30th May 1917

At sea. Greater precautions than usual are being taken on entering the danger zone this trip. The various compartments below are being made watertight and will be kept closed when we enter the danger zone. This evening the exercises for abandonning ship were tried.

Captain made a short speech this evening. He said “I have not had any orders yet as to whether we are going to England, Scotland, Ireland – or the Azores (this with a smile) and those men who are spreading rumours about must know more than I do. We should, of course, all like to go to Plymouth for a few days leave”. He then went on speaking about the “abandon ship” drill. The joke about the Azores which the Captain laughed about is this:- Two days ago a rumour started and soon went around the ship to the effect that when we had turned over our convoy to the destroyers we should proceed to the Azores, coal ship, and escort a convoy to South America. Goodness knows what grounds the originator had for turning loose this yarn.

This afternoon we passed a large British motor-sailing ship going South-west. It has been foggy at times today and a peculiar spectacle has resulted on occasions for the ships on either side were enclosed in fog from their gunwhales upwards, so that although the hull was visible the masts and funnel were not. The ships looked like huge motor-barges going along.

We have started on the Great Circle Track today. This runs in a semicircle from a point south-east of the Great Bank to a point in a line with Lands East and slightly North East of the Azores.

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