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Small Sea

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Gulf of Mukhor

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Sarminskoe Gorge

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Coves on

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Islands on
Small Sea

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Capes of
Small Sea

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Climate and weather (table)

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The Small Sea is a unique area of Baikal with original natural conditions. It is located between the western coast of the lake and the largest island known as Olkhon. The Small Sea connects to the lake through a strait known as Olkhonskie Gate. The sea has a complex coastline forming a set of shallow bays, convenient for tourists parking. There are small quantities of deposits, plenty of sun light, warm water in the bays, the beautiful rock and wood landscapes. The availability of the coast has made the Small Sea one of the most popular places of rest. The settlement Sakhjurta is connected with Irkutsk by bus and ship services. A feature of the climate of the Baikal Basin is the complex system of winds distinguished by their seasonality. The surrounding mountains form a narrow corridor, which forms longitudinal winds, which cover all of Baikal or its separate parts. The winds characteristic for clear dry weather are: "verkhovik" blowing from the north, and "barguzin" - a cold east wind raging in the southern parts of Baikal. "Kultuk" - a longitudinal wind with an opposite direction of "verkhovik", and serving as a harbinger of rainy weather. All longitudinal winds cause heavy seas covering large areas of the lake.

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The cross winds are especially characteristic for the Small Sea. The most common are western and northwestern winds, with the local name "gornyak". "Gornyak" and its version within the limits of the Small Sea - "sarma" differ by artful suddenness, impetuosity and storm force (up to 40 m/s). The most of storm winds are necessary for the fall-winter period. The winds, which blow from the mountains, disperse the clouds, and result in long periods of clear weather in many respects. The extremely low temperature of the lake water is the important feature of Baikal. It is only about 4-5 degrees C. At a depth of more than 10-15 м, and does not rise above more than 12-14 degrees C. on the surface, even during the warm days of summer (in the beginning of August). However, the temperature of the water reaches 18-20 degrees C in the closed bays and shallows in the summer, making the coast of the Small Sea especially attractive for tourists and fishermen in the summer time.
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There is no richer or more distinct variety of flora and fauna in one lake anywhere else in the world. More than 1550 kinds of animals and more than 850 kinds of plants are known in Baikal. More than 50 kinds of fishes live in the lake. There are 27 kinds of "bychok", meeting only in Baikal. The largest fish living in the Small Sea is the Baikal sturgeon, "golomjanka". A trade fish on Baikal and in the waters of the Small Sea is "omul". Of greatest popularity among the fishermen are omul, sig and harius. However catching them requires certain skills, depends on many natural factors and consequently is not always successful. But practically at any time of year the perch, "elets", and pike, "soroga", can be caught in the shallow gulfs.
empty.gif - 43 Bytes From the book by V.P.Bryansky, "Hello, Baikal!"
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