Mon Nov 23

Beautiful sunrise at 6, sky rosy at 5 - found a very stiff breeze blowing outside - a delightful change - much cooler - saw large quantities of flying fish, some quite 2ft long - also a large brown bird about 3 times the size of a gull - Croosed the equator at 11.14 - Capt. decidedly vague about time when asked before - read 20 pages of Macauley - walked 3 ms - Saw very many flying fish, wh: look very like a flock of small birds.

Tue Nov 24

Rose at 5.40 in time to see glorious sunrise - great excitement was caused by two steamers passing, also the sight of Fernando Noronha on the horizon - I walked 1m&½, then went to try & sketch the islands, also took 6 photos - at first it looked like a pink phantom, clear in outline against the deep blue sky - a most singular horn or peak was in the center - near which, when we got within a mile or two, we saw the signal station. This is the first land since Holyhead that we have passed by daylight - a very bleak spot, formerly a convict station. We saw a Church and a few houses, a few palms & trees of a more bushy nature, also some cokernut palms. At the extreme west there are some very fine rocks, in one of which we saw a complete hole, the sky on the other side being visible. Went to see the cook; he is better and up. The only sign of life beside the flag run up, was a very strange looking bird with an extremely long tail - they call it the Bo'swain. Walked 4 ms, read 10 pages of Macauley - found Fernando Noronha is now a convict station for the state of Pernambuco alone - formerly for Brazil.

Wed Nov 25

Rose at 5.45 - sun already up - a quiet day reading & working - very fine. A light evening - had tea at 6 by daylight which contd. until 7. Saw the S. Cross for the first time - had an interesting talk with 3rd Officer - he knows a great deal more about the stars than anyone I have met - learned a very little - walked a little over 4 ms - saw a school of porpoises quite close to the ship - they kept alongside quite a long time.

Thu Nov 26

Rose at 5.50, walked 2ms before breakfast. A delicious sea & sky - read 16 pages of Macauley. May and Dorothy steered the ship a short time before playing our usual game of Bull - I was relieved to find May's eyes stronger, as it requires very concentrated sight - 3½ miles. Sunset rather lurid and threatening. Had a little chat with one of the men - they all seem so contented and happy, like a lot of big careless schoolboys. The poor stokers have a hot time this weather; sometimes they have to be carried up on deck. Each has 4 hrs on at a time & works 8 hrs in the 24 & each man shifts 3½ to 4 tons of coal daily - that is he has to fetch it from the store of coal and then shovel it on to the furnace, the door of which is on a level with his shoulder.

Fri Nov 27

5.40, very hot - read 16 pages Macauley - walked 1 m before breakfast - too hot to do more - saw a light at night wh. proved to be Arbrolhos, a revolving light on some rocks about 30 miles out from coast. Saw peaks very faintly in the distance, about 40 miles away - stars & moon most brilliant & and so warm, it was a treat to sit outside and do nothing - walked 3 ms in all.

Sat Nov 28

Rose at 5.45 to find brilliant sunshine. It is very hot this morning - sun seems to have more power as we get away from the Line. There are fewer flying fish but they are much larger than they were. Another ram dead. Canopus in Argo very brilliant last night; it has so many colours which change constantly. S. Cross rose about 1 a.m. very large constellation. This evening we continued our game of Bull after tea, & afterwards saw a most wonderful sunset - the sky was a warm reddy orange, from wh. the sun set into the sea - over it was a long purple cloud, all frayed & broken up into mares tails and wind flags by a strong N.E. wind wh: has been blowing all day - at the right of this was a pile of dark grey cumuli clouds, in the midst of wh; continuous flashes of lightning lit them up with a pink glow - overhead the moon shone brightly & daylight was still quite bright. The sun set at 6.50 & afterglow was magnificent. We sat and watched the lightning, wh: the Capt. says is always visible on this coast. I noticed a strong sweet aromatic scent, wh. I hear came off land - how I should love to see the vegetation there - walked 3¼ ms.

Sun Nov 29

Rose at 5.45 - a brilliant sunrise & morning wh. soon became overcast, enabling me to walk ½ hr before breakfast - it is now quite impossible to walk in the sun - just heard that the temp: was 130 in engine room last night. This morning, Install the head steward, who has been taking cook's work since his illness, came on duty again in pure white clothes. However, by dinner time the poor cook was hors de combat once more, & we were again reduced to Duncan. 4 p.m., we had our little service, after which Mr MacIver read his paper for the L & S S based largely on one read by my darling. A complete change in the weather, wh.has become wet & stormy. We are only about 900 miles from Montevideo.

Lunes Nov 30

5.50 - storm gone - beautiful morning - cooler - a glorious day with very hot sun & deliciously cool breeze, followed by a perfectly gorgeous sunset - truly the gates of Heaven it seemed - it is impossible to imagine anything more beautiful, the shades of orange with a reddish tint, pink blending into mauve, green, lemon, all curiously set off by a perfectly blue sky, & such a warm blue, the moon, with Jupiter in attendance, sailing like a piece of silvery mother-of-pearl overhead. I saw some glorious rays after the sun sank into the sea at 7.30 first faint, afterwards a soft warm pink - and yet "eye hath not seen .. what our Father has prepared for all who love him". Saw some grampus leaping and gambolling in the sea - walk 4 ms. B. 3 weeks to-day since we left.

Martes Dec 1

Rose at 6.10. Very hot morning with wind astern, wh. deprives us of the breeze - about 11.30 it became overcast & lightning soon began to play in a mass of lurid clouds wh. had suddenly appeared - saw two whales at the same time about ½ mile away on the starboard side - finished Romans - quite a heavy storm with thunder exactly like artillery - a loud report began each peal, with wind flashes all the time - rain continued until about 5 - very rough all night.

Miercoles Dec 2

A most bright and exhilarating morning. Sun hot but cool wind, sea gone down. We sighted land about 11 a.m. - low lying sand dunes.

After dinner, some low headlands appeared, and about sunset (which was very beautiful) we passed some curious rocks, looking for all the world like buildings or ruins, also Cape Polonia lighthouse. Flies of a great size, dragonflies and butterflies in great variety came on board all afternoon - getting ready for M.V. tomorrow. Sea rough again - sad to think this pleasant, restful, voyage is nearly at an end - it has been most enjoyable.

In spite of the many sad and lonely times, reminded of happy days of travel (gone, never to return) - the many brilliant sunsets, and no less brilliant sunrises - the sea, with its ever changing colour and aspect never the same, - and always fascinating - the starry nights, when we sat on deck with never a breath of wind, and every night some new star rising in the east - the early morning walks on the cool, newly washed, decks, and late evening walks after the sun has gone down - the interest of a passing ship, a walrus, a new bird & of the daily run - the change of course, and the never ceasing wonder of the steady beat of the engine, with never a stop for 24 days over 6,300 miles - and, above all, the pleasant talks and games and walks with our kind friends. Walked 3¼ miles.

sketch of Cape Polonia

Jueves Dec 3

Arrived at Flores Island quarantine station at 8 a.m. & at Montevideo at 10. Went on shore in a small tug - rather rough work getting on - had a very good lunch with MacIvers, including asparagus and strawberries - then went to the Prado, which is the only drive, as far as one can see - very fine eucalyptus trees - reminded me of dear old Cannes - very hot and dusty, exceedingly fine - lightning all evening - forked, chain, and ball, also sheets of rosy pink. Calm night, left about 9.

unidentified pencil sketch
Unidentified pencil sketch

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