I am now on the high seas and at last am getting the sunshine I have wanted for so long. If I ever complain of the heat the crew will probably strike me down because I have never hidden my thoughts about cold climates and cold Nissen huts. At first a rain coat was not enough to keep me warm on deck but it was noticably warmer every day. Yesterday the order came through to don tropical kit. What a sight! What amazing interpretations the services put on their definition of tropical kit. For us it means khaki shorts and shirts and stockings and ordinary shoes and caps, none of the RAF yet daring to appear in their new Australian slouch hats. But all the shorts seem to vary in shade, length and cut. I have had mine shortened a lot as they were of a typically English length. The first day my knees and arms got quite sun burnt for the sun approaches the near vertical and so today I spent much time in my cabin reading a book because I don’t yet like being on deck in the shade if there is any wind at all.
As before I have felt no pangs of seasickness. My navigator and one of the gunners were under the weather at first but have entirely recovered and indeed it would be hard not to under present conditions.
Entertainment is much more organized than on my other voyage. Housey housey with prizes up to £10 some nights, cinema shows, boxing and other games on the quarter deck, music over the PA system, a concert coming up etc. No gambling this time but a fair amount of chess, bridge, deck tennis, deck quoits and the like. My bridge hands have been absolutely appalling for far—so bad in fact that I quit for two days. I am starting again in an hour so wish me luck.
I had another innoculation yesterday. I thought I was finished ages ago but these doctors, if they cannot dream up something new, give you one you’ve had before. For our own good I suppose really.
Well my bridge hands were nearly as bad as before but John and I won due to one terrific hand that I had, 150 honours in suit, 100 in another, a blank and a singleton. We bid and made the small slam that was doubled.
It was wonderful on deck last night. Even after dark it was warm and windless. It is not yet breakfast time yet already it looks like being a real scorcher. About the only fly in the ointment is that it won’t be very long before the rainy season starts where we are going.
With love from
[Editor’s note: Transcription provided by collection donor.]