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[Page 52]

Wednesday 9 February 1916

A beautiful clear day such as we had wished for yesterday to show up the islands we passed. In the sun it was hot, but between decks on the parade ground quite pleasant. The sea continues to be wonderfully smooth giving practically no motion to the ship.

Parades were held as usual; during the morning I took the semi-finals & finals in bayonet fighting & singlesticks, the contests being very good.

By midday Aden was in sight, & as we passed it some 25 miles(?) away during the early afternoon it was a very pretty sight, looking for all the world like an island: there was not a sign of the mainland. The faint smoke of a steamer between it & what looked like another island but was probably another cape or promontory, added to the beauty of the picture.

And yet this was far excelled by a portion of the Arabian coast passed just before sunset. Tall rugged cliffs in which the lights & shadows were in sharp relief, with range after range of dim mountains which seemed to be several thousand feet high rising in the background, & 2 Arab dhows sailing in the direction of Aden made a scene that I tried feebly to sketch. It was simply beautiful.

During the afternoon we passed about 7 vessels going towards Aden, one of them a 4 master without funnels – an oil vessel. There was a very fine sunset in which the hazy

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