National Geographic : 1927 Jul
SINDBADS OF SCIENCE Photograph by Geo. Finlay Simmons PIPE SMOKING IS BECOMING FASHIONABLE AMONG THE CAPE VERDE ISLANDS WOMEN These sturdy women porters of Porto Grande carry and balance on their heads all loads except their children, who usually ride astride one hip (see text, page 18). the gale, took in most then raced away before For days we beat of the sails, and the storm. under darkened, angry skies and were buffeted by gale after gale, with the wind howling at 80 miles and huge seas piling up behind and rolling down on us. The ship climbed each mountain of water swiftly and hung precariously for a moment between sea and sky before dropping away into a great yawning valley. At times the Blossom tossed like an eggshell; seas shook and poured over her in cascades. Water ran through the rud der well, worked into the cabin and hull, oozed into bunks, and soaked our cloth ing. THE FRINGE OF ATLANTIS We spread just enough canvas for steerageway, and both pumps were manned two hours out of every four. Still the water worked up in the hold, and the heavy stench from the bilges filled the cabin, where air became so unbearable with portholes closed that we stayed on deck, crawling under piles of sails to sleep fitfully. It is in mid-Atlantic that Atlantis, mythical continent of the sages, is be lieved by many to lie submerged. Man has not yet plumbed these depths in search for Plato's lost cities. Perhaps Atlantis does lie here, under pressure of the middle deep, with the great current of the Gulf Stream circling about it. We cannot tell, but we are just as much inter ested in the large, still area of Sargassum weed which lies above it. There had been adventure and romance here. Columbus entered the Sargasso Sea and must have been as perturbed as his crew when he sighted the weird and shift ing masses of gulfweed which blanket the ocean in great patches of many acres, stretching beyond the horizon. For cen turies this large area was believed to hold, in the center of its great tangle, all the derelicts of the sea, a graveyard of hopes outward bound, a "city of lost ships"!