National Geographic : 1960 Nov
HS EKTACHROME( NATIONALGEOGRAPHICSOCIETY Lofty buildings of Santa Cruz hug the hills of Tenerife Island in the Canaries. "Far and away the most spectacular scenery we saw on our cruise," reports Captain Beach. lessened tobacco fumes in our atmosphere. Most everyone else hated it. The nonsmokers felt elated at first. Some would kid their suffering shipmates, "Got a light?" But soon the nonsmokers also were on edge as men chewed unlit cigarettes and cigars cut into small pieces. Irritability grew in little ways. Bad Movie Has Good Effect We carried 45 movies aboard and we had already seen them all-but word leaked out that one film was lost. This was a horror story starring an unearthly monster, and sud denly there was wide demand to see that one film again. Why? "Because it's so bad," I was told. "A good movie you forget fast, but a thing like that you can talk about for days." Curious what ideas people get under tension. After three days we decided to end the test. Instead of passing the word to relight the smoking lamp, I strolled about the ship, puffing on a cigar and blowing smoke in people's faces, saying pleasantly, "Don't you wish you could do this?" It took about 40 seconds for the word to get around. Meanwhile Doctors Stark and Weybrew 610 kept track of our physical and psychological condition with periodic vision tests, question naires, and interviews. In our close quarters, less than three square yards of deck space per man, Dr. Weybrew found a tendency toward excessive projection. "You may say to the man next to you, 'Boy, are you irritable this morning!'" Dr. Wey brew told me. "Chances are that it's you who are on edge. You tend to perceive the same state in others, and so justify your own irri tability to yourself." But Dr. Weybrew also surmised that such a cramped and comparatively monotonous passage may not be a bad thing. He notes: "For some younger men of the high caliber of the Triton crew, prolonged confinement may be beneficial. For some it provokes a kind of life-reorientation process. One told me, 'Now I've had a chance to think over where I've been and where I am going. I've decided I'd like to be a school teacher.' "Living in a relatively unchanging environ ment, such as the submerged submarine, seems to evoke novel, ofttimes creative think ing. Some men are writing poems. One man described to me an original electronic circuit for an air-conditioning system .... "