My Trip Abroad 1909: John Radford Abbot’s Diary: September 5 – 14

February 9th, 2016 by Alexia Hagler
USS_Rijndam_(ID_2505)

USS Rijndam (Ryndam in transcription)

Sunday, Sept. 5.
“Ryndam.”

Stiff wind blowing all day and the ship pitched arute(?) a little. All the A.M. we were in sight of the English coast. Passed a lot of ships including the Red Star Liner “Zealand”. Read most all day long. Anthony Hope’s books. There was service at 3 P.M. but Thayer was the only one of us to attend.

Monday, Sept. 6
“Ryndam”

After breakfast I bpught a cap from the barber. Abe had lost his overboard. Fine day but with a lot of wind and a pretty good sea. About 10 o’clock a woman jumped overboard The ship was brought round and remained for an hour but she was not recovered. I had a little attack of seasickness and missed both luncheon and dinner. Read practically all the time To bed at 11. Listened to the music, played checkers and read in the evening.

Tuesday, Sept. 7
“Ryndam”

Beautiful day. Sea calm but with long ocean swell. Saw several porpoises. [word crossed out and unreadable] Read and played ringtoss all morning and same in P.M. with shuffle board also. Some fun in second cabin. Listened to music and read play in the evening

Wednesday, Sept. 8
“Ryndam”

Fine day with quite a little sea. Played games and read most of the time.

Thursday, Sept. 9.
“Ryndam”

Beautiful day. Sighted the “Rhein” No G. [unreadable scribbles] L. [unreadable scribbles] about 9 o’clock and overhauled and passed her at 2:15. Passed within ½ mile of her. Played games, read, etc.

Friday, Sept. 10,
“Ryndam”

Another fine day. Abe marked the photos. A big dance was held at 8:30 on the promenade deck.

Saturday. Sept. 11
“Ryndam”

Good day with quite a sea on.

Sunday, Sept. 12
“Ryndam”

Another beautiful day We lay on the sun deck and read most of the time. The night was one of the finest I ever saw. The whole sea was shining with phosphorus It was most wierd and beautiful.

Monday, Sept. 13
“Ryndam”

Beautiful calm day. Played shuffle board and ring-toss all the A.M. Passed the Nantucket light ship about 2 and saw several small sailboats afterwards. In the evening there was an impromptu dance. Packing.

Saturday, Sept. 14*


The SS Rijndam/Ryndam (official name USS Rijndam) was owned by the Holland America Line, for whom she served as an ocean liner. She was launched in 1901 by Harland & Wolff, Ltd. of Belfast, Northern Ireland, but later seized and commissioned in 1918 by the U.S. Navy. There, she served as a troopship and transport, making a total of six trans-Atlantic voyages during World War I. Before she was decommissioned in 1919, she made a grand total of 26 voyages across the Atlantic. After her decommissioning, she was returned to her original owner, resuming her pre-war career until she was scrapped in 1929.

*Saturday, Sept. 14 is the final entry in John Radford Abbot’s diary. There is no writing on the page other than the date. According to records from the Holland America Line, September 14th was the day of arrival and subsequent disembarkation in New York for this specific journey.

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