National Geographic : 1927 Jul
SINDBADS OF SCIENCE Photograph by Geo. Finlay Simmons A POSSIBLE FUTURE WINTER RESORT FOR AMERICAN VISITORS Well-paved streets, neat and pastel-tinted houses, and the whitest Cape Verdean islanders are found in the chief village of Brava, on the southern edge of Atlantis. Then squalls treaded along the north edge of the Sargasso Sea and soon we were moved out of its influence. Head winds from the east kept the ship beating northeast and southeast in long tacks, a windjammer indeed, making but little progress. But when the northeast trades picked up, once more we sailed, down to the beautiful archipelago of the Cape Verde Islands. The sea became populated with steamers and birds; por poises played about the ship and were harpooned for our museum collections. The men were hanging from the rig ging as we came to anchor in the port of Sao Vicente after 40 days at sea-hang ing by their hands and feet, as they cheered arrival at land, not triced by their thumbs, as in days of yore. BLACKBIRDERS' ISLANDS The Portuguese archipelago of the Cabo Verde, lying several hundred miles out in the Atlantic off the northwest shoulder of Africa, is especially interesting to the zoologist, for here he finds a compara tively little-known Old World group cor- responding in size and general position to that of the Galapagos,* mainly on a study of which New World archipelago Darwin based his theory of the origin of species by natural selection. Especially interesting are the Cape Verdes when one learns that Darwin col lected there a few specimens at the begin ning of his famous voyage on the Beagle. Nearly a century after Darwin and long after the islands had been for decades a clearing house for slave traders, in the days before the Civil War in America and before Great Britain's battle fleet drove blackbirders from the sea, the collectors of the Blossom spent four and a half months gathering specimens about and over the nine larger islands, five islets of considerable size, and many off-lying rocks. There are fishes in abundance about all the islands, and these were sought for in spare moments; but the principal work of the collectors was the search for birds. * See, also, pages 19-30, "The Dream Ship," by Ralph Stock. in the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE for January, 1921.