ^ Location
  6. ^ Talan Island
  7. ^ Ostrov Talan
  8. ^ Talan location

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 59°10′N 149°03′E / 59.167°N 149.050°E / 59.167; 149.050