These hand written diary pages were photo scanned and published in Don Patterson’s Radio Age Newsletter Volume 8, Number 5, May 1982, although they were barely legible. Alfred H. Grebe Jr. (editor) has transcribed the following text from the diary. I take great pleasure in entering this story for the Internet community to see. – AHG3


    New York to Port Said, Karachi, Bombay, Paucal aug Soesoe, Pula Sambo, Singapore, Port Said, Bizerte, Thameshaven, London, Hamburg

Dec 8, 1912
Left New York for Bombay 8:30AM. Anchored off Stapleton 12 noon. Speak to Sayres over wireless. Picked up anchor 10PM and proceed on way.

Dec 9
Weather quite rough. Nothing extra.

Dec 10
Smoother sea. SS Cincinnatti and Stampalia pass us.

Dec 11
Weather warmer. Nothing extra.

Dec 12
Rough sea – waves over deck continually. Great sight.

Dec 13
Weather calming down but still big sea.

Dec 14
Very bum weather.

Dec 15
Same rotten weather.

Dec 16
Slightly better weather.

Dec 17
Fine weather for a change. Have fire on upper deck. Chinese crew half crazy. Put out fire with two cans of fire extinguisher.

Dec 18
Very fine weather. Patch up deck and lead in with cement, etc.

Dec 19
Very smooth but rainy weather. Communicated 800 miles with Oussant France.

Dec 20
Absolutely the rottenest day I ever spent aboard a ship.

Dec 21
Also as above.

Dec 22
Coming back to life once more. Pass Cape St. Vincent at noon. Take two photos of same.

Dec 23
Pass Gibraltar 6:30AM. Fine sight. Looks a lot different than pictures. First looks like


And then


Sea very smooth and weather warm.

Dec 24
Still having lovely clear weather. Everybody getting ready for the big feed tomorrow.

Dec 25
Fine weather and everybody feeling good. Have fine Christmas dinner. Flaming Plum pudding etc. Everybody enjoyed the occasion. In the evening I communicated the Norddich Germany… which made me feel good as it was the first real long distance 1140 miles.

Dec 26
Fine weather. Saw Carthage and another city on an island. Had Norddich again in evening. Now well satisfied.

Dec 27
Same fine weather.

Dec 28-29
Same except little rough on 29.

Dec 30
Arrive Port Said. Many funny looking people and sail boats. About 30 ships in harbor waiting to go through Canal.

Dec 31
All the boats in harbor making loud noise. Everybody on ship is up and wishing “Happy New Year.” Go to bed 1:30AM. I forgot t mention that yesterday I went ashore in Port Said. Great place. Very glad to have seen it.

Jan 1, 1913
11AM. Now leaving for India. All well. Fine weather.

Jan 1
Sailing at slow speed through Canal. Fine weather. Slight sand storm on desert.

Jan 2
Leave Suez and passing through Gulf of Suez. See Mount Sinai in afternoon.

Jan 2
Fine weather. Still cool.

Jan 3
Slightly warmer but very comfortable.

Jan 4
Getting warmer-but fine smooth sea. Pass quite a few ships during day.

Jan 5
Very fine weather. Pass few ships.

Jan 6
First real hot weather. Stay on deck most of time. Very few steamers near. Pass a few small islands in afternoon. 4th engineer gave me hair cut.

Jan 7
Weather cool again. Pass Island of Pierim. See vessel ashore there.

Jan 8
Pass Aden. Fine weather.

Jan 9
Still having great weather but strong currents against us.

Jan 10
Sea calm as a mill pond. Expect arrive Karachi Tuesday.

Jan 11
Same fine weather. See couple sharks. Otherwise nothing unusual.

Jan 12, 13
All same fine weather.

Jan 14
Arrive Karachi 7AM. Very cool. All well. Walk 2 _ miles to the main part of the city but by time I got there was tired out. Then met Captain Gray and his wife and had gharry ride all around the city. Visited the zoo and saw a great collection of birds.

Jan 15
Take ride through city in train car. Very fine sights. Get good photos. Ordered a spring suit from a native tailor.

Jan 16
Had lunch with the ship chandler’s family with Capt and Mrs Gray. Showed wireless station. Operator from the SS Dufferin payed me a visit and I gave him a galena detector stand. Great bunch of native Hindus are always aboard selling stuff and mending clothes. Had pair of white pants mended for 4 cents.

Jan 17
Received the suit of clothes and satisfied. Left Karachi for Bombay at noon. Weather very hot but glad to be leaving. One of my parrots which I bought for40 cents yesterday got away before I left port. Of course it was the best one.

Jan 18
Fine weather.

Jan 19

Jan 20
Arrive Bombay in morning. Lots of boats and silk merchants come aboard to sell and changie for changa (Editor: Maybe this means “exchange.”) for old clothes, etc.

Jan 21

Go ashore and see the town. Go with Capt. and Mrs. Gray. Have some lunch and tea at Mongini’s. Buy lots of stuff.

Jan 22
Go ashore again with Capt. And Mrs. Gray. Find fine store and buy some good stuff.

Jan 23
Go ashore with Second Mate and have lunch at Mongini’s. Drive around town. Went to Victoria Gardens on 22nd with Mrs. Gray.

Jan 24
All the Chinese crew go ashore to be fumigated. Bought some grass wall mats for 4 anna’s a piece. Getting ready to leave Bombay.

Jan 25
Weather fine but getting warmer.

Jan 26
Passing many native Indian sailing vessels near shore.

Jan 27
North east wind getting strong but feel ok as yet.

Jan 28
Pass southern coast of Ceylon 11AM. Quite close to the shore. Pretty vegetation.

Jan 29
Very warm weather. Keep on deck lot of the time. Ship not making very good time only 29 miles the last 24 hours.

Jan 30
North easter keeping up steady making slow time.

Jan 31
Still going slow. Expect arrive Paucal ang Susu Sunday around noon. Now have 2 months more to go till New York.

Feb 1
Passed Puls Wa and Sabang Sumatra.

Feb 2
Arrived Saembilong and leave in afternoon. Dock at Pankalang Susu in evening.

Feb 3
Go ashore. Pankalang Susu. Very mucky ashore. Visit native quarter and construction engineer of the Oil company.

Feb 4
Left Pankalang Susu 9PM for Singapore.

Feb 5
Very quiet on wireless. No ships around at all.

Feb 6
Arrived Pulo Sambo 10AM. Anchored in stream. Went ashore in afternoon. Most of Chinese stores closed on account of their new year Holiday. Bought a Swaton linen table cover in a Japanese store. Had drive all around city. Little Chinese children all painted and powdered up. Look like wax dolls.

Feb 7
Rain. Don’t expect to go to Singapore until tomorrow.

Feb 8
Went to Singapore in the company’s launch. Had jinrickshu ride all over the town. Went to a Swaton Linen store and bought $18.13 worth of linen goods. After that had lunch at Raffles Hotel and enjoyed same very much. After lunch went to a Japanese store and bought a lot of pictures some satsuma vases and some elephants. Have altogether 10 elephants of various kinds now. Then took launch back to ship. In the evening went to the Club house (Pulo Sambo Club) of which I was made member and spent the evening and a few dollars there.

Feb 9
Left Pula Samboe for Port Said. All well. Took photo of island when leaving.

Feb 10
Fine weather but very hot. Keep on deck most of the time.

Feb 11
Passed Sabaug. Poor weather. Very hot.

Feb 12
Weather same but for a rain squall in afternoon.

Feb 13
Slightly cooler weather but still pretty hot. Had my hair cut by 2nd mate in afternoon. Small rain storm in afternoon. In evening we drew for the sweepstakes and I drew Amsterdam. I haven’t got much chance but may go there. General opinion is that we will go to Rotterdam only or Rotterdam and London. Hope we go to Rotterdam and London anyway.

Feb 14
Same warm weather.

Feb 15
Overcast all day. Very cool. Pleasant.

Feb 16
One of the three weeks to Port Said over, doesn’t seem so awful long since leaving Singapore. Weather very pleasant.

Feb 17
Overcast, fresh breezes. Fine smooth sea. Clean up my room. Looks ok now. Hope to get Karachi tonight 1250 miles.

Feb 18
I didn’t get Karachi.

Feb 19
Bad lightning all night.

Feb 20
Same beautiful electric storm but can’t do anything on wireless.

Feb 21,22
Got Karachi 1000 miles.

Feb 22
Fine weather. Got Karachi both nights 1050-1100.

Feb 23
Passed Aden 4PM. Very hazy on shore so can’t see much.

Feb 25
Passed Perim Island 11PM. See few lights ashore.

Feb 24 (Editor: no explanation for dates reversed.)
Pass four small islands in Red Sea in morning. We’ll pass another at 2PM and another at 6PM. Fine breeze coming up after us.

Feb 25
Fine weather continually seeing ships.

Feb 26
Breeze coming down from the north is keeping us back a little.

Feb 27
Strong winds from north making very poor time.

Feb 28
Passed Shaduan Island and can see the mainland quite plainly. Mount Sinai in distance.

Mar 1
Arrived Suez 6AM and have to wait until 11AM before starting. Left 11AM and anchored in Bitter Lakes for the night after 6 hour run.

Mar 2
Left Bitter Lakes 7AM. Arrived Port Said 3PM. Only stop 2 hours so can’t go ashore at all.

Mar 3
Very bad weather only making 5 miles an hour. Sick most of day. Everything in room thrown around during the night. Very rotten.

Mar 4
Weather very rough in morning, but gets a little better in evening.

Mar 5
Pretty decent weather against last five days. Pretty cool breezes coming from Italian coast.

Mar 6
Fine cool weather making usual speed now expect arrive Bizerte Saturday afternoon if all goes ok.

Mar 7
Very fine weather. Pass Island of Malta 8AM fine sight, pass so close that we can see the small fishing boats around the Harbor.

Mar 8
Arrived Bizerte 8AM. Fine weather. Walking along shore to the town of Bizerte but had lot of trouble changing English coin for French Francs. Finally changed six shillings at 25% loss. Then had coffee and cakes with 3rd mate and 4th engineer. Also bought some cards and milk chocolate on way back to ship. Took photo of gypsy kid who begged for money. Left Bizerte 8PM and got right into big swell. Rolling like dog.

Mar 9
Passing along Tunis coast.

Mar 10
Passed Algiers ten AM. Fine weather once more. Copy news from Norddich in evening.

Mar 11
Passing coast of Spain. Snow capped mountains in distance. Weather fine and steamers report good weather in Bay of Biscay. Have hopes of half way decent passage through the Bay now.

Mar 12
Pass Cape St. Vincent 10PM. Still having good weather.

Mar 13
Passing off Lisbon and few other towns. See King Manncel’s Castle on Mountain.

Mar 14
Weather still ok but steamers report rough weather in English Channel.

Mar 15
We’re in it now alright. Starting to roll like a log.

Mar 16
Still rolling badly. Wind shifting astern.

Mar 17
Wind astern now. Passed Ushant (Quissant) 10AM. Expect get into decent weather tomorrow. Weather smoother but hazy. Picked up pilot 3PM at Dungeness light house. Arrive Thameshaven midnight and anchor for the night.

Mar 18
Get alongside oil wharf and start discharging the benzin. Went in tug 10AM and had a tug-boat voyage to Tellury dock. Got train for London and arriving Fenchurch St. station at 3PM. Had lunch and then took bus to Westminster. They were holding service there so had to wait awhile before looking around the Abbey. Later had look around and saw tombs and statues of all the big guys and kings, etc. Some boob carved his initials into the head of the Black prince. Saw coronation chairs and lot of other old woodwork. Some of the mosaic work on the tombs has been picked out. Some place. Next took bus around to Bond St and saw all the swell shops- but didn’t buy anything. Saw St. Pauls, Bank of England, Court Buildings. Had supper and registered in Shaftsbury Hotel. Then went to Empire Theatre and saw good show. Had a good nights sleep and woke up to see the whole city in fog and rain.

Mar 19
Had Breakfast in Hotel and went around town again. Around Threadneedle St., Bishop’s Gate, etc. Raining half the time. Then went around to the Tower of London and took train car along the embankment to Blackfriars bridge. Saw Cleopatra’s needle. And out in the Thames was the Steamer “GREBE.” I was nearly struck dumb when I saw the name so I forgot to take a picture of the ship. Then I bought a hat for 10/6 ($2.52). Looks like a good hat alright. Then had to get along to the train took the 12.25 for Stanford La Hope and then got cab for 5/ ($1.25) to the tank place. Wind blowing badly when I got back. In evening went to The Pig and Wistle with the 3rd, 4th, 5th engineers and stayed there from 830 to 1000. Thay had an old piano there and sang songs etc. The mate had his wife and three daughters aboard the ship and I showed the bunch of them the wireless outfit. The captains wife and the mates daughters left the ship and went in the tug in the afternoon. Ship left Thameshaven at midnight. Old man boozed.

Mar 21
Fine weather expect to get to Elbe river light ship tomorrow 9.30AM.

Mar 22
Arrived Auxhaven 9AM and got pilot for River. Beautiful scenery on way up. See the Kiel Canal and windmills along the shore. Lots of ships along the river. See the Big “Imperator” in the building docks in Hamburg. Only one funnel on so far. Also they are building another one 100 tons larger right near the Imperator. Docked in Oil wharf 4PM. At 5PM all hands ordered off ship to hotel ashore. Captain drunk. Ever since leaving London. Get to hotel but had to wait until 8.45 before could get supper. Went out after supper up town and saw moving picture show. Not very good show.

Mar 23
Went ashore about nine am bought knife and went around town. Fine place. Hope we will have a few more days here.

Mar 24
Captain still dead to the world. He must be taking dope of some kind. Nobody can get a word out of him. Went to Hagenbecks Zoo in afternoon. Wonderful place. I took two pictures but was stopped from taking more. Had ride around park in miniature railway. Went to Opera House in evening. Went to best place in town, but the theatre was not as near so pretty as most of the New York and Brooklyn ones. Had supper at a small café. Had no complaint there though.

Mar 25
Went to a wax work show. Most of figures very good, but the one of President Taft not a bit natural. Had lunch in an automatic lunch room where for just 10 pfennigs in slot and get what you want. Bought some leather pocket books and sent a lot of cards. Also bought a tungsten flash lamp.

Mar 26
Ship moved out of petroleum basin to river to clean boilers. Captain is still dead drunk. Office making arrangements to take him to Hospital. Second mate will refuse to sail if they send same captain out on the ship again. Got paid off at British consuls office. Went around with Chief engineer and his wife and helped them buy hat, leather goods, etc. I am the only one who can make them understand. I have improved my German a lot in past few days. Went to moving picture show in evening. Picture’s good this time. Bought 27 cards from man in street for 10 pfg or 2.5 cents (cheap).

Mar 27
Getting near time to sail. 1st mate is going as captain and second mate as 1st mate same 3rd mate new 2nd mate coming soon as possible. Eight Chinamen ran away so have to get white men to go on ship. Went around town again and bought some photographic supplies. Had lunch in automat and proceeded on way to ship. Enjoyed visit to Hamburg very much, but glad to leave as money is going low even though everything is very cheap. Left Hamburg for New York 4.45PM.

Mar 28
Fine weather making 10.5 Knots. Hope weather will be half way decent.

Mar 29
Fine weather in morning and afternoon. Passed Dungeniss Light at 7.30AM. Weather rough in evening from 5PM until midnight.

Mar 30
Fine weather again and barometer rising. Expect make New York Saturday or Sunday 12-13th. Yacht “KISMET” passed last night and the wireless operator is going to send a card home for me. He makes nearly twice the speed we make and will arrive in New York on the 5th of April. The new captain has given me the extra cabin amidships to stay in, in bad weather if I care to. I wont have to use it though.

Mar 31
Weather bit rough but still making good time.

This sure is April fool’s day. The wind is blowing 40 miles and the sea is building up rapidly. Very rotten weather in evening. Went to bed early.

April 2
Terrible rough weather. Ship being thrown around like a cork. Not seasick but nearly so, slept midships.

Apr 3
Weather fine again in morning and afternoon. Bad thick fog from 730 to 900PM.
Few steamers passing within few miles. 11 more days to go. Oi oi.

April 4
Fine day for a birthday. Have been rigging up on phone between the chief engineer room and the engine room but can’t get it to work right as yet. Beautiful weather and indications of at least 12 hours more of it by barometer.

April 5

Fine weather. The mess boy has been eating garlic again and he stinks some awful. The “OLYMPIC” is coming up astern bound for New York and the “MAURETANIA” is passing us bound from New York to England. Going to get busy polishing up instruments soon now.

Apr 6
Fairly good weather in morning but making bad time. Bad fog in night. Those are the anxious hours at sea. We got through it safely though.

Apr 7
Fine weather and making better time now. Had bad fog in evening until 8PM when it cleared up again. Making very good time now 10.8 Knots. We can get into New York by Sunday evening if we make 10 Knots average. Hope we get good weather and get in on Sunday evening.

April 8
Weather bit rough and making rotten headway. Only 7.2 Knots. At this rate haven’t got much chance to get in Sunday.

Apr 9
Got no chance to get in on Sunday at all. Weather muggy all day. At 5PM we got into the Gulf stream and the wind started blowing from the NE about 40 miles an hour. To make it worse the cold wind on the warm gulf water caused bad fog. The sea looks just like a Kettle of boiling water with steam rising and being blown along surface. Ship rolling terribly. Just got hold of the drawers full of curios in time to stop them from dropping on the floor. Had to hold on to table and brace myself upagainst the wall with both my legs. Fine. Not a bit sick though.

Apr 10
Still very rough but clear. Made fairly good run today 230 Knots.

Apr 11
Weather getting better. Made fine run today 246 Knots. Steamers ahead report fine weather all way but it may change by time we get along. Only 584 more miles to go.

April 12
Fine weather and made 248 knots in last 24 hours. That’s going some. Am packing up now and will not write any more for this time.

Apr 13
Smooth weather but hazy. Fine fog will set in. 5PM got into thick fog. Picked up pilot 6PM. Arthur Roche in pilot tender. Proceeded few hours but had to anchor for night.

Apr 14, 1913

Left quarantine 6.30AM. Going up river. Docked 7.50AM at North 10th St oil dock. End of Voyage.

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