National Geographic : 1960 Nov
EKTACHROME() NATIONALGEOGRAPHICSOCIETY "Hail Noble Captain, It Is Done Again." In honor of Ferdinand Magellan, Triton pre sented a plaque bearing these words to Spain, in whose service he undertook the first world voyage 441 years ago. The Portuguese navi gator's portrait hangs in Mariners Museum, Newport News, Virginia. Freely translated, the Latin inscription reads: "Ferdinand Ma gellan, most famous for having conquered the difficulties of the Antarctic Strait." vapor might have caused a fire; there might have been a severe explosion. Had Steele's action not been so instanta neous and so precisely correct, Triton's main hydraulic system would have been lost in a few more seconds-with the momentary loss of all diving-plane controls, and steering as well. Even with our quick shift to emergency control, we might have been in serious trouble because we were going so fast. Speed Averaged 21 Miles an Hour "Monday, April 25," said the log. "St. Peter and St. Paul Rocks in sight, bearing due west. First submerged circumnavigation of the world is now complete." We circled the bleak islets again, as we had done two months before. The sun was shining brightly. Our mileage, Rock to Rock, was 26,723 nautical, or 30,752 statute, miles. It had taken us 60 days and 21 hours. Dividing gives an average speed of just over 18 knots, or 21 statute miles an hour. No other ship and no other crew-could have done better. After passing St. Paul Rocks-on the west 614 ern side this time-we set course, still sub merged, toward Cadiz, Spain, lying 17 miles from Sanlicar de Barrameda, where Magellan set sail on his historic circumnavigation.* En route we passed close to the island of Tenerife, Magellan's last stopping point be fore crossing the Atlantic. There he quelled his first mutiny. We came upon the island in the early morning and were rewarded with a spectacular view (page 610). Roads, lined with new buildings, led back from the city of Santa Cruz toward a high mountain and many peaks on the skyline. Two days later we were off Cadiz and in contact with the destroyer U.S.S. John W. Weeks. We wished the Weeks to deliver a plaque, designed by Lt. Tom Thamm, as an offering to the country from which Magellan set forth on his historic voyage. The inscrip tion was in Latin and English: Ave Nobilis Dux, Iterum Factum Est-"Hail Noble Cap tain, It Is Done Again." At 6 a.m. Triton broached, just as we had while transferring Poole to the Macon two months earlier (page 611). Joe Roberts was taken off to fly his pictures to Washington. Of the remainder of our voyage back to port, there is little to tell. We crossed the Atlantic Ocean clear of steamer lanes and U. S. Navy exercise areas. We had eaten steak once a week before, and now we could have it twice as often. There was enough food left to go around the world again at half rations. Those of us who had tried to diet on the cruise surveyed mixed results. A lieutenant said proudly: "I think I lost ten pounds." A chief answered, "Turn around, sir. I think I've found it." After hearing the doctors talk, I warned the men to use special care while driving during their first day back home. For months most of us had looked at nothing farther than 10 feet away, and it might take a little time to get our eyes accustomed to focusing quickly from near to far objects. Before dawn of May 10 we surfaced off Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. After daybreak, boats and planes came to photograph us. A helicopter hovered with sacks of mail. Following radioed instructions, I was ready in my unaccustomed dress khaki uniform, and in a little more than an hour the helicopter had put me down in Washington, D. C., on the back lawn of the White House. Soon I would see the President of the United States. * See "Greatest Voyage in the Annals of the Sea," by J. R. Hildebrand, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, De cember, 1932.