National Geographic : 1955 Dec
780 Porpoises Follow Fishermen Like Playful Dogs. They Can Pace a Boat at 30 Knots These sea creatures, also known as dolphins, have warm blood and suckle their young. Seconds after birth in the ocean, the baby must swim to the surface for its first breath. Members of a school communicate by whistling. When seen leaping and darting, porpoises may be feeding, migrating, or frolicking. Old-time sailors regarded their presence as an omen of fair winds. Author and photographer met this school off Angola. I said to Willers. Consenting, he warned that our films should be set aside; the X-rays would destroy them. Wentzel and I concentrated all our film in one suitcase. At the security building we saw our bags unloaded, and then proceeded into the office, followed-we foolishly be lieved-by the baggage porters. Thirty seconds later I realized the porters had entered another building. X-rays Prove Photographer's Undoing "Where's the suitcase with the films?" I yelled. "The baggage goes that way and you go in here." I ran frantically after the luggage, ignor ing the attendant's shouted order to halt. "Come back!" I shouted. "Come back!" The porters paid no attention. I caught up with them just as they passed the first of six suitcases through the X-ray. Our picture coverage of the Skeleton Coast was wiped out in a flash. Gone were the results of hundreds of miles of travel. With fresh film flown in from Windhoek we slogged again through desert sands and diamond diggings, remaking the pictures shown on pages 772 and 773. Several days later, after flying along Angola's coast to the Belgian Congo, Wentzel and I sat in the lobby of the Regina Hotel in Leopoldville taking stock of our Atlantic odyssey. In six months, through 14 nations spread over five continents, we had traveled 36,000 miles by plane and another 6,000 by taxi, jeep, truck, log raft, warship, cruise ship, LST, dugout canoe, tugboat, train, horseback, cable railway, bicycle, rowboat, and helicopter, plus many a mile on foot-and we were still 8,000 miles from home. Wentzel had clicked his shutter on 6,300 pictures, and my well-worn notebook bulged with material enough for a book. As we passed the Pan American Airways desk on our way out of the lobby, my eye caught the flight dispatcher's board: "PAA Flight 151 to New York." Involuntarily I asked, "Any seats left?" "Yes." "When could we be in Washington?" "In 48 hours." And we were.