Diary, May 12-18, 1918
May 19 Sunday. last nite rocked us some. 4 am. are in the danger zone now. wear our life belts all the time. 11 am a couple tramps in sight. one showed her flags. the other did not our destroyer followed her up and fired on shot at her then she showed her flags. was a neutral ship. 3:30 pm. had a checken dinner. had church services. sailing been fine all day. 7: sea getting a little rougher. we are making much faster time than we have been up until now. They say one of our 14 vessels have 700 nurses on it. bought a picture of this boat to be sent home on her return to New York.
May 20. Monday. Belgian ship we sighted on 13th joined our convoy and is still with us. 16 boats now in all. still going at a good speed. fine weather. going north east. sea not very rough. all in good health & spirits. made a dollar sewing in an over coat sleeve lining for Bigname. We have 2 meals a day. just 2 meals a day since May 2. Our gun boat fired a few shots today. no one knows what at. We stay on deck thru sun setting and sun raising. as these are the most dangerous times. get up at 4 am. each morn.
May 21 - tue. The torpedo boat left us yesterday. This morn at 5 oc destroyers begin to come in in all directions 10 or more. one came with a bag of mail for this ship. helked pull it on board. They sure are fast. long & very low. 3 guns forward and 2 aft. They keep circuling around us. Cruiser staying with us. 7 am. cruiser has beat it. destroyers sly as foxes. one min. you see one and a very few min. you look again and it is out of sight. have seen no subs. yet. Destroyers are nearly all flying U.S. flags. they have 4 funnels - 2 life boats and hardly no deck at all after 1st mast. very long and knife shaped prow. All camofledged. at a distance you can only distinguish a part of the destroyer.
May 22 Wed- rained last nite. boat behind came near ramming us. also boat behind them gave out the alarm of Submarine. dont know if they really saw one or not. Early this morning we entered Bay of Biscay. Water as level as a lake. a little different shade too. 10 am are passing now into the most dangerous waters of our trip. 5 PM this afternoon we had phy. inspection, lecture on the women of France. and a good meal. weather is wonderful and the bay is beautiful - so still. looks like a level floor. There is no noticable motion to the ship. the smoothest riding Ive ever experienced. destroyers are now very active. making their patroll at a faster speed and we seem to be traveling faster now.
May 23 Thur. 5 am. light house sighted, small sail boat to right. small birds flying around. 8 am. a couple or 3 areoplanes flying over our boats. 8 am land in sight all around. many small boats in distance. a French torpedo boat and a destroyer & yalcht our with us now- 2 light houses to right- 1 to left. many fish. Boats falling back into single file - ours taking the lead as we have senior officer of all the boats, destroyers included. 9:30 now passing the fortified rocks along the cliffy shore line of France -at Brest. areoplane floating on the water out a ways. all kind of boats. bouys & light houses as the shore is very rugged. One of the best fortified places in France. weather fine. 11 am. anchored in the best fortified harbor on this coast. Destroyers anchored all around. City is back of the solid wall and fortifications which is on a very steep shore line. City looks as if it was built in solid rock. A monster gun is mounted high up on a huge solid Base. Across and safely in harbor. not an accident on the way. I believe most of the ships will go about 100 miles farther north. 2 PM - we are now toed in behind the big wall. where we will stay until unloaded. all the other boats that came with us are in the harbor just out side of the wall.
May 24- Fri. saw a captured german Sub this morning. There is a small naval base at this port. Our boat has been unloading all nite. 11:30 am. We are all getting our packs on ready to leave the ship. Pretty day. 12- a big yellow dirgible just going over boat. we are off the big ship and on a tender ship. taken to the warf we were unloaded and marched to a place a 2 or 3 miles up an awfully long hill. to the place our camp is until we are out of quaranteen. This field is a pasture out side of Brest. Such beautiful country and such queer perople and styles, actually ancient in looks and manners. camp is beautiful. arrived here at 4 PM. Fence is a wall of dirt covered with grass & vines. Country rolling and every thing green. Truck grown every where. while here we use pup tents.