Norwood's cove, as part of Southwest Harbor, Maine, is a small and quiet body of water. Its quietness comes because long ago men built a barrier for it against the Atlantic Ocean. Day in and day out its only excitement is the timed and timeless washing and roar of the strong Maine tides as they pour over the rocky causeway which is the door between the cove and the ocean.
The cove catches its breath between tidal surges, as if relaxing from holding the door—and preserves a peace as perfect as a millpond's. One recent day I was admiring its intertidal serenity. Then, completely out of character with the cove, a dark, large object splashed through its surface.
I had heard a local legend about the cove, which tells that once a school of porpoises got into it and then, as legendarily as they entered, left.
So I thought, "Porpoises!"
September 1, 1957
The black, shiny object surfaced again, and almost immediately another. The legend was still legend. These were no porpoises—nor, as an incredulous split-second thought suggested, men from Mars.
Just a couple of skin-divers, with cylinders on their backs, flippers on their feet, goggles over their eyes and glistening coveralls that gave them the general look of enormous frogs.
Although the sight would have surprised me anyway, my interest was considerably sharpened by the coincidence that I had lately read the manuscript of an article by Clare Boothe Luce which will appear in the next two issues of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. In it she tells her experiences as she mastered the tricky art of exploring the underwater world. It is a thorough, authoritative and charming introduction to a swiftly growing sport, related not only with humor but with the lyric sensitivity which the world of water often seems to evoke. Far from the age-old story of men who go down to sea in ships, it is the new one of a woman who goes under it via Aqua-lung.
Part of its fascination certainly lies in the unexpected fact of a well-known playwright, former congress-woman and ambassador turning to sport and reporting it so expertly. And altogether, the story, as Mrs. Luce tells it, is an experience I am sure you will enjoy during the next two weeks.