Saturday 20th February 1943

Another night well spent. I did not get up till eight this morning. It was my turn to lay in. We had boat drill today as usual at four p.m. but it's only a farce. Shortly after we joined a convoy, only a small one. We total about fourteen ships now. A great big armed Cruiser pointed his nose at us and steamed for us on the starboard side. I thought she was going to ram us, she came so close. But it was only for orders. This is a very mysterious trip so far. No one knows where or why we are going and why we are going so slowly. The engines are hardly turning. All the ships are the same. Two have left us , they say they are going to North Africa.

We saw blimps and airplanes today. Everyone is on deck, it is not quite dark yet and it is balmy on deck. Typical Southern weather it will get colder and rougher as we near New York.

This trip seems to be a bad luck trip to me. I was topping and tailing beans this morning on deck, then I gathered up all the bits and threw them over the wall.  Then I realised I had put your knife in as well. The one I bought you at Slough so long ago, with the black handle remember. It so upset me, I cannot get over it. I saw it going through the air.  If it had not been for the sharks, I'm sure I would have gone over board after it.

Later – Ah! that is better. The Commodore has given the orders for eight knots. One can feel the difference in the good old Empire Opal.

It is impossible to describe the beauty of tonight. I have just been on deck for a breather before turning in. Where I am now a glorious moon streaking across the sea, all these ships silhouetted in the beams, marvellous. I wondered at it and it made me think of others. Goodnight, I feel very depressed at the moment.

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