Monday, October 12, 2009

12 October, 1910 (Part One)

What a welcome! Absolutely battered all to hell by astounding hail as we approached Melbourne. It was big enough to leave bruises and we had the darndest time with our topgallant sail. I suppose we should consider ourselves lucky to have come through with just a damaged mast and nothing more. Never seen anything like it. You'd think the gods were trying to tell us something! 

First things first: The Admiral commanding the Australian Station had to come aboard to inspect the ship's cat, Nigger. Black as night, he is, except for a bit in the front. He wasn't feeling too well, having gorged himself on moths, but passed muster nontheless. 

After that we had to make ourselves shipshape because Kathleen, bless her, was so anxious to get to me she insisted the other wives and Bill (poor Bill!) accompany her in a small launch to the ship. Damn fool thing to do, as the sea was awfully choppy, and in the end, only she and her pluck was able to clamber aboard. She kept calling us the "beautiful men!" which might have been a bit much, but that is Kathleen. She was welcomed to the wardroom and then straight to my cabin, where we got her out of her soaked stockings and into a pair of my socks for the return trip to dry land. It was quite the spectacle, but honestly, I don't mind -- it is so nice to be wanted so demonstrably. Now we're waiting for the tender to take us in. 

What drama. One feels a bit ravaged. I expect I'm going to get my share of it tonight. 

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