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Date: March 15th 1939

March 15, 1939


Dear Mother:

Had the forenoon watch today. Very high wind blowing 40 knots and sea is rough. I was up from 2:30 - 4:30 on bridge doing anchor watch this morning on account of gale.

The night before last Bell - my partner in this cabin - insisted upon having our scuttle open for ventilation (it is only about eight feet from sea level). I told him not to be a silly fool as the sea was too rough - but he insisted and I was too sleepy to argue.

Needless to say, about an hour later I was awakened from my deep sleep by a huge wave of Mediterranean which washed over me. I yelled to Bell "for G's sake shut the scuttle." Too late, another wave came and the cabin was filled with sea water to the depth of a foot, and everything soaked, bunks, etc. I haven't been on good speaking terms with Flying Officer J. R. Irving- Bell R.A.F. for two days.

I took another cabin for the night. When I returned next morning, Bell was standing in his bare feet in six inches of water - shaving.

"Damn it's cold," he said, and poured about a pint more of hot water onto the deck to warm it up a bit. These Englishmen!!

You would be surprised at the volume of traffic through the straits here at Gibraltar. Never for a minute is the see free from ships - you can always see at least one rounding the bend here - either coming or going.

British destroyers stop all suspicious ones who might be carrying arms for Spain. There is always one out there going back and forth, back and forth, day and night. Boarding all the suspicious ones.

The wind is dying down now. We sail on the 17th, arriving the 20th I believe.