National Geographic : 1948 Jan
The National Geographic Magazinc Sea Robin Bites into an Angry Sea as She Heads Southward Toward the Antarctic All too soon the rough weather test came to an end at 59° south, about 350 miles from the Antarctic Continent. Had storms become too severe, Sea Robin could have submerged to avoid rough seas and, at 60 feet below, found calm going. English Springer Spaniel, who has made enough ocean trips to become a full-fledged sailor, and Lady, a small dog of doubtful lineage who was befriended by my Chief Motor Machinist Mate Hagopan in Key West, Florida. Hagopan picked up the little mite there when she was so small she had to be fed from an eyedropper. On May 17 we crossed the Line and got rid of the polliwogs in a rugged ceremony. That formality out of the way, we began our academic schooling-courses in English, Spanish, mathematics, history, and mechan ical subjects. We also conducted work for the Navy Hydrographic Office, taking soundings by fathometer constantly, checking navigational aid information, and acquiring other chart data. Existing charts of both South Atlan tic and Pacific coastal waters proved highly unreliable on many occasions. Five days out from Balboa we encountered thousands upon thousands of water birds. We ran through them for several hours. One of the boys, mistaking them for ducks, shot one, then cleaned and cooked it. The cooked flesh tasted like extremely strong and some what overripe fish. Later we found out that it was probably a Peruvian cormorant. Watch Lashed to Bridge The weather became progressively worse as we proceeded southward. On May 22 we ran into a heavy storm. We took the lookouts below and lashed the quartermaster and officer of the deck to the bridge, to keep them from being swept overboard. The twenty new crewmen, along with Patsy and Lady, were seasick. But we had a sched ule to maintain, so we didn't bother to sub merge, where the going would have been much easier, and Sea Robin rode out the storm in her usual gallant manner.