CHAPTER 6. Adelaide

As our table in the dining room was for four only I persuaded the head waiter to put another chair there so that Brightie could still be with us until she left at Adelaide. By dinner time the boat was nicely feeling the ocean and most of those at the table were not too happy in spite of our attempts to retain the happy holiday spirit of the shore. We all went to bed early and the rolling increased.

World Tour 1938
Diningroom on “Orcades”

Just after seven next morning, as the weather was a bit bad I thought I would have plenty of room in the swimming pool and so went out and found I was the only one wanting some exercise. The ocean water was not nearly as cold as Plimmerton and I enjoyed the swim, but had to take care as the rolling of the boat required watching. When I was swimming with the water there was danger of being washed up to the tiles with some force, and when swimming in the opposite direction it was worse than fighting against a strong tide. However, it was good.

Then I checked up the company. Rozie did not want any breakfast and was not going to get up. Brightie would try to eat some breakfast and was going to stay in bed. Lois had got up and had a bath, thinking that she would never be seasick again, but was now lying on her bed in her clothes. I helped her on deck and wrapped her up in a rug on a deck chair. Elizabeth did not want breakfast or anything else. It was her first day out and we all knew how she felt. Here was a nice situation for a man going on a holiday. With a wife, a sister and two nurses I thought I was going to have the time of my life in being waited upon, and here I was having to nurse the four of them. By dinner time (8 o’clock, second sitting), we were in smooth water and they all made their first appearance at the table set for five.

We berthed at midnight at the outer harbour a few miles beyond Port Pirie and nearly 20 miles from Adelaide.

Next morning arrangements were made for the ladies to take the tourist trip to the Yalumba Wine Cellars at Angaston, about 60 miles out of Adelaide. As South Australia produces 4/5 of the wine made in the Commonwealth the trip was expected to be interesting. There are over 56,000 acres of vineyards which produce more than 15,000,000 gallons of wine yearly. On this trip they were also to be driven around Adelaide in the motor coaches before starting for the country. As I had to meet Clive Featherston and Bill Thummler and spend the day with them I could not take the trip and so simply bought the tickets and told them to be at the station a couple of minutes from the boat by 9.25.

Shortly afterwards I went out with Clive to drive in his car to the office at Adelaide. As the car was just outside the station and it was just 9.25 I said I would take their photographs as they were leaving. Imagine my surprise to find the train was just ready to start and they were not to be seen. I asked the guard to wait a minute and ran down the road to get them. They were leisurely strolling along thinking they had plenty of time, but without Brightie. I called out to them and they then started to run and said Brightie was looking for her luggage. The train waited for them, but Brightie was left behind. We then went in search of her and found her on the boat waiting for the others without any idea of the time. This was excusable to a point as we had been altering the clocks several times on the way over and no one seemed to be quite sure of their watches.

With the train well on the way there was only one thing to do and that was to try to overtake it in the car. Clive set out about a quarter of an hour behind, but his car and the road were both good and we got to the station at Adelaide as they were getting into the motor coaches for the trip.

World Tour 1938

Brightie had the better of them, for the ride in the car was much more enjoyable than the train and she had several places of interest pointed out on the way. For instance, there were seven or eight miles of a straight strip of land running from the port which had been set aside by the Government years ago with the idea of building a waterway right into the city so that goods could be taken in by boats. Of course, it was impracticable and was afterwards abandoned. Now the strip is to be turned into a long narrow park which will beautify the flat and otherwise uninteresting road into the city. The sea door to Adelaide is not all beautiful. It is land and that is about all; it could be improved and they are now planting trees and doing some of the good work which has been done in the city itself. Here they have trees planted right round the mile square which has been set aside as a city proper.

World Tour 1938

Adelaide was founded in 1836 when two ship loads of settlers arrived from England. At the express wish of Wm. IV the city was named Adelaide after his Queen.

A busy day was spent at the office and also getting the financial matters fixed which had been left over from Sydney and Melbourne. The travellers’ cheques, the Italian tourist lire and also the German registered marks were eventually settled after a great deal of difficulty, as it was discovered that the rest of the party also had to sign some of the papers. As they were not returning to Adelaide but were going direct to the boat it was arranged that I would get their signatures and send back the forms by Billy Thummler.

When we got back to the boat at 4.45 after travelling very fast in order to be there on time, we found she was delayed until 8 o’clock. There was a gale raging and apparently it was not safe to take her out of the breakwater. Brightie left us at 6 o’clock and went back to Adelaide with Billy. The gale continued and the time was altered to 9 o’clock. Then it was indefinite and we were still tied up when we went to bed.

World Tour 1938
Tugs at Adelaide
World Tour 1938
Tugs at Adelaide

At five next morning I was awake and saw the tugs getting up steam to be ready by daylight. I got dressed and went up on deck to take some photographs. We got clear of the breakwater and out to sea by about seven o’clock. We saw a large oil tanker coming up to the breakwater just as we put the pilot off. He then went straight from us to the other boat. Shortly afterwards we heard by wireless that a tanker had run ashore, but we do not know whether it was serious.



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