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[Page 23]

morning, 12th February, but anchored in mid-stream, no leave granted as this country is all black population and the fever is very bad. There is a coral reef just outside the harbour with a steamer stranded on it. The Lighthouse has a strong light on the entrance all night, and a revolving light on a buoy. It shall be 8 weeks on Sunday since we left Sydney, 18/2/17. Our boat is taking on coal and water here, there are 2 cruisers and a warship lying in the Harbour. The blacks here don't like the Australian too much fight with them, they seem to be very quiet also no fight amongst them, we are forbidden to buy fruit from them, they come out in boats to us with their fruit. There are plenty of enemy ships sailing about I hear, this part of the voyage is the last and most dangerous. We left Sierra Leone on Thursday last 15th February, at 9.30 a.m. now we are 3 days out, and have struck rough weather. The seas are pretty high at times, the decks are awash with the waves washing over, body allowed to sleep up on deck now at night, only the guard, as the weather has turned very cold. I suppose when near England we shall have snow falling on deck. This part of the voyage shall take us close on a fortnight , our boat is still in the lead with the auxilary cruiser out scouting in front, and a warship at the back of the last boat out scouting. The day we left port a soldier died on board the troopship "PERSIC". His home was in Tasmania, he was buried at sea the next day, but she was out of her course by a couple of miles to bury him, it seems to be a dreadful grave the open sea. He died from pneumonia so we are not far off England, I shall be glad when we arrive

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