SOUTH AMERICAN TRIP
9 Nov 1903
Monday Nov 9 1903
Started from Liverpool in a freshening breeze. H [Harold] & A [Arthur], with the MacIver party, had a disagreeable experience in getting on the tug to go ashore. The river being decidedly choppy they had great difficulty in making the "tranship". The foam-capped waves, occasionally fringed with spray, looked very fine, especially when they caught the sunlight. We steamed out on the good ship "Barbary" into a very wild and stormy sunset.
I was thinking unutterable and unwriteable things - only four months to-day since my darling left me - it seems a weary life alone!
I am most comfortable in the Captain's Cabin, all to myself, and so far am thankful to say am quite well.
Tue Nov 10
Rough, cold, and disagreeable. May very sick, poor girl, also Frieda. Mrs M in bed all day, & Dorothy mostly seedy. Walked and kept out most of the day.
Wed Nov 11
Woke early and saw the sun rise out of a most beautiful cloudland. A nicer day - sea gone down, invalids all better, my squeamishness gone, ped: registered 11½ miles since I came on board. Sunset fine - afterglow very like those in Egypt - crimson and opalescent - stars very bright - had tea outside.
Thu Nov 12
Calm and beautiful - walked 4 m. - Mrs MacIver read aloud whilst we worked on Capt's deck all morning - again made tea on deck, wh. we all enjoyed - sunset grand, with afterglow of exceptional brilliance. I counted nine distinct rays shooting upwards into the deep blue vault; these lasted about ½ hr. Stars again very bright. 3½ miles.
Capt: Gordon is a fine specimen of a Highlander, tall and strongly built, with a remarkable face wh: I should think one would never forget - more bushy eyebrows even than Mr Still - he is pleasant and courteous, and will do anything we ask. Mr Nicolls, the 2nd officer or 1st mate, is an old Birkenhead School boy - remembers the Wilsons and others.
Fri Nov 13
A most glorious sunrise at 7 a.m. - sky exactly the same as last night after the sun had set - I watched it until the light was so strong it dazzled my eyes - began reading Green's Hist: of Eng: people - read, walked, worked, & do. do. do. all day. Fine, warm, but rather windy - discarded my ? - every day one has to leave off something - sat on deck after dinner watching the stars. Saw some shooting ones - Jupiter very bright and larger - tried to sketch sunset - but it was too difficult - Dan: 12 v. 3 - walked over 4 ms - the sick sheep was killed.
4 bells just rung - the watchman calls out "all's well, lights burning bright" - if only one could say that of oneself: - alas I am afraid I never could say it truthfully - had tea on deck as usual - the gulls which have followed us from Liverpool have all forsaken us, except one solitary bird.
Sat Nov 14
Very much warmer - in fact, summer - a calm beautiful day - walked 5 ms - read Macauley & worked morning - tea on deck - also after dinner sat out for an hour or two - Capt. Gordon says it is the calmest voyage he remembers - God is very tender towards us - did not pass anything - I have only seen two steamers since Wednesday - made 230? - began "Trade and Travel in S.A. by Fred: Alcock"
(notes of distances walked ; lst week 23¾. 2nd w. 24¼, 3rd w. 24¼)
Sun Nov 15
Passed Madeira at 1.30 a.m. - very disappointing not to see it by day - I fancied I smelt flowers occasionally - it looked very weird and strange in the dim light - After breakfast it began to rain - the first since Liverpool, wh: continued at intervals all day. About 3.30 we had a little service, Mr MacIver reading parts of the evening service - after dinner we had some hymns on deck to the accompaniment of Frieda's violin - how near the other world is at such times - did very little reading - walked 4¼ miles.
(list of handy Spanish words - cabriole : a cab - leche : milk etc.)