A practise run on the deepsea sounding machine in the Pacific. The lads winding in some 150 fathoms of wire with a 28-pound lead on the end appear to have drawn the short straw. Their shipmates are greasing the wire as it is hauled aboard, whilst the second mate is getting ready to remove the pressure tube when it comes up. The start of a tropical rainstorm can be seen approaching from behind the lads. By the time the shutter had clicked everybody was thoroughly soaked. Fortunately, in the tropics, that was no great hardship.

I was only involved in using the deepsea sounding machine for real once. That was in January 1948 when making the banks on the way to Halifax, Nova Scotia, from the Straits of Gibraltar. It was blowing a blizzard and the temperature was 10 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. No Radar in those days and the Echo Sounder was a bit iffy. So it was the deepsea lead or nothing. That certainly rates as one of the more unpleasant experiences I ever had. But it worked and we got to Halifax in one piece - albeit a very cold one.

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