24th December 1916

At Kingston. Captain went “Rounds”. Afterwards I went to Morning Service on the upper deck. This afternoon had photo taken again.

I am watch aboard tonight and have given part of the time up to preparations for tomorrow’s dinner. We are having a couple of fowls, and at the present time (8 p.m.) one of them is laying down all so peaceful in the arm-chair to which it is secured by a piece of string. All the poultry was brought on board alive as it would not keep long in the dead state. We are going to kill and pluck it later on tonight.

Leave was given from 1-30 p.m. to 7-30 p.m, as a result we have had two men brought up with scalp wounds, two stitches having to be inserted in each instance.

12 p.m. The fowl has been prepared for tomorrow’s feast.

I have just returned from the foc’sle where I have been watching the sharks prowling off the ship. I have learnt a new phase in a shark’s methods tonight. They swim near the surface and by swishing their tail cause a large patch of phosphorescence which attracts the small fish – a sort of spider and fly business. Several sharks were operating and so a semi-circular line of phosphorescence could be seen, through which the sharks could be seen dashing after their prey.

Judging by the sounds of fireworks, laughter, music and those caused by paper trumpets there is still plenty of life ashore. Such jovialities are kept up continuously for 48 hours or more by the natives. It is a clear, still night so sounds are very audible. Now to bed.

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