National Geographic : 1955 Aug
Calypso Explores for Underwater Oil it as if driving a tent stake. It is an extraor dinary physical feat to swing a hammer through a substance at least 800 times the weight of air while one has no purchase on the earth. However, it was the best way we found, short of blasting, and it obtained about 150 rock samples from the 400 stations where observations were made (page 170). We had set out to survey 200 stations in two months in a weird sea-in-a -desert subject to sudden squalls and sandstorms. The water was as cold as we had found it in winter div ing in the Mediterranean. The team had no place to go on infrequent shore leaves, and the supposedly sterile Persian Gulf was found to be well populated with nuisances. Sea Snakes Watch Work We protected the divers against sharks by stationing the anti-shark cage beside them on the floor (page 177). They could scuttle inside and close the door if necessary. The asylum was all right against sharks, but the worst menace in those waters could slither between the bars. There were several varie ties of poisonous sea snakes. They were quite inquisitive and came close to see the work. Praise be, none of our people was bitten. On Halul Island we met Anthony Mould, an Englishman who lived a hermitlike exist ence providing radar fixes for survey ships. He showed us a pearl divers' graveyard. "This chap bought it from [was killed by] a shark," he said. "This one, snake; those two, sharks." Mould had often seen schools of whales passing the island. Sterile sea, indeed! We completed twice the number of stations we had planned and left Trucial Oman waters with "Station No. 400" chalked big on the wheelhouse wall. In a holiday spirit we left the Pirate Coast bound for 2,500 miles of blue water and atolls of the Indian Ocean. Calypso had a Man and Machine Explore the Murky Sea Bed: Aqualung Diver Checks the Gravimeter The complex instrument made hundreds of descents off the Qatar peninsula, surveying a 12,000-square-mile underwater concession. Thin cable connects to a control panel in the divers' ready room aboard Calypso. British Petroleum Co., Ltd.