CHAPTER 2. The First Day at Sea

As soon as we got away from the wharf we got the cabin in order. This took much longer than was expected and we were already in rough water before it was finished. What a night! The boat pitched and tossed and rolled as though making a special effort to let us know quite definitely that we had started. Before I left I had decided to spend the first day in bed in order to have a rest, but even if I had decided otherwise I would have still been there. Rozie and Lois were well down to it. The boat seemed to rise hundreds of feet and then drop twice as far. I tried lying on my back and then on either side, but still that sensation of rising and falling so far continued. For a change she started to roll. I got my back against one side of the bed and my knees on the other, but still I went from side to side. Would it never stop? I dozed and woke and dozed and woke. I had some fruit for breakfast and felt a bit better. Rozie had done likewise and felt much worse. By lunch time I was more used to it and had some salad and cheese. Rozie also ordered some, but could not eat it so I had most of hers just so that the steward would not think his work had been wasted. Dinner time arrived and I was still in bed. I ordered some boiled chicken and an ice cream. “Yes madam”, said the steward, “and would you like the same?” I advised her to have jelly instead of ice cream. “Very well, madam, I will have it up in a few minutes”. “Yes”, murmured Rozie as he left the room, “and I will have it up much quicker than that”. It eventually arrived, but he gave me the jelly and Rozie the ice cream. She could not eat all of the fowl and did not want the ice cream. Just as I said I would get out of bed and get it the steward returned and gathered up the trays. I told him to leave me the ice cream. I was just starting to eat it when Rozie kept her promise and parted company with the fowl. She apologised, but could not help it. I waited a minute and then finished the ice cream.

Next morning at 6 o’clock I had a bath, dressed and started on a walk round the deck. According to a brass plate it was 176 yards long and, therefore, ten times round made a mile. I had got my sea legs and did not care what the boat did now. I helped both Rozie and Lois during the day, but they were both very sorry for themselves. The third day, Sunday, was better and they both improved. Rozie got up for a while and reached the deck, but Lo kept to her bunk. On Monday morning at 7 o’clock we were in the Sydney harbour and it was here that our real start was to be made.

On the boat I had played a game of quoits with Hope Gibbons of Wanganui, had a yarn with Miss Marjory Barton, and lunch with the Rowntree girls from Dunedin, both of whom are now married, and on Sunday night at the pictures had run into a little red faced traffic cop who told me I could do what I liked for two months while he was away in Sydney, and lastly I met Mr Major, the manager of the Bank of New Zealand at Palmerston North, who is also joining the Orcades on a trip to London.

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