OCEAN SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING
p.55, Ben Oostdam's Autobiography

May 24, Sun: Up late. Re-read Rita's letters and called to Durban at the outrageous cost of R 56! We made mutual apologies and planned to meet in Durban soon.
I then read all diving reports in preparation for the inquest which started the next day re Joe Wright's death. In the afternoon, I gave a SCUBA introduction at the Long Street Pool to Mr. de Hill, inspector of mines. I had dinner at the Tulbach's, which did not sell liquor on Sundays but provided drinks with dinner "on the house!"

May 25-26: Most of these two days was spent at the Inquest on the sixth floor of the B.B.B. (Barclays Bank Building?). Some of the people present were lawyer Getz (a swimmer), Dave Linneker, Rolly Thompson, Cdr Keeble, Hoffman, Hoyt, de Hill, Capt. Meerhans and Hoffie's lovely secretary M.King. Everything was recorded in longhand, making the procedures long and drawn out, with plenty of coffee and sleepy afternoons. At 19:00 Tuesday the inquest ended with no blame attached to anyone, which was not quite in accordance with my own conscience.

May 27: First visited Police H.Q in the morning and next Prof. Fuller to discuss potential Ph.D. program with thesis topic: Continental Shelf Off S.W. Africa.
He'll discuss details with Prof. Simpson.

May 28, Thur: All morning conference on sampling and briefly after noon I asked Dave's approval to take the 13:00 plane to Durban. . .beautiful flight and hostess Helena duToit. Visited cockpit and noted transverse dunes. (my 2004 flight photographs can be found here.)Took the bus into town which appeared rather dirty, and met Rita and her hosts, the Mitchells, at 19:00. I stayed at the Killarney Hotel.

May 29:Since Rita had to work, I walked along the Durban coast and harbor and saw for the first time the famous Zulu rickshaw pullers. Bought a mask and mailed it to Mrs Walker at SIO.
May 30, Sat: Rented a car and drove north along the coast visiting various Shaka Zulu and other Zulu landmarks.

May 31, SUN: Drove to Pieter Maritzburg and Thousand Hills and MidMar (?) Dam (see my 2004 tour photos ) where we saw many kids begging and had a good fried chicken lunch. Visited some "kraals" and saw bare-breasted Zulu women covered with cowdung at a place called "Ben's Den." . . .another quarrel back in Durban when I tried to call Denise, my "nominal" fiancee.

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