Wednesday 19 February 2014

16th & 17th April, 1948 - Ron's just watching the scenery go by...

Friday, 16th April, 1948
We are still following the coast; last evening we saw Algiers and other smaller Algerian towns on the coast.
During the night we must have altered course some degrees North for at 11a.m. we sighted the mountains of South Spain.  This coast line reminds me of Palestine, the coastal plain sweeping inland to the mountains.
The loudspeakers draw our attention to places of interest but most of them have names I find difficult to remember.
The cinema show last evening was completed without rain the first occasion I have known.
The sea although choppy this morning is again like a mill pond, the ripples are not breaking into the rougher white foam.  Porpoises have been leaping around us in shoals and we have seen a few fishing smacks whose occupants have waved to us.

My Pals & I stopped up this evening until we dropped anchor in Gibraltar Bay.  This was at 11.30pm so we viewed a brilliantly lighted scene topped by the darkened gloomy peak of the rock.
SS Samaria at Malta

Saturday, 17th April, 1948
We were still in the bay of Gibraltar when I woke at 6a.m. this morning.  Looking out from my hammock across the deck & the bay I watched the sun rising slowly up the northern side of the rock.  This fortress is by no means picturesque viewed as we saw it.  Too many large buildings crowd the lower slopes and these were built for practical use not for decoration of the rock.
Memories of Port Said
At 11a.m. we set sail again on the last lap of the voyage.  With the troops taken on at Malta and now these at Gib the ship is becoming a little more crowded.  I cannot imagine what conditions were like on board the “Samaria” during the War when she carried as many as 5,600 troops.
The ‘bumboats’ which came out to us at Gib. are like all other ports who permit this pestering, even to the silks etc. that they not unsuccessfully sell.

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