OCEAN SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING

p.102, Ben Oostdam's Autobiography, 1965

Wed, Feb.24:
I had anticipated a quiet morning but got unexpected visits from shy Ma, from Ernie Miller of Tidewater to discuss phosphorites and from a Captain of the Hydrographic Service who expressed discontent with IMC. I had lunch with Eric Stephansen and Wyn Davies and heard the tale of the favo(u)rs of Mrs Williams of Luderitz: diamonds!

[translating decades later from my original journal records
kept on 3x5 cards written in Dutch -
and preserved in a John COPE's Toasted Dried Sweet Corn can...)

I do not remember the Mrs Williams story
but will now test modern techniques by "Googling" it....
after first taking this photograph..(left)

Results: the only relevant results was this interesting but biased story about "African Diamonds", by Cheryl Sanchez, on August 7, 2006 quoting:
"The British Royal Family was used to hike the prices by simply wearing diamonds.
Queen Elizabeth returned the "favour" by visiting De Beers mines during a well publicized trip to South Africa.
Besides the "crown jewels-African jewels", The Queen owns the following. 14 Tiaras, 46 necklaces, 98 broaches and 37 bracelets.
Even during the war, it was suggested that," the Queen has a patriotic duty to wear diamonds". ")

so perchance QE's secret code name had been "Mrs Williams"??

And as a fringe benefit (always a hallmark of Google serendipitous searches): the Wiese Collection catalogue
with numerous recent refs on diamonds and finance researched by financial author Deon Basson,
including a blog about the takeoever by NAMCO of Ocean Diamond Mines in 1999:-
and now back to translating, please...]




Also found out that the "Rockeater" crew had flown to Luderitz on the MDC plane since SWL had not shown up...
Later in the afternoon, M showed up a bit early so I had to cancel a meeting with Dave Smith.
We went for a walk in town and had dinner in a stark barren restaurant with a very kind
old waitress who we each tipped 25 cents.
Next, we went to the 'bioskoop" and watched "In the Cool of the Day'(1963) with Jane Fonda, playing in Greece...

Thur, Feb.25:
We reorganized the office and set up filing cabinets. We also did a bit of work on TIDAL, ADK Special and diving gear. I went home pretty early which made Mercia happy. At home I organized my growing reprint collection. At 20:00, Director Dave Smith disturbed this domestic tranquility persuading me to come over and make a radio telephone call to Jack Mardesich aboard the "Rockeater" to discuss sample spacing. Jack reported a poor first day at sea, only 8 holes, no diamonds found.. I got back home at 21:00, where and when Mercia made me a cup of coffee and I went to bed, still mad with Dave - who also felt bad, anyhow!
Fri, Feb.26:
Dave concucted a serious discussion about ADK, shortened our report and changed the outline of "Patch ONE".
We continued talking about TIDAL and Mr.Ogle and various maps to be made. Next, I arranged to send Piet van Zyl to Captain Cook.
In the early evening I picked up Mercia from Rosemarie's - they had gone to see a movie together with Angela.
The rest of the night I did a lot of reading of my reprint collection.
Sat Feb.27 :
Roy Joint of Anglo disembarked from "Rockeater". We produced an Errata Sheet for the MDC report and worked along on the TIDAL report. I left the office in the early afternoon, read a book about crusades and made nougat. In the evening, we went to Erik's for drinks and to watch the "Colpontoon" movie before going to a "real" movie on Vikings and their long ships.
Sun Feb.28 :
A pleasant day, Mercia went for a walk by herself while George showed me his slides.
Next, we picked up Wyn Davies and drove to Vishoek where we launched my well-traveled sailfish. Unfortunately, the wind was too strong, so we went home early, had a good dinner, talked a lot and went to bed at 21:00 to celebrate the end of the shortest month!
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