National Geographic : 1927 Jul
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE Photograph by Geo. Finlay Simmons BEDLAM ON THE BEACH OF NEW MOON CAY Hundreds of thousands of wide-awakes, noddies, and blue-faced boobies, with a few red footed and brown boobies and the man-of-war, fill the air above this crossroads of the sea at Rocas Reef, near the northeastern corner of Brazil. on adjacent Dead Man's Cay. At one spot we saw several low mounds, and over one of them stood a small wooden cross, stuck in the guano and sand, bearing a Portu guese name. SKIRTING THE WEST INDIES We found tracks, bones, and the newly hatched young of the green turtle on New Moon Cay. Crabs of different kinds were about, and in the waters we observed many brilliantly colored fishes, a score of species playing about in the shelter of the lagoon. Sunset was coming on and the Blossom had already drifted many miles away on the horizon; so we pushed out, hoisted sail, and started on a long race down the wind, which put us aboard about 9 o'clock at night. Within 48 hours we reached the dol drums, which in early May are much farther south than in November, when we had crossed them, southward-bound, in 1924. Light squalls came to our aid, and we spent only a part of two days in cross ing the narrow belt of calms. On May 6 the northeast trades began to steady down, and for 16 days we sped merrily along, never making less than Ioo miles a day and twice making about 175 miles. Life on board then was an idyl of sunlit decks and smooth sailing. Birds were few, but occasionally we saw a greater shearwater, and just north of the Equator a yellow-nosed albatross and a red-billed tropic bird were sighted. Wilson's petrels, or Mother Carey's chick ens, were with us a good part of the time.