National Geographic : 1964 Aug
I say glad. Actually, it proved one of the most harrowing experiences of our European voyaging. Everyone advised us to be towed from Arles to Lyon. We envisioned idle days without steering or care, tied to a barge's side. Instead, we found ourselves at the end of a line dragged 250 feet astern of Ampere, whose 350 horsepower occasionally needed the help of Yankee's diesel to keep us making even one mile an hour against the current. At seven on our first evening, Ampere's skipper signaled she was going to tie up to some trees for the night. We hung astern, our engine just holding Yankee in the stream. Then Ampere's boy, without warning, threw off our line from the barge's stern. Irving immediate ly put the engine in neutral, hoping the line would not foul the propeller, still turning in the current. His brother Rog ran forward to pull in 250 feet of nylon as fast as he could. With two-thirds of the line on deck, Rog suddenly shouted that it was caught. Mean while, Yankee was drifting helplessly. Only the engine could stop that drift, so Irving took a desperate gamble. There was a chance that the line had hooked only on the center board. He put the engine in gear. "Stop! It's in the propeller!" Rog shouted. "Oh, no," Irving groaned. "That's bad!" Chilling Dives Free Propeller Yankee had slipped out of the quiet water near the bank and was drifting backward faster and faster, toward the great stone piers of the old bridge at Montfaucon. My agonized thought was, "Here goes our lovely little boat." But somehow, like a croquet ball diverted by a blade of grass, Yankee encountered a fling of current that sent us between the piers. Irving had the anchor over in no time, but it held only spasmodically on the scoured stone bottom. We rushed up our 60-pound anchor from below, and with the fitful con trol the two anchors gave, Irving worked the ship to a crashing stop in stony shallows. Donning swimming trunks and face mask, he went into the cold, swirling, silted water to free the propeller. Working by feel, he gasped his progress to us whenever he sur faced for air. The job took 20 minutes. Now Ampere appeared, backing down stream, her mate sounding cautiously with a long pole. We started Yankee's engine and moved ourselves off the ground. We were in a mood to motor our own way upstream, but Ampere's mate shouted, "You'll never make it through the current under the bridge." Dance of death at Aries: Venezuela-born Efrain Gir6n leads a bull in the gaonera, a stylized pass with the cape. The matador sees how close he can shave his margin of safety-and survive-in the Corrida des Vendanges, the bullfight of the wine-harvest festival. The bull must die, in contrast to pop ular courses libres, also held here, in which fleet young men win glory by snatching cock ades and other prizes from a bull's horns.