Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 43 > Page 54 - Beryl Markham's Transatlantic Flight, 1936

Page 54 - Beryl Markham's Transatlantic Flight, 1936

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1986/8/1 (200 reads)

had taught me: 'Variation West--magnetic best. Var? iation East • magnetic least.' A silly rhyme, but it served to placate, for the moment, two warring poles--the magnetic and the true. I flew south and found the lighthouse of Cape Race protruding from the fog like a warning finger. I circled twice and went on over the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. After a while there would be' New Brunswick, and then Maine--and then New York. I could anticipate. I could almost say, 'Well,, if you stay awake, you'll find it's only a matter of time now'--but there was no question of staying awake. I was tired and I had not moved an inch since that uncer? tain moment at Abingdon when the Gull had elected to with her load and fly, but I could not have closed my eyes. I could sit there in the cab? in, walled in glass and petrol tanks, and be grate? ful for the sun and the light, and the fact that I could see the water under me. They were almost the last waves I had to pass. Four hundred miles of wa? ter, but then the land again--Cape Breton. I would stop at Sydney to refuel and go on. It was easy now. It would be like stopping at Kisumu and go- "ng I Acpomn 4 TRIPS DAILY BETWEEN SYDNEY & HALIFAX • ? SYDNE TRIP 52 - Pick ups in: NORTH SYDNEY, LITTLE BRAS D'OR, BIG HARBOUR, BADDECK, LITTLE NARROWS, WHYCOCOMAGH, PORT 8:45 HASTINGS, PORT HAWKESBURY, & others TRIP 54 - via St. Peter's - Pick ups in: SYDNEY RIVER, BIG POND, ST. PETER'S, GRAND ANSE, CLEVELAND, PORT 2:15 p.n HAWKESBURY, & others TRIP 64L - No other Cape Breton pick ups 10:30 a For more information on: RATES, PICK UP POINTS, AND SCHEDULES PARCEL EXPRESS Same day service to over 51 locations in Nova Scotia'',,,'-'-'''-' iThe fast econonriicalp''''-'*7~'>Tj!!' I way to send parcels''4>-'iij'' ' letters or packages 4''''*' TERMINAL & GENERAL OFFICE: 6040 Almon St., Halifax, N. S. (902) 454-9321 Success breeds confidence. But who has a right to confidence except the Gods? I had a following wind, my last tank of petrol was more than three-quar? ters full, and the world was as bright to me as if it were a new world, never touched. If I had been wiser, I might have known that such moments are, like innocence, short-lived. My engine began to shudder before I saw the land. It died, it splut? tered, it started again and limped along. It coughed and spat black exhaust toward the sea. There are words for everything. There was a word for this--airlock, I thought. This had to be an airlock because there was petrol enough. I thought I might clear it by turning on and turning off all the empty tanks, and so I did that. The handles of the petcocks were sharp little pins of metal, and when I had opened and closed them a dozen times, I saw that my hands were bleeding and that the blood was dropping on my maps and on my clothes, but the effort wasn't any good. I coasted along on a sick and halting engine. The oil pressure and the oil temperature gauges were normal, the magnetos work- ing, and yet I lost altitude slowly while the real? ization of failure seeped into my heart. If I made the land, I should have been the first to fly the North Atlantic from England, but from my point of view, from a pilot's point of view, a forced land? ing was failure because N'ew York was my goal. If only I could land and then take off, I would make it still... if only, if only... The engine cuts again, and then catches, and each time it spurts to life I climb as high as I can get, and then it splutters and stops and I glide once more toward the water, to rise again and de? scend again, like a hunting sea bird. I find the land. Visibility is perfect now and I see land forty or fifty miles ahead. If I am on my course, that will be Cape Breton. Minute after min? ute goes by. The minutes almost materialize; they pass before my eyes like links in a long slow-mov- onme Jprinte and - Beverage Room Home of Scottish Hospitality (grill Home Cooked Meals Steaks a Specialty REEVES ST. 562-4484 SYDNEY Best Western Clapmore 3nn ICfcTAYMOIiE; ANTIGONISH Situated on the Mainland in Historic Antigonish'J 30 Miles from the Canso Causeway on Route 104 76 Well Appointed Rooms * LICENSED LOUNGE & DINING ROOM (902) 863-1050 Toll Free 1-800-528-1234 Cape Breton Mental Health Centre Main Location: 1st Floor, Cape Breton Hospi tal ,?? Sydney River Satellite Clinics Serve These Areas: North. Sydney, Glace Bay, New Waterford, Harbour, -Ingonish, Cheticamp, Baddeck, Neil's St. Peter's Services: Psychotherapy, Individual Counselling, Marriage & Family Counselling, Group Therapy, Consultation to Agencies, Schools, etc.. Drug Therapy, Forensic Assessment, Psychological Testing, Parenting, Children's Services Referrals accepted from all sources. You can even refer yourself. Please Call 562-3202 or 562-3110 or 562-3333 (54)
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