The fact that Peter the Great created a military fleet in Russia is a well-known fact. But that in childhood the heir to the throne was terribly afraid of water, knew only those close to young Peter.
It all began with the fact that Peter's mother, Tsarina Natalya Kirillovna, made a trip to the monasteries with her five-year-old son. It was in early spring, during a flood. The carriage with the queen and the heir was moving across the stream, which from the melt water turned into a stormy stream. Suddenly the carriage leaned heavily, and the stream rushed inward. The young prince, seeing his frightened mother and the seething water under his feet, was horrified.
This incident struck the child so much that for a long time he was disgusted with water and could not indifferently look at the river or lake. Although he tried in every possible way to hide this fact, however, all the courtiers began to notice that Peter never bathed and did not dare to wade even the smallest river. All this continued until the age of fourteen.
Prince Boris Alekseevich Golitsyn, who was involved in the education of the heir to the Russian throne, decided to save the young sovereign from fear of the water element. Once he invited Pyotr Alekseevich to go hunting for dogs. The young ruler did not really like hunting, but agreed out of respect for the prince.
During the hunt, the prince rode up on horseback to the bank of the Istra River. He explained to Peter that it was necessary to water the tired horses and give the hunters an opportunity to swim. Suddenly, the prince sent his horse into the river, and, crossing to the other side of the Istra, called Peter to follow him. The hunters looked at him with interest. Under their gaze, the young tsar did not dare to show his fright in front of the water and went to Golitsyn. The first attempt to overcome years of fear was crowned with success.
Soon the Tsar's brother Ivan found out about this experiment of Prince Golitsyn and decided to consolidate the achieved success by inviting Peter to Izmailovo, where there were several swimming ponds. The young men of the court who accompanied the brothers on this walk were ordered, passing by the pond, to rush to swim and call Peter after them. The order was carried out, but the young sovereign did not immediately dare to enter the water. Gradually, the fun of the young people captivated him, and he decided to follow them into the water. Since that time, the fear of water disappeared from the young man, and a few years later Peter the Great began to create a military fleet in Russia, striking even experienced sailors with his courage.