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Date: July 8th 1915
John Row

July 8th 1915

Dear Emma,

We expect to be at our destination Saturday, though the mail closes Friday night, so will finish this letter tomorrow.

Have had a grand voyage, sea up to now as smooth as a lake. We have all thoroughly enjoyed it. As I told you we embarked immediately on our arrival by train. The ship cast off at once last Thursday. Travelled all that day down the magnificent river, the banks lined with pretty villages & scattered farms. Reached Quebec about 2:30. Saw the remains of the great bridge, citadel, docks and shipping. Reached Fathers about 5 the following morning (Friday). Sunday night we passed Cape Race, Newfoundland. Tuesday struck the gulf stream. Saw whales & porpoises. We have passed numerous ships, mostly freighters.

We manage to keep ourselves busy with physical drills & lectures, but not too busy. Can't read, as soon I start to read I fall asleep, though the Lord knows we get sleep enough. The portholes are closed & darkened at 7 p.m. so as soon as we are tired of talking and loafing on deck we hit the hay. We have 2nd class cabins, mine is an outside. Four berths, & I have the one with the porthole. I open it about 5 as a rule, take a look out at the sea & sky, & fall to sleep again watching. Today was the first day we could see the horizon clearly, the sea & sky being much of a color, the line of demarcation being confounded by slight mists on the sea and clouds in the sky, but today the deep blue f the sea & the light blue of the sky with fleecy clouds makes a lovely scene.

A.M. Friday
Just opened the porthole. Lovely morning, no escort in sight yet, expect it today. We have a couple of 12 pounders aboard, had some practice with them Wed. Did pretty well. We have as shipmates the 48th of Victoria and about 80 Canadian Mounted Rifles. The 48th have a bear cub for a mascot. He is comical.

I have been made a corporal since coming aboard & have put in 2 almost successive guards at the hospital. We have a man of the 48th very ill, pneumonia. I had him for the 2 worst nights, though recovering now. There have been several whist drives, attended 2, won 3rd prize on one, nice tobacco pouch, about 150 playing.

There are quite a number of British aboard. I heard one remark at White River where we all went for a swim that the water was absolutely top hole. They are the muscular sort, but they have a rotten lot of officers and their NCOs are not much better, a bullying lot. Many of the men say they will transfer when they reach the other side.

P.M. We are evidently now out of the gulf stream as the water is now green. Expect to be in tomorrow afternoon.