Tuesday, March 07, 2006

jacques-yves cousteau, captain of the calypso, my hero

some of my favorite quotes from The Living Sea-

  • In mutual joy of heading for rare adventure, everyone pitched in where needed.

  • [re: excavating a sunken ancient Greek ship in the Red Sea]: The crest of the mound yielded clusters of small potteries that had been stowed between the necks of the amphorae...[lists items]..., and a ravishing miniature aphora that the ancients used to collect human tears.

  • "To Your Health" inscribed on an ancient Greek mug

  • "Russell said, 'You know sailing on board Calypso is so interesting you lose track of time. One morning you could wake up an old man.' I thought he touched on what we received as compensation for the dire struggles ashore. We were wresting weeks of timelessness from the sea."

  • Calypso carried a 3 ton stainless steel wine tank which amused foreign oceanographers, some of whom travel on wretched craft without a drop aboard. Calypsonians could drink as much as they liked, average daily wine consumption per capita was about a pint.

  • The snake circled around us languidly. The eyes in its incredible pinhead were so small we could not tell whether or not it was interested in us. I maneuvered for a camera position in front of it and motioned for Kientzy to swim into the lens field. He misunderstood and swung his hammer, trying to batter the snake's head into the floor. It was pretty ludicrous to see a man trying to hit an animal amost as fluid as water itself. Yet Kientzy succeeded with a terrible blow near the head. The snake swam nervously away despite the mortal wound. I asked the divers not to attack the snakes.

This last one reminds me of Clark W. Griswold's answer to the squirrel in the christmas tree - CATCH IT IN THE COAT, SMACK IT WITH THE HAMMER!

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