JJ Rowe Diary: 20 Feb 1889


On day ten of Joseph’s voyage, the ship enters Port Said having covered a distance of 2,271 nautical miles since departing Gibraltar. This is a more interesting diary entry than the last few, as Joseph describes sights that are completely new to him.

Port Said, 1890

WARNING: This is a transcription of an historical document. Some of the diary entries contain offensive language and stereotypes that must be understood in the context of the times. Such language and stereotypes are not acceptable today and are not condoned by the author of this blog.

The Diary Entry


Fine morning. Sighted land. Entered Port Said about 8 a am, stopped about 4 hours. Took in some coal & some cattle.

Where quite close to the shore. Some went ashore. Could not get leave for Pollie to go. Bought some oranges & bread off men who came to the side of the Ship in boats. Sent letter off.

Funny looking place. Seemed to be people of all nations there, a good many dressed like the Moors. 2 pm now going through the Suez Channel going very slow, about 5 knots an hour. Just like going along a river. Very narrow, some place made to pass other Ships. Just passed an Italian, looked like a merchant vessel.

Passed a lot of navvys filling waggons, very small waggon’s. They where dressed like moors & use shovels with long handles to them. Just passed a boat load of bricks sunk. Saw some women sitting on the side of the Channel. Looked like Arabs. We saw what where like huts or holes made in the sand suppose to be arab villages.

We are laying still tonight lashed to the side, as Troopship dont travel in the Channel of a night. Band played. Some dancing on deck. A large Steamer just passed us showing her Electric light, all the way before her. Was some dancing on deck.

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