It's been a very, very, long wait for good weather, 1931


After all preparations had been completed, the hardest part of the whole project was still ahead of us, and I don't mean the actual flight either. It was waiting for the right kind of conditions that would permit our take off. The start of a successful flight depended on three very important item. First, a low tide early in the morning, which would give us a long, wide beach, heavy air, and more lift to our plane. Secondly, the wind had to be either very light from the side or up and down the beach. Thirdly, and the most important of all, we wanted to be assured of at least two good days for the beginning of the flight. With a heavily loaded plane staggering around in the air just above stalling speed, rough or bad weather is not only very uncomfortable, but more engine revolutions have to be maintained to keep the ship level and that means the burning of more fuel. With success of the flight dependent on conserving fuel as much as possible, you can see we didn't want any more bad weather than was necessary.
     Two trips daily were made to the weather bureau, once at nine in the morning and again at eight in the evening, just after the reports had come in from all over the country and the weather map was being made up. With several of us pouring over the charts and almost forcing the poor fellows to promise decent weather for three or four days, they had every reason to throw us out of the office, but instead gave us most valuable information and advice. When they finally did give us the word that fine weather was ahead, they would promise only three days and nights, and strange to say, some bad weather always turned up on the fourth day.


I never had the chance to meet Walter. He died before I met his daughter Jo, who I married in 1963, but everyone assures me that he had a lively sense of humor and loved a joke. I find it to be quite in character that he would have thought up the skit which was used in the documentary which was filmed of the endurance flight. I'm sure he delighted in pursuading the others in the group to don the long beards and ham it up for the camera.
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