Saturday 33rd day (5 May 1917)

Gloom entirely dispelled.  Have been on leave yesterday and today from noon till 11 p.m. in company of Warwick Wilson my lifelong friend.  On Friday, after triumphal march through the city, took a tram ride over one spur of Table Mountain to a pretty seaside resort, Camp Bay [Camps Bay], and given afternoon tea free: returned to city by another route.  The beach was of glistening white granite sand, pounded from great rocks which act as the buttresses of a continent.  Thousands of feet above tower the rugged peaks of the sea-following ranges.  On our return looked up Mr. Ker, a tall cadaverous chap with big prominent eyes, a widower, a real good sort.  We had dinner and spent the evening with him.  Today he has insisted on entertaining us all day.  I call him “the soldiers friend”.  He seems to take a genuine delight in giving New Zealanders a good time.  We went Friday, to another beautiful seaside suburb, Muissenberg [Muizenberg], with grand view of the sea and mountains.  To dinner with K and spent the evening with him again.

We are unit for duty, but by good luck I missed guard, but poor W. struck it.  We had a church parade, attended by the Governor of the Colony and his lady, at the Cathedral; a fine building of granite with very beautiful blue glass windows.  Went up to K’s diggings and spent the whole day with him and his little daughter, of about eleven years, who held me by the hand and prattled throughout the day.  We walked to Camp Bay and visited the monument to Cecil Rhodes, an imposing structure in granite, with huge pillars and bronze statues, situated in a magnificent park.  Had afternoon tea up there, then walked down, visiting en passant a zoo, and subsequently leaving the little girl at her boarding school; then returned with K. and smoked and yarned with him and his friend.  This town is full of interest and fine whites, yellows and reds of the buildings and the gay colours of the natives’ clothes, delight the eye.

LOW RES-1 (rotated to skyline)
Lincoln and others, potentially taken at Camps Bay, Capetown

Thursday (3 May 1917)

After prodigious delays we were taken for a short route march through part of the town, the main objects of interest were the well-built houses with plenty of white about them and usually slate roofs; good roads, thin horses, mules, donkeys; and blacks in all variety of disreputable European clothing.  The white people of means all appear to have retinues of natives servants.  Although approaching winter the weather is warm and sunny.  It must be extremely warm in summer.  Portuguese ships are in port, so I have seen some of that race too – they aren’t bad looking chaps though I wouldn’t vouch for their not being bad.  What trees I have noticed are mostly familiar, gums, pepper trees, pines, banana palms, and a tropical tree of which there is a specimen in Albert Park.  Two troopships that left N.Z. after us have arrived.  Interesting to watch the blacks coaling the vessels at night, like so many devils; black skin, black clothes, gleaming white teeth and eyes.  The deck is crowded with disconsolate men gazing wistfully at the shore.

Wednesday, 30th day (2 May 1917)

Here we are, on a perfect day within about 20 miles of land – porpoises in thousands playing in the shining sea and all sorts of birds flying about and settling on the water, the Gannets diving after fish.  Anchored in the stream at about 3 p.m.  The scenery is very rugged and striking.  Did a few pencil sketches of outline of mountains.

Tuesday (1 May 1917)

Nearing port (Capetown).  Our trip must constitute something of a record of a non-stop run without sighting land or even another ship.  Given scalding hot buckets of fresh water this morning and bathed ourselves – mine nearly took the skin off.  Also got our identification disks, “cold meat tickets” as the men call them.  Sailors are getting the hawsers out ready for berthing.  Every-one excited at prospect of reaching land and hopes of leave.