The Seven Seas Magazine, March 1932, Hamburg America Line & North German Lloyd
Front Cover, March 1932 Issue of The Seven Seas, Published by the North German Lloyd, Cover Drawing by Helen Hoffman. GGA Image ID # 1287efc3e9
The Seven Seas, Vol. 9, No. 1 for March 1932. Photographs Include Schwarzwald; Relaxing in Heidelberg; Horse-Drawn Cart in Berlin; Place De La Concorde; Brittany Fête; Grand Duke Dmitri Romanoff; Will Rogers; Gerhart Hauptmann. Content Include Sunshine in Quimper, Transatlantica, Tuileries, Snack Counter, by John Mosher, Im Wien by Charles G. Shaiv, Marktplatz, English Spoken Here by John Cournos, a Calendar of Events Abroad, St. Michael’s Mount by Barbara Frost, and Books for Bon Voyage by Donald Douglas.
The murmur of the turbines and the motion of the liner through the sea had become so much a part of my surrounding sensations that when both sound and movement suddenly ceased, I was awakened.
The luminous dial beside my pillow showed four o'clock, which meant I had been asleep one hour: somewhat less than enough, I said to myself, after an evening of song and Pilsener; and was about to resume my slumber when it occurred to me, now wide awake, that it was rather queer we had come to a stop in what I knew for sure to be the middle of the ocean.
For I now remembered noticing at noon that the little flag on the chart indicated our position as being just halfway between New York and Madeira; it having seemed so very lonely there, so far from any land.
And, altogether curious by this time, I got up and followed a faint pathway of light to the porthole.
You can imagine my surprise when I saw from this aperture a pier approaching, and beyond the pier, in the moonlight, a lovely Bavarian village, all whitewashed and frescoed and tile-roofed, and even a little church with a Zwiebel tower, and a great, efficient edifice rising from the clustered cottages, whose visible façade was decorated as by Pieter Breughl himself, in scenes symbolic of the brewer's art....
By this time we had come alongside, and I found myself face to face with a young fellow in leathern shorts, with a feather in his hat, who was perched upon an upper portion of the pier, and whose position thus brought him into such proximity with my porthole that conversation became inevitable.
And what I learned was indeed amazing. For it seems that this was a secret island named Vergiss- Mein-Nicht, lying just off the transatlantic tracks, whose whereabouts had never been made known to the map- makers.
The Line on one of whose ships I was now traveling had been fortunate enough to discover it fifty years ago and wise enough, a little later, to find a use for it which, when (in confidence) it was disclosed to me by my friend on the pier, solved the problem that has puzzled me, and maybe you, for years.
Namely, what do these boats do when they run out of beer—a contingency that must occur to any observant person in the course of a passage. At any rate a colony of experts had been established on Vcrgiss-Mein-Nicht for the purpose of preparing for such emergencies and for easing the situation generally.
They had built a brewery, had in fact built a little mountain, on the lower slopes of which they grew the necessary ingredients and up whose steeper side they climbed on holidays.
The village I could see from my porthole was named Grosses Helles; a smaller one across the mountain on the shady side was called Kleines Dunkeles.
During the daytime, to avert detection, they could create a very clever camouflage that made the whole island look like mist. They did it with mirrors.
The steamers of the lucky Line called only in the small hours of the morning. Passengers would then be asleep, was the theory, and if one or two did happen to be awake and see the island, they would always imagine it the next morning to have been a dream, and never mention it for fear of ridicule....
By the time I had gained all this information, the task of exchanging empty kegs for full ones had been completed, silently, on rubber-lined runways.
We were ready to cast off. I said good-bye and promised to keep the secret I had inadvertently discovered. And I hope you will help me to keep my promise.
Vienna Breakfast. GGA Image ID # 12881e1e72
Mother and Children Relaxing on the SS Bremen. GGA Image ID # 12885be0a5
Deck Games on the SS Bremen. GGA Image ID # 12889c4606
Trio Ex Europa - Grand Duke Dmitri Romanoff; Will Rogers; and Gerhart Hauptmann. GGA Image ID # 12890b8de9
The SS Bremen Departs on Another Voyage. GGA Image ID # 1289972d79
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