Andrey Dolenko was born in 1951 in Sevastopl in the Crimean Peninsula on the Black Sea and migrated to Vladivostok in 1959 where he later attended the Russian Maritime Academy. He received his degree in Management of the Fleet Fishing Industry. Andrey and his family have dedicated much of their lives to the sea on whaling vessels: his grandfather as an harpooner, his father as an engineer, and his mother as a dentist. In the Antarctic, Andrey sailed on the same whaling vessel as his mother.
He was first exposed to scrimshaw while his boat was at port in Singapore for repairs and was impressed with the art form. As he had previously done etchings for minted coins in bronze and silver, he discovered that the technique for scrimshaw was similar: there is no room for error in either field!