National Geographic : 1950 Jan
The National Geographic Magazine Outside, Tons of Water; Inside, the "Breeze" of Submariners' Leisure-time Conversation It takes six to nine months to qualify a submarine crewman, and he must withstand cramped conditions. These men, crowded into Amberjack's forward torpedo room, find space to mend a fishing rod. You can't take one off, or land it alone, like a plane. This job takes a numerous ground crew. The men push and haul about the tall mobile anchor tower and swing on to the blimp's many dangling ropes to keep it under control. They're hard to launch and land in much of a wind. Even after you take off, long ropes drag under you and dangle below as you fly. We cruised all over town, then went out, still low, for a look down at shallow waters along the keys. We plainly saw sharks switching their tails like horses, giant rays, or mantas, and schools of other fish. Farther out at sea a sailfish played below us, his dorsal fin cutting the water like a periscope. When a dye marker was dropped into the sea as a target, the boys let me "bomb" it with a dud bomb; of course I missed. When we turned back inland, golfers on Key West's municipal course waved at us. History-soaked Spot It's from the air, and the nose of a low floating blimp, that you best see how crowded and compact this tight little isle is (pages 44 and 45). It's only about one mile by four: yet it is one of the most history-soaked spots under our flag. Think what all has happened, here beside the Gulf Stream, since Ponce de Le6n ventured by and since Indians parked their war canoes where the sleek, streamlined, high-speed subs now tie up side by side. For additional articles on Florida and the Florida Keys, see "NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE Cumula tive Index, 1899-1948."