7th September 1915

At Scapa Flow. More firing today, but I think it is the last we shall do here for a while, since I hear that we are going back to Queensferry tonight. I hope it is true for I don’t go much on this place for mails, leave alone anything else.

The seaplanes have been busy flying about today. I like to watch them, there seems to be a certain fascination attached to their manoeuvres and the beautiful way they move along. I have watched seagulls by the hour before now, for one can only gauge the wonderful control of their wings and tail by keen interesting scrutiny. It is all very wonderful.

Since the Argyle parted company with our Squadron at Queensferry there have been various rumours as to her destination and reason for leaving us. Her departure was sudden and unexpected. Letters (uncensored?) have been received by men in this ship from relations on the Argyle. She was then at Plymouth. We have since heard that 24 hours leave was given to each watch and then she departed suddenly for “Somewhere”. The rumours as to her destination are numerous and most of them are likely to meet the situation. For instance, it is said, she has taken some big official to America. Whilst at Devonport the Argyll embarked some special furniture. This suggests that the big official is to have a nicely fitted-0ut cabin. Why shouldn’t it be Chief Inspector Ward, gone out to bring home Lincoln, the self-confessed German spy and ex-M. P. for Darlington. If the Germans had got wind of what liner Detective Ward had been going out in, it is very likely that vessel would have never reached America, hence the detailing of a Naval unit – a far safer means of transmission both for the Scotland Yard official and on the return journey the prisoner.

Another rumour was to the effect that the Argyll had been placed on the Atlantic patrol. I expect we shall hear some day of the true reason for the sudden move, but in any case it seems she has been despatched on a mysterious mission.

6 p. m. We are just leaving and I have just been watching a seaplane which is flying over us. Good job he isn’t a German with bombs for us. I am told we arrive at our old base at 5 a. m. tomorrow.

Later. Took particular notice when we came out how many rows of nets we passed over Р they were three in number, with about a quarter of a mile between them. The nets are supported at intervals of about 100yds by steam drifters. Outside the last line of nets armed trawlers patrol on the lookout for subs.

Just after we passed the last line of nets we fell in with our escort of destroyers. Sea is calm and quite nice at sea tonight. We are pegging along now at 18 knots.

Have not received any mails today and have not written any letters. Started to write to my cousin Net but had to pack up through lack of news.

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