A sunrise

Posted: November 16, 2014 by saraherhodes in 1914

Have just come off guard duty, and am watching the sun rise over Colombo, it is a beautiful sight.

In front of me is a double row of big black hulks (our fleet) with just a light or two showing.  Behind there is a long low, dark, misty patch – one big conglomeration of boats, buildings, palm trees and lights.  The bigger buildings are looming out black against the sky line.  In the sky immediately above the buildings etc. is a fantastic mass of cloud, a rich purple colour; it is of different depths of colour in streaks – all along the top of this cloud the sky is just brightening, tipping the edges with gold.  To the left is a very dark heavy cloud, gradually toning down as it comes towards the centre of the picture.  Away on the left the sky is reddening with long tongues of light.  I can’t hope to describe one hundredth part of the beauty of the scene.

Last night the town looked very pretty, about a mile of lights – nearly every boat was signalling by lamp, so lights were bobbing and blinking all over the place.

They have altered the hours of sentry duty, instead of four hours on and eight hours off, they are doing two on and four off in the day, and one on and two off at night.  This practically means no sleep at all.  I was on duty from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., and on again at 9 a.m.  I was supposed to come off at 10 but somehow I was not relieved till 12 (midnight).  Before turning in I and another fellow went down to the kitchen and tipped the cook for a plate of bacon and eggs and coffee – not too bad I can tell you.  I managed to get an hour’s sleep, turned out at four and came off duty at 5 a.m., and had a shower.  I have to go on again at 7 a.m.

The kitchen is an immense affair.  There are about five big rooms filled with ovens, for bread, meat, puddings etc.  They are eight feet high, with square yard upon square yard of stove room, the tops of the stoves are red hot.  They have patent egg boilers – you put six eggs in one receptacle, set the machine for one, two, three or four minutes, and pour boiling water over them.  At the end of the specified times the instrument winds up, and takes the eggs out of the water.  The heat is the kitchen is dreadful, the perspiration simply rolls off you.

At Colombo I saw the only Russian man-o-war that escaped from Port Arthur in the Russia-Japanese war.



Current location:

ColoniesMap1914 19141115


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s