OCEAN SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING

p.100, Ben Oostdam's Autobiography, 1965

Sun, Feb.14: "Valentine's Day" I flew with Mike and Knud to Luderitz where I took one more line of samples. A little fishing boat had drifted ashore and some fisherman were casting in the surf. There were a lot of cormorants in neat patterns, with their characteristic nitrogenous-ammoniacal smell. Next, we helicoptered towards the 'Klipbok' and landed on the beach nearby to give them their instructions. After that, they dropped me off in town and I had a good lunch with the charming German lady running a fine restaurant.
That afternoon, I drove around with Johnston, Peter de Vloodt and de Graaff, right upto Diaz Point - a nice event for a former pupil of the Dr.J.Th.de Visserschool in the Bartholomeus Diaz Straat of Amsterdam West! "Klipbok" came in at 17:00, "Rockeater" at 18:00. The US crew, especially Jerry, was in a lousy mood. I had a long talk with him that evening, including deflection of some attempts at blackmail. Apparently there had been several quarrels aboard, and the word was that Joynt of Anglo had complained and said that Anglo should take over this operation. After a separate discussion of this matter with George Erlanger, I went to bed and read Cecil Rhodes - a good guy to blame for some of these present day problems!
Mon., Feb.15: This morning George and I rowed out to "Rockeater" and inspected Jerry's radio shack, which looked fine to us. Next, we went to Mrs Coleman, from where I called Charles Stocken to discuss the nasty affair of 3 diamonds of unknown origin brought to light by Mr. Castle of Diamon Boart (with a "t").
Jerry and I took George to the airport for him to fly out with the "Beaver", then went back to pick up some "Rockeater" crew and get into the DC3 - I was given the navigator's seat, coffee and beer, and we took off at noon and arrived in Capetown at 15:00 - very poor visibility all of the way to my great regret. I went straight to the office and reported to David Smith that the situation with Anglo was geting serious. Wyn and Angie Davis went home with me for dinner and drinks folowed by a pleasant night at the movies. Mercia was very loving.
Tu., Feb.16: We had a long post-sailing conference with Beets, Willie, Andy, Hall, Ton and a few more, and I compiled a report about it. Next, I did some work on the ADK evaluation. To my chagrin, nothing was exactly right in each of the list of items I had left for Wyn to complete. I went home early and went straight to bed after writing a birthday letter to Carla - also too little and too late...
Wed., Feb.17: Completed my report about the Tidal journey, Also worked a bit more on the ADK report and had some words with Wyn about it. I guess there is a bit of difference between my Canadian and USA academic background, and his British - besides, he has a doctorate and I don't yet, so it must be a bit tough on him that I am the Supervising Staff Geologist.
Thur., Feb.18: Birthday of my little sister Carla, who turned 29, is married to Hans van der Kam : they have a cute little girl named Ronnie, and she is pregnant with a second child which is due about the same time as our (Mercia and my) first baby. We worked on the ADK report and heaved sighs of relief when Dave took off for Joburg again. We had hoped for delivery of a new large chart cabinet to-day, but were disappointed once again by slow service. I sent a driver to pick up Mercia so we could drive to her parents and have dinner there in Caledon Street, Goodwood.
click to enlarge I recently came across this photograph of
the April 1994 reunion of the ladies who
used to live in that street:
Mercia's Mom bottom right - the prettiest!
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