Posts Tagged ‘ship’

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

Tuesday, February 9th, 2016

USS Rijndam (Ryndam in transcription)

Sunday, Sept. 5.

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

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

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

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

Thursday, Sept. 9.

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,

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

Saturday. Sept. 11

Good day with quite a sea on.

Sunday, Sept. 12

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

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.


My Trip Abroad 1909: John Radford Abbot’s Diary: July 7 – 13

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

RMS Lucania

Wed. July 7th


We left the wharf about 10:15, and started off down New York Harbor. Saw the N. Y skyscraper Liberty Statue, Coney Island, etc. At about 11:45 we slowed down, and a rowboat came alongside to take off the pilot and also a woman who had forgotten to get off at the pier. It was quite an experience getting her off, but was finally accomplished. At about noon we passed sandy hook and the Ambrose(?) Channel Sightship where our official time is taken for Europe. The sea was calm and the weather great. In the afternoon Dale and I explored the boat from bow to stern, going into the second cabin and steerage. We had dinner at 7 P.M. 460 miles

Thursday, July 8th


Slept like a tot all night. Abe had upper berth and I lower. This morning the sky was overcast and there was a strong N.E wind blowing which kicked up quite a sea. We are at table with two actresses and a man named Sargent who is a real Yankee joker, so we have a lot of fun. In the morning Abe and I went up in the aft wheel house and were shown the compasses, wheel, sounding lead(?) etc. Dale had a hair-cut by the ship’s barber, and Abe also patronized the barber by buying a cap. Sea rather rough and many sick. All of our party at dinner lunch and dinner. Afternoon sea very rough. Boat pitched and rolled a great deal.

Friday, July 9th


Last night the sea was so rough that the boat dipped above the portholes on both sides of the saloon, and a bottle standing on our table tipped over. All our party, however, are O.K. I did not get to sleep last night till after midnight. Every minute or two the boat would roll so that the our porthole would be buried in the water and our dress-suit(?) cases on the floor slid back and forth as the boat rolled. The rades(?) were used at table all three meals today. Many people sick. Great fun at the table. Abe and I walked a mile on the deck to night. Sea calmer in the evening. All O.K. 470 miles.

Saturday, July 10th


Slept well last night. This morning there was a fresh wind but the ship did not roll as much as yesterday. Watched people play shuffle board most of the morning, and had a game ourselves half an hour before luncheon During the morning we were introduced to the Farnsworth’s. In the afternoon Abe arranged it with the chief engineer that we three boys should visit the engine room at 10 tomorrow. Read most of the afternoon. After dinner we again walked a mile on deck and then listened to the music. Went to bed early. 494 miles (very good)

Sunday, July 11th


Right after breakfast this morning Abe, Dale, and I went for the engine room. We were taken all over the engine room and followed the propeller shafts down to the stern. We then went down to the stokehole(?) and saw the stokers at work. The visit cost us 2s 6d in fees but it was more than worth it. Service was at 10:30 but none of us attended. We spent the afternoon reading and loafing(?). By the way, we had a conversation with Captain Warr and he told us some funny stories. Good weather all day with a fresh breeze. 495 miles

Monday, July 12th


Good weather with very little sea. This morning after breakfast we passed within a mile of the Campania(?) bound for New York. The two boats exchanged signals. In the afternoon we overhauled and passed a old square rigged ship bound for Liverpool. We passed very close to her and Dale took a picture. After dinner we went down to the concert given in behalf on the Seaman’s Orpan(?) Institution. August Belmont was chairman. It was O.K. but at times rather slow. We didnt get to bed till after midnight. 487 miles.

Tuesday, July 13th


Almost calm. This morning a whole flock of sea gulls came and stayed with the ship all day. There were hundreds of them. We came in sight of land Ireland, about 10:30 A.M. and passed Fastnet(?) light about 11 A.M. From there it was about 50m. to Queenstown where we arrived at 2:30 P.M. Here we were met by two tenders [word crossed out and unreadable] which took off about 100 passengers and the mail. From there we proceeded along the coast of Ireland into the Irish Sea. We could sea both the Irish and Welsh coasts Went to bed about 10:30 and fought over accounts. Our official time was 5 d. 21 h. 41 m.

John Radford Abbot has here recorded the RMS Lucania‘s final journey, leaving New York City on July 7th and arriving in Liverpool, England on July 13th. The RMS Lucania was launched for her maiden voyage on February 2nd, 1893. She and her sister ship, the RMS Campania, were owned by the Cunard Steamship Line Shipping Company, and built by the Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company of Govan, Scotland. She became, in 1901, the first Cunard liner to be equipped with a Marconi wireless system, which was also installed on the RMS Titanic. After arriving in Liverpool on July 13th, 1909, she was laid up at the Huskisson Dock. In August, she was badly damaged in a fire and subsequently sold for parts.

Diary object #1997.040.16

This diary is in the Archives of the Andover Historical Society. The entries within span a period of just over two months during the year of 1909, and included with the diary in the Archives are eight hand-drawn sketches done by John Radford Abbot during this trip, all of which are featured in this blog, and a world map attached to the inside back cover of the diary depicting common ship routes and their mileages. Because this diary was handwritten, not everything is legible, so there are certain markings to reflect uncertainties in spelling and illegible words. If there is a possible spelling error, a question mark in parentheses (?) will follow directly after the word. If a word is illegible, two square brackets [] will replace it in the transcription. Sometimes a word or symbol is crossed out and illegible, so that is indicated by [word/symbol crossed out and unreadable], which will replace the word or symbol in the transcription. If a word is crossed out but still legible, that word will have a line through it (e.g. lunch) to indicate that. If a word is inserted into the entry, a carrot will directly precede that word (e.g. ^lunch).

Alex Hagler transcribed this diary, then designed and published this blog about the transcription, during the summer of 2015.