OCEAN SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING
p.53, Ben Oostdam's Autobiography

Thur, May 7 to Mon, May 11:
Spent most of the time on preparation for "Rockeater" cruise 2 and on getting to know Mercia, who I acquired from Piet van Zyl on Thursday evening; this included seeing the movie: "Liaisons Dangereuses."
I also hired and started training two colored geology assistants. In this "Apartheid"-period, the Cape "coloreds" ranked somewhere between the black natives and the "Europeans", or whites. Regulations dictated separate accommodations for each group. On board "Rockeater", coloreds and blacks slept and ate in the forecastle, the whites in the "hotel" which was constructed on the afterdeck in Capetown. While on duty, the entire crew mixed and worked together with remarkable freedom of discrimination. Incidentally, even the whites on later cruises were "stratified" by status and pay into three groups: the Americans- hired and paid in the USA [including Robin Harvey (S.A.-born) , Dr. Wyn Davies (UK) and I myself (Dutch till 1971)], the Dutch - hired by Bascom on the basis of interviews for ship's officers (incl. Beets) and geologists (Drs. Leendert Kleinjan, Ir. Tom Gans) which I arranged for him with my mother - and the South Africans (geologists Willie van der Merwe and Pete Lamming, the ship's officers, surveyors, divers and plant-operators listed elsewhere)


Willard Bascom lecturing
aboard the "Rockeater"
May 12 to18 :
(First part of "Rockeater" cruise two, attended by Willard Bascom, Ed Horton and Larry Brundred)

OSE's Fin.Officer
Larry Brundred
in contented Buddha-pose

May 14: 12 holes on line 120A, found one 0.05 carat diamond. I dived with Willie to inspect crater caused by drill.
May 15: 120B, 5 holes, 1 diamond, 120C, 8 holes. Night dive with UWTV light to retrieve lost clamp. Larry arrives together with a lot of Collins' mining crew to take f.w. shower
May 16, Sat: Swells as high as 15 ft made us lose anchor. Evacuate sick Piet van Zyl to hospital. Bascom was in bad mood, Willie and Chris complained. Movies that evening.
May 17, Sun: Managed to take 7 samples and two diamonds even though seas were still rough.
May 18: Launched small boat, from which Willie, Rolly and I dove to recover anchor which was almost completely buried. Two diamonds. Wrote letters which were given along with Willard, Ed and Larry who departed, leaving me in charge of sampling operations.

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