at the water's edge were a number of large white tanks or reservoirs, I expect for oil.
Soon the ship was anchored &: after waiting for some time the doctor's launch came out, followed by another boat bringing about ½ a dozen soldiers to act as guards at the gangway. After practique was granted there came another wait before we moved up alongside the stone jetty which led to the breakwater. The train line came right down the jetty which was stacked here &: there with large heaps of coal which was being taken on board by the steamer on one side of us, while on the other side mules &: soldiers were being loaded for the Persian Gulf operations.
Very soon two or three officers came on board to hand over to the Colonel instructions about disembarking. A batch of about 20 natives also came on &: set to work carrying bundles of the blankets &: hammocks used by the men down on to the wharf where they were stacked &: left with a guard to be taken away the next day. Bales on new blankets for issue to the troops, biscuits, &: bully-beef were also landed.
Arrangements were made for the troops to land &: be taken to one of the Cairo camps by 2 trains, the 1st of which was to take the artillery &: light horse &: was to leave at 4 o'clock, but when twelve, then one, then two o'clock passed, our chance of getting away until very late looked decidedly blue. While waiting rations were issued to the troops, &: the time spent by them (my orderly officer's duties kept me