JJ Rowe Diary: 26 Feb 1889


The ship has been in the Red Sea for four days now, and is expected to enter the Gulf of Aden during the night. Joseph details the crew’s emergency preparedness measures, providing a list of provisions included in each life boat. Pollie continues to be unwell.

The Diary Entry

26.2.89 (Tuesday)

Woke at 12.30 AM, thought it was 4.30, went to sleep again till 4. Had a bath then went & got into my hammock till 6 AM.

Passed a lot of rocks called the twelve apostles. Still in the Red Sea. Not so hot this morning, a good breeze out. Sea a little rough.

Passed two ship, one about 630 AM, the other about 8 AM. One French, could not see what the other was. Passed two large vessel looked like French man of war about 9.30 AM.

At 10 Am the Sailors practiced getting the boats ready in case of a disaster. Two tubs of biscuits, two tubs of fresh water, & two boxes of preserve meat, compass, rocket flag of distress, blank & ball ammunition & two rifle to each boat, & then a Naval Officer came & inspected each lot. They where very quick about it, for they had them there in about half the time it take me write it.

About noon we reach a reef of Islands called (Jublezuker{?}) so some such name as that, that is as near as I can spell it. Saw some more steamer in the distance.

Pollie much worse, had another faint. It is so close in the woman Quarters it is fit to stifle a pig. I got her another bottle of lemonade & about 8 pm she went to bed. About 9 pm went to bed.

We are to pass (Table mander) about 10 pm, it is a place named in the Bible in the book of Genisis where the Ship as through between two big rocks commonly called by Sailors (Hells Gates).


Place names: Joseph encountered many place names with which he was unfamiliar. He spelled them as best he could. In some cases we can surmise based on other clues what the actual place name should have been, but in other cases we can only guess.

The placed recorded as Table mander in this diary entry is likely Bab-el-Mandeb, which is also known as Hell’s Gate.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email