Left Glasgow for Liverpool had a jolly send off. I was glad to leave Glasgow + get on my journey. When you start away you don't like to be waiting halfway. Reached Liverpool at 5:15 on Thursday morning, had to stay in the waiting room till 9 o'clock. Got on board the Tender at 10 + steamed out to the Suevic. We are not leaving till tomorrow as the weather is rough outside. The Suevic is a fine ship, just like a floating town. There are about 500 passengers on board a great lot of women + children.
Left Liverpool today, my berth mates are a very nice lot I think.
One is an Aberdonian going to Cape Town...
A dull windy day, ship rolling a bit, good many passengers sick. I have not felt the least bit sick yet. We are off the coast of France now, will be in the Bay of Biscay tomorrow. The weather is very cold, I wish we were into some milder weather. Nothing of interest to tell you today.
In the Bay of Biscay. The sea is very calm - not like the Bay of
Biscay you read about. We had service this morning by an English
A lovely morning off the coast of Spain. The
weather is now something like our summer. You know the difference every day.
Another good day, getting milder every day. Suevic off Straits of Gibraltar. Last night I had a tune at the pipes almost as soon as I started a boy in kilts came along + started dancing the highland fling. After that I got to know nearly all the Scotsmen on board. I have seen nothing of interest today, nothing but sea all round. We are going to have sports, concerts and a ball at Xmas.
Madira today a fine day, a good breeze blowing ship making about 310 miles every day. I have not seen land since I left Liverpool. We will not have any port of call till we reach C.Town. The ship is decorated with holly + mistletoe, for xmas we are getting a lecture on the Seige of Mafeking by an old Gentleman who was there at the time.
Nothing special going on today we had a big dinner, + a concert at night, I played the pipes we also had a service at 11 o'clock, they sang the xmas hymns.
Sports on board today + dancing at night.
Today we are having a cricket match + a concert at night on deck. Us Scotch fellows on board are going to celebrate new years day, our chairman is a Dr. Mann from the north of Scotland, a fine fellow. I often wonder if he is a friend of Marie who was cook at Kilberry, he has a brother, a minister somewhere, + I think she had a brother a minister also. I met another fellow from Inverness, MacBean, he knew the MacEcherns well. Saw lots of flying fish today.
A very hot day. Getting near the line now. We had two sermons today, one Church of England + one Presbyterian.
Within a days sailing of the line now, a lot of us fellows slept on deck last night, we took up our beds + slept on the hatches. We had a good game of cricket today + a concert at night.
Crossed the line today, a very cool day, I thought the heat would have been greater in the tropics. It is very hot sleeping in the cabins. I slept on deck last night also. We have concerts every night now.
Had a quiet day today. At night us Scotchmen had a little gathering of our own. Some scotch songs + toasts. I played the pipes. Passed the Runic on the home journey.
A guid new year ta ye a' + many may you see.
A good day. Much cooler now, more sports today. I got another prize. We are having a fancy dress ball tomorrow night, I lent my kilt + sporran to an Australian girl who took a fancy to wear it at the ball. I wish you heard her play the piano and sing, you might listen to her all night. She was not very good looking, so you need not be alarmed. Something in appearance like Maggie Blue, but not of the same disposition.
I have hardly seen land or anything of importance since I left Liverpool.
Nothing special going on today. Just a cricket match + the fancy dress ball at night. The ladies turned out in all sorts of dresses. We expect to arrive in Table Bay on Thursday morning. I don't mind how soon as I am tired doing nothing.
When I come home, it won't be by the W.Star Line, as they don't call anywhere during the whole journey. You see nothing but water the whole time.
A very cool day. Had two Services, morning + evening, a very quiet day. We signalled the Mail Steamer going home. It looked nice to see them signalling at night.
Another cold morning. I did not expect to have such cool weather going to S.Africa. We are having a record trip. I am in good form. Have not missed a meal since I came on board. Very few of the passengers can say the same. We had more sports today. I did not join in them as I have hurt my arm a bit at the last ones. Nothing serious, just fell and skinned it badly.
I have made a good many acquaintances since I came on board. People on board are a queer mixture. Never let any of the girls come out here alone unless with some trustworthy person, especially such silly girls as Sarah + Susy. Sarah will turn up her long nose when she sees this, but it is the truth.
Another cold day. Some of the people are getting into their home garments again, so you see it is not very warm. Things are getting flat on board again. Cape passengers are preparing for going ashore.
We had a distribution of prizes today. All sports are finished till the Suevic leaves C.Town. We expect to arrive on Thursday afternoon.
A breezy day, ship rolling a bit. Passed two steamers, everybody preparing for C.Town. I have no doubts you are a bit anxious about me, but you need not. Travelling is nothing when a person has his head screwed on the right way. I have kept myself very reserved during the voyage, yet had a good time. Some of the ladies on board thought I was a married man.
Our cabin is as good as a pantomime night. I was very lucky getting in with such decent fellows.
Drawing near our journey's end. Sighted land about 12 o'clock. Arrived in Table Bay at 5pm. We are going to stay on board all night+ I am very glad as we would be very late before we got our luggage ashore + through the customs. It might be midnight. Nearly all the Scotch fellows are going ashore here.
It is a magnificent sight going into Table Bay. Table Mountain is a grand sight - a thick coat of white mist on the top. Just like a tablecloth.
This finishes my trip on the Suevic.
Left the Suevic this morning by tender, great excitement on board, we got a great send off from the Australians, every body singing Auld Lang Syne, cheering, + waving handkerchiefs. Got my baggage through the customs all right. Staying in C.T. tonight. It was hotter in C.Town than any part of the voyage.
Going to leave by train for Salisbury (Now Harare) tonight at 8 o'clock.
Left Cape Town for Salisbury last night. My fellow travellers were three Boers + a fellow who came out on the Suevic. This is the worst part of the journey crossing the Karoo Desert. Passed some of the Boer prisoners going home - they came from Ceylon. The trains stopped to water at the same place, they were glad to get back to S.Africa.
We also had a talk with some of the soldiers coming down to Cape Town, they were travelling in open trucks like cattle or sheep. There are a lot of the Irish Fusiliers going up to De Aar in this train, they are good company.
Today you will be celebrating the Old New Year. I just picture I see the remnants of the pipe band marching to the field of battle & all the brave & fair marching after them.
This is a devil of a place for want of water. As soon as the train stops at the Station we all make a rush to get our water bottles filled. It is a luxury to get your face washed. Passed General Wachope's grave today, I don't understand why they buried him in such a terrible wilderness. Far better had they buried him at Modder River.
Passed Graspan, Methuen's first fight, then Belmont & Modder River. Saw the graveyard of the soldiers who died there. The whole line up is studded with Block houses & Graves beside every one.
Reached Kimberly this afternoon & changed trains for Bulawayo. Travelled from here with a Scotchman & 3 Boers. Reached Vryburgh at 10 o'clock tonight.
At Mafeking this morning. This is the nicest place I have seen since I left C.T.. The country is nice & green.
At Bulawayo 8 o'clock tonight, changed trains for Salisbury.
At Shangani River. Left train and crossed stream by foot bridge, then joined another train that was waiting for us on the other side. Reached Gwelo 12 o'clock.
Arrived in Salisbury at 1 o'clock on Friday morning. Lachie & Dunkie at Station. This finishes my Diary.