19th September 1915

At sea. Rough old day all the time. Existing on apples and Bovril. My mates (except the S. B. S.) are not much better of than I am. We struggle through our work somehow or other but it is not done with anything approaching a good heart. I will myself to keep going while it is necessary and then I collapse into the arm chair. This is Sunday too and a very unhappy one, and what a direct contrast to the last one – such a lovely day that was and we were Plymouth bound.

The Captain went around this morning but the Sick Bay was not ready for him as we didn’t expect he would go around whilst the ship was at sea. Sunday morning inspection at sea is not thought of in peacetime leave alone these days. It is impossible to keep the ship clean when so much water keeps coming inboard. Most of the time this trip the living quarters of the men have been flooded with sea-water and it is really wonderful how the men keep so high-spirited midst such surroundings. At night time when the ports are closed and the means of ventilation shut off and the hammocks slung in all sorts of shapes and forms and packed like sardines, the air is absolutely awful and it is really a wonder that a worse state of health does not exist. It is bad enough in the Sick Bay but it is healthy compared to the unhealthy atmosphere of the living quarters or mess-deck as it is termed. The hygenic conditions of the older ships leave much to be desired.

A wireless message was intercepted today stating that a Swedish sailing vessel had left a Brazilian port with German naval reservists on board. I expect the message came from the British Consul at the port under mention. The vessel is thousands of miles south of our course, but she will not go very far ere being picked up, for a continuous patrol of the Atlantic is still kept up. Still this serves to show how far Sweden’s neutrality goes.

Saw no vessels yesterday or today; nothing to be seen but water, not a very imposing piece of scenery you’ll agree.

Clock put back 20 mins.

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