National Geographic : 1959 Jul
Bill Cowhill's quiet voice ticks off the depth as we rise slowly into this canyon of ice. I swing the periscope astern and look straight into an immense pressure ridge hanging down like a giant theater curtain. "How close is that pressure ridge astern?" I ask. I try to keep a calm voice, but there's a lump in my throat. "Plenty of room there, captain," says Louis Kleinlein, our senior sonarman. "It's a heavy ridge, all right, but clear of the stern." The buggy whip goes up, and I watch its tip intently as it goes through the surface. I can see ripples all over the water now; must be a little breeze here. "Captain, we're being set over to port. We're getting too close to that side." It's Nick's voice, sounding a little anxious. I glance over there with the periscope. "Too close" is putting it gently. But what to do? We are nearly at the surface now. We may not find another opening this near the Pole. "Keep her coming up, Bill." Surfaced Forty Miles from the Pole After what seems like an hour but must be only a few seconds, the sail is out, and I raise the periscope. The ice to port is close, all right-just a few yards away-and we are drifting very slowly toward it. There isn't much to do; we'll just let the sail touch and see if she will stay in that position.