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.

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.