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Journal of a Seaplane Cruise Around The World
Part One: The Atlantic Ocean

Tuesday, September 4 - The Bad Weather Continues

Angmagssalik to Reykjavik The storm had unquestionably reached Thorshavn this morning, so we have laid over today. We spent most of the time leisurely fueling and greasing the plane.

During the morning it occurred to us that the airplane is still without a name and we decided to give it one using the very word which Mr. Isben had suggested from the Greenlandish. "Asulinak" -- it seems to have various translations, the most publishable of which are: "I'll take a chance" or "Why worry." A sign painter came out from town and did a good job of christening, although he nearly fell in, as the plane bounced around at anchor.

We agree to carry the air mail. The Postmaster General called on us at the pier to determine when we expect to leave, and to ask would we carry the air mail. We were much honored at the thought and asked where did he want it carried. But he only replied: "Where are you going?" I told him it would be to the Faroe Islands and then to Scotland, and if his mail was destined for the continent, that Edinburgh would probably be the destination for quickest delivery. We plan to start tomorrow and should be there in 36 hours. He said that was satisfactory and asked how much we would be willing to take. I set a limit of ten kilograms and he agreed to pay me at the rate of about seventy-five cents each letter.

I asked what had happened to his regular service and he explained that there isn't any, that in fact there are no airplanes in Iceland. It has been the practice for the Post Office Department to bring out new issues of air mail stamps at intervals and that the recent set, the third or fourth that had been published, had been put on sale the day before we arrived, and he seemed delighted that they should have a chance to baptize the issue by a formal air mail flight. He returned to the Post office and advertised the expected mail delivery and in the evening brought to the hotel a sealed sack of mail weighing 15 or 20 pounds. Bob, of course, is a mad stamp collector, and he reveled at the chance to carry some covers as official mail.

The stamps are brightly colored in green, blue, purple, orange and dark brown. There are three designs: one shows a biplane of about 1922, circling the historic parliamentary seat at Thingvalla; another pictures a streamlined monoplane passing over Snaefells Jokull; the third, which is a little harder to comprehend, shows a cut of the curving horizon of the earth beneath which is spread the entire country of Iceland in map-like form. A giant monoplane (with about 500 of dihedral, and a tiny axle-landing gear!) is boring its way from Scoresby Sound. They are very pretty on a letter, and we have discovered that the Postmaster General had a rubber stamp made which reads: "By Air Mail Reykjavik - Edinburgh, Carried by Dr. R. Light" with which he has embellished each envelope.

On returning to the city in the afternoon we caught sight of the beautiful Pourquoi Pas?, her sails still raised. We hurried down and found that she had just arrived after an extremely rough crossing from Angmagssalik, having ridden on her beam ends most of the way.

Dr. Charcot and Commander Chatton and the three young men of the expedition (including the poor Dutchman, whose two, "polar years" at Angmagssalik had been brought to an abrupt finish by this violently rough sea voyage). We dined at the Borg and listened to many stories on all hands. Talk drifted to Arctic matters, and somebody remarked regarding the Cook-Peary controversy that "Cook was a gentleman and a liar, but Peary was neither".

We are off tomorrow for Thorshavn.

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