A ship in the desert

Lifted anchor at 4am and proceeded up the canal which was guarded by a French warship. Passed the town of Suez which looked very pretty, the streets being lined with trees not unlike our flame tree. When we had travelled two miles we had to pull into the side and moor up to allow two steamers to pass.

The banks of the canal were lined with “British Tommies” and Indian soldiers.

After passing through the first lake the canal becomes a mere creek with just a few feet to spare on either side. Great care had to be taken and we travelled only about two miles hours. It is a peculiar sensation travelling through the desert on a steamer with nothing but sand as far as the eye can reach with just an occasional bunch of palms or a distance city to relieve the monotony. We saw a couple of camel trains in the distance.

In the second chain of lakes we passed a British and French man-of-war and we passed with bands playing and troops to their hearts content.

At dusk the search light was set going and we reached Port Said at about 9 o'clock.

It was a great sight as our boat swung out of the canal into the harbour, and lighted up the fine buildings with our searcher also to watch the other boats coming along behind us.

We expected to stay a couple of day at Port Said and as soon as we dropped anchor a number of chaps slipped overboard into some native boats and were rowed ashore. We left two hours later and they were for the most part left and it cost some little trouble and expense before reaching us again where more trouble was encountered.

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