National Geographic : 1955 Dec
Atlantic Odyssey: Iceland to Antarctica Paulette Malgorn, who smoothed our way for many a photograph. The day we left they were all in the square to bid us adieu. Suddenly the Happy Baker's face lit up. "Un moment," he called, and ran into his shop. Reappearing with a long pole about which a flag was rolled, he climbed to a low roof and from it to a higher one. Michel steadied himself for a moment, planted his staff in a chimney pot, and stood there grin ning as the wind unfurled his banner-the Stars and Stripes! Now, months later, when I look at the speck of purple on our map of the Atlantic, I see waves foaming on rocks, a beacon's rays cut ting the night, kindly people, and an Ameri can flag flying from a chimney pot. Our next port of call was Lisbon, on the broad and lovely Tejo. From neatly cobbled Black Horse Square, at the water's edge, we looked out on a harbor full of ships. Luxury liners towered above stubby-nosed harbor freighters whose sails flecked the sunny air. Passenger ferries scurried across the river. Tugboats, squat and intent, hunched their ocean-going charges to the quayside.* A few miles down the river stands the Tower of Belem, a landmark as dear to the Portuguese as the Statue of Liberty to Ameri cans. Built in 1521 to guard Lisbon, its ramparts are embellished with carved traceries of ropes, nautical motifs, and Christian crosses that speak of Portugal's golden era of explora tion and discovery, of the days of Prince Henry the Navigator and Vasco da Gama. Beloved Lady Home from the Sea From the old fortress we watched the bark Sagres come home from a month at sea (page 747). The proud three-master is one of the last of the square-rigged sailing vessels that fought through screeching Cape Horn gales with Australian grain for Europe. Cape Horn ers, they were called. Now she serves the Portuguese Navy as a training ship. The Sagres slipped by the tower under full sail. Then, as we followed in a launch, boys in white middies climbed aloft to furl her canvas. Evenly spaced on the yards, they looked like Monday's wash hung out to dry. Accepting a shouted invitation from the quarter-deck, we caught a rope ladder and swung aboard. Around us on a shining deck stood bronzed young men. A sail still bil lowed in the wind, and signal flags snapped smartly in the rigging. Now less than a mile away, Lisbon rose in pastel hues from the river's banks. Officers scanned the dockside with binoculars for wives and sweethearts. The ship's band played martial music. A beloved lady coming home...the tradition and spirit of the sea that took the Portuguese to the far corners of the world.., a majestic, living thing-this old ship! Oil Drums Make Sweet Music At summer's end in the Northern Hemi sphere, photographer Wentzel and I flew home via the Azores and Bermuda. Then, after just enough winter for contrast, we winged south to tropical Trinidad.t There we saw men making music by thump ing pieces of 100-gallon oil drums. "Looks like a filling station," said Wentzel. This was one of Trinidad's "steel bands." Instruments are made by hammering wedge shaped depressions in a heated drum top. Be cause of variations in size, the depressions give out different tones when skilled musicians play them with rubber-tipped sticks. Far from the carbon knocks and high-com pression pings I expected, steel-band music is full-throated and sweet. We sat with dusky natives in rude sheet iron "tents" as they applauded calypso bal lads with shouts and laughter. Any doubts I had about the ability of these West Indian bards disappeared when one gave forth ex temporaneously with the following lyric: Mr. Newman Bumstead... you will carry the sway; Your story will break records through the world today! Mr. Wentzel... the snaps that you have made will ever be Blazing on the pages of history! The National Geographic Magazine could never fall Because you two heroes conquer better than all! Flying southeast from Trinidad, our Pan American clipper soared above deserted Dev il's Island. Ahead lay the Amazon's mighty mouth-a maze of black land shapes over printed with a brown drainage system. For years I had known this pattern on maps. * See "Golden Beaches of Portugal," by Alan Vil liers, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, November, 1954. t See "Happy-Go-Lucky Trinidad and Tobago," by Charles Allmon, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, January, 1953.