National Geographic : 1951 Mar
75 ° 90° 105 120° - 135 165 1680 165 -- 331 Drawn by Irvin E. Alleman The Brigantine Sails Where Adventure Beckons; She Shuns Ocean's Beaten Paths During a 45,000-mile voyage sailors bartered tobacco for pearls and inspected Cocos Islands' celluloid money. They visited St. Helena, scene of Napoleon's exile, and Devil's Island, where freed convicts ran loose. breach of manners which all of us were happy to overlook. While deep in Melanesia we turned our attention to two Polynesian outposts planted nearly a thousand miles west of their kind, possibly by canoe wrecks long ago. On Tikopia, which lies north of the New Hebrides, Yankee was welcomed by swarms of outriggers (pages 336-339). Beneath stream ing manes red-dyed with lime, the canoemen reminded us of the savage Polynesians of the woodcuts illustrating the books of old-time Pacific explorers. Just such mobs besieged Captain Cook's ships. Afraid to let the men on board, we traded fishhooks and knives over the side for mats, fans, bowls, model canoes, tapa cloth, and tattooing instruments. Chief's "Belly Belong Me Full Up" On the Stewart Islands, the second Poly nesian outpost, we found women draped in saronglike garments. Old wives tucked these high under the arms, but girls started the "neckline" around the hips (page 353). Some wore a bib-and-collar which, when they danced, bobbed up and down, concealing nothing. The island's chief took lunch aboard Yankee. Manifestly half-starved, for food is not plentiful on these low islands, he gorged on beef stew until he arose and announced, almost painfully, "My word, belly belong me full up!" In the Solomons, Yankee sailed into the Slot to an anchorage off Guadalcanal (page 349). Four Allied cruisers sunk in a single night in 1942 lay almost beneath our keel. We toured Henderson Field and Edson's Ridge, where the Marines made history. Ir ving alone among us was able to picture the jungle-grown battlefields as they were, for he had charted these environs with a Navy survey crew.* One night Yankee felt her way into Mboli Pass, on Florida Island, and tied up to shore with her yards sticking in the trees (page 352). There we discovered a wartime pipeline which used to carry water from the hills. Now, if there is any luxury which our crew truly appreciates, it is a superabundance of fresh water. Yankee carries 4,000 gallons, enough to satisfy thirst but not laundry or bath. We scrub ourselves in waterfalls, rivers, and rain squalls. On visits ashore we beg baths from newly made friends. We have studied the bath situation all around the world (page 349). The pipeline, naturally, was a delight. We flushed out the rusty water and turned on the tap full blast. For an afternoon we reveled in a clear, cold stream. We washed clothes and hung them on deck until Yankee looked like a laundry yard. Native Scavengers Hunt War Supplies with Zest Many Solomon islanders, we observed, were engaged in a treasure hunt, not for pirate gold but for war's leftover supplies. Since these goods could not be transported home economically, could not be sold, and could not be given away lawfully, they had to be destroyed. Refrigerators and canned * See, in the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE: "Adventures with the Survey Navy." by Irving John son, July, 1947, and "At Ease in the South Seas," by Frederick Simpich, Jr., January, 1944.