John Ogden jogden at
Wed Jun 25 16:04:45 EDT 1997

Three personal anecdotes:

1. Cousteau came to St. Croix on the Calypso to St. Croix in the early
'70's and docked unannouced at the Hess Refinery product loading
dock.  He was "out of gas." He was told that he should go to the
commercial fuel dock.  He responded by asking if the Hess executives would
like the world press to know that they had refused to help Cousteau and
the Calypso.  They gave him the fuel. (He was a great entrepreneur)

2. At the premier of one of the first Cousteau films on Third Ave. NYC:
>From the small sub he intoned: "We came across this very strange fish; we
have no idea what it is."  From the back of the packed house came a shout:
"Like hell, it's a batfish!"  The audience broke into laughter. (He didn't
always get his facts straight, but he was always entertaining, and it was
probably better as a "strange fish" anyway.)

3. At UNESCO in Paris in the mid-1980's a French friend asked me to leave
the meeting and come with him to meet someone.  We went across the street
to a huge auditorium full of noisy French school children of, say, 8-12
years.  We met Cousteau backstage briefly and then went into the audience.
I expected slides or a film, but Cousteau walked out on the stage alone,
the auditorium became silent, and he talked about the ocean for over a
hour holding the huge group in thrall.  (The voice, the accent, the one could weave a spell like him.)

As Carl Safina said on NPR this morning, "he showed us that with great
curiosity about the sea's great mysteries, one can make great
discoveries, and have a lot of fun doing it."  Carl also said that he
showed us that if you find a bottle of wine on the sea floor, you can
drink it.

John C. Ogden        Director        Phone:  813/553-1100
Florida Institute of Oceanography    Fax:    813/553-1109
830 First Street South               St. Petersburg, Florida 33701

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