RUSHDEN FAMILY'S JOURNEY TO THE EAST.
Flames From The Volcano of Vesuvius.
Through The Suez Canal And The Red Sea.
Mr. and Mrs. C. H. Stanley Jones, of Portland-road, Rushden, who, with their two children, left in October for Singapore, in the Malay Straits, have written to members of "The Rushden Echo" staff telling of their safe arrival. In a letter to Mr. Hugh F. Norman, of "The Rushden Echo" printing office staff, Mr. Jones says:
On board s.s. Atsuta Maru.
Nov. 13th, 1928.
We are due at Colombo about 6 p.m. to-morrow, and we sail the same night for Singapore, where we are due Nov. 20th. It seems a long time since we left Port Said and came through the Canal.
The journey to Port Said passed quickly because of the interesting calls, at Gibraltar, Marseilles, and Naples, and the sight of many islands in the Mediterranean. We saw Stromboli, which was quiet, and Vesuvius, which had much smoke and some flame (visible only at night).
We passed through the Canal at night, pausing an hour outside Suez in the early morning. I have been through in the daytime, and I prefer it at night, with a cool breeze and lights all the way. You just doze on deck and look at things occasionally on either bank. Only one ship passes at a time through the Canal, which is supposed to be the gate of the East and has every evidence of the hand of the West! Port Said itself seems to have more of the West than the East though it has the Eastern ways except in the big shops. We saw white helmets made of rubber. They are cheaper there than at Singapore, and we have to wear them when we walk in the strong sunlight, even in the Indian Ocean.
The Indian Ocean looks calm, but has a strong current that cause the boat to roll a little, though not enough to upset us. Whales, porpoises, dolphins, and flying fish are common, though we do not often see sharks. We did not see one shark in the Red Sea, which is infested with them. The sea there looked calm and innocent, with nothing disturbing its surface, but if one happened to drop in it he would be seized immediately and torn to pieces by these sea tigers!
Japanese Coronation Day was celebrated on board on Nov. 10th with a speech by the Captain and a dinner which most will remember. Flags of all nations, including the Red Ensign of Soviet Russia-all red, with the exception of a yellow hammer and scythedecorated the dining saloon. Easterners are not so prejudiced against Russia as we are.
Armistice Day: Ship's syren blew for Two Minutes Silence; wreath of poppies thrown overboard. No prayer, no speech. Much more impressive than anything I have seen on land on Nov. 11th.