Detained in Simon's Bay, VM Golovnin. Translated from the original Russian
Vasilii Mikhailovich Golovnin was born in the Province of Ryazan in 1776 and entered the Naval Cadet College in Kronstadt in June 1788 at the age of 12. He graduated as the second best pupil in 1792, but being under age was forced to stay on at the College for another year. In 1793 he was promoted to Midshipman and in 1795 he went to England where he tok private lessons in mathematics, astronomy and navigation. In 1802 he was one of a group of 12 young Russian naval officers sent to England to study the organisation and management of the Royal Navy, also spending three years, 1803-1806, serving as a volunteer in the Royal Navy under men such as Nelson, Collingwood and Cornwall before returning home. His report on the Royal Navy was used by the Russian Navy for 25 years.
As a Lieutenant he supervised the building of the sloop Diana, taking command of her in 1807 for geographic and hydrographic research in the Pacific Ocean, becoming the first Russian to sail a Russian built vessel around the world. Because of the treaty between the first Alexander and Napoleon the Diana was detained by the Royal Navy in Simon's Bay until they managed to escape in May 1809. In 1811, after being ordered to Japan, Golovnin was taken prisoner by the Japanese where he was held for two years. His first book 'Narrative of my captivity in Japan 1811-1813' was published in 1815 whilst his book 'Journey to Kamchatka' (of which this book is an extract) was published in 1819.
In 1830, Golovnin was promoted to the rank of Vice Admiral only to die aged 55 during a Cholera epidemic in St. Petersburg on 12 July 1831.