"A sea voyage" from the magazine of Scarborough High School for boys 1923-29. Page 127
On 23rd December, 1926, I embarked at Adelaide on the "Moreton Bay" for England. We had not been out many hours before we got very rough weather in the Australian Bight. During the storm we lost one of our big life boats. The officers and men were making preperations for Christmas.
The dining saloon was beautifully decorated, and the passengers wished the weather had been calmer so they could have enjoyed the roast goose and Christmas pudding, and other good things.
About two days before we arrived at Fremantle, all the passengers were out on deck in the brilliant sunshine either at tennis, deck billiards, or sitting around with books and ices.
On our way to Colombo we had glorious weather, and as it was so hot passengers were allowed to sleep on deck if they wished. Unfortunately it was dark when we landed at Colombo, and see many things of interest - the coloured people in native dress in rickshaws, the quaint shops, fruit waggons drawn by bullocks, etc.
The black men came on the boats and worked the cranes, and carried sacks of flour which were some weight; they could speak broken English but used their own perculiar language among themselves. Then we left left Colombo at three a.m. for Port Said.
Daily we looked at the ship's run which generally registered about 350 TO 380 m.p.d. Although so far from land we got our daily newspaper and called it the "wireless news," and could buy chocolates and lollies, etc. from the very useful barber's shop. We had a fancy dress ball one night and the deck was gaily decorated with flags. A few days later we had Sports day which was great fun.
Throughout the voyage we had many concerts and entertainments. We arrived at Suez on 17th Jnauary, and very slowly sailed up the Canal. In some parts the sandy banks gave us a good idea of the desert, with a few tents and camels close by. We were through and at Port Said next morning.
It was a glorious day and we went ashore in good time. Here a native guide conducted us to all the places of interest - the Mosque (where we had to wear very large slippers), the Arabian and the Egyptian Market, etc. Most of the streets were very narrow and very badly kept. We were surrounded by natives selling their different wares.
We did not escape from them even when we returned to our ship, for they were on either side in their little boats passing up their goods in baskets, and some had little stalls along the deck. The "Moreton Bay" looked more like an Egyptian bazaar.
In the Meditterranean four of H.M. ships bound for the Far East passed us. We had an excellent view of the well known Rock of Gibraltar. After rolling and pitching in the Bay of Biscay we were busy getting our baggage ready for disembarking.
The majority of the passengers left the ship at Southampton, but those bound for the north went up to Hull, and on January 29th our six weeks voyage came to an end - we were in England.
Roy S Fieldgate.