Journal of Passenger on Board the H.M.S. Oruba

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Document ID 0410303
Date 20-10-1905
Document Type Diaries and Journals
Archive Private Donor
Citation Journal of Passenger on Board the H.M.S. Oruba;Photocopy Donated by Mr George Woodman; CMSIED 0410303
H.M.S. Oruba
Left Tilbury Docks, London
Friday 20 October, 1905. landed in
Fremantle Harbour,
Thursday 23rd Nov 1905.


[Page 1]

Thursday 19 Oct 1905

Arrived in London this morning from Dublin
met my cousin who brought me to a friend's
home where I had breakfast & a few
hours sleep, after dinner I went around
with one of my friends.  We visited St.
Paul's cathedral where preparations
were being made for the burial ceremony
of a great actor.  Sir Henry Irvine. Saw
Nelson's Pillar which was decorated for the coming
Trafalgar day, took a bus to Marble Arch, on our way
back we met Tom coming from his office all
three of us went to Whitehall Place,
(noted historically as the scene of
execution of Charles 1.) thence to
Houses of Parliament, back again
to friends home had tea and a
rest, after which we went to an
evangelistic service in Stamford

[Page 2]
Wesleyan Church, conducted by a
converted actor.  His two daughters whose
voices had been trained for the
stage, were now singing the praises
of Lion they gave a pretty duet
entitled "It is my Lord" Old friends
made inquiries for Edwin and his
welfare.  After or at least before
meeting was quite finished, we went
to friend's home for cup of cocoa
and to say "Good bye" then off to
Colonial Hotel for the night, quite close to
St Pancras.

                       Friday Oct. 20th 05
Awoke this morning in Colonial Hotel,
greatly refreshed after a good night's
rest & sleep, had breakfast at 8.30.  Tom
called at 9, we both went to St Pancras
station where a special train left for

[Page 3]
Tilbury Docks at 9.30 a.m. with a number
 of passengers for the Oruba.  Here I said
good-bye to my east English friend,
cousin Tom.  Arrived at Docks about
10 a.m. delayed a little while here. With
the other passengers, then shown on
board and directed to our appointed
cabins.  My luggage which was sent on
last week has arrived here safely.  At
present vessel is plying between
England and France, the Dover lights can
be seen from deck on one side, while
the Calais lights flash on the other.  Weather
mild since leaving Tilbury Docks, ship
scarcely felt moving.  Some nice
passengers on board, hope to be in
Plymouth to-morrow at 10 a.m.
Saturday 21st Oct. 05
Sighting Plymouth this morg. [morning?] good view

[Page 4]
of cliffs, splendid fields in the distance
Passing a ship bound for New Zealand
which is lying in the Harbor. a steamer
has come alongside to take anyone
ashore who wishes, ship anchored remained
in Port from 10 a.m. till 5 p.m. Saw the
Eddystone revolving lights this evening
Going into the Bay of Biscay at
present ship beginning to rock
a  little.
                            Sunday 22nd Oct  05
First Sunday on board, very miserable
Sea rough in Bay of Biscay, ship
and all her living freight pitched
about by the waves without mercy.
                             Monday 23rd Oct 05
Still in rough water this is truly : -
     "In the Bay of Biscay O"

[Page 5]
                                  Tuesday 24th Oct '05
Nearly all he passengers sea-sick, myself
amongst them No land in sight, only
angry waves on every side, the sailors
cheer us up with the comforting words
"you are having a beautiful time in
comparison with some voyages"
entering the Mediterranean tonight, head
greatly, improved, able to walk about
on deck.
                                   Wednesday 25th Oct. '05
Anchored at Gibraltar this morning
very refreshing to look at the beautiful
green orchards and trees, after the
rough tossing during last three days
Sea-sickness seems to be all gone.
Quite a number of Spaniards have
come on board with fresh fruit;
they seem to be a polite and
dignified people.  The impregnable

[Page 6]
Rock of Gibraltar was in sight for
some hours and the British Cannon
could be heard there quite distinctly.
                 Thursday 26th Oct. '05.
Awokewith bad headache which got worse
with every heave of the ship.
Friday 27th Oct '05
Helped by stewardess on deck this morning,
sea quite calm and the cool breezes
soon blew away the dizzy ugly feeling
Sighted south of France shortly after
breakfast and about 3 p.m. landed
at Marseilles where we remained till
6 p.m.  A steamer came alongside with
passengers & took ashore those wishing to
see the city.  It is a place of beautiful
buildings.  The dome of the Cathedral
sparkle in the setting sun like so
many golden bells.  A number of

[Page 7]
poor French people came around in little
boats trying to sell fruit, drapery and
little trinkets of various kinds; they
were not allowed on board, but they
have long bamboo poles, with a little
net basket on top they sent up some
of their various goods to decks for passengers
to look at, what is not needed after
examining is returned in the same
way with money for things which
have been bought.  The specimens of
French we saw here were rather
squatty,  the women looked handsome
and gay, they braided their hair up
very nicely with plenty of ornaments
Some beautiful Music was played
in the  little French boats.  On leaving
port the city looked magnificent,
and the coast was one "fairy scene"

[Page 8]
of electric light and flashes.
                      Saturday 28th Oct. 05
Able to enjoy surroundings this morning.
Ship just gliding along through
Mediterranean, passed through Corsica
And Sardinia, outline of islands very
bare and bleak.
                           Sunday 29 Oct 05.
Some awful noise and bustle early
this morning caused by the ship coming
into port at Naples.  On deck and what
a sight there for Sunday! Our ship was
busy getting in a supply of coal; while
on either side of her lay French
ships, a private yacht. trading vessels
and native boats, each ship had
its own national flag hoisted
the crew can read all those flags
and signs.  From the French ship bound
from America I could see (by the help of

[Page  9 ]
my glasses) very distinctly the passengers
on board, most miserable looking
objects Italians & French of the lower
orders & Arabs their tawny looking
persons would not be so disagreeable
if only they had clean clothes  and
tidily dressed; they are disgusting.
Amongst the ships there came quite a
number of Italians in boats selling
their different wares in the same
manner as the French; some of them
could talk English fairly well
but others could only make
signs, "shilly" seemed to be the
only English they could command
for a shilling; they talk in a singing
musical sort of way.  Quite a number
of our people went to visit Pompeii.
In the evening two christian ladies came

[Page  10 ]
aboard from the Sailors Bethel at
Naples and invited any who liked to
join them at Service to come over; they
brought their boats to our ship with
men to row us to the Bethel which
is on the other side of the habour.
Some ladies, gentlemen and my self made up
A nice little party and off we started in the boats
We had a most enjoyable meeting in heathen Naples.
When it was over we were again rowed back
in safety to our "floating home",  We have a grand
view of Mt Vesuvius here. day time it looks
like an ordinary mountain with smoke rising
out of the topmost peak, night it almost terrifying
to look at.  Although 12 miles from it, we could see the
awful flames,

[Page 11 ]
bursting up at intervals of 3 to 5  minutes,
and the continual stream of burning red lava, running down one
side of the mountain the Italian women were dancing, singing
and playing mandolins in their boats all Italian songs.
They have beautiful voices and pretty features, there seems to
be a lot of poverty amongst them.  The ship did not
leave port till midnight.  This ship takes in the mail here,
which has come overland through Europe.

                              Monday 30th October '05

Sea rough today sky clouded, heavy rain.
Although the waves are as high here as the Bay of Biscay,
yet the ship is not  rocking much, this is owing to the fair

[Page 12]
wind blowing and no undercurrents   There is nothing beautiful
to look at just now but high waves , the only land passed today
was that surrounding Stromboli we hope to see Mt [Mount?] Etna this evg
[evening?].  There are three volcanoes in our vicinity Vesuvius,
Stromboli and Etna.  Hope to be at Port Said next Thursday.

                             Tuesday 31st October 05
Had not an opportunity of seeing Mt [Mount?] Etna last night, too dark
weather got stormy and ship began pitching about, number of
passengers got ill, myself with the rest.  Nothing of importance
today except another ship passing.

                              Wednesday 1st November 05
Beautiful morning  up on deck today

[Page 13 ]
to see sunrise, something
majestic he peeps up so silently and gradually over the waters
and sends out his golden beams, dancing in all directions over
the placid waters. gets warmer every day, nearing Port Said, twenty
more days to spend on the "Ocean wave."

                            Thursday 2nd   November 05

Good nights rest, 5.30 and 6 a m our usual hour for rising, so as [to?]
get the benefit of cool sea breezes.  Sea beautiful this morning not
a ripple on the waters, except that caused by the machinery of
ship Anchored at Port Said, very interesting place, said to be connecting
link between East and West, went ashore

[Page 14]
with some other friends
and enjoyed the trip very much.  Jerusalem is about 80 miles from
here.  Some splendid shops, people most obliging.  The natives show
the visitors round the different places, any shops we visited were in
charge of  white people.  Natives dress in those long robes same style
as worn hundreds of years ago Streets wide and warehouses most extensive,
work done in a very easy going manner.  Weather getting warmer every day
entering Suez Canal, scenery most beautiful for some distance from Port Said.
Ship moving at snail's pace.  Arabia lies on one side of Canal.  Egypt the other,
palm trees growing along the banks.  At night the moon shone out which

[Page 15 ]
gave everything a most charming appearance; whilst the search lights of our ship
sent their beams ever so far ahead; making the place almost as brilliant as
daylight.  Unwillingly we turned into our cabins, leaving Port Said and its
interesting people behind.

                          Friday 3rd November 1905
Last night was awakened from a peaceful sleep by rumbling noises got
a fright, thought the ship was grounding in Canal, presently I fell
asleep again till morning, when I found out cause of noise in the night.
Another ship was passing, ours had to stand still and it was the machinery
of it stopping that awoke me.  Got a good view of the Arabian desert
this morning on one side of the ship and Sahara on the other;  had  the pleasure
of seeing camels drawing loads for the natives, who seemed to be in the
process of  cutting a little narrow railway through the sands on the Arabian
side, the Sahara appears more desolate than the Arabian desert, with only
a few huts scattered here and there.  Indeed both are dreary looking
there are some British settlements along the banks of the Canal, at a great
distance apart, those who live on them have some appointment under the Canal
Company.  I noticed a blue bird here about the size of a swallow, and a dog
resembling our English retriever.  We are just

[Page 16]
entering the Red Sea, it is
getting very hot, we passed the little village of Suez today, ship stopped
about two hours to get in vegetables.  Passengers not allowed to go ashore
some natives came on board.  I am enjoying the voyage at present and find the
time passing quickly Ship's crew so kind and considerate that one could not feel
lonely glad to be in the open sea again, very monotonous in the Canal with
ship scarcely moving and "miles and miles of yellow sand as far as the eye
could see".   "We shall pass through the place soon where the Israelites crossed
from Egypt to Canaan.  The position of the Garden of Eden is not far from here

[Page 17]
but cannot be seen from the ship.  Beautiful moonlight on the water.
Home, at Inver with all their pleasant surroundings come more vivid when
looking on the peaceful scene, than during the fuss and babble of today.

                           Saturday 4th Nov '05

Saw the sun beginning to peep this morning over the waters, still in Red Sea ,
 weather very hot.  It is easy now to understand, why natives wear such badly fitted
garments and sandals, heat too intense to dress fashionably.  It is a number
of degrees cooler on sea than land  and indeed we feel it hot enough,.  This
has seemed a short week.

[Page 18]
                          Sunday 5th November 1905
Still in the Red Sea, heat unbearable There was Church Service held this morning
I should like to have gone but was afraid to leave open air on deck for a closed
room .  At 8 p.m. we had another service on deck which I enjoyed very
much, we always sing those two hymns "Eternal father by whose aid"
and " The day thou gavest  Lord is ended" I was thinking when singing
and looking over those great waves, how helpless would be our little
ship, in midst of deep water if left to ourselves.
" O hear us when we cry to thee for those in peril on the sea" Sighted no land
to-day.  Some vessels passed in a homeward direction.

[Page 19]
                        Monday 6th November 1905
Passed some very bare peaks to-day called the "Twelve Apostles" At night
we saw a lighthouse in the distance, built on the rock near Perim.  A few ships
passed today Temperature of the sea here 94 degrees

                         Tuesday 7th November '05
Through the Red Sea, and in Arabian temperature several degrees
cooler, with a nice breeze blowing, passed Aden this morning.  Our
ship travels at an average rate of 325 miles daily heavy showers
came on this evening deck covered  with water in some places.

                         Wednesday 8th November '05
Heat not so oppressive this morg [morning?], good breeze
blowing; sighted some barren land in the distance, at present in

[Page 20]
Arabian Sea, hope to reach Colombo on Monday, then a ten days
run to Fremantle.  One of the officials said "we had a cool time
coming through the Red Sea in comparison with some other voyages
once they had seven deaths from the heat so we have no cause to

                         Thursday 9th November '05
Heat very  trying to-day; under doctors care.

                         Friday 10th November '05
Good-nights rest.   Several cases in hospital to-day.  Sea rather
rough Raining just now, shower pleasant to cool the atmosphere.

                       Saturday 11th November '05
Another week has passed at sea

[Page 21]
there are few Irish passengers on board.
Good concert given to-night by crew had the pleasure of hearing "Killarney"

                        Sunday 12th  November '05
Very hot this morg [morning?] almost impossible to walk about.  There
is Holy Communion every Sunday morning at 7.30 we passed some beautiful
green islands to-day, there [they?] were a refreshing sight in this oppressive
heat, there is a lighthouse on one.  It is delightful just now to look across the
moonlit waters  from the ships edge such vast expanse so grand, and
still.  Great flashes of lighting are seen away in the distance, nearly every
minute apparently in the west, those flashes

[Page 22]
are due to intense heat of the atmosphere.  Enjoyed deck service
to-night very much.

                      Monday 13th  November '05
Hope to anchor in Colombo this afternoon, quite a number of our
passengers will leave us there.  Coal vegetables stores for the ship
and tea for the Colonies have to be taken in, it causes a lot of confusion
when it is taking in coal, those natives do shout.  Anchored at Colombo,
could not expect myself to go across, some of the natives use talk very
good English with the exception of the Spanish, they are the nicest
I have met at any port.  I also met a very intelligent native at Port
Said, he was selling Bibles and religious literature

[Page 23]
it is wonderful among those so ignorant people what the grace of God can do;
our missionaries need sympathy in their noble work, they have many disadvantages
we can't comprehend

                       Tuesday 14th November '05
I expect you are only getting up at home now, while we had breakfast
over two hours ago we are about five hours ahead of you at present
11 and only 6 a.m. at home.   It is very hot but we shall have
it hotter in a few days crossing the equator.  Looking over at the Indian
Mts [Mountains?] and Point de Salle, there are some Man of War ships
lying around the coast.  Our ship set sail again this morning I saw a native
pilot coming

[Page 24]
on board to guide us into the harbour.  I do enjoy watching the pilot join us
and somehow  Tennyson's beautiful lines on "Crossing the Bar"  come to
my memory coming in at every port where the native pilot takes charge.
It is raining at present , we are sailing through the Indian Ocean.
It was something magnificent to see the moon rise above the
water's to-night, and gradually slip up
higher and higher in the sky , not a ripple on the water, except that caused by the
ship ploughing  her way through the  boundless deep.

                     Wednesday 15th Novr '05
Heat oppressive, ship rocking a little

[Page  25]
at present.  Hope to have the equator region crossed to-night.  Sea looks
rough and there are heavy clouds closing in, probably a thunderstorm is
raging somewhere near and on its way to us.

                    Thursday 16th Novr '05
Have crossed the equator, heavy rain to-day, very dark at sea to night

                     Friday 17th Novr '05
Heavy rain still Ship pitching a lot at present can scarcely write.
Bought some post cards at all the ports except Suez, was told by the
stewardess this morg [morning?] that we had a wild time last night.
stormy with heavy rains, glad I did not hear it, was fast asleep.  Have now

[Page 26]
the trade winds, rain has cleared off a little bit.

                      Saturday 18th Novr '05
My last Saturday on board, sea has been rough since we left Colombo,
no land in sight since last Tuesday, no evening in these latitutes, night
comes on suddenly but these are some beautiful sunsets.  The North
Star has faded from our sight and new stars appear four in the shape
of a cross and called the "Southern Cross"

                      Sunday 19th Novr '05
Beautiful morning weather nice and cool at present but not cold.
Sky clear  and at night there seems to be brilliancy about the moon

[Page 27]
and the stars in these latitudes not seen in our climate this is probably caused
by the clearness of the atmosphere .

                      Monday 20th  Nov  '05
Good nights rest, ship making great headway.

                      Tuesday 21st Nov  '05
These last weeks have passed very quickly only two more nights to
spend on the "Oruba" Skies clear, and the dazzling of the sun on the
waters is trying to the eyes.   We shall soon view the Australian coast.
No scenery since leaving Colombo, rolling waters of Indian Ocean as far
as the eye can see.

                         Wednesday 22nd Nov '05
Beautiful morning, air light and

[Page 28]
cool, sea looks like glass.  Tomorrow I hope to end my long voyage.
On the whole it has been pleasant.  Hearing nothing but regrets "that I must
go so soon" from the friends in my floating home.  I trust we shall anchor
safely in Fremantle.  Saw a little steamer in Australian waters to-day.
Air light and dry.

                          Thursday 23rd Nov '05
Slept soundly last night, rather foggy this morning, not so clear nor
bracing as yesterday.  Landed at Fremantle what a lot of "good byes"
leaving the ship.  Felt rather lonely at parting from the old 'Oruba'
with all her kind and jolly crew.

Transcribed by:  Tony Flanagan