National Geographic : 1950 Jan
From Indian Canoes to Submarines at Key West m He Walked Through Watery Wonders Like a Landlubber Through Airy Gardens Give a sailor a day off and he rows around the nearest lake. This Navy diver, attached to the rescue vessel Chanticleer, takes his busman's holiday under water near the Dry Tortugas. John Joseph Roche is an expert in the use of the underwater spear gun for bagging large fish. Here he collects another conch. busy crew, I watched the Sonar and radar men at work. The latter picked up and located every craft anywhere near us, and even showed me on his screen a "firefly" that meant the Sand Key Light. Later, on surface ships and even up in a blimp, we saw how, by Sonar and Sonar-plus radio, communication can be held between submarines, surface, and airships. Expanding Navy Base Blimp-cruising low over Key West, I was amazed to see the vast extent of Navy in stallations, as compared with the original town. But the city still keeps its character. Most older houses have a surface cistern built beside them to catch rain water which runs off the roof. For generations that was all the fresh water Key West had. Now the city gets ample water from the mainland through a long, long steel pipe, which Navy helped pay for. Conspicuous features of old Key West are the crumbling Martello Towers and coast ar tillery forts built long ago, the now abandoned salt-drying flats, and the old lighthouse, from whose high platform tourists now get a good view of the city. From far out at sea the most prominent Key West landmark is the white-painted sky scraping La Concha Hotel. Pilots let me sit away out in front, in the blimp's glassed-in nose (page 50). This is the best seat from which to observe just how one of these big, noisy, clumsy-looking air ships is launched and landed.