William Jolly Bridge, Brisbane, Queensland, Aus.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Wednesday 26th January 1949

I lose count of time and days. David seemed better before 8:00 but was stifled and could hardly get his breath later, owing to the stifling air, although the wind is terrific on the fore deck beating sun into skin. Dr said he could go on deck as temp is down a bit, so he lay in the shade on the coolest side all afternoon. Blocks of delicious ice cream after dinner, but heat baking in dining room. Nearing the equator now. Won money at horse racing.

Thursday 27th January 1949

David is much better. Later nights and a chill. Lazed and sunbathed all day. Absolutely baking and burned up in 10 mins, which is long enough. Lovely and warm sitting out on deck in the evening with scarcely any clothing on. Saw loads of small white flying fish. For those who wish can sleep out on the prom deck tonight. Walked around deck at midnight to look at everyone settling down for the night. Bare feet sticking out. Slept in cabin as near open doors. Temp 86 degrees in cabin though. Very hot all night.

Friday 28th January 1949

Slept all morning. Diane under showers on deck.

Crossed the line at 2:30 pm. Ships sirens hooted and Father Neptune and his retinue board the ship and were paraded all around the ship by the Captain and officers.

As there are 2000 passengers it would take too long to have the line ceremony for all, so children were to be done.

(David and I are in the circle, I can remember not being happy because I was small and couldn't see what was happening and I was scared because I didn't know what they were going to do to us. My dad said if I didn't stop whinging King Neptune would put me in a bucket and dangle me over the side into the sea. Needless to say I stopped and David looked after me. However, I can't remember how the ceremony was enacted. So it couldn't have been too drastic.)

Nearly all the passengers crowded on fore deck and we had a grand view. All excited. Neptune and the rest of the crew were very funny doing antics and dressed in sea grass skirts. There was a Queen Neptune. Barbers grabbed one woman nearby in all her clothes. They pasted all over her face with flour and water and pink colouring and then shaved her with a 2 foot razor. Then they hosed her all over and gave her a certificate from the captain. Real fun and games and horse play.
Mum is participating in the fun and games, she is in front of Neptune

Had to have a bath and change. Tired after dinner so lay on bunk slept amid noise until 11:00 pm. Had a cup of tea and went to impromptu party, guitar and singing on the fore deck until 1:00 am in dressing gown. Had another shower before lying in bunk as very humid. No sheets or anything needed. 


  1. Wow - this was one wild adventure! Love it - Love it Love it! Your Mom was fantastic!

  2. Oh my gosh, I can just feel the heat and humidity in her writings. I think I may have to take another shower myself. Amazing.

  3. It's great to see Grandma in the thick of the Neptune action! Her writing is so evocative; I can feel the thick heavy air. It would have been the first time you all would have experienced tropical heat and humidity too.
    Her journal, the photos, your blog...are all treasures! I'm loving it!!
    Thanks Mum,

  4. Hi Diane, I do hope you are going to make this into a book sometime. It's an absolutely marvellous read, and the photos are wonderful! I've also enjoyed you adding your memories. Have a great weekend.

  5. Your mother's diary is very informative and fun to read as she is very matter of fact. I am sure it brings back memories.

  6. They really did things differntly in those days, didn't they. I imagine you were quite panicked, I would have been the same.

    Looks like it was fun for the grown ups though.

  7. So different to our crossing the equator. We were high up, freezing cold and only the 4 of us. Diane