Norman – Mother: 19 Jun 1917

At sea
June 19th
Dear Mother,
I am writing this letter on the troopship out of sight of land. In spite of a fairly rough trip neither Neil nor I have suffered from any attack of sea sickness so far, and we are looking forward to maintaining our reputation throughout our trip. We resisted the temptation to open your tin until the afternoon of my birthday and although its weight gave us an idea of the way it was packed we were surprised when we opened it to find out how much you really had managed to pack in. The cake was the best thing we have tasted for a long time and if the others are as nice as that one we will be well provided with cakes for some time to come.

The trip has not been unpleasant so far although better weather would certainly have made conditions generally far more comfortable. Dry decks are certainly to be preferred above those continually wet with spray and after the novelty has worn off the continual pitching of the vessel gets fairly monotonous. I better not write any more in this strain or you will begin to doubt the statement that I am not affected by mal de mer, but I can assure you that I have never missed a meal yet and once down they have never came back.

Our cabin accommodation is not so bad were it not that eight of us are all jammed in a very small space but still we cant grumble and things may be a great deal worse as we are amidships and fairly handy to the deck. The tucker is a big improvement on camp fare and all utensils are kept scroupulously clean, rather strange after the way they were washed in camp. Our duties are light and altogether we are leading a life that ought to land us fat and hearty at our destination. Our time of rising in the morning is 6.15 am, but as the clock is put back during the night we really have half an hours extra sleep granted us.
There is really very little to write about so far as the trip has been of little interest and the censorship forbids the writing of what you will be most anxious to know. I forgot to mention that the tin was sent to Awapuni by mistake but we managed to get it aboard with very little trouble. I suppose Neil has told you that Alec and Charlie are aboard the boat as well as a number of Ponsonby boys that we know so there is no danger of the trip being lonely in any way . I will write again as soon as I can and I hope to have news that is a little more interesting next time.

Yours in the best of health and spirits