Red Sea


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.Continue reading

JJ Rowe Diary: 24 Feb 1889


It’s Sunday on a very calm Red Sea, and Joseph’s focus is hygiene and his Christian faith. Pollie takes a turn for the worse, and is attended to by the ship’s doctor.

The Diary Entry


Lovely morning, sea as calm as a mill pond, not ripple to be seen anywhere.

Had a bath again this morning, water lovely &warm. Going to have one every morning now. It is awfully hot, perspiration running off us.

Attended Service on Deck. My Poor Dove much worse, she fainted on deck. I took her down & put her to bed & the Doctor saw her at 10.30 am.Continue reading

JJ Rowe Diary: 23 Feb 1889


Sailing on the Red Sea, the heat is unbearable, and Pollie is sick. There is, however, more merry-making on deck.

Troopship HMS Serapis, 1866-1894

WARNING: This is a transcription of an historical document.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

23.3.89 (Saturday)

Lovely day. Saw land on the right. In the Red Sea now. Very hot today. Laying all over the deck anywhere & any how.Continue reading