Item 02: John Duncan McRae diary, 11 December 1916-9 February 1917 - Page 66

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[Page 66]

of a total population of 76,000, only 500 are white. The natives grow such things as rice, fruit and cocoanuts, for export as well as for local use.

The only natives we saw were those who came out into the bay in boats or canoes and in these they brought their wares to the ship's side. They did a great trade in oranges and bananas and the boys had plenty of fun with them.

There were 26 large ocean steamers riding in the bay when we while we were there. Of these, one, the "Swiftsure" a cruiser, had taken active part in the defense of the Suez Canal. She is a sister ship to the "Triumph" which also took part in the defensive against the Turks.

The harbour presented an imposing Spectacle when the sun began to set in the evening. The great silent, still boats rode peacefully at their anchorages while from the seaward side the tiny canoes & butterfly-like sailing boats returned home. The mountains were dark & grand, and the sun blood-red and sent his last piercing rays across our forecastle and in a few minutes

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