|Anna Marshall Kornhauser|
Weather: Lovely half cloudy
Place: The Open Sea
Date: Sept 12 1913
Yesterday began the much to be desired ocean voyage and it is delightful. Passengers are few and of varying character.“Mrs. 17-times across” happens to be a woman who crossed only once before.
To hear the German spoken is unique. When I asked the doctor a question in my very best German he said “I don’t speak English.” Isn’t that adding insult to injury.
Walking the deck at breakneck speed is the latest recreation and I have an engagement to walk at 7:30 tomorrow with a middle-aged man.Today I mentioned him as an elderly man, but Mrs. Jones, a Pgh [Pittsburgh] grandmother, declares he is not elderly so we compromise at middle-aged.
Oh, the blue sea! The first time in my life that I saw the blue sea was this day. Where there was break close to the boat the pale blue with white foam is most beautiful. Water, water everywhere and the sunlight and moonlight on it are enchanting. The meals are good and I am able to eat almost anything, only I learned that one must not be late to dinner. The remaining courses are all one gets.
Now to bed for the bath stewardess wakes me at 6:30 for my bath – warm sea water in a tub freshly enameled. This morning it peeled or rather stuck to me.
Weather: Rain and Wind
Place: The Deep Blue Sea
Date: Sept 13 1913
45 min change
With the high wind and some rain, the waves were beautiful with gray green and blue lights around the white foam. And tonight a little phosphorescence, but my eyes got full of cinders watching.
The great joke expounded today was: Hold a guinea pig up by its tail and its eyes will fall out.
I learned a few more German words and tried to talk with a German girl an hour or more this evening.
Today was a lazy day and I had no book until 4.
Finished Sunday Night
Why this pen couldn’t write last night I don’t know for I couldn’t discover any flaw today.
Today I had my first game of shuffle but didn’t succeed very well in a long skirt and long sleeves, so tomorrow I shall hunt out a sailor blouse and do better.
These semi, no – I mean bi-daily clock changings are very
confusing for the maid calls time earlier every morning, so it seems.
Eleven now and I walk with Mr. Sample at 7:30 and I am not yet undressed.
“Succotash” is what I talk for today in the game I said “five and never.”
By the way, several noticed the motion yesterday and some were sick – So far, so good, I shall knock on wood.
Weather: Calm sunny
Place: The Gulf Stream
Date: Sept 14 1913
35 min change
First Sunday on sea and it was a beautiful day. Read Lavender and Old Lace.
This morning I had a fine walk before breakfast at least twenty times around deck, but it takes 15 to make a mile. My companion was Mrs. Windeman who is unbearable, very important in her own estimation. Before lunch Miss Richter and I walked together. Miss R. is by far the most charming person that I have met. She is a German an English mixture and speaks both well – also French – a really accomplished continental girl. She had visited Mrs. Jones in Pgh. And is traveling with Mrs. Jones & Mrs. G.M. Jones (Kelly & Jones, Pgh).
Mrs. Jones is very interesting for she is a worldwide traveler has been even to New Zealand. My first impression of her was 16 yr old back, 60 yr old front – for she wore a silk traveling suit very stylish and beflowered hat. Her face showed an elderly face and glasses, and she didn’t look attractive but she is – and clearly amusing at times.
By the way, the steamer “Victoria Louise” (sailed 12th) caught up with us and passed about 10 miles away yesterday afternoon. There was another ship on the horizon. Today a tramp freighter crossed our path and we passed it within a mile – very unusual (so they say).
The artist (Mr. Osnis) on board knows both Dave K. [Kornhauser] and Mary Parker [Anna’s future brother-in-law and sister-in-law] well and claims both are talented. Mary is lovely unassuming self suffering according to his delineation, but he claims Dave is selfish but has those qualities which make for success.
Weather: Cold – foggy
Place: Off Newfoundland
Date: Sept 15, 1913
Every night I
resolve to go to bed earlier, but here I sit at 10:30 eating an apple.
Today we saw the great Olympia, sister ship of the Titanic – it caught up and passed us within a half mile distance. It is a giant, but yet how small on that vast expanse of water.
Life on shipboard is one continuous picnic. Miss Evans who goes to Berlin to study voice, Miss Richter, Mrs. Jones, and I are very chummy and our bête noir is Mrs. Krebs. A bore – she has three children whom she is taking abroad for a better education and she is spoiling all of them. Well – she persists in giving lengthy account of very simple events, and it takes desperate measures to stem the flow. Today I stopped a lengthy tale about outdoor sleeping and an army blanket by the story of the hunter who shot a bear with a frozen drop of perspiration (the bear dying of water on the brain).
Eat – I eat at all of our fine meals a day – actually I ate six crackers at the midmorning buillion and as many cakes at afternoon tea besides my three meals at table.
A fog settled down at noon and lasted till evening but it is clear now so we haven’t that deep fog horn every few minutes.
Mabe’s [Anna’s younger sister Mabel] steamer letter contained a lot of surprises. Todays was a jabot and a bluebird.
This diary is certainly hodge-podge but really I did have to put on high shoes today.
Place: The Sea
Date: 11 PM Sept 16
The wind changed to the north an so we had to move our chairs around to the other side. But it was a lovely day, even if I did have to take frequent walks to get warmed up.
officer took us up to the bridge and to his apartment an showed us
various photos, mostly of himself, his wife, and little daughter.
In the wireless station I had the cap over my ears and could hear the dim signals. Neither of the operators spoke English so we didn’t find out what they were talking about. The news from N.Y. is posted every other day in the hall, even the baseball scores, although we have now traveled more than 1600 miles – only a third of the distance.
Mabe’s last note I opened this morning to find her wedding handkerchief which she wished me to carry at my wedding. It touched a tender chord and I shed a couple of tears, the first of the trip.
Our crowd talked most of the afternoon and evening – mostly of music and opera – then Paris and Paris friends – and many rich things we heard.
Some of the young women on board smoke big cigarettes, in fact one paraded the deck this evening with the doctor – both smoking their after dinner cigarette.
Weather: Clear cook
Date: Sept 17, 1913
About half the journey is over and the sea has been comparatively calm so far. Only one day has had much wind and rain, so the captain said it was an unusual trip so far.
Miss Evans gave us a short concert this evening and her voice is so clear – the high tones are beautiful.
Miss Richter is writing poetry for the concert – she has the captain down – ending
------ “struts and winks
No matter if the steamer sinks”
Too bad when I associate with clever people that I can’t be clever, sad, indeed.
A school (?) of about 100 porpoises passed the ship today and I never saw one of them – sitting talking and reading.
Both yesterday and today vessels were in sight, so that not a day so far has passed without our seeing some boat.
Mrs. Wurdeman (who is taking her daughter abroad) declares that she was right in her delineation of the character of all the passengers except Miss Marshall. What sort of enigma am I? Possibly I shall learn later what she thought of me.
Our bride and groom walking into the salon just as Miss Evans sang:
“This laddie and lassie were happily wed”
The water is beautiful and I’m having a splendid time but I wish it were next week.
Place: Over half way
Date: Sept 18, 1913
The sunshine was clear part of the day, a shower fell this morning, the moon and clouds were most wonderfully beautiful tonight, so all in all the weather was ideal.
Occupations – made one buttonhole and learned a new crochet stitch – read most of the Inside of the Cup and talked about our neighbors.
Much more of this enforced idleness would certainly make a gossip of me.
As this was Thursday which is called Ship Sunday, we had chicken and ice cream for dinner and chocolate added to afternoon tea. Mrs. Jones did without dinner and we’ve been teasing her about missing chicken.
Nerves are on edge today so much so that after Mrs. Krebs related that there were rats on the ship – my pear dropped and the sudden motion caused a scream.
Dancing on deck tonight. Strange to see the Germans go round and round while our bride and groom did the Boston dip.
Weather: Wonderfully fine
Place: Nearing the Other Side
Temperature: Rather high
Date: Sept 19, 1913
If this beautiful smooth sea continues the captain says we shall arrive Tuesday instead of Wednesday. Today was an ideal day of sunshine.
Strange how all the days are interesting and pass rapidly but yet how few real events actually take place.
These mornings I have been so sleepy that after my bath (6:30 which moves up every day as we lose 30 or 40 mins), I crawl in and stay there until about a quarter to eight.
The excitement of arrival is now beginning to permeate my being – it seems so close but so tantalizingly far away. What if I should arrive a day sooner! Every day counts you know –
How strange a sensation to hear the continued cracking of the wood in reply to the throb of the engines! Ever it beats and groans within and roars without, but I sleep soundly. Last night I wasted a good hour imagining the horror of rats in my room, but none came. My door I certainly bolted now since Mrs. Detres’ maid was bitten but I loved the fresh air.
Place: Nearing England
Date: Sept 20, 1913
Tomorrow we sight Bishop’s Rock off southern England and everybody seems happy. As the end approaches comes the terrible letter writing for everybody’s doing it now.
Tonight there was another dance and it is so funny to watch the Germans go around and around so quickly and it certainly makes them hot.
Miss Richter wrote poetry about the various ones (see end) [note: although this poem was originally at the end of the diary, I have inserted it following this entry] and was reading it to us the afternoon. Of course we were convulsed and entirely forgot that the captain was taking his afternoon nap. The Captain stuck his head out of this door and said in a sarcastic tone: Thank you very much. We felt squelched, but evidently the Captain repented for he has taken pains to be nice to us ever since then and even let several of the lower officers down to dance tonight.
I spent half a mark for postcards and that is the first money I’ve spent since leaving America – doesn’t it seem strange to live ten days without spending a cent, but atonement will come Tuesday.
Mrs. W. thinks it strange that Miss Marshall who has her bath before she does in the morning comes in late to breakfast. Not at all – I simply go back to bed until nearly eight.
And Sunday comes soon.
Damfer – “Graf Waldersee”
Heutzage is man bange
Darum fährt man heiber lange
Was karm alles Jagen nutzen
Lasst uns liebel länger sitzen
Olympic and Titanic
Are inclined to turn and kick,
The slow boats and the German band,
Are just the things that we can stand,
The people are all right and nice,
Full of wit and full of spice,
The Captain, wooly like a bear, But it seems he does not care,
He struts around and smokes and winks,
No matter if the steamer sinks.
Die Stütze und die richte Hand,
Voller Schneed und sehr gervandt,
Ist der erste Offizier
Rund und blonder und Cavalier,
Liebt die Frauen, gross und kleine
Doch un Hertzen mir de Seine.
Two doctors with a different mind
Both are German and are kind
The smaller likes to flirt and fun
The other is too stout to run
The passengers that are on board
are of a variegated sort.
There’s a mother with her kids a running
And the kids, you bet, are stunning,
The son who is her special pride
Seems his talents all to hide,
There may be music in his veins,
But his execution pains.
The little girl likes Art and dance,
But has to wait to get a chance
For if you waltz, you cannot paint
The dancing makes you feel too faint
The smallest kid, a genius too,
Will do the same as the other two.
The mother gives them courage and grit,
For nothing else she will be fit.
She spends her time in gossip and chat
Which is enough to chase a bat.
One man is an artist and shows it too,
He wears his hair like beasts in the zoo.
He stares about and puts on an air
But for his pictures we do not care.
The only people who are sober
Are those belonging to the 4-leaved Clover.
The tall one with the silver hair
Is the one to do and dare.
Red is the one of the other one,
She is full of tricks and fun.
But going over to a serious side,
As she will soon become a bride.
Another one is small and slender,
And has a voice so sweet and tender
The moonlight songs she does adore
Though it makes the men’s hearts sore
The last one of this sober lot
Is a German little spot
She thinks she makes a rhyme or two
But this is all that she can do
- Dorothea G. Richter
Place: Off Southern England
Date: Sept 21, 1913
Today as been quite exciting and my, it was a great sensation to really see some terra firma again. When dinner was over we heard the cry “Land, Land” and sure enough, there was a lighthouse and a dim island further on. Then we came quite a lot nearer and could see the waves break along the rocks – and then a village on another island with even the haystacks plain enough to be seen. Later in the afternoon we saw Land’s End and later Lizard, as we are really in the English Channel now.
There is still doubt as to whether we will get in Hamburg late Tuesday or early Wednesday, but I hope it is late Tuesday, so that I can go on to Würzburg Wednesday morning.
Tomorrow I shall finish my writing so that I can pack up and arrange affairs on Tuesday.
Much as I enjoyed the sea, oh but it was fine to see those rocks rise above the horizon.
The band is still playing but we are being good tonight.
Place: Nord Sea
Date: Sept 22, 1913
Today was made very interesting by our views of England – the chalky cliffs of Dover, Dover itself, and Dover Castle on a nearby hill. And at the same time in dim outline France could be distinguished on the other side of the channel.
Dinner tonight was the farewell dinner, the last course being illuminated ice cream. The celebration resembled a Halloween affair in America and evoked much merriment. The little fancy rolls that snapped like shooting crackers were the queerest. And then fancy caps etc. were rolled in that same receptacle and my the time dinner was over we were all decorated.
My being all in white with pearls in my hair was the cause of many compliments.
And to finish the glory of our last night at sea, the phosphorescence was beautiful. The tops of the waves as the ship cut through were like sheets of flame and looked glorious.
Tomorrow – write and pack for in the evening we dock – and then hurrah –
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