National Geographic : 1927 Jul
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE Photograph by Robert H. Rockwell TUNAS FOR TUMMIES Offshore thoninhas, bonitos, and albacores are landed on the ebony beach of Fogo, in the Cape Verde Islands. Small boys carry the fish across several miles of volcanic stones and dust from port to village. There were adequate landings at only four towns in the archipelago, but hun dreds of other landings had to be made on steep volcanic shores of the islands or through roaring breakers onto beaches of ebony and sand. Many of these islands are desert, some rugged, some flat; but there is little vegetation on them and scarcely any water. The men of the islands do little manual work, while women are the beasts of burden. Cuyler, Moses, and our other collectors, with their food and camping equipment carried by sturdy women porters, ranged for miles and miles over mountainous islands in search of rare desert larks, coursers, waxbills, kingfishers, swifts, hawks, and other birds. Some of the islands rise far above the clouds. There were difficult mountains to climb on Santo Antao, Saio Nicolao, and Brava; and Fogo, the island of fire, with its smoldering volcano, rose higher still, tow ering to nearly Io,ooo feet (see, also, text, page 19). Most of these is lands stand in the open sea, as mon strous monuments to the feverish action of long-dead volcanoes; some of them have become cloaked with vegetation. A TRAGEDY NARROWLY AVERTED Thrills were fre quent while we were collecting. On one oc casion we had landed with great difficulty on the bare offshore rock of Corral Velho to spend the night with Cape Verde and Boyd Alexander shearwaters, the brown booby, the white-faced and Madeiran petrels, and other queer birds of the sea. Some dis tance away the Blossom stood off and on, under trimmed sail in the face of the trades, which piled high seas against our little rock. Seas had risen by the following after noon, when a ship's boat came to take us off. The men at the oars drew near, took one look at the face of the rock, and wanted to turn back to await a better day. We on the rock were without food and water, so we ordered them in close. Then we stripped to the skin and threw our belongings from the top of a cliff, to be caught or missed by the men in the boat.