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Windjammer To Submarine

Table of content

1. The beginning
2. On our way
3. The ship and the crew
4. Our first ten days at sea
5. I go on deck
6. Further Training on deck
7. A few incidents occur
8. Trade winds to the equator
9. King neptune boards the ship
10. From the equator southward
11. The roaring forties
12. Around Cape Horn
13. Northward in the Atlantic
14. Rolling northward
15. Events in the North Atlantic
16. Our ship is sunk
17. The submarine and the crew
18. Sinking ships
19. An underwater attack and a running fight
20. To Helgoland and Germany
21. Ashore in Europe
22. New York
23. Homeward bound
24. Sequels astern


Carl List's greatest experience will always be his twelve-day trip on the German submarine U 39 in the war year 1915. It was really something unique in his life!

It is noteworthy that the seventeen-year-old young man was not afraid of the ever-present dangers of any of the many events.

Everything was a great, unforgettable adventure for him!

Also his relationship and that of his friends to the submarine crew was always described by him despite the difficult accommodation conditions on the submarine as excellent.

With me he searched and found a close connection for decades, which finally and finally led in the past year off the west coast of America, from the city of Portland, to a visit with me in Essen in his 73rd year of life.

The reunion was of course a great pleasure for him and me.

Walter Forstmann

Commander of the U 39 at that time.

(March, 1971)

1. The beginning

Would you like to be the shipmate of a young American seaman whose ship was sunk by a German submarine during the early months of World War 1? You will then be taken aboard the submarine where you will spend eleven days as the U-Boat continues her prowl seeking additional victims off the southern coast of Ireland and England.

So grab your sea bag and board the ship with me for an adventurous half-year voyage! On what kind of a ship will this be? Where are we bound, and what will make it an out of the ordinary and eventful cruise? We have signed on a Norwegian full-rigged sailing ship, sailing from Portland, Oregon and bound for Queenstown, Ireland with a cargo of 49,500 sacks of wheat.

You do not come aboard such a ship with your gear packed in aeroplane luggage or Gladstone bags. Nor will you leave a dockside lined with many people waving you a fond farewell. There will be no band playing on the Ship or dockside when our journey begins. This ship, now loaded with it's cargo, lies anchored in midstream awaiting a full crew. Our trip, beset at times with a hurricane, heavy gales and bitter cold will also take us through fair winds and calms as we approach the hot weather of the tropics, Sailing southward on the Pacific Ocean we reach the southern tip of South America and the snorters off Cape Horn. Here, we encounter mountainous seas accompanied by driving rain, sleet and snow with our ship, at times, enshrouded with ice and fog. Sailing around the cape, we then fight our way northward through the Atlantic Ocean. (#002)

During this trip many exciting and amusing events take place, but we never reach our destination! Within four hours of the end of a long voyage of one hundred and thirty-eight days our ship is sunk by a German submarine! We spend eleven days aboard the submarine during which time eleven more vessels are sunk. Finally, for the first time in five months, we set foot ashore on the German fortress island of Helgoland, and go with a German destroyer flotilla to Wilhelmshaven. After spending about six weeks in Germany and Holland, we are sent back, through the assistance of the American Embassy in Berlin, as shipwrecked sailors to the port of New York. Eventually, on American steamers, we return to Portland where the cruise began.

Before going on with the story I would like to tell what prompted me to make this trip. I was born in Portland and was a harum-scarum type of boy, full of mischief and devilment and my only interesting school studies were geography and history. I loved to read books about other countries and their people. On my trips to the library I had to cross the Willamette River on a ferry. From here, in the harbor, I saw many sailing ships lying alongside the docks or anchored in midstream. They were of various nationalities and from different parts of the world. Portland is a leading grain shipping port, and during the loading season, I spent my leisure time around the docks where these vessels were berthed. I was fascinated by the tall masts, the sails neatly rolled and lashed to the yards, and watching the sailors at work, I decided that a trip on such a ship would be quite an adventure. The question was how to go about it.

I finally thought of a source where I could get some information about life on a sailing ship. (#003)

During the late summer of 1914 a German four-masted bark, named Dalbek, was tied up just below the Broadway Bridge in Portland Harbor. I went down to where she lay and from the shore I noticed two sailors near the gangway painting the ship's hull. "By golly, I can speak German," I said to myself, "I'll ask if I can come aboard." I made my way over a floating walkway between piling remains of an old dock. When I was within thirty feet of the sailors they spied me and stopped working. I saw they were both young fellows about my own age, seventeen. I began my conversation in German.

"Wie geht's? Mein Name ist Carl." (How do you do. My name is Carl).

"Wie geht's, I am Walter, ordinary seaman," the larger of the two replied. "This lazy one next to me is Erich, ship's boy, only we call him Moses."

"I've never been on a sailing ship. Can I come aboard," I asked.

"Sure, come aboard, its coffee time and we'll be glad to show you around," said Walter as he pointed to the step-type gangway leading up the ship's side.

In a few moments they approached wiping their hands on a piece of rag. They took me to their fo'c'sle where more of the crew were assembled, Moses ducked out and soon returned with a huge pot of coffee. Walter handed me a mug and soon everyone was sitting around with a cup of coffee and not much conversation took place. After coffee, I noticed it was Moses who washed the mugs and cleared the table. When Moses had things shipshape Walter said they would show me around the ship. The remainder of the afternoon flew by and supper time was soon at hand.

"Let's ask Carl to have supper with us," suggested Moses. It took no prodding for me to accept the invitation.

Moses excused himself saying he had to get the table prepared and (#004) fetch the food from the galley. I was soon having my first meal on a windjammer even though it was tied up alongside some old piling.

Moses came in lugging a deep kettle and set it on the table. "Today we have pea soup again, thick and gooey as usual," he said, He also brought a long pan containing a mess of hot meat in which potatoes and carrots were swimming. Two loaves of heavy rye bread, a bowl of margarine, some orange marmalade and a pot of coffee completed the bill of fare. Moses and I were the last ones to fill our plates. I thought it a pretty good meal but, the crew began grumbling about the food they had to eat, a time-worn ritual aboard most sailing ships.

After things were cleared away I asked Walter, Moses and Willi, a young A.B., if they would care to come to my house to spend the evening. They agreed at once saying they did not receive many invitations like that. My home was about a two mile hike from the ship.

Walking into our living room, I called my mother to meet the boys I had invited for the evening. Each boy, when introduced, made a short step towards my mother, clicked his heels together and made a deep bow. I stared bug-eyed in amazement. It was the first time I had seen such maneuvers.

A congenial evening was spent, my mother enjoying the conversation with the boys from her homeland, I had few openings to join in on the conversation. Later, mother served a large platter of sandwiches made of white bread, and a pot of coffee. Moses said the bread tasted like cake. It may have been the first white bread he had ever tasted. No sandwiches were left on the platter and I believe they could have eaten as many more. Young fellows from sailing ships were always hungry. Around midnight, again bowing and clicking their heels, they thanked us and took their leave.

Going to the ship again the next day I was Introduced to the First Mate (#005) Wilkie. I explained my interest in sailing ships and asked if I could come aboard and help with the work going on. After a short conversation, and as half the crew had already run away from the ship, he offered no objection so at very frequent intervals I would go down to the Dalbek and work along with the boys. I imagined myself a crew member without pay. During that first day I also met Captain Brauch. He noticed me on the scaffold busily painting the hull alongside Erich and Walter and asked them who I was. They told him I was a new friend from ashore and that permission had been granted by the mate for me to come aboard. The captain, scowlingly sizing me up and down, gave a brusque grunt and walked away.

Moses became my closest pal. He was a sixteen year old deck boy on his first trip to sea. It was customary to nickname deckboys on their first trip - Moses - possibly contrasting the scant knowledge of a beginner to the wise teaching of the prophet. His wages were fifteen Marks, or approximately three dollars and seventy-five cents a month. Moses had been fifteen months aboard the ship. Of those who had already deserted the ship since her arrival in port several were like Moses, they had little to lose.

Towards fall, Moses and I made plans to ship out on a sailing ship should an opportunity present itself. My mother, aware of this, and realizing that I had my heart set on such a trip, at last a bit grudgingly gave her consent. Moses and I looked various ships over and finally we went aboard a french bark, the Pierre Antonine, berthed directly across the river from the Dalbek. Making our way aft, we came upon a man busily washing clothes. Assuming him to be one of the mates, we asked if there was a chance for us to ship out. He looked us over for a moment and asked us where we were from. We pointed over to the four-masted, German bark Dalbek. (#006)

That was enough!

Excitedly he waved his arms and blurted out, "Ah, non, non! Allemande, Allemande!" He brought his arms up in the pose of shooting a rifle. "La guerre, la guerre, non, non!"

That was that! He didn't want any Germans aboard his ship! We said 'Auf Wiedersehen', turned our backs on him, and walked off the ship. The fact that the war was on in Europe did not affect our decision to ship out. We thought the war would be over by the time we reached Europe as the voyage usually ran from four to six months. If we had only known what was in store for us!

Moses' family owned a large villa and hotel at a beach resort on the island of Rügen, off the north coast of Germany. We planned that I would go to his home where we could have an enjoyable time swimming or sailing his small sloop in the Baltic Sea. It sounded swell to me!

Moses, of course, had to desert his ship. He could come home and live with me until our efforts to find a ship were fulfilled. So in November, on a stormy dark night, I went aboard the Dalbek to help him get away. Moses began packing his worldly possessions into his sea bag and the boys in the fo'c'sle wished him the best of luck. As Moses was giving farewell handshakes to his shipmates one of them remarked, "Make it good, whatever you do don't come back, Moses."

We sneaked ashore, Moses, with his bag on his shoulder and I, leading the way, carrying his leather boots and oilskins. The route used to reach the city streets was a narrow foot path across a double railroad track, and up a steep thirty foot bank. It then passed under the east end of the Broadway Bridge. It was raining heavily and so dark that we could not see far ahead. We spoke but little as we stumbled along. After gaining the (#007) top of the bank we felt confident that our getaway would be successful. But what a surprise was in store for us! After passing under the bridge the path made a sharp bend. We reached the bend and, of all people, whom should we meet coming from the other direction, none other but the First Mate Wilkie returning to his ship! It was about midnight. The three of us stood speechless for a few seconds just staring at one another. Moses and I were scared stiff and felt weak in the knees as we realized the jig was up.

"Well, Moses! What's going on here? not thinking of moving, are you", sarcastically asked the mate. For half a minute neither Moses nor I could say a word. Finally, Moses managed a stuttering reply. "Well, well, you, you see sir, Carl and I are planning to go to sea together and we were going to try to ship out. You know sir, the only way I could leave the Dalbek is to run away from her."

"That's just it! And, you were caught in the act! So, you better turn around and run right back! Too much deserting has taken place and soon we will have no crew left. Back to the ship with you, and, no shore leave for two weeks!"

We turned and stumbled back to the ship with the mate at our heels. Nevertheless, we managed to whisper, "Better luck next time. I left Moses at the ship's rail and cleared out fast. I didn't return to the ship for several days. I wanted to give the mate time to cool off. Besides, I was scared a bit and worried if the mate would let me go aboard again. Finally, I got up enough courage to return. Moses saw me coming and met me at the gangway.

"Think it is safe to come aboard," I asked. How about the mate?"

"Oh sure, come aboard. He won't say anymore about it, only I can't go ashore with you. He's making that part stick." Later, the mate stared at (#008) me and with a wide grin he just shook his head and walked away. He never spoke a word to me.

A short time after our attempt to run away I saw another non-crew member helping with the work on the Dalbek. Moses told me his name was Hein and that he was on the beach and destitute and sometimes gave a hand with the work for a place to eat and sleep. This was a common practice during sailing ship days when a sailor's money was gone and he could find no work ashore. Hein, a young German able seaman, about nineteen years old, was also looking for a chance to ship out, and we told him we had the same idea. Around the end of January, 1915, Hein excitedly told us there was a chance to ship out on a Norwegian full-rigger. Hein accidently met a German mate with whom he had sailed on a previous German ship, this man now arrived in Portland as First Mate aboard the Norwegian vessel. This mate told Hein the ship was looking for a crew. Hein also mentioned us and was told that we should see the captain. This was wonderful news to Moses and me! The Scandinavian ships were considered to have good working conditions and, above all, were considered the best feeding ships. This of course, was most important! We were determined that this time there would be no slip up in our plans but we decided that we better get our jobs first.

The next evening, leaving the Dalbek early, we walked about a mile to the Albina Dock where the Norwegian vessel was moored. She was the full rigged ship Cambuskenneth, home port, Tvedestrand, Norway, Moses and I stood on the dock a short time looking the ship over. Moses said she had lofty masts and looked like a good ship to him.

"Let's go aboard to see the captain and see what our chances are," I suggested.

We went on board and learned from the cook that the captain was having (#009) his supper. Thinking he would be in better humor with a full stomach, we asked the cook to let us know when the captain was finished with his meal as we wanted to see him about signing on. We stood aft near the cabin door. Soon, the cook poked his head out the door and motioned for us to come in. He told us the captain spoke English. Taking off our caps, we entered a passageway and then knocked on the door frame leading to the cabin messroom. We were told to enter and found the captain at the table drinking a cup of coffee. Moses, being unable to speak much English, I carried on the conversation.

"Good evening, Captain. Sir, we heard you were looking for a crew and came to see about signing on as ordinary seamen." He looked us over a few moments before answering.

"Yes. I can use some ordinary seamen." Looking at Moses, he added, "You seem rather young to be shipping to sea."

"Oh Captain," I broke in, "you need not worry about him sir. He's off the German four-masted bark tied up above here and has been fifteen months aboard her."

The funny part was that he didn't question me about my experience. Moses and I laughed about that after we went ashore. Little did we realize that the laugh would later be on me. After a few more questions, the captain said he would ship us, and told us to be at the Norwegian Vice-Consul's office at ten o'clock the next morning.

The next step was to get Moses off the Dalbek that night. We spent the evening ashore making plans and returned to the Dalbek around eleven o'clock. Tetje, an able-seaman, was on gangway watch. Since he was one we could trust we told him of our plans. He said he would like to join us, but having quite a sum of wages due, he couldn't afford to lose it. This did not bother Moses, for at his wages, he had little money coming. He might even (#010) be indebted because of articles purchased from the captain's slop chest.

"How's chances for packing out tonight, Tetje", Moses asked. "Shouldn't be difficult. Everyone aft is aboard and no doubt asleep. I'll let you know when the coast is clear.”

Better cooperation, especially from a watchman, could not be asked! We sneaked into the fo'c'sle and quietly packed Moses' belongings. This took but a few moments and we sat down to await Tetje's signal. He soon stuck his head in the fo'c'sle door and motioned us to come. A big grin framed Tetje's face as we shook his hand and said good-bye at the gangway.

"Good-bye, and make it stick this time. Best of luck to you both," were Tetje's farewell words.

Quietly we went over the rail and down the gangway and headed for my home. Mother was still up, and excitedly, I told her that we had a chance to ship out on a Norwegian ship. It did not take her by surprise as all I had been talking about for the past two months was my strong desire to go to sea. Little by little I had won my mother's consent to let me make such a trip. After some coffee and a little more conversation we went upstairs and crawled into my thick feather bed. It was the first bed Moses had slept in for over fifteen months! I slept but little, the excitement of going to sea on a sailing ship, kept me tossing and half awake throughout the night. Moses had given me a sea bag and in the morning we began stuffing our bags full of clothes. The clothes that I could spare and some from an older brother, including a suit, I gave to Moses for he had very few clothes of his own.

The next forenoon we arrived at the office of the Norwegian Vice-Consul. Captain Sole from the Cambuskenneth was present. He nodded and then scowlingly he lit into me in no uncertain terms.

“What's this I hear! You haven't even been to sea! How do you expect (#011) to ship as ordinary seaman with no experience!"

This bombshell hurled at me out of a clear sky caught me with complete surprise. I stood for a moment open-mouthed and flabbergasted, I finally blurted out, "You can't learn to be a sailor on land, Captain, There has to be a first time somewhere to get the experience."

"Humph," grunted the captain. "I can't use you as ordinary seaman! I'm also looking for a cabin boy, same wages. If you want to ship that will be the only place I have room for you." (#011-1)

What a let down I thought. The only way the captain could have received this information was that Hein must have told the mate about me, who in turn, informed the captain after our interview with him the evening before. Why did Hein have to tell the mate flashed through my mind. Having a rough idea about a cabin boy's duties, I had no hankering for such a job, I wanted to be on deck with the sailors! Moses finally persuaded me to accept and go along with him. I gave in reluctantly, signing on as cabin boy at twenty dollars a month. We who had signed on were told to report to the shipping master's office the next morning.

While we are still ashore I shall like to go off course and include a bit about the role and operational shenanigans of most shipping masters dealing with deep-water-seamen at that time. They were a modern version of the old-time crimp, and among the sailors they were still known by that name. In conjunction with their shipping office they usually ran a cheap lodging and boarding house. Many of the old deep-water sailors, who after a long voyage came ashore and spent their money, which didn't take long, resorted to such an establishment for a place to live while they awaited another chance to ship out. The shipping master sometimes gave them a few cents spending money to keep them on hand. When the shipping master finally shipped the sailor he often supplied them with clothing, sea-going gear, utensils and etc. The sailor was, of course, charged with all this and, through a deal with the captain, the shipping master would be reimbursed by the captain with plenty of profit in the bargain. The amount would be deducted from the sailor's wages at the end of the trip. Many of the old deep-water sailors worked the first month or two for nothing. This is where the term "Advance Money" originates. In this respect, Moses and I had no such obligations to meet. Leaving from my own home I had plenty of clothing to supply both Moses and me for the trip. (#011-2)

In earlier days, the shanghaiing of sailors were practiced from such establishments and no doubt so from this one In Portland. In the old days, men were shanghaiied for so much a head and it made no difference if he had ever gone to sea or not. This could be accomplished with drugs, liquor, or by simply beating the man unconscious. He would not regain his senses until the ship was at sea, and then it was too late to do anything about it. The shipping or boarding masters cared little who the victim was. Since the turn of the last century, such practice became rare in most ports of the United States. Even so, the captain of a ship wanting a crew, had to pay these shipping masters so much a head whether the sailor was shanghaiied or not. A Portland newspaper, the "Oregon Journal", ran a column entitled "In Earlier Days". Following is a quotation from this column published in 1953.

"October 30, 1903 - 50 Years Ago."

"No longer will sea captains be able to obtain sailors at $25 a man. The price has risen to $55, which is the legal limit."

Very few of the old deep-water sailormen, looking for a berth, would approach the captain direct as Moses and I had done. When their money was spent, there was little left for them but to go to such a boarding house and wait for a ship. Captains could not spend time chasing around looking for a crew so were practically forced to put up with the system. They could not antagonize the shipping masters even when they or their runners boarded the ship on its arrival, and with glowing promises, reinforced with cheap liquor, cigars, high wages ashore and promises of women, would entice crew members to leave their ship. Many needed no enticing in American ports. The captains had to rely on these same shipping masters to furnish them with a crew, and the shipping masters could make that tough in more ways than one. Some of the captains were no angels either. This type would have (#011-3) cared little if the men deserted, especially in ports where they could be easily replaced and no fines were levied against the ship. In fact, by ill treatment and bad food, they helped the cause along. They had nothing to lose by getting several months free labor during the time the sailor served the ship. Such types were the exception, for by far, the majority of the old sailing ship captains were honorable men who would not stoop to such tactics. Some of them fought the shipping masters tooth and nail in an effort to overcome the practice.

When a vessel reached port there were other types of runners, besides the shipping master's, who came aboard the ship. The majority of these were looking after their own interests. In the Pacific Northwest, many of these, runners were from employment offices, or individuals seeking cheap labor for sawmills, logging camps, farms or other industries of the area. With promises of good times and jobs, paying wages heretofore unknown to the fo'c'stle hands, they would entice the men to leave their ship. Many law-abiding and successful citizens are still living who entered the country by running away from the fo'c'stle of an old sailing ship. Other runners were representatives of the Seamen's Missions that existed in many ports of the world. Such runners were actually looking out for the sailor's interests, and in many cases, their entreaties did not fall upon deaf ears.

Another angle was worked when the old square-rigged windjammers arrived in port. This was between the proprietor of a waterfront clothing or outfitting store and the captain. It was especially true where the crew signed on for a round voyage of the ship and had no intention of leaving, and were therefore in no position to demand being paid off. In such cases, even though being aboard ship during a voyage of several months, (#011-4) they received little spending money for their months of labor. The merchant made arrangements with the captain offering the facilities and credit of his establishment in catering to the crew. Unless the sailor had funds of his own, he was forced to do business with such a firm. The costs of the purchases were paid by the captain, the sailor merely signed the sale slip, perhaps with a kick back to the captain for they had to live too and knew all the angles. The amount would be deducted from the sailor's wages when finally paid off. Yes sir, the shipping masters and the proprietors of the waterfront outfitting stores in them days, were a bunch of land pirates and crooks.

With this resume of conditions existing at that time completed, let us return to the office of the shipping master to whom we were to report the next morning after having signed on at the office of the Norwegian Vice-Consul at Portland. This shipping master's office and boarding house was run by two brothers. It was in an old ramshackle wooden building at 2d and Glisan Streets and had been a sailor's boarding house for many years. In earlier days, under other operators, the shanghaiing of sailors was practiced in this establishment. It was in an unsavory district of the city. Nearby was a huge gas tank, a railroad bridge and railroad terminals with the river about two blocks away. On the second floor of this ramshackle building were rows of cots with a kitchen and messroom below. I had gone there a few times with sailors that I met at the Seaman's Mission. So, to go on with my story. Moses signed on as ordinary seaman. To celebrate the event, after leaving the Consul's office, Moses and I had postcard pictures taken of us in a cubby-hole photograph gallery off Burnside Street. We then walked to where my uncle worked. In an adjacent shoe store he bought us each a pair of bulldog-toed yellow button shoes. Our wardrobe was now complete. Moses spent the night at my home and in the morning our departure took place. (#012)

Mother accompanied us to the door as we were leaving. No tears came to her eyes as she said, "'Carl, you be careful, behave yourself and I know you will come back to me." I gave her a big hug and assured her that I would be back some day. As we walked down the street we both kept waving in our arms in farewell to my mother while she was still in sight. We were on our way!

On February 8, 1915, at about seven thirty on a cold, rainy morning, Moses and I were at the boarding master's office. There were six others bound for our ship. Passing a bottle of whiskey between them three older sailors were still celebrating their last day ashore. We were of mixed nationalities. Gathering his papers, the boarding master announced he was ready to leave. Throwing our sea bags over our shoulders we headed for the river bank to be taken aboard our ship. The gay three, their course unsteady, were singing sailor chanteys as they lurched, fell and stumbled along in the rear. We came to a dirty, battered-up launch tied to the bank near the railroad bridge.

"Come on, throw in your gear and get aboard! Let's be underway," yelled the boarding master.

Amid a conglomeration of sea bags and boots, taking up most of the available space, we found places the best we could. The launch had an old, greasy, one-cylinder gas engine which the boarding master was attempting to start. He primed it, cursed it and yanked at the flywheel several times. The three celebrators, making fun of his efforts, told him to break out the oars and they would row the launch to the ship. Finally, the cylinder coughed a few times and the engine started, causing the old launch to shudder from stem to stern.

"Throw off the lines! We're on our way," yelled the boarding master. (#013)

Slowly we backed into the river and headed downstream. For five months my feet were not to touch land again. A mile down the river we came alongside the Cambuskenneth now anchored in midstream. Tossing up our gear we scrambled aboard and stood on the deck of our new home. As an old sailor saying goes, 'We were now sold'. After a check up by the mate, we were told to square ourselves away for a bunk, get our gear stowed and turn to for work!

I was ordered aft to the cabin, the rest forward to the deckhouse fo'c'sle. I was shown a room just off the cabin messroom and next to a small pantry, a principle place of my future occupation. This room I was to share with the combination cook-steward. While stowing my gear and changing into working clothes a young fellow entered and said he was Adolph, my roommate. I was directly responsible to him as far as my work was concerned and he proceeded to explain my duties. He told me how to set and wait on table, care of the pantry, how to make up bunks and then told me that I was expected to keep the floors mopped and the brass work polished. I hated this and being told about it only caused me to give more thought to plotting how I could get on deck. That was mostly in my mind. The cook showed me the storeroom or lazaret. This was reached through a trapdoor in the messroom floor and was directly under the cabin part of the ship. Here, boxes, crates and barrels of various types, all containing provisions for the trio, were stowed and lashed in place. Just forward of the lazaret, and separated from it by a light wooden bulkhead and door, were more provisions stowed in large wicker baskets, commonly used for handling coke or other cargo. The baskets were filled with dry sand and held our supply of potatoes, carrots and other root vegetables.

Among other duties I was to issue the sailors their ration of bread, margarine, sugar and Bulgarian milk, a very thick type of condensed milk (#014) which could be diluted with water. These instructions took up a good part of the forenoon and it became time for the cook to prepare the noon meal. I got busy, straightened out a few things and set the table for the captain and mates. Five minutes before mealtime I went forward to the galley to bring the food aft. This usually took two trips. I informed the captain and mates that lunch was ready. They took their respective chairs while I stood in the pantry door to be available for anything wanted. So, I thought, here I am, nothing more than a scrub woman, a waiter and a dish washer instead of being on deck with the sailors!

After the officers finished their meal the cook and I had our lunch. I cleaned up the mess and washed the dishes. Then I had to act as chambermaid and make up the bunks. That was enough for me, and having a bit of leisure time until coffee was served at three o'clock, I further explored my surroundings.

The cabin took up most of the space below the poop deck or poop. Entrance from the main deck was gained by a door on the port side of the cabin or poop bulkhead. On the starboard side of the bulkhead another door led to the sail locker where spare sails, canvas, ropes and gear were stowed. Entering the cabin was a short passageway leading to the messroom. From this passageway, a door to starboard led to the First Mate's room, a door to port to the Second Mate's, Next, to port, was my room and then came the cubby-hole pantry. The pantry contained a locker for snack items used at the table, a small metal sink and racks for stowing the dishes. The table was completely cleared after each meal and if an officer wanted an in-between snack he helped himself from the locker in the pantry. Off the starboard side of the messroom was a spare room. It could, if necessary, be used as a sick bay but eventually it became a brig. At the aft starboard (#015) corner of the messroom was a short passageway leading to the saloon or captain's quarters. From this passageway a stairway led up to the chart house on the poop. The Captain's quarters contained a large, round table, a few chairs and the rounded aft end of this area was formed with a leather covered settee. To starboard was the door to the captain's rather spacious room. At the port side of the captain's quarters was another spare room and the bath and washroom for the officers. The young ordinary seamen kept the tanks for the washroom and pantry supplied with water. The toilet for the personnel aft was built on deck by the port bulwarks just forward of the poop bulkhead.

It was now afternoon coffee time. I fetched the coffee from the galley and set cups on the table with a little side order of cheese, margarine and knäckerbrod. Coffee time was considered a necessary ritual aboard sailing ships. It was served at six o'clock in the morning and at three o'clock in the afternoon. It was also served at breakfast and lunch but at supper time we had tea.

During the afternoon the boarding master again came alongside with his launch bringing more new hands. This completed our crew. The captain ordered me to bring glasses to the saloon. He, having quite a stock of liquor refreshments proceeded to have a party with the boarding master while they finished their business. No, I received no invitation to join in.

We all signed articles, 'To Queenstown for Orders'. This meant that the ultimate destination of the vessel could not be established until the ship arrived at such 'Order Port'. This was common practice during sailing ship days. The cargo might be sold and resold several times during the months required for a sailing ship to make it's long voyage, Queenstown and Falmouth were the most prominent 'Order Ports' of the British Isles. (#016)

From there, the ship might be directed to proceed to Liverpool, London, Glasgow or to any other designated port in Europe. (#017)

2. On our way

Just before supper the order that all hands were anxiously awaiting was received.

"We leave in the morning! Towboat alongside at six o'clock' All hands better be prepared to turn to!"

The order, given by the mate, was also a warning to those still in a state of celebration. The. crew were typical old-time windjammer sailors, some came aboard loaded to the gills with a little private stock tucked among the contents of their sea bags. Few kept it long. They were generally a carefree lot and willing to treat their shipmates. If able to stand on their feet, they would have turned to regardless if they were fully sober or not.

That night I crawled into my bunk for the first time. However, I slept very little. My new surroundings, the fact that I was now signed on, and above all, the news of leaving in the morning kept me tossing and half awake for most of the night. All sorts of things raced through my brain, "When will I see Portland again? How are things going to go? What sort of a reception will I receive at Moses' home? Will the war be over by the time we get to Europe? What kind of a bird is the cook? Above all, how can I get out of the damn cabin and have a job on deck!" It seemed as if I had just fallen asleep when someone shook me roughly by the shoulders and told me it was time to get up.

Half awake, I looked at the clock. It was five a.m.! The cook shuffled forward to get coffee boiling as all hands were to be called at five-thirty. I stumbled around, trying to wake up, as I set out the cups on the cabin table. Aft, coffee time included a light snack such as bread, (#018) jam or marmalade and a few slices of reddish—brown Norwegian 'Primost' cheese. I also set out a supply of knäckerbrod, a typical Scandinavian standby. At five-thirty I called the captain and mates, pulled on a sweater, and made my way to the galley to get the coffee. It was a dark, cold, drizzly morning, and the dock along the river bank was but a hazy outline through the falling rain.

Shortly after six o'clock a sailor came to the messroom door and informed the captain that the towboat was approaching our ship. The big moment was at hand! The captain and mates, donning their coats and caps, made their way on deck. This was an 'all hands' occasion. Not intending to miss anything, I hurriedly put the cups and saucers in the sink thinking, "Plenty of time to wash them later," Pushing everything else on the table together, I also beat it on deck. The sky was somewhat lighter. The towboat, close at hand, was making a turn to come up on our port quarter. She was of the stern wheel type, at that time, commonly used on all river towage. It was the old Ocklahama which I had observed many times plying up and down the river.

Preparations were eagerly underway for making fast the towboat. The boys stepped lively and the job was done in jig time. All hands, except the captain and a quickly chosen helmsman, then made their way forward to the fo'c'stle head for the biggest ceremony of all - Hoisting the Anchor! Eager hands brought up the long capstan bars that were stowed in racks under the fo'c'stle head. These were placed into the slots of the anchor capstan and then two or three sailors manned each bar. In a few moments came the order for the anchor raising ceremony to begin.

"Heave short the chain!", roared the captain from the poop aft.

"Man the capstan!", bellowed the mate on the fo'c'stle head. (#019)

The men began pushing with their arms and bodies against the bars and slowly the capstan began to turn. The two mates, the cook and myself all gave a hand at the bars. The momentary silence at the start was soon broken by a lusty singing of anchor chanteys and sailor songs. We started out with a traditional North European chantey.

Rolling Home.

"Rolling home, rolling home,

Rolling home across the sea.

Rolling home to dear old England,

Rolling home, my love, to thee."

Completing one song as we tramped around the capstan we immediately started another. Chanteys or sailor songs like the following were kept in full swing.

All The Nice Girls.

"All the nice girls love a sailor,

All the nice girls love a tar,

For there's something about a sailor,

When you know how sailors are.

Free and easy, bright and breezy,

They're the lover's loving boy,

First they make love to Kate and Jane,

Then they're off to sea again,

Ship ahoy, my sailor boy."

Already familiar with several chanteys and songs, and being a youngster on my first trip to sea, I was told to sit on top of the capstan and lead the singing. After this I became one of the chantey boys of the Cambuskenneth. Chanteys are divided into two categories, capstan chanteys and (#020) halyard or pulling chanteys. The old windjammer sailors had many parodies to them, most of them rough and on the foul side, yet there were many that could be heard in any company. The "Flying Fish Sailor" and "Blow, Boys, Blow" were the chanteys we mostly used.

We had no power to our capstan and around and around the crew tramped. Clickety clack, clickety clack, went the capstan pawls. It was a slow process. After a few rounds at a capstan bar, the mate took his ward at the rail, watching the anchor chain slowly making its way up link by link from the bottom of the Willamette River. Finally, we had the anchor chain hove short, where it was now straight up and down.

"Anchor hove short, sir"", the mate roared aft.

"Hoist the anchor!", bellowed the captain from the poop.

As soon as the anchor broke free from the river bed, the mate yelled aft, "Anchor aweigh, sir!" We kept pushing until the anchor hung at the hawse pipe.

"Fast heaving!", bawled the mate. "All clear the anchor, sir!", he bellowed aft to the captain and pilot.

The carpenter and another hand ducked under the fo'c'stle head to secure the windlass. A silence prevailed about the ship. The men, leaning on the capstan bars, were waiting for a sign that the ship was underway. "Poof, poof", went the exhaust from the Ocklahama. It seemed an age, then slowly we began moving. A tingling sensation surged through me as I realized we were underway and our trip had begun. I was leaving Portland and my home behind and wondering when I'd return. After about an hour's run we entered the broad expanse of the Columbia River. One hundred and twenty miles down this river lay the open ocean. (#021)

The crew restowed the bars, the cook made for the galley and I beat it aft to prepare the table for breakfast. After the dishes were washed, I hurriedly made up the bunks, swept the rooms and cleaned the captain's quarters. This was disagreeable to me and I just had to get on deck to see what was going on. Plenty of time to shine the brass after we were at sea. On deck, I found all hands busy, with several men aloft in the rigging. They received most of my attention for this work was more fascinating to me than the deck work. Aloft, they were busy greasing blocks, examining ratlines and rigging to insure that all were in shipshape condition. The masts were being greased for raising the upper topsail, main upper gansail and royal yards. On deck, lashings, strongbacks and wedges to hatch covers were inspected and gone over under the supervision of the carpenter and mate. The blocks to the braces were examined and greased. The many ropes and lines from aloft were checked for wear and to see that they were clear and hung in their proper place.

As our ship moved down the river, the carpenter, a very important member of a sailing ship's crew, was a busy man. The Cambuskenneth carried no source of power or winches of any type. It would be insulting to the ship to say we had an engineer aboard. The closest to such a person was the carpenter, called "Chips". Not only did he do work in line with his trade, but he made all repairs of a mechanical nature on such equipment as the steering gear, windlass, capstans and the ship's pumps.

It being mid-winter, heavy weather could be expected once we got outside. Life-lines were stretched from fore to aft above the deck and lashed in proper position. Grabbing these life-lines prevented more than one man from being swept off his feet and perhaps overboard by boarding seas. On (#022) the fo'c'stle head, sailors, supervised by the mate, were making all clear to take the heavy towing hawser from the bar-tug that would tow us to sea, also seeing to that rigging, fasteners and lashings were in shape for permanently securing the ship's anchors. I kept my ears and eyes open to learn all I could as I watched the men at their jobs. Except for lunch and coffee time duties, I spent most of that day on deck.

All that day the Ocklahama pushed us down the river. We met several steamers coming up-stream from the sea, among them, the S.S. Honolulan of the American-Hawaiian Steamship Company. A sequel to this later. A mile astern, another sailing ship under tow, kept us company down the river. Early that evening we arrived at the anchor grounds near the Port of Astoria. Here we dropped our anchor, and were cut loose from the Ocklahama, which gave us a farewell salute of three blasts from her whistle. Little did anyone in the crew realize that would be the last time the anchors of the Cambuskenneth were ever to be dropped. That night I slept more soundly, the initial excitement having worn off. I had no regrets for signing on for the trip. My one dissatisfaction was my position as cabin boy, and I made up my mind that I would try to get on deck should an opportunity present itself.

After breakfast all hands turned to. About eight o'clock a tug was seen heading our way. Other sailing vessels were anchored nearby and the captain, mates and crew kept their eyes on the approaching vessel. When positive it was our tug, a cry echoed along the deck, "Here comes the tug! Here's our tow!" The tug was the Oneonta, a squatty, powerful steam tug belonging to the Port of Portland, used mainly for towing vessels over the Columbia River Bar. Coming alongside, the bar pilot boarded the Cambuskenneth. (#023) Lines were passed between the vessels, and the heavy towing houser was dragged onto the fo'c'stle head of our ship. A group of sailors stepped lively making the line fast to the towing bitt. The Oneonta, in the meantime paying out more line, lay a short distance ahead. We had swung with the tide and stood pointed for the bar and the open sea, about a twenty mile run from our anchorage.

"All clear and fast the tow-line!", roared the mate aft to the poop. Signals were passed between the ship and the tug that the line was secured. "Up anchor!", came the captain's orders and up she started. The ceremony as at Portland was repeated.

"Come on, Carl", someone shouted. "Up on the capstan with you. Start her off, can't raise the anchor without a chantey!"

I jumped on the capstan and started a chantey that we also used when pulling on a line.

Blow, Boys, Blow.

"Oh, blow the man up and blow the man down,

Heevee-ay-yo, heevee-ay-yo.

Oh, blow the man up and blow the man down,

Heevee-ay, my bully boys blow.

Blow, boys, blow, for Californio,

There's plenty of gold, so I've been told,

On the banks of the Sacramento."

We ended up with another old-time, song of sailing ship sailors.

"Farewell, farewell, my own true love,

This parting gives me pain.

You'll be my hope, my guiding star,

Till I return again.

My thoughts shall be of you, my love,

When the seas are rising high,

So, fare thee well, remember me,

Your faithful sailor boy."


Around and around the capstan the crew tramped, "Put your backs to it, boys," a sailor shouted. "We're homeward bound! You, Moses and Jimmy, a little more push, no soldiering! That's it, everybody does his bit! How about a mug of grog from the Old Kan when we get the anchor up?"

"Try and get it, he's probably too damned stingy", someone answered. When the anchor was hove short, the mate yelled aft, "Up and down on the anchor, sir!" A few more turns of the capstan broke the anchor loose and it started on its way up. We were now free from any land ties and in care of the pilot and the tug. Our trip had actually begun!

"Fast heaving! Carpenter, secure the windlass", ordered the mate when we had the anchor hanging at the hawse-pipe. "All clear, the anchor, sir!", he roared aft to the captain and pilot.

Up went the Norwegian colors to our mizzen gaff!

Approximately 1200 feet of towing hawser now separated the Oneonta from our ship. The hawser became taut and slowly the tug increased her power until the Cambuskenneth gradually gained headway. Astoria was soon passed off our port beam and we came to the lower reaches of the Columbia River with the bar in sight. Forward, on the fo'c'stle head, the mate, carpenter and several hands were standing by for any emergency. We were heading for a dangerous stretch of water known as one of the "Graveyards of the Pacific". Two treacherous, long-reaching sand spits, Clatsop Spit (#025) on the south and Peacock Spit on the north, have taken their toll of many vessels unfortunately driven onto their tight-sucking sands. Our anchors were left in the clear for instant use. Not until we were well clear of the bar were they brought on deck by means of fish-tackle gear rigged from the foremast top and laid at the catheads where they were permanently secured with clamps and lashings. After the chains were unshackled and brought inboard, wooden plugs were driven into the hawse-pipe openings in preparation for our long trip around Cape Horn. Passing a small lighthouse on piling, known as Desdemona Sands, we began to feel the first sea-motion of our ship. Slightly but distinctly we began to feel a pitch and roll of our deck. Each additional mile brought an increase to this motion. Cape Disappointment Lighthouse, gleaming white on a high cliff was soon off our starboard bow. We swung to port, and keeping Cape Disappointment astern, we headed for the open sea. Soon we were in the long, heavy rollers of the bar stretching across the entire mouth of the river. Our vessel rose and fell as we pitched across the huge swells. Sometimes the Oneonta ahead was blocked from sight, again when the pitch was right, there she was, black smoke billowing from her stack, giving all she had to keep a strain on the tow-line to get us safely over this stretch of water. We were now between the jetties that stretched out to sea from both sides of the river's mouth. Just beyond lay the open ocean. The wind being fair, we broke out a couple of lower topsails and jibs. This helped to steady the ship and ease the steering and strain on the tow-line. I was quite fascinated watching the sails billowing from the yards and bowsprit for this was the first time I had observed a ship under sail.

We headed for the Columbia River Lightship stationed a few miles out (#026) from the river's mouth. In less than an hour the lightship was close at hand. This would be our point of departure. The Oneonta, having drifted close at hand by taking up the slack of the tow-line, signaled us to cast off the hawser. A small boat from the tug pulled over to our ship and took off the pilot into whose hand were given the last letters and cards ever to be sent from the Cambuskenneth. The tug then gave us the customary three, long, deep-toned farewell blasts of her whistle amid the waving of arms between the tug and our ship. We were on our own and on our way!

The mechanical log, paid out astern, trailed the ship at the end of a long line. A rotating propellor at the end of this line transmitted the milage the ship made to a recording device mounted at the aft end of the poop rail. The course was set, the departure taken, and the crew jumped lively to the work on hand. All the young fellows were aloft. Every remaining sail except the spanker were set and gradually we picked up speed. Soon the lightship was hull-down on the horizon. We took advantage of the fair wind to get us away from the land and so avoid having a close lee shore should the wind shift to a contrary direction.

The noon lunch had been delayed through our efforts to get away. Only the captain and mate were at the table when I served my first meal at sea. I could overhear the conversation as I stood in the adjacent pantry door to be of any further service if required.

"Well, Mr, Frerichs, we're underway, and for my part I'm glad we're at sea. How about you?", remarked the captain.

"Yes sir, captain! Three or four weeks of that shore stuff is enough for me. Feels good to have the sway of the deck under foot again."

"It sure does. After lunch assemble the crew aft and choose your (#027) watches. We'll soon find out what sort of a crew we shipped. I hope you will find more sailors than farmers among the men.

The mate finished his lunch and went on deck to relieve the second mate who came below to eat. The captain and first mate usually had meals together, but the second mate must have been the loneliest man aboard the ship. He invariably ate alone with me to serve him. After he finished, I hurriedly stacked the dishes in the sink and followed him on deck to observe the choosing of the watches. The crew were congregated around the mizzen mast. The captain, from the poop deck, watched the proceedings while the mates were on deck facing the crew.

As was customary on sailing ships, the mate's watch was known as the port watch and the second mate's, the starboard. The mate began by choosing the carpenter, the second mate-picked the sailmaker and the mate then appointed a bosun for no one had signed on as such. Then, one by one, the older and best sailors were chosen first and finally the ordinary seamen.

As their names were called, each man stepped to port or starboard in accordance with the mate's selections. A few rules and regulations were announced and the ceremony was over. I felt dejected in not taking part even though I knew I would have been the last one chosen. The mate's men kept that afternoon watch and the second mate's men would turn to at six o'clock.

Our watches were known as the Norwegian or Scandinavian watches, and consisted of two six-hour and three four-hour tours of duty, beginning from noon to six, six to midnight, and then the three four-hour watches. One watch put in fourteen hours duty daily, the other watch ten hours, the following day the tours of duty would reverse, this eliminated the two-hour (#028) so-called dog watches commonly used on the British ships. These dog watches were another system of rotating the watches and consisted of two hours of duty beginning in the early evening from four to six and from six to eight o'clock. We liked our type better. (#029)

3. The ship and the crew

The Cambuskenneth was a steel-hulled, full-rig ship, built at Pt. Glasgow by Russell & Co., in 1393 and was of 1925 gross tons. She was an older type Cape Horner lacking much in the way of equipment and labor-saving devices of later built ships. Many newer ships were equipped with deck and brace winches which made the swinging and hoisting of the yards a much lighter task. Others had donkey boilers whose winch could be used for hoisting the anchor, the heavy yards and other work. We had no donkey boiler or any winch. Our only power was in the arms, legs and backs of the crew, helped at times, by four small deck capstans and these we had to push.

Our sail plan besides the three courses consisted of double topsails on each mast, double gansails on the main and single gansails on the fore and mizzen masts with royals on all three masts. Flying, outer and inner jibs, fore and main topmast staysails and a three-cornered or leg of mutton spanker completed her canvas. After a week at sea we carried even less. In her better days she sported a full suit of staysails and was credited with a few excellent passages. Aboard our ship we called the top gallant sails, their proper name, gansails.

Some vessels had a long midships section built over from bulwark to bulwark from the top of which a catwalk led to the poop and fo'c'stle head. Our only way to go from forward to aft was by way of the main deck. During heavy weather, a man better keep his eyes open for seas often thundered aboard, covering the entire deck with rushing water. The built-up sections of so-called three island ships usually contained a double fo'c'stle, one for each watch, besides separate rooms for the petty officers, all well (#030) protected from the elements. Ours was a single deckhouse-type fo'c'stle housing both watches. We had no net below the bowsprit which is common equipment on many German ships. When working out on the bowsprit all we had between us and the heaving sea were the foot ropes on which we stood. No nets were stretched above the bulwarks during heavy weather even though the Cambuskenneth was considered a wet ship. She lived up to that reputation on many an occasion during the voyage.

Just forward of the break to the fo'c'stle head at midship was a spare anchor stowed in a vertical position through the fo'c'stle head to the main deck. Two feet aft of this anchor was a rail on which was mounted the ship's big bell. At each extreme side of the break to the fo'c'stle head were the small rounded towers containing the red and green side-lights.

Under the fo'c'stle head, forward on the starboard side, was the carpenter shop of which "Chips" the carpenter was king, and woe to anyone puttering around in there without his consent. Next aft, came the paint locker where paint, varnish, oil and painting equipment were stowed. Then, on both sides, came two small lockers directly under the towers containing the running lights of the ship. Openings at the bottom of the towers made the lights accessible for servicing. Just forward of the port light locker was the toilet and washroom for the crew, utilized for washing only in the stormiest and coldest weather. With a supply of water in a wooden bucket we usually washed and bathed on the open deck. Forward of the toilet was the lamp locker containing tanks of kerosene, lamp parts and a few spare lamps. All lamps burned kerosene and were cleaned, filled and the wicks trimmed daily. The lamps were mounted in what is known as gimbals, a contrivance that permits the lamps to tip freely so as to remain level (#031) and upright during the pitching and rolling of the ship. Under the fo'c'stle head was also an auxiliary water tank and racks or platforms for stowing ropes and gear.

Just aft of the fo'c'stle head was our small forward hatch behind which stood the foremast. A short distance aft came the deckhouse containing the fo'c'stle, galley and midships quarters. This was the only house on the main deck of the Cambuskenneth. The fo'c'stle for the sailors occupied the forward part. A mess table with wooden benches took up the center space. Running along both sides and across the forward end were upper and lower bunks. At either side of the door, midship along the aft bulkhead, stood a small tank for drinking water and a locker for table supplies. The door led into a passageway running athwartship where the sailors hung their oilskins. Doors at either end gave access to the deck.

Aft of the passageway bulkhead was the cook's domain, the galley. An iron range stood at the forward end, with the remaining space taken up by lockers and racks at one-side and a coal box at the other. Pots, pans and utensils hung from every conceivable space. Along the aft bulkhead was a sink, work benches and lockers separated by a short, low bench. Doors opened to the deck also at either side. This door arrangement proved convenient during heavy weather by providing a lee side to get in or out and when fetching food from the galley. All doors opening on deck except those under the fo'c'stle head were of a two-section, Dutch type, made of teak about two inches thick. The lower or upper half could be used independently.

Between the galley and the aft end of the deckhouse was a room known as midships. Here lived the bosun, carpenter and sailmaker with an ordinary (#032) seaman, their flunky. The furnishings were similar to those in the fo'c'stle. The door to midships was centered in the aft end of the deckhouse. Resting on top of the deckhouse were two heavy cargo or work boats.

About four feet aft of the deckhouse was the large main hatch. Then came the mainmast, aft of which stood the ship's pump, hand driven by cranks fastened to four-foot iron wheels. This was our only means of getting water out of the hold should the ship spring a leak. We were luckily spared from any occasion to use it, as the carpenter, whose frequent duty it was to sound the ship for water in the hold, always reported her dry. Once a month we operated the pump a few minutes to check its condition.

Deep in the hold near the mainmast was the main fresh water tank, which, with the auxiliary tanks under the fo'c'stle head, held our supply of fresh water. The small tanks for the fo'c'stle and midships and the gravity flow tanks for the galley and cabin aft were filled manually usually by the ordinary seamen.

A platform or bridge, about ten feet square, on which stood the standard compass, was about midway between the main and mizzen masts. On this bridge were two wooden barrels holding a supply of salt beef and pork. The bridge was connected to the poop deck by a short catwalk. From the bridge, extending out to the bulwarks, were the skids, a heavy steel framework clearing the main deck. On these, resting in chocks by the davits, were the two lifeboats of the Cambuskenneth. Below the catwalk was the after hatch, and just aft of this stood the mizzen mast.

Steps on starboard and port sides led from the main deck to the poop. There was also an inner stairway from the cabin to the chart house. This chart house, on the deck of the poop, contained charts, books, a compartment (#033) for signal flags and a desk where the voyage and courses were plotted on a chart by the captain or mates. During heavy or cloudy weather our approximate position could be fixed only by dead reckoning, such as knowing the course and reading the mechanical log trailing astern, plus consideration of drift by wind or current. Our true position could be ascertained only by use of the sextant and chronometer at either day or night observations.

Near the extreme aft end of the poop stood the steering compass and the wheel. Some ships had shelters built over the wheel box and wheel with the forward end open. This was to protect the helmsman and wheel from following or pooping seas boarding the ship from astern. The wheel can be a dangerous spot in heavy weather. There have been many cases in which pooping seas carried both the wheel box away and the helmsman overboard to his doom. The steering wheel of the Cambuskenneth was without shelter of any kind. The helmsman stood smack out in the open amid driving rain, wind, snow or sleet, also during heavy gales and raging seas and in the blistering sun and heat of the tropics. After one or two hours he appreciated being relieved. In very heavy weather, two men were sent to the wheel, and as a precautionary measure, used ropes to lash themselves to some secure fastening. With a fair wind and nearing the tropics in the trade winds, the story was different. Then one actually looked forward to a trick at the wheel rather than at other work going on. But he better not fall asleep at the wheel of a sailing ship! If he did, then watch out! He'd be in for something sure!

Yet in comparison, according to earlier tales of the sea, we had an easy time of it. Ernie, Our oldest sailor said, "The old saying, 'It used (#034) to be wooden ships and iron men, now it's iron ships and wooden men', is not a fact. In the old days, living conditions, food and everything about you was tough. The biggest change is in the conditions. Most first-class windjammer sailors are still iron men. Even now, you better not be a - Mama's Boy - on a square-rigged sailing ship. You still have to hold up your share or life could be made quite miserable. Ernie was an old-time salt, all in sail, and he could speak from his own experience.

The Crew.

All hands, including the officers, totaled twenty-two men. Ages ranged from Moses at sixteen to grizzly old Ernie who admitted to sixty-one years but was no doubt older, possibly closer to seventy. In experience, they ranged from a first-tripper like myself to one, like Ernie, who had spent at least fifty years at sea. We were of mixed nationalities, three Americans, an Englishman, a Swedish-Finn, a Brazilian, a Swede, seven Germans and eight Norwegians. Five men, the captain, the two mates, the cook and the cabin boy lived aft in the cabin. Four men, the carpenter, the sailmaker, the Bosun and an ordinary seaman lived in the midships quarters and thirteen men were housed in the fo'c'stle. This left, besides the mates, fifteen forward hands to man the ship, for except in stand-by weather, the carpenter and sailmaker were on day duty. Eight men comprised the port watch and seven the starboard.

Captain Thor Larsen Sole, was a short and heavy-set Norwegian, slow and deliberate in his movements, spoke very little and kept much to himself. He spent most of his time in the cabin and therefor was rarely seen on either the poop or deck of the ship.

First Mate, Paul Frerichs, was a fine built man over six feet tall, (#035) had spent twenty years at sea, several being on the hard-driven German P-Liners. Though not domineering, he assumed responsibilities due his position, and was direct in giving orders. He was a sticker for wanting the work done in ship-shape form. If a seaman obeyed orders, showed willingness and was not lazy or sloppy in his work he got along fine. The mate was fair with his men and showed no favoritism.

The Second Mate, Julius Haugaard, in contrast, was a quiet and unassuming sort of person, lacking somewhat, the initiative and forcefulness of the mate.

Opinions about the officers, some good but mostly bad, were common topics of conversation among the fo'c'stle hands. A few of the older sailors called the captain a farmer, due to his inactivity, and said that the mate, being German, had no business aboard a Norwegian ship as First Mate. In contrast, and mostly by the Norwegians of his own watch, held that the Second Mate was too lenient and not forceful enough to act as a ship's officer. Yes sir, some of the crew were hard to satisfy.

Hermann Nilson, the carpenter, was one of the most intelligent members of the crew, a fine conversationalist who used good logic on any subject. After learning his trade as ship's carpenter, he went to sea. He later served a hitch in the Kaiser's Navy as carpenter's mate and was but two years out of that service when he signed aboard the Cambuskenneth. Hermann signed as a Swede from Falannd, Sweden, but was actually a German from Kiel.

The sailmaker, Peder Olsen, was a well-built, handsome appearing man, very much countertype to what one would expect to see aboard a windjammer. He looked more like a prosperous business man or banker, yet he made the (#036) sea his life's work. He kept his person spic and span at all times, and even when in oilskins, he stood out from the rest. Peder enjoyed pacing the deck and many times I joined him utilizing the time in learning Norwegian. The sailmaker religiously read the bible and was usually of a quiet disposition, yet when he made up his mind to be mad, look out! In this he was also efficient and talked up to anyone, including the captain. Both he and Nilson were excellent sailormen besides knowing their trades.

John, the bosun, appointed during the choosing of the watches, was a six-foot, raw-boned Norwegian, a tough, strong and first rate sailorman.

The cook, Alex Johnson, known aboard ship as Adolph, was a young nineteen year old Swede from Malmö, Sweden. In the beginning Adolph had trouble, but was soon set on the right course by the sailors, particularly by Anderson, and soon developed into a good cook for the ship. That job is no bed of roses for a sailing ship cook has a lot to contend with. Sailors are past masters at griping about food and on some of the old windjammers they had reason to be. Besides, the cook's provisions were generally an inferior grade for the captains usually had an eye open to keep the costs of provisions to a minimum. The cook kept the longest hours of anyone aboard ship. From five o'clock in the morning to seven-thirty in the evening he was on the job, seven days a week! Short blows between meal times did not help much. He had no free watches on holidays or Sundays. On such days he was busier than ever. And, standing over the hot, coal-heated range during the sizzling heat of the tropics was like being in hell. Adolph deserved a lot of credit for making the Cambuskenneth a good-feeding ship.

Johan Christian Karlsen, A.B., the oldest member of the crew said he was born in 1854. Old Ernie was short and fat yet he still went aloft when (#037) help was needed on the main and foresails and at times even higher. He often assisted the sailmaker at his sewing. Ernie had a cheerful disposition and did little grumbling, I enjoyed listening to his yarns about his experience which included early cruises on whaling ships. There was nothing about a sailing ship with which he was not familiar.

John Anderson, A.B., though a Swedish-Finn signed as a Swede from Gothenberg, and was the most efficient sailorman among the crew. He was a medium built man, but a wiry bundle of dynamite, tough as all get out and on his toes all the time. Anderson was a sticker for having things done in sailor fashion and would not hesitate to criticize anyone if the work did not meet with his approval. He was also outspoken yet was not abusive or antagonistic except perhaps a little with Hermann, the carpenter. Anderson may have wanted Hermann's job for the two did not get along and many slurring repartees passed between them.

Erich Löffler, A.B., was a devil-may-care, happy-go-lucky sailor who seldom wasted time in serious thinking. He was certainly the comedian of the ship, never missing an opportunity to have fun. He provided many a laugh, but not through ignorance, for he was well educated and a capable seaman. His name is not listed among those who signed on at Portland.

Carl Johannessen signed on at Portland as a twenty-five year old Norwegian A.B., from Fredrikshald, Norway. There was no one with that name aboard our ship during the trip.

Johan Fjeld was a young Norwegian A.B., well liked and greatly respected as an exceptionally fine sailorman for his age. His name was also not listed among those who signed on at Portland. The above three will provide an interesting sequel in the book. (#038)

Joe, a small, elderly Brazilian Portuguese A.B., looked worn out from the wear and tear of years spent in sailing ship fo'c'stles. His face was deeply lined and he kept much to himself and had very little to say. No name of Portuguese origin was included among those who signed at Portland.

Bruno Konze, alias Warner Lurchner, A.B., signed on as a native of Lausanne, Switzerland. He was known aboard ship as Bismarck, He was a native of Hamburg, and besides being a good sailorman, was also a talented artist. In appearance, there was nothing artistic about Bismarck. He was short, squatty and powerfully built with heavy wide shoulders and legs like tree stumps. Bismarck told us that his training to become an artist required too much steady driving and work and, after a big row with his father, Bismarck ran away to sea. He was good natured and a very amiable shipmate, cheerfully painting a sailing ship under full sail, or anything wanted, on the inside covers of the sailor's sea chests. He made excellent portraits of members of the crew. Bismarck made his own brushes, mixed his paint colors from the supply on the ship, and after preparing a piece of canvas with a coat of white lead, he went to work. Paint, pencil or pen, made no difference to Bismarck.

Karl Dessler, or Peedul, was a slight-built ordinary seaman and Bismarck's shipmate. Both were destitute and rooming together in cheap lodgings in Portland when Moses and I met them at the Seamen's Mission. We became friends and told them about the opportunity to ship out on the Cambuskenneth. They hurried down to the ship and were hired. A word here about the Seamen's Missions. In the days of sailing ships, more so than now, these Seamen's Missions were found in most of the leading ports of the world. They were sponsored by people ashore who had the (#039) welfare of sailorman at heart. A very short religious service usually started the meeting although no attempt to convert the sailors to any religion was made. The people of the Mission provided a generous serving of refreshments. Entertainment such as billiards, cards, checkers and dancing also took place. The sailors, in turn, sang chanteys or contributed various types of entertainment for which some were capable. However, the refreshments were no doubt the chief attraction that drew the sailors to the meetings. Invitations by the good people of the Mission to the seamen to be guests at their homes were most cheerfully accepted, especially by the young sailors and apprentices. Many sailors, apprentices and officers availed themselves to attend the Seamen's Missions and many an old-timer, still alive, unquestionably still cherish happy recollections of going to such meetings, where no fees for services or any differences regarding creed, color or nationality were ever considered. The Portland Seamen's Mission was in a group of rooms on the second floor of a building on 5th Street just north of Glisan.

There are three more characters of the crew yet to describe.

Erich Völker, Moses my shipmate, signed on as Carl Voelker from Berlin. He was a native of the island of Rügen, off the North German coast in the Baltic Sea. In some German ships, as on British, when a boy made his first trip to sea it was customary that his parents pay the company for the privilege. It was a type of indenture and the company was to train the boy in seamanship so he could later qualify for his examination as an officer. This was the case with Moses. He was barely fifteen years old when he shipped on the Dalbek. Though a year younger than I, we were about the same size and weight.

John Brale, ordinary seaman, was Jimmy, a slight-built Englishman (#040) from the vicinity of Birmingham. Jimmy proved to be some character and my biggest headache aboard the ship. It was fortunate for me that he was aboard or I would have made the entire trip as cabin boy.

Carl Frank List, myself. I signed on as cabin boy and in that capacity I lasted one week. I was the only genuine greenhorn and farmer of the craw. I hated the job as cabin boy, and deliberately, I messed up my work and other duties I was to perform. I thought, perhaps if I proved to be a real farmer, I would be kicked out on deck where I wanted to be. However, an opportunity presented itself to trade jobs with Jimmy, and after one week as cabin boy, I went on deck as an ordinary seaman and my discharge papers so rated me.

An E.J. Kelly from St. Louis, Missouri, unquestionably an alias, signed on as an A.B., at Portland. There were only three Americans aboard the ship and this Kelly was not one of them.

Distribution of the watches and others in the crew was as follows.

Name Function Nationality Age Watch
Thor Larsen Sole Captain Norwegian approx. 56 years -
Paul Frerichs First Mate German approx. 39 years Port
John the Bosun Norwegian approx. 41 years Port
Herman Nilson Carpenter German 26 years Port
Johan Carlsen A.B. Norwegian 61 (?) years Port
Erich Löffler A.B. German 25 years Port
Bruno Konze A.B. German 27 years Port
Heinrich Löding A.B. German 19 years Port
Karl Dessler Ord. Seaman German 19 years Port
Erich Völker Ord. Seaman German 16 years Port
Carl F. List Ord. Seaman American 17 years Starboard
Julius Haugaard Second Mate Norwegian 44 years Starboard
Peder Olsen Sailmaker Norwegian 39 years Starboard
John Anderson A.B. Swedish-Finn 42 years Starboard
Joe A.B. Brazilian 48 years Starboard
Gustav Magnussen Norwegian Norwegian 35 years Starboard
Johan Fjeld A.B. Norwegian 20 years Starboard
Robert Wilson A.B. American 33 years Starboard
Harold Dewey A.B. American 31 years Starboard
Magnus Hagen Ord. Seaman Norwegian 17 years Starboard
Alex Johnson Cook Swedish 19 years -
John Brale Cabin Boy English 22 years -


Four men, the Captain, the First Mate, Johan Fjeld and I believe John the Bosun, arrived with the ship from Cape Town to Portland. The so-called E.J. Kelly, who signed on at Portland, has to be Joe the elderly Brazilian seaman. Eighteen men, signing on at Portland, made it almost an entirely new crew. The ports of the Pacific Northwest and Australia were known as the best-paying ports from which sailing ship hands could ship. Able seamen received twenty-five dollars a month, ordinary seamen twenty dollars, the cook, thirty dollars and the carpenter, thirty-five dollars. The Second Mate received the same wages as the able seamen, and in some cases at that time, he was not considered much more above that rank.

It was most surprising to me, that after forty years, the shipping (#042) record was still available from the files of the Norwegian Vice-Consul at Portland. It was quite interesting to me as I scanned the list, seeing my shipmate's names in their own hand writing and noting the various aliases and misinformation under which they had signed, Anderson, Nilson, Kelly, Lurchner, Johannessen and Moses all gave either false nationality, birthplace or name. In 1915, it was not necessary to present verification of one's birth or nationality. Shipping out on the square-rigged sailing ships did not involve such niceties. If a ship needed a crew very few questions were asked. Many of the old deep-water men signed on to suit their own fancies, and many could speak other languages than their own.

I did not have much opportunity to become closely acquainted with members of the starboard watch except for the sailmaker who lived with me in the midship quarters of the fo'c'stle. On a windjammer, there was not much social time between watches. When time came for changing watches, the routine was simply the watch coming on deck and taking over whatever work was at hand with little conversation taking place. Another reason I did not become too acquainted with the starboard watch was, that unless a man was invited, it was not looked on favorably for a member of midships to spend time in the fo'c'stle, and vice-versa. There were caste and ethics even on sailing ships and a sailor kept his place. Yet it was a sociable crew, and the fo'c'stle hands got along well even though some spoke Norwegian, some English and some German.

With us young fellows, bawling outs, mostly from the A.B.s, were plentiful. They called it, "Teaching us the ropes". Among the old windjammer sailormen, there was no hesitation on their part, to teach us sailor work. The saying was, "If you do something, do it right, do it like a sailor and not like a farmer". After we were shown the correct way and then did it (#043) wrong, the A.B.s never failed to give us a good bawling out. If we showed willingness to hold up our end we got along first rate, but if we were shiftless, or worst of all, plain lazy, then look out! That's the way we were trained. We were taught discipline and sometimes the going was tough but we also had our fun and brighter moments. We learned to work, to obey orders and to do without the conveniences, comforts and amusements of city life ashore. Unless a sailor happened to be on an Ill-feeding ship, and there were many, he usually ended the voyage in far better physical shape and character than when he sailed. I have never regretted my trip, and over fifty years later, I still get enjoyment out of letting my thoughts wander back to the five months I spent on the Cambuskenneth.

There was also a few animal members of the crew. Forward, between the foremast and against the deckhouse, was a large, heavy wooden pen. This was the fair-weather home of Oscar and Ivan, two young pigs that we hoped to butcher on the trip. Under the deck of the small bridge a small pen-like structure was partitioned off for a chicken house and pigeon loft.

One compartment held about twenty chickens and the other perhaps thirty pigeons. The chickens furnished a small supply of fresh eggs during most of the trip. These were used by the cook, with perhaps the captain getting a side dish now and then. None ever found their way into the fo'c'stle! Yet, Moses and I, managed to steal a few for ourselves when we had to clean the chicken coop on Saturdays. The pigeons were probably carried as a source of fresh food and broth in case of illness among the crew, or for the captain, whether he was ill or not. Plenty of food for these feathered passengers was available, there being 49,500 sacks of wheat in the hold of the ship. The captain had a couple of white rats and two kittens for pets. Judy, an elderly dog, was an over-sized, cross-breed water spaniel, quite (#044) heavy but good natured in a slow-moving sort of way, and well liked by all hands. In fair weather she spent a great deal of time around the man at the wheel. This broke the monotony of standing there alone, the helmsman could at least talk with Judy, Judy considered herself an officer for she rarely left the after deck to come forward and mingle with the crew. Even the aromas from the galley could not lure her forward of the mainmast. (#045)

4. Our first ten days at sea

The fair wind did not last long and a storm was making up. However, Adolph our cook, had a stormy beginning of his own and near the end of the voyage further squalls were to come his way. Adolph was supposed to have coffee ready at six a.m., for the watch on deck, who, after coffee began the daily work. Breakfast for the watch below followed at seven-thirty. For the first three or four days breakfast was from one-quarter to three-quarters of an hour late. After early morning coffee Adolph had a short rest period, which he usually spent sitting on the galley bench opposite the range. In a few moments he would be sound asleep and snoring peacefully away. Time to wake up and prepare breakfast went by the board. This threw a monkey wrench into our time schedule, and the crew decided to take the matter into their own hands. Anderson said he could cure him. With several of us watching, Anderson sneaked into the galley. Quietly he drew the ashes from the stove and scattered them over the floor, range and work benches and then used some garbage on hand for a top dressing. Adolph kept on snoring. From on deck Anderson then fired a wet towel into sleeping Adolph's face. Adolph let out a yelp and came too in a hurry. His mouth hung open as with staring-eyes he observed the mess in the galley.

"Where's our breakfast! We want breakfast!", yelled some of the sailors. They told him to clean the galley and get breakfast underway in a hurry or this would happen every time breakfast was late. The cure worked, and our breakfast was never late again.

Adolph's efforts to bake bread also required special training. The dough would not rise and the bread was about three inches high, all crust and hard as a rock. Anderson then taught him how to bake bread properly. (#046) That man could do anything! After Anderson showed Adolph the hang of it, we had good bread from then on.

Moses told me about another incident that came up between Anderson and the cook. It concerned the type of rice and curry that Adolph prepared. When the curry got around to Anderson he took one look at it, and with a string of oaths, he began dredging in the pan for some meat. There was little to find. Only small pieces of white fat floated on top of the watery-thin curry. Anderson scowled, and grabbing the pan, he stormed out of the fo'c'stle to the galley door.

"Hey, cook! What do you call this stuff with pieces of fat floating around", roared Anderson.

"That's curried meat for the rice", answered Adolph.

"Oh yeah! All right, here's the meat! See if you can find it! Anderson threw the warm mess at Adolph's head, Moses told me that Adolph was sure a sight with yellow curry running down his face and over his white clothes. There was more meat in the curry after that. Anderson made a good cook out of Adolph with the lessons he taught him. None of the crew ever complained about the cleanliness of the cook. Adolph kept his person and clothes neat and clean and his galley was kept in a ship-shape condition.

One other affair was not altogether Adolph's fault, but can be blamed on the product he had to work with. This concerned the coffee served on the ship. Not Adolph, but the captain himself, got a surprising estimate of the coffee from one of the crew. The coffee came in the form of green beans which Adolph had to roast in the galley range. Undoubtedly it was of a most cheap and inferior grade. As I stood in the pantry door (#047) waiting on table while the captain and mate were at lunch, in stormed the sailmaker. Standing at the messroom door with a mug of coffee in his hand, he addressed the captain.

"Captain, what do you call this junk in my mug?"

"Why sailmaker, that's coffee", blustered the captain.

"Coffee!", roared the sailmaker. "Bah, it's piss! If you call this "coffee", you drink it!" Raising his arm, he slammed the mug on the messroom floor, turned his back and strode out. I made for a broom and mop.

"Good God, what next?", asked the captain. "Now they complain about the coffee. I can't see anything wrong with it, do you Mr, Frerichs?"

"Humph!", replied the mate. "Trouble is they had it too good ashore. They'll settle down when they're more used to the ship."

The captain must have had a cast iron stomach. One cup of that coffee was enough for me. It tasted like a combination of dirty dish-water and quinine. I never had another one for I never took a chance later on to see if had improved any. Outside of that coffee, the ship fed well and, no signs of scurvy or beri-beri existed at the end of the voyage.

Being a greenhorn on my first trip to sea, I, too, ran into plenty of trouble and grief at the start. Leaving the lightship, we ran into cold, wet and stormy weather, frequently heavy seas rolled aboard. My first bawling out came as I was bringing food aft from the galley. Hot having acquired sea-legs, I stumbled along the deck, one moment bumping against the main hatch and the next instant wallowing halfway to the ship's side. Besides, I was trying to keep my eyes on the coffee pot and the seas at the same time. I wasn't feeling well either, I was cold and possibly experiencing the first pangs of sea-sickness. During my efforts to get that (#048) coffee pot and food aft to the cabin I gave no thought to the lifeline. Anderson spied me and let out a roar.

"Hey there, you farmer! What do you think that lifeline was rigged up for! It was put up for farmers like you! You better make your way alongside that line so you can grab it when necessary. Otherwise, you may be washed into the scuppers, break some bones or go over the side. Remember this, young fellow, one hand for yourself and one for the ship. Don't forget that either!" I didn't argue with Anderson. Getting over to the line I grabbed it to steady myself a bit and, keeping my eyes on the weather rail, I stumbled on.

This one hand for the ship does not always work out and is more or less just a sailor's expression. It's usually both hands for the ship, especially when aloft, where at times, an extra pair of arms and hands could be of use. A long tail like a spider monkey's, growing out of your backside, would have come in handy.

The second day, for me, was a donnybrook! I had no sea-legs and was unaccustomed to the motion of the ship, and aft in the confines of the cabin, the pitch and roll of the ship was more distinct. From one side of the messroom I stumbled against the furniture, or went careening over to the opposite wall. The ship and I couldn't get along together. It went one way and I went the other.

The captain ordered me to put a shine to the brass work. Finding some polish and rags, I shined the doorknobs and locks in the messroom. I then tackled the handrail brackets for the stairway leading up to the chart house on the poop deck. That was the last straw! In this narrow, confined area I began to feel peculiar. Things began going around and around. I felt woozy, sick and empty and then I broke out with a cold clammy sweat. Saliva (#049) was rising in my throat and I kept swallowing it. Finally, something was coming up in my throat that I was not able to swallow. That was the end to brass polishing! Dropping everything I made for the deck as fast as I could. Yes sir, I was seasick! I reached the rail just in time, and hanging my head over the side, I began to feed the fish. For several minutes it mattered little if I lived or died, and I didn't care if a sea came aboard or not. I felt like a dishrag, me for my bunk where I could lie down. The devil with the brass work, and let the cook wait table at lunch time.

"Where's Carl? Why are you waiting on table?", I overheard the mate ask Adolph.

"Carl's in his bunk. I think he's seasick", answered Adolph.

"Seasick! In his bunk! I'll see about that!", said the mate in a tone that did not sound good to me.

He saw to it, and how! Into my room barged the mate, his eyes flashing, as he yelled at me, "Hey you, Carl! What are you doing in your bunk!"

"Oh, gee, I'm sick, Mr. Frerichs. I feel rotten," I mumbled.

"Sick! Don't tell me you're seasick! •

"I think so. I sure feel miserable."

"Seasick, bah!", roared the mate. He yanked my blankets off, grabbed me by the neck and shoved me out the door. In the messroom he spun me around and headed me into the short passageway that led to the main deck. He proceeded to kick me a few times with his number tens right in the seat of my pants.

Seasick!", he roared again. "We'll have no fellows crawling into their bunks for being seasick aboard this ship! On deck for a while, then go to work, don't let me catch you in your bunk again!" (#050)

No doctor would prescribe such a cure. The mate had his own method and it sure worked! The seasickness left me right then and there. It was just like fog lifting quickly from the sea. I felt so good, that later when the cook came aft, I unjustly accused him of squealing on me. One word led to another, and I invited him to come on deck where I would fight it out with him. Instead, he crawled into his bunk for a little sleep. Perhaps it was for the best for the cook may have proved more than I could handle but I was willing to give it a try. I proceeded to get acquainted with the pets aft. Judy, the dog, was more a companion than she was trouble. Most of the time she was the only one aft for me to talk to. I soon get wise to her tricks and her way of letting me know when she wanted on deck. She used the cement-lined scuppers along the side of the ship, usually near a hole leading over the side. Judy made it easy to clean up after her. The two kittens were a different problem. I scared up a little wooden box and filled it with sand. At every opportunity I put them in the box. They soon got the idea and in a couple of days were well trained. Beside a rag-lined box in the saloon I set out food for the two white rats. I soon found one dead in the lazaret, where it had either eaten itself to death or was killed by some other rat on the ship. Cleaning up after rats, even for my low position aboard the ship, was below my dignity, and it was good riddance when the other one disappeared the next day.

One of my duties was to issue the sailors their ration of bread, milk, margarine and sugar. When the boys from the fo'c'stle came aft for their rations I cooperated by issuing more than they were entitled to. How and then I'd slip in a generous portion of something I was not supposed to issue. Under the bread I would put a fat slice of Primost cheese which was (#051) on hand in the pantry. Except for the cheese, the cook got wise to my shenanigans with the food supplies and complained to the captain. Boy, did I get a bawling out! Thereafter, I was allowed only to issue the bread, and the cook issued their other rations. Continuing to slip in a slice of cheese, I soon again found myself in a jam. The captain had a habit of slipping into the pantry for a between-meal snack of cheese and bread.

"Say, Carl, 'what's become of the Primost? This piece was twice as large yesterday," he growled.

"I don't know captain. The mates may have helped themselves or maybe the cook used a little extra for the macaroni today. That's pretty good cheese and I've been eating some now and then."

"It's sure going fast. You lay off this cheese. We got to be careful, there isn't too much on hand," said the captain as he sliced off a thick slab for himself.

I had a queer idea that should I prove to be a poor excuse of a cabin boy the captain might kick me out on deck. Perhaps it had some bearing later on.

Plenty of other excitement took place during our first ten days at sea. I was soon initiated into what was what aboard a windjammer. As cabin boy I soon found that I was nothing aboard the ship and that everyone was my boss. Even Moses and Peedul bawled me out.

It was mid-winter when we put to sea. The Cambuskenneth with a four-foot, eight-inch freeboard proved to be a wet ship. The seas came aboard plenty. Over the fo'c'stle head and aft to the mainmast they raised their blue-green walls and thundered on deck. We were in stand-by weather during (#052) which no attempt was made to do any work except that required for the navigation of the ship.

On the third day a gale began making up. We were having heavy weather fast, and a rough, high sea was running. It was raining heavily and was bitterly cold. I cleaned up after the noon meal, and hating the cabin, I stepped on deck and stood against the poop bulkhead. I gazed forward to see what went on. On the weather side, high, angry seas came rushing at the ship. Up and up, the forward part of the ship would raise in a slow, sheering roll. Then down she dropped, and on-rushing seas tumbled aboard with a crashing boom-m sending tons of foam-covered water rushing over the deck. Aloft, the big white sails, billowing out gracefully, drove the ship onward as the wind whistled and shrieked through the rigging. I was spellbound by the sight. Overhead on the poop, the mate blew a shrill blast with his whistle. Peedul came tumbling along the deck grabbing the lifeline as he made his way aft.

"Make fast the main and mizzen royals!", roared the mate as Peedul neared the mizzenmast. "Make it lively, we got to shorten down in a hurry", he added as Peedul repeated the order.

He had no sooner given the order when a loud, tearing crash was heard aloft! It was too late to make fast the main royal! Only small parts of the main royal sail, giving out pistol-like reports, were flapping wildly about. That wasn't all! The royal yard was broken in two pieces and was hanging crazily in the rigging! Luckily it happened just after lunch and not at night. The mate, looking aloft, was not backward in giving orders. He called all hands on deck to shorten sail in a hurry to snug the ship down for the work on hand. The starboard watch came tumbling on deck, and the entire crew jumped to with a will. Other sails were immediately ordered (#053) taken in. Moses and Peedul scampered up the ratlines of the foremast to make fast the fore royal. Two starboard boys were taking care of the mizzen royal. I tried giving a hand by pulling on some of the lines of the mizzen rigging even though I didn't know much about what I was doing. The single gansails on the fore and mizzen masts were next made fast. The ticklish task of making fast the main gansails, with the broken royal yard hanging overhead was finally accomplished. Both watches tackled the huge mainsail with five or six men on each side of the yard. After the mainsail was furled the starboard boys went below. We were now under topsails, the foresail and jibs. The flying jib was gone along with the main royal yard. The mate's men took care of the mopping up work, such as belaying lines that lay about the deck. Well over an hour was consumed before the ship was snugged down. Several seas tumbled aboard during the process, and the men on deck clewing up the sails, had a rough time when the seas hit them.

The mate sent the bosun, two A.B.s and the carpenter aloft to survey the damage and determine what was necessary to lower the broken yard. They were soon busy fastening slings, rigging tackle blocks and stripping rigging from the yard in preparation for lowering. Those on deck were also busy. Seas did not board so frequently because of our reduced speed and slight change of course. But the wind and the cold, driving rain continued, yet there was no grumbling even though the going was tough. It was decided that the fore royal yard would be transferred to the mainmast as soon as the weather moderated. The gear aloft to the main royal yard was brought in to the mast and securely lashed. The work went on swiftly in sailor fashion and finally the signal came from aloft, "Lower away easy!" Slowly between the maze of rigging the two pieces were lowered to the deck. (#054)

The broken yard was stowed below the pin-rail and securely lashed. When the mate's watch went below at six o'clock, they were a tired gang. The second mate's men were also about two hours short of their watch below, yet not a one grumbled over being called out for such an emergency. Though they might curse and grumble plenty, the old deepwater sailormen gave all they had when an emergency arose that involved the welfare of the ship.

The gale kept up during the night, the next day and the following night. Then the wind moderated and more sail was cracked on as we made our way southward.

Another bit of excitement occurred toward the end of the first week. A squabble arose among some of the Norwegian hands as to what language was to be spoken aboard the ship. I could sense that something was up by overhearing conversation going on between the captain and mate while at the table. It all came about over the mate giving orders in German during his watch. The fact that all the Germans were on his watch, and others excepting Jimmy, understood the language didn't make any difference to the Norwegians, who held that because the ship was a Norwegian one, that was the language to be used. That would be fine if the mate could speak Norwegian and those on his watch could understand it, but this was not the case. So, what was the mate to do when practically his entire watch understood only German? The starboard boy's Norwegian mate was giving his orders mostly in English and nothing was said about that. The grumbling went on and then the mate began to grumble. He insisted to the captain that it was but spite work and it finally came to a head. The mate came roaring into the cabin madder than blazes. He and the captain rot into a chewing match over the affair.

"All right, Captain! I'm not going to put up with this lousy spite (#055) work any longer! I've tried reasoning to establish harmony and have gone as far as my position and authority will permit!"

"Well," the captain answered. "What shall be done about it?"

"You're the captain," came back the mate. "As far as I'm concerned, it has either got to stop or I'll stay below and go as passenger."

"In that case, Mr, Frerichs, I'll have to take the watch myself." "Captain, that's your privilege. So if you don't take steps to stop such petty spite work you can have the watch."

"No, Mr. Frerichs, we'll not have that. You have been my mate since I took over the ship and I don't want to take over your watch. After supper call all hands to the bridge and we will thrash this out."

Around six o'clock all hands gathered on the main deck below the bridge. The captain, with both mates at his side, stood on the bridge and after scowlingly looking the assembled crew over for a few moments, Captain Sole asserted himself in no uncertain terms. He told them why they were called aft and that he intended to settle the affair once and for all. Two or three voiced their opinions and objections to the mate giving orders in German. Others remained silent and tense. None questioned the mate's capability of being a sailorman or a ship's officer. Finally, after a tongue lashing, and mostly in Norwegian so the grumblers could understand, he roared, "Jeg vii ikke have mere spektakl" (I will have no more row). He told them their demands were impractical and that they were acting like kids instead of men. That stopped it! No question ever arose among the men over what language was spoken in the fo'c'stle.

After this affair, John, the bosun, either quit or was relieved of his position and henceforth sailed as an A.B. His wages were not cut and (#056) the mate appointed no one else to the post. We sailed the rest of the way without a bosun but the crew continued calling him bosun regardless. He kept his bunk in the midships quarters with the sailmaker and carpenter. (#057)

5. I go on deck

During the first week much of the conversation at the table between the captain and mate concerned various members of the crew. From my position at the pantry door I was all ears to overhear what was said. I got a big earful while in the cabin but it was a very good policy neither to carry news I overheard aft to the hands forward, nor likewise, to carry news from forward to aft. Some of the A.B.s put me straight on that in no uncertain terms. However, when young Jimmy, the Englishman, became the subject of conversation the mate's opinion of Jimmy left much to be desired. I listened plenty as the trend of the conversation became clear.

"This Jimmy, Captain, is practically useless," said the mate.

"Is that so, Mr. Frerichs? What's the trouble with him?"

"He has no savvy, and to top it off, he asked me not to send him aloft. "That's a fine how-de-do! An ordinary seaman doesn't want to work aloft! What kind of a sailor can you call that!"

"Oh boy, by gosh! This may be my chance to get on deck," I thought. I could almost see Jimmy in my place! I decided to take Moses into my confidence and found him under the fo'c'stle head sitting on a coiled hawser.

"Hello, Moses, how's it going," I began.

"Oh, swell. How do you like it so far?"

"Well, I'd like it better if I could get on deck. That's what I want

to talk to you about. I have an idea that might work."

"What kind of an idea have you got now, Carl?"

I told Moses what I had overheard and then said, "Moses, I wish you would find out if Jimmy would like my job if he could get it. Will you do that and let me know?” (#058)

"Sure, and I'think he would be willing."

The next morning, Moses, with a big grin on his face came aft to get the bread.

"Carl, I've got good news for you," said Moses.

Excitedly I asked what Jimmy thought of the idea.

Moses answered, "Not wanting to appear too anxious I finally swung the conversation around to what a soft job you had compared to ours. I told him you also had a little extra stuff to eat like jam, cheese and canned fruit. When he remarked that he would rather be in the cabin than on deck I hinted that perhaps he could trade jobs with you. I told him that I didn't know if you would trade but I would ask you about it. He said he would be willing to trade anytime.

"Good, Moses! That's great! Wait a minute, I'll hand you a tip," I cut a half-inch slab of cheese and slipped it under the bread I handed him. To build up a good impression, I jumped into my work with a will. I cleaned everything shipshape, scrubbed all the rooms, shined the brass and went out of my way to be Johnny-on-the-spot whenever an order or request was made. I didn't want to let this opportunity slip by. Deciding to talk to Jimmy, I sauntered forward and found him in his midships quarters. I knocked on the door jamb and asked if I could come in.

"Sure, sure, come hon hin," Jimmy answered.

"Got things all cleared aft," I began. "Have a little leisure time on my hands so thought I would do a little visiting." I noticed John, the bosun, in his bunk reading a magazine and thought I might as well let him overhear our conversation. "We sure hit it stormy and cold since we left port," I continued.

"We sure did. Blimey, hit's cold and wet, especially hon night watch, (#059) hy'll tell ye that, Carl."

"By the way, Jimmy, Moses told me you would rather have my job. Did you mean it or were you just kidding?"

"No, hy weren't kidding. My'd tryde jobs hanytoime."

"Well, I don't know, Jimmy. In some ways my job is not bad. Got a nice dry room, have all night in with no getting up at midnight or four o'clock in the morning. Then for an hour or two in the morning and afternoon I manage to have a little free time."

"Yes, hy know. Hy 'ave to put in ten and fourteen hours hon deck, han hit's not all in the bloomin' dytoime hyther. Besides, you 'ave a ha little extra on the ty'ole that we don't 'ave hup forward."

"Oh, yes! We have jam, canned fruit, cheese and sugar and milk is not rationed. There is canned fish and pickles, too."

Big John looked over at me with a scowl on his face. "Say, there, Carl, you better stow that talk about what you get back aft! We know it and you'll save yourself trouble by not coming forward and bragging about it. Get back aft where you belong!"

"Gosh, John, I had no intention of bragging." At the same time I gave John a wink, hoping he would realize there was some reason to my actions. John apparently got my message for he turned back to his magazine. Jimmy's assortment of clothing was very scant, but he did have storm clothes that I would need on deck. These I had to obtain. When I shipped as cabin boy I had seen no reason for supplying myself with sea boots or oilskins. Going to sea directly from my home, I had quite a layout of other clothes, and luckily, Jimmy and I were about the same size.

There was another angle that I wanted to bring to the surface so I (#060) asked him what else was wrong in being on deck.

"Hy just don't like hit, han besides, hy'm afraid to work haloft.

"Afraid to work aloft! What's wrong, why can't you work aloft?"

At this, I noticed John glancing sharply at Jimmy. He glanced at me too, and discontinued his reading.

"When hy was on the Birtha hy 'ad some trouble haloft," said Jimmy.

"What kind of trouble did you have," I asked.

"Hy 'ad fits when haloft on the Birtha. Hy just get stiff and can't

move. Hall hy can do is 'ang on tight with both me 'arids and two men 'ave to come hup to get me down."

"What! You get fits! But Jimmy, I'm afraid I can't change jobs with you for I have no sea boots or oilskins. But, if you will be willing to trade your storm clothes for some shirts, socks, dungarees and stuff like that, I might think it over."

"Sure, hy'd be willing to trade clothes. Maybe hif we arsk the Kyte, 'ed fix hit hup so we could tryde jobs."

"All right, but first, let's see what kind of a trade we can make for our clothes."

I looked over Jimmy's gear, then we went aft to my room. I picked out what I wanted to keep and then we began to haggle over the trading. A suit of underwear, a pair of shoes and a shirt obtained his good leather sea boots. Some dungarees, socks and a slip-over sweater paid for his oilskins, and for a cap, I got his sou'wester. There was only one hitch.

Instead of the sweater, Jimmy wanted a heavy wool coat that I wouldn't trade because it would have to do as my sea-jacket. The arrangement was only tentative subject to our being able to trade jobs. For the next step we (#061) decided to go midships and seek the help of John, the bosun.

Feeling that-the bosun was now aware of what my visit to midships was all about I began the conversation. "Say John, we wonder if you can help us," I asked. "Jimmy and I want to trade jobs. He don't like his job, I don't like mine and besides I would rather be on deck."

"That's what you think. You've never been on deck. Maybe you won't think it's so nice either after a week or two."

"I think I'll like deck work better than being a waiter and a chambermaid, John."

"So, you Jimmy, would rather be aft, huh? The sleep-in nights and the extra food seems to appeal to you, doesn't it?"

"Hy'd much rather be cabin boy, John. Hy guess hy just don't fit hon deck."

"That's for sure! What's this talk of having fits? Does the mate know about it?"

"No, hy 'aven't told im. Hy can't 'elp hit, they come hon by themselves. "

"Fits! What the hell next? Maybe Carl will have fits also. How about that, Carl. Do you get fits!"

"No, I've never had any fits yet. If you will tell the mate about this angle it might help us trade jobs."

"Well, all right. We'll go have a talk with the mate."

John found the mate in the paint locker. A bit nervous and scared, Jimmy and I stood at the doorway wondering what the mate's attitude would be. I kept my fingers crossed.

"Mr. Mate," began John, "these two farmers have something they want me to take up with you." (#062)

"What's them two scalawags got up their sleeves now, John?"

"They want to trade jobs. Carl wants to come on deck and Jimmy says he would rather go as cabin boy."

"Good grief! One is probably as useless as the other."

"That may be, but you know Jimmy refuses to work aloft. He told me his reason.

"Humph!, snorted the mate. "An ordinary seaman not wanting to go aloft is a fine bow-de-do. What reason did he give you?"

"He told me he gets fits aloft." John then explained what Jimmy had told him what occurred on his former ship.

"What!", roared the mate. Fits, fits!"

"Hy'm sorry, Mr. Myte, but hy can'r elp hit hif hy get fits," Jimmy broke in.

"Is that so! That other farmer Carl, is probably just as useless on deck, but you and your fits, are too much. You might fall, kill yourself or someone else. So, Carl, you want on deck, do you?"

"Yes, Mr. Frerichs. I wanted to ship on deck in the first place."

"I know all about that. I'll tell you one thing right now, I won't stand for any laziness! You'll have to do your share of an ordinary seaman's work or it will be mighty tough and disagreeable for you on deck."

"I'll do my best if I can change places, Mr. Frerichs."

"I'll see what can be done. At supper time you standby and hear what I tell the captain. After you've cleared the table go and ask the captain if you can change places with Jimmy."

"Gee, thanks, Mr. Frerichs. I hope it will work."

"Remember, don't butt into the conversation at the table. Let me handle that. - Now you two go about your work." (#063)

Jimmy and I thanked the mate and went our way. John, the bosun, stayed with the mate in the paint locker. I was in high spirits for the rest of the day. I took special pains in setting the table with several side dishes including a bowl of canned peaches. I figured the captain would be in much better humor and easier to talk to with a good meal under his belt. I put on a clean shirt and tidied myself up and then called the captain and mate for the meal. I took my place at the pantry door trying to appear unconcerned. The captain sat down and tucked his napkin under his chin.

"Well, this looks like quite a meal you set out, Carl," the captain


"Oh, it's only a'little something on the side, Captain. Thought I'd try a can of peaches for a change. Hope you'll enjoy them sir."

The mate made no comment. As he gave me a look, I thought I detected a slight twinkle in his eyes. I was on needles and pins, waiting to hear what the mate had to say.

"Yes, Captain, this is quite a meal we have here," added the mate.

"It sure is, Mr. Frerichs. By the way, how have things been going today? Do affairs seem to be smoothing over, or have you got more problems?

"Things are more shipshape, Captain, but I did get some surprising news that I think you should know about."

"Now what in thunderation has happened, Mr. Frerichs?"

"Captain, you know this Jimmy we were speaking about? You remember I told you he asked .me not to send him aloft. Today I found the reason. "Is that so? What reason or excuse does he have?"

"He told me that when aloft he gets fits." (#064)

"Fits! Fits!", roared the captain, almost choking on a mouthful of food. "Good Lord, what next?"

"Yes sir, Captain, regular fits. I was told that when he was aboard the Birtha it would take two men to get him down from aloft."

"That's sure a fine kettle of fish," the captain added.

"You're absolutely right about that, Captain. Furthermore it's bad on deck when you have a man you can't depend on by having a fit at times when all hands are needed in an emergency."

"Fits," the captain kept mumbling as he continued his meal.

Little more was said. I guess the mate thought that was enough conversation for the present. Perhaps he wanted this 'fits' business to have a little time to soak in. He excused himself from the table and made for his room halting at his door. Turning about he looked aft to where I stood and nodded his head towards the captain. I knew it was up to me to ask the captain about changing places with Jimmy, but at that moment, the captain's face was still too red and scowling. I decided to wait until I had cleared things up a bit and to give the captain time to cool down. This would also give me time to think about what to say and how best to approach the captain. After my work was finished I cautiously made my way to his cabin. With a rising lump in my throat I knocked on his door.

"Come in," growled the captain. Stepping into his room I found the captain resting on his bunk.

"Good evening, Captain. I'd like to ask a favor, sir."

"Oh, it's you, and a favor you want! Well, come out with it!" "Captain, I couldn't help overhearing the conversation about Jimmy. You know I wanted to ship on deck Instead of as cabin boy, and I want to (#065) ask if you'll let Jimmy and me change places, sir."

His face turned red as a tomato. He sat up in his bunk and scowled at me. I knew a storm was fast approaching.

"You! On deck!", he roared. Good grief! What kind of farmers did I get in Portland! First the cook has to learn his business, and then a deck hand comes up with fits! Now you, who has never been to sea, asks me to put you on deck as an ordinary seaman! What in blazes do you know about the deck! What good would you be? Tell me that!"

"Well, Captain, I don't get fits. I did do some work aloft on the Dalbek even if she was tied to the beach."

"Bah! Get the he'll out of here!", he roared at me.

That was all the satisfaction I received from that interview. I made for my room and flopped on my bunk. I was down in the dumps again as I lay there thinking that I sure had fizzled that idea. About seven-thirty a knock came at my door. As I was piling out of my bunk in walked the mate.

"Carl, you go on deck at eight o'clock! You're to go midships. Get your gear there and tell your friend Jimmy to move aft as cabin boy. You'll be on my watch so get going and report to me when you have arranged your things. Get moving before I change my mind.

"Oh, gee! Swell! Thanks Mr. Frerichs!" Boy, was I happy!

Grabbing my bundle of trade goods, I hurried forward and entered the midships quarters. Setting my bundle down on Jimmy's bunk, I turned and faced John, the bosun, who happened to be there.

"Hello, John. The mate told me to come on deck and live midships."

"So, he did huh? I talked a little more with the mate after you and Jimmy left. Hearing about Jimmy's fits he no doubt decided he would rather (#066) take a chance with you on deck. It will be up to you to take care of the meals and keep our midships quarters clean. Keep your ears and eyes open and your mouth shut and you'll get along."

"I'll do my best, John. I sure hated that cabin and it was no place to learn sailor work, that's sure."

"If you want to learn something we will teach you to do things sailor fashion. You'll find being willing to do your share, and not being lazy, will help a lot!!

"O.K., John. Where's Jimmy? I'm trading these clothes for his oilskins and boots."

"You'll probably find Jimmy hiding out under the fo'c'stle head."

I found Jimmy dozing in the crew's washroom and shook him by the shoulder.

"Hey, Jimmy, snap out of it! It worked, you got my job! I have the clothes we're trading midships. Come on, get out of your oilskins. They're mine now!"

At midships, Jimmy got out of his oilskins and boots. I handed him my bundle of clothes. He still tried to talk me out of my jacket.

"Nothing doing, Jimmy, I can't part with the only warm coat I have."

Gathering up his belongings we carried them aft. I busied myself getting my own clothes and bedding together while Jimmy looked his new home over.

"Hit's sure bloomin' nice 'ere, this room. Hy thinks hy'm going to

like bit swell hin 'ere," Jimmy remarked

"You can have it. I'm glad I'm moving out," I answered.

Adolph, the cook, entered the room. "What's going on here, Carl? (#067) What are you doing in here Jimmy?"

"Jimmy is your new roommate, Adolph. He and I traded jobs. We'll soon be straightened up here. I'm just picking up my gear to take forward. Adolph was taken with surprise over the affair as it was sudden news to him. Adolph was my immediate boss but I had never taken him into my confidence about my desire to get on deck. I was skeptical about what attitude he would take. Jimmy made up his bunk and stowed away his gear. We spent a little time going about the cabin and lazaret. I showed him where different articles were stored and made him acquainted with my former duties. I also gave him a few pointers on serving meals and the likes and dislikes of the captain and mates, and especially so of the cook.

"Well Jimmy, good luck, she's up to you now. I better get my gear forward and get squared away."

"Foine Carl, hand good luck to ye hon deck. Hy'll give ye a 'and with yer clothes hif ye like."

Gathering up my belongings we carried them forward to my new home. I hung my blue coat on a peg near the door and stowed the others away. I then prepared myself for going on deck and got quite a thrill as I donned oilskins for the first time. "Boy," I thought, "Sailor clothes at last!" John, watching me, noticed I was somewhat excited.

"Take your time, Carl. It's all well to step lively when you have to but learn to take it easy when there's no reason to hurry."

"I guess I'm just excited about coming on deck. I'll get over it."

"Sure, but calm down. You'll find rope yarns and sail twine hanging at the end of "Sails" bunk. How do those boots fit?"

"They fit real good." I couldn't have got better boots. They were well-made leather boots and much more durable than the rubber variety. (#068)

I grabbed some rope yarn and tied my oilskins snugly around my wrists and ankles. They would help to keep water from running into my sleeves or up my legs, and permit easier maneuverability aloft with less chance of getting hung up. Another strand of rope yarn went around my waist and these were known as body and soul lashings. I was beginning to look like a sailor, at least! Buttoning on my sou'wester I stepped on deck for the first time as an ordinary seaman, well aware that I had a lot to learn. It was raining hard but not so cold or stormy as the first week at sea. We were now approximately in the latitude of San Francisco. Just after eight bells I made my way to the poop-deck where I found the mate. With a big grin I reported to him.

"So, your on deck at last, eh," was the mate's greeting.

"Yes sir, Mr. Frerichs! Got my gear stowed away and I'm ready to turn to. Gosh, I thought for a while tonight that my chance of getting on deck wouldn't work out."

"So? Why do you say that?"

"When I went in and asked the captain about changing jobs he blow up like a cyclone and for a moment I thought he would have a fit. Called the cook, Jimmy and me a lousy bunch of farmers and told me to get the hell out of his room."

"I had another talk with him later and he agreed to give you a chance. How it's up to you for you'll have a lot to learn. For the rest of this watch you will go forward on lookout with Moses. The first two hours you and Moses hold lookout together. The last two hours you'll hold lookout alone. On tomorrow's daylight watch I'll send you aloft with someone. He'll teach you a few ropes on that sort of work. Now get forward, keep your eyes open, and tend to business." (#069)

As I started to go forward I heard the mate call, "Remember, Carl, no fits when aloft!"

I grinned back, and with a wave of my arm, I went forward and climbed up to the fo'c'stle head.

"Hello, Carl," Moses greeted me. "I heard you were coming on deck. So things worked out fine after all. You'll like it better I'm sure."

"Cripes, I'm happy to get out of that cabin! The mate sent me to keep lookout with you and to take over from ten to midnight."

"Fine, I'll have company for a couple of hours. You're lucky you had so many clothes along so you could trade Jimmy for his storm gear."

"I'll say so! If I had to buy them from the captain's slop chest

I'd pay plenty."

"Yeh, You'd probably have to work a month for nothing."

A word about the captain's slop chest. Aboard the old windjammers, the captain usually carried a supply of merchandise, mostly clothing, pipes, tobacco, knives and soap. This was called the slop chest. Many captains laid in these supplies on their own investment. If a sailor had no money for an article the cost was charged against his wages and would be deducted at the end of the trip. By their country's maritime law the captains were usually allowed a certain percentage of profit, but many of the windjammer captains had no scruples over padding this percentage a bit to suit themselves.

While on lookout Moses explained some of the duties of an ordinary seaman so that I would have a general idea of what they would be.

"You'll get the hang of it after doing these things a few times. In rough weather be sure to keep a corner of your eyes open for boarding seas. They can come aboard quickly and with a bang." (#070)

"How about on lookout when they come over the bow," I asked,

"The safest place is between the spare anchor and the rail. You're protected by the anchor to which you can lash yourself and have the rail and ship's bell right behind you. Watch a chance to make your way out to the lights now and then. When it's real nasty on the fo'c'stle head we hold lookout from the top side of the deckhouse."

It rained heavily as we rolled along at a fair clip. Dense sprays flew over the fo'c'stle head and visibility was poor. Though certainly different than the dry cabin aft I enjoyed my baptizing on deck. It was more a man's duty instead of like a woman's work back in the cabin. Let it rain and blow, I didn't care, I was at last on deck!

"It isn't always like this," said Moses. In about ten days or so we should pick up the trade-winds. Then it becomes warm as we roll towards the tropics. There you can stand lookout in your shirt sleeves or do without a shirt."

"Sounds good but doesn't it rain a lot in the tropics," I answered.

"Yeh, but the rain squalls are nice and warm. We can grab a piece of soap, strip and have a shower bath on deck. I wish I was there now."

Four bells were struck by the helmsman aft answered by Moses on the ship's big bell. Taking a look at the side lights Moses sang out to the mate aft the usual, "All-l-l's, well-l-l, sir-r-r!" Moses turned to me saying, ""Well Carl, she's all yours. Don't forget to answer the one-bell to call the watch. It is struck fifteen minutes before watches are changed. We then rouse out the starboard boys to take over at midnight. If you see a ship or light or want to call the mate's attention strike one bell. He will answer you or come forward to see what it's all about. Someone will relieve you at midnight."

"Suppose no one shows up to relieve me, Moses," I asked. (#071)

"Wait five minutes or so, then if no one comes, strike one bell. Tell the second mate there is no relief for the lookout."

Little did we realize that this little matter would boomerang on Moses later on. I had been up since five-thirty a.m., and two hours on lookout was yet to be faced. But events of the day and the excitement of being on deck were sufficient to banish any desire to sleep. We were rolling along under all sails except royals and mizzen gansail. Very seldom, as I glanced down the deck, did I see any of our watch. They kept out of sight under the fo'c'stle head. Glancing aft, I sometimes spied the mate pacing back and forth on the poop. I had not yet acquired good enough sea legs to do much pacing under the heaving conditions that prevailed on the fo'c'stle head. I stayed close to the handrail across the after end. About every five minutes I clawed my way out to the side lights to see that they were burning. We were well off shore and out of regular shipping lanes.

An hour soon went by. Back aft I heard the helmsman strike six bells. Here she went, my first striking of a ship's bell at sea! Dong, dong! Dong dong! Dong dong! After glancing at the side lights, I turned aft, and cupping my hands to my mouth, my own "All-l-l's, well-l-l, sir-r-r" went trailing aft to the mate.

He answered with, "All right, the lookout."

Though this was but a minor detail, it gave me quite a thrill. This, I felt, was sailor work at last. Soon after this the mate made his way up to the fo'c'stle head. As I stood with my back against the rail looking up at him, he nodded his head as he remarked, "You know Carl, I think that was a cock and bull story, that 'fits' business. Come on now, I know you wanted to be on deck. How about it?"

"Well Mr, Frerichs, all I know is that Jimmy said he gets fits." (#072)

"Oh! Only Jimmy said so, eh?", the mate said rather sternly.

"Sure. I thought that was a swell opening for me to get on deck. It was an opportunity I couldn't afford to pass by."

"Well, keep a sharp lookout. It's an important post, so don't you fall asleep!" With a wide grin the mate turned and made his way aft.

Soon came the one bell for changing watches. I gave the answering gong. I saw Moses and Peedul making their way to the fo'c'stle and midships to rouse out the starboard watch. It wouldn't be long now until I found out how my new bunk felt. Our watch began making for the fo'c'stle as the starboard boys appeared on deck. There it came! Eight bells, midnight! Eagerly I took a last look at the lights and gave the answering gongs. My "All-l-l's well-l-l sir—r-r" again floated aft. A sailor was making his way aft to relieve the wheel and close at hand was Magnus coming up to relieve me on lookout.

"So, you're here on lookout, Carl. Well, you can turn in now. Four o'clock will come soon enough, so you better get a little shut-eye."

I made my way to midships. Herman, the carpenter, was getting out of his oilskins when I stepped Into the room.

"Well Carl, how did you like lookout as your first job on deck? Found it a little damp, didn't you?", Herman remarked.

"Yes. I had four hours of it, but I guess I'll get a lot wetter before I'm through."

"No doubt about that. We better crawl into our bunks for a few hours sleep."

Pulling our bunk curtains shut we snugged ourselves under blankets, and very shortly I was dozed off asleep. My first watch as an ordinary seaman was over. It seemed I had slept but a short time when I felt someone (#073) shaking me roughly by the shoulder. While half awake I made out Magnus in his oilskins. He shook me again.

"Come on, Carl, riza, riza, rise and shine! Time to get up! One bell just struck. Come on, get up, it's a quarter to four."

Hazily I realized that I was now midships and that Magnus was calling me to go on watch. Crawling out of my bunk I pulled on my pants, slipped on a sweater, got into my boots and oilskins and was ready to go on deck at eight bells. We dressed in silence until Herman spoke up.

"Yes sir, Carl, this is the way it goes, this holy seafaring. You no sooner lie down to get some sleep when some bloke comes in bawling that it's time to get up. That's part of the glory of going to sea. You'll get used to this 'riza, riza'. I've seen times when we had to put in several watches in a row without any sleep."

Not having an appropriate answer, I just listened. A few minutes remained before we had to go on deck, so I made up the bunks. At eight bells our entire watch came tumbling on deck. The wind and rain had slackened since midnight. We were rolling along under the same sails as the watch before. Hearing the mate's whistle I was sent aft to see what was wanted. When near the mizzenmast I glanced up, and the mate at the break of the poop, ordered me to take the lookout for two hours.

"Yes sir, take the lookout," I answered. I was sure getting initiated to that job. The mate, no doubt, figuring that was the safest place for me during that first night. After a time the rain let up, a most welcome change from the past several days. Daylight was fast breaking when Peedul relieved me at four bells. I joined my shipmates under the fo'c'stle head where the watch was standing by, and sheltered from (#074) the wind, I felt more comfortable. I was not comfortable long for soon came the mate's whistle. Moses trotted aft, and on his return, said the mate wanted the two of us to report to him so we made our way to the poopdeck.

"So, you two hyenas are now together," began the mate. "Carl, just by working on deck you'll be of little use to me. I didn't want to send you aloft last night, but now that it is daylight, I'll soon find out what kind of a sailor you'll turn out to be. After coffee the two of you put in the rest of the watch aloft. Moses will explain some of the rigging and running gear and teach you how to overhaul buntlines and how to make up sail gaskets. That sort of gear is up to you young fellows to keep shipshape. Whenever you notice any in need of attention you're to go aloft and put them in order. See that you don't have to be told first. The two of you get going and don't get careless when aloft."

We made our way down on deck, and after coffee, I was eager to get started at this type of work.

"You better get a few strands of sail twine like I have hanging from my belt," said Moses.

"O.K., Moses, I'll get some. There's a hank of it in midships."

The carpenter had given me a sheath knife, and when I slipped it on my belt, together with the sail twine hanging at my side, I felt full rigged as an ordinary seaman. All the sailors wore their knives well towards the snail of their backs. If worn to the front the knife would be practically useless to a man aloft, especially when standing on the foot ropes and leaning forward with his belly against the yard. Wearing it in back also eliminated getting hooked or fouled when climbing about the rigging. (#075)

Going aloft was not altogether strange to me. Even though tied up in the harbor I had many times gone aloft with Moses on the Dalbek. I was a bit familiar with foot ropes and jackstays and with some of the standing rigging. Sliding down the backstays was also nothing new. However, all sails and running rigging was removed on the Dalbek and outside of what Moses had explained to me I knew very little about them. I was now about to receive my baptizing of going aloft at sea, where such rigging and the duties of an ordinary seaman would be further explained, I did not learn it all the first time by any means.

"Let's look over the foremast first," said Moses as we made our way to the fo'c'stle head. "See those ropes coming down the front of the sails with a little slack hanging at the bottom. Those are buntlines. The ones at the outer edge of the sail are leech lines. Those at the lower outer corner are clew lines. When making sail fast they are used to pull the bottom edge of the sail up to the yard. They all lead down to deck to their respective belaying pins. Later, we'll go along the deck and I'll point them out to you. You'll learn their location in time. Two buntlines on the upper Topsail are tight against the sail. The sail twine stoppers have broken. When they're like that, we go aloft and overhaul them so they'll have slack hanging. When on watch we keep an eye aloft to see if any need overhauling. When they're tight they'd chafe and damage the sail. Let's go aloft and I'll show you how it is done."

We made our way to the foremast weather shrouds. Grabbing a stay we swung ourselves up to the pin-rail and onto the lower ratlines. The wind shrieked through the rigging and the ship rolled and pitched as she plunged ahead. I followed Moses up and felt the heaving of the ship as I kept my eyes aloft. It was quite a sensation but I kept on climbing. We were soon below the foretop platform. To gain the top side we had to take a few steps on ratlines known as futtock shrouds. They were strung between (#076) the mast and the platform's outer edge. On these ratlines we climbed like monkeys on the wire roof of their cage, only at about a forty-five degree angle. From the top edge of the platform, another set of shrouds and ratlines, part of the topmast rigging, led up to the crosstrees. Hanging on the futtock shrouds we reached over the edge of the platform, grabbed the upper shrouds, and climbed over the edge to the top side. Standing on the platform, Moses explained some of the adjacent rigging. This was my first view from aloft of a sailing ship underway. The sails billowing out, and down below, the heaving sea rushing by in a smother of foam, were a thrilling sight. As the ship reached her downward pitch curling bow waves raced past her side. We made our way to the topsail yard and stepped out on the foot rope, grabbing the jackstay with our hands. These are small, round, metal handrails running along the top of the yard. Besides being a hand grip for making one's way along the yard they were used for making fast the top edge of the sail. The larger yards had two jackstays, one for the sail and the other for the purpose mentioned. The foot ropes, hanging about three or four feet below the yard, were of wire served with tarred marlin. They were hung at intervals by stirrups of the same material attached to the jackstay. We made our way out to the buntlines that needed overhauling.

"Keep your belly close to the yard Carl, and keep the foot rope kicked back so you lean forward," cautioned Moses. "Don't let the foot rope swing forward under the yard."

I had already seen some of these maneuvers before I came on deck. My climbing aloft on the Dalbek was also of some help. However, on the Dalbek, being interned for the war, all yards were bare. The sails and (#077) running rigging had been lowered and stowed away.

Reaching one of the tight buntlines I asked Moses what was to be done.

"You pull on the buntline until you have a couple of feet of slack hanging below the sail. We then stop the buntline off by tying it to the jackstay with a piece of sail twine. Don't use too many turns. If they are too tight we can't break them loose from deck when we yank on the line while clewing up sail. Should that happen, you're in for a bawling out and you get chased aloft on the double to cut the lashing."

I watched Moses perform the operation and asked him to let me overhaul the other one. I felt I would get the hang of it better by doing the actual work. I stopped it off to Moses' approval. This was my first lesson as an ordinary seaman. Moses explained the general procedure of setting and furling a sail. Though impossible to remember all the details, I did get a fair idea of what took place.

"Now I'll show you about the gaskets," said Moses. "Should they come loose we go aloft and make them up again."

The gaskets were pieces of rope fastened at intervals to the jackstay and used for lashing a furled sail to the yard. They were made up in hanks along the top of the yard. Moses undid one, letting it fall below the yard to its full length of about twenty feet. Bending his arm, he began wrapping the rope over the palm of his hand and around his elbow. When a suitable piece remained he wrapped this crosswise for several turns around the hank he had made. Making a bight of the last two feet, he passed it through the eye at one end of the hank, and looping the bight over the eye, he pulled the remaining end snugly tight. (#078)

"Make them up close to the jackstay, Carl. If they hang too much, they flop around and come apart. Then we have to go aloft and make them up again. When making sail fast we keep grabbing canvas and keep pulling until the sail lays In a tight role well up on the top side of the yard. The gaskets are then passed around the sail and yard in a spiral fashion as far as each gasket will reach. We tie it off and then go further along with another gasket."

I made up a gasket to Moses' satisfaction and we then made our way in towards the mast. We decided to climb up to the crosstrees. The crosstrees, near the top of the topmast, were about one hundred and fifty feet above the deck. Above the crosstrees were the uppermost ratlines secured to the top gallant mast shrouds that led up to the royal yard approximately one hundred and seventy feet above the deck. We kept going up and were soon on the foot ropes of the royal yard. This was my first experience at that sail for the Dalbek carried no royals. Sack down on the crosstrees, Moses showed me how the braces from the foreroyal and gansail yards led over to the mainmast and then down to deck where they were belayed on pins in the fife-rail that extended around the foot of the mainmast. We stood on the crosstrees for perhaps ten minutes discussing this and that about the adjacent rigging. Little by little I absorbed a bit of what Moses explained. Perhaps to kill a little time and to get out of the deck scrubbing that was going on we also discussed some members of the crew.

Moses finally said, "Carl, we better hit the deck and look after the main and mizzen rigging. What do you say, shall we slide down a backstay?" I'll give you a tip about that. When deck work is going on I always climb down. It takes longer, but on Sundays or holidays it's different! I slide down!" We slid down nevertheless and on the mainmast all seemed in order. Nothing seemed adrift on the mizzen so we made our way to the fo'c'stle head. (#079)

We made our way out on the bowsprit. Moses explained the rigging and the setting of the fore topmast staysail and jibs. After riding the bowsprit a short time, which to me was real exciting, we made our way to the main deck. Beneath the shrouds and backstays of the masts hung a conglomeration of ropes and lines, the running rigging from aloft. They were coiled on and made fast to belaying pins stuck into the pin-rail, a heavy teakwood shelf running the full length of the bulwarks on both sides of the ship. Around the foot of all three masts was a similar shelf called a fife-rail on which more lines were hung. Moses, taking me around the deck, concentrated on the clew and buntlines, showing me their locations. For several days, while passing along the deck, other sailors continued the lesson by asking me where a certain line was belayed. When I made a mistake they set me right. There is a maze of lines leading from aloft to the deck of a sailing ship, each hanging in its proper place on a belaying pin. It is very important that their locations be known. Not only unnecessary work, but damage, often severe, can be caused by improper handling of the running gear of a sailing ship. One should be able to lay one's hand immediately on the proper line, not only in daylight, but during pitch-dark, stormy nights as well. There were no floodlights or searchlights on the old Cape Horn windjammers. The braces from the lower yards and topsails were plain enough. The clew and buntlines were soon learned, but the halyards, braces and other lines that led to the fife-rails took a few weeks before I was familiar with their proper places. I was literally 'learning the ropes' of a sailing ship.

One bell struck. Time to call the watch below, set the breakfast table and fetch the food from the galley. After breakfast I washed the dishes and tidied up the room. My first lessons were over. (#080)

6. Further Training on deck

Standby weather was over this morning and the watches turned to for daily work. Our watch would have a six hour stretch beginning at noon so I crawled into my bunk for a couple of hours of shut-eye. I was awakened by a now familiar sound.

"Riza, riza, rise and shine! Come on you boys, roll out of your bunks! One bell has struck! Riza, riza!"

The weather was moderating and the life-line had been taken down as it was no longer necessary. For the first time we turned to without oilskins. The mate set our watch to work. Chipping hammers, wire brushes and scrapers were brought out and rust chipping along the ship's rail and below the pin-rail commenced. When an area was chipped free of rust and wire brushed a protective coating of red lead was applied. "When I regained the deck after overhauling some buntlines the mate called me.

"Carl, I have picked a special job for you. Come with me to the lamp locker. From now on you are 'Lamps'. It will be your job to keep all lamps and lights in working order. Keep this locker clean and shipshape. See that any spilled oil is wiped up and don't let oily rags accumulate and lay around. Unless there is emergency work on hand you will take care of the lamps daily after turning to on the fore or afternoon watch. Do the fo'c'stle and the second mate's first so you wont disturb them when they are trying to sleep."

His orders given, the mate left. I proceeded to explore the locker. A few tanks of kerosene, spare parts such as wicks, chimneys and burners were on hand, and overhead, hung some extra lamps. A little wooden tray contained a few spare wicks, trimming shears, some brass polish and cleaning rags. This was nothing new to me. During my younger years I had to (#081) do this at home before our electric lights were installed. Picking up the tray and a gallon can of kerosene, I headed for the fo'c'stle. Anderson was sitting on his bunk enjoying a smoke when I entered.

"So, they made you the lamp trimmer, eh, Carl," he greeted me.

"Yep, I'm the representative of the oil company," I answered.

"Don't be afraid to use a little elbow grease on the chimneys. Keep the lamps full and trim the wicks to give a decent light. Don't let them smoke and make a steamer out of this ship. Do your work right, or I'll write a letter to the main office and you won't be the representative any longer."

"O.K., Anderson. How does this suit you?", I asked, having trimmed the wick so it gave off a well-rounded flame.

"That's the shape! Keep them on an even keel so they don't pitch to starboard or port."

I made my round of the ship, including the compass lights. This took about an hour and a half. After stowing my gear away, I reported to the mate. "All finished with the lamps, Mr. Frerichs."

"Standby, I'm sending you aloft with an A.B. We're going to crack on more sail.

The mate was not slow teaching me the duties of an ordinary seaman.

He gave a long blast on his whistle. The hands laid down their tools and shuffled aft.

"Let go the mizzen gansail! We're setting both the gansail and royal," roared the mate. "Hein, take Carl aloft, show him how this work is done."

Jumping onto the ratlines, we climbed to the gansail yard. Making our way along the foot ropes, we unwound and threw off the gaskets, the canvas billowing and flapping from the yard. (#082)

"On deck! All clear the mizzen gansail!", bellowed Hein after we had made our way back to the mast.

The toys on deck jumped into action and soon had the sail pulled into place. The mate pain out a little slack on the lee brace while the hands hauled on the weather brace until the yard was swung to the desired position. The sail was set. All that remained was for Hein and me to overhaul the clew and buntlines and to make up the gaskets. From Hein I received my first lesson aloft of the procedure in setting a sail.

Hein then explained the setting of the royal to me. The royal yard must be hoisted higher by moans of it's halyard. This takes place after the sail had been freed of it's gaskets. The ratlines reached the yard only in it's lowered position. To gain the yard after it was hoisted, the sailor had to climb the short tye chain, or upper part of the halyard. This was about eight feet and from there he got on the foot ropes the best he could.

When finished with the gansail we glanced down to the deck for the next order. The mate was back, on the poop deck. The captain and we were conversing and craning their necks aloft. Finally the mate cupped his hands to his mouth and bellowed, "Up aloft! Carl, can you let go the royal?"

"Sure," I yelled down, nodding my head.

"All right, let go the mizzen royal!", the mate yelled back. "Remember Carl, before you sing out 'ail clear', make your way in by the mast. Never ride the yard up," was Hein's last minute advice before he began his way down.

As soon as I had thrown off the gaskets I regained the mast and sung out, "On deck! All clear, the mizzen royal!"

With groans and creaks and flopping sail the yard was hoisted and (#083) securely braced. Pulling and kicking my way up the tye chain, I grabbed the jackstay with one hand and set one foot on the foot rope. With an extra heave I was on the foot rope and grabbing the jackstay. Getting my breath for a moment I glanced down on deck. The picture, still, clear in my mind, was rather comical to me. I saw the mate and captain, their heads thrown back, staring aloft with their mouths wide open. I wondered if any thoughts of fits went through the captain's mind. When the ropes had been overhauled and the gaskets made up, I made my way to the deck. The clew and buntlines were lying on the deck below their pins where the crew had tossed them before hoisting the yard. Those aloft, who unfurled the sail, after regaining the deck, usually hung them on their proper pins. I proceeded to belay them all shipshape. When finished I again glanced up at the poop. There stood the mate, grinning and nodding his head up and down. I had just let go the first sail by myself and inwardly felt a bit cocky.

The mate came down on deck and said, "Carl, you did alright on the sail. Now come forward with me, there's a little farm work to do."

The mate called Moses, and of all things, gave us the contract to move the two pigs, Ivan and Oscar. We would be the ones chosen for that! Before the ship crossed the bar of the Columbia River, and because of the expected rough weather at sea, the pigs were temporarily housed in the starboard locker under the fo'c'stle head that gave access to the running light. In my duties as lamp trimmer they were constantly underfoot or brushing against my legs as I serviced the light. Besides, what a stink! Between the foremast and the forward end of the fo'c'stle stood a heavy-built wooden pen, the pig's fair weather home. The weather, having moderated, they were to be moved to their apartment on deck, Moses grabbed a pig by the bow while I carried the stern. Stumbling the short distance (#084) to the pen, we shoved them into their deck fo'c'stle. Then we had to scrub the locker. Tossing out wet, stinking straw, and scrubbing out the locker was as close to farming as one could get on a sailing ship. We scrubbed the locker twice and copiously rinsed it with buckets of sea water. After the door was left open a few days, only faint odors of Ivan and Oscar remained. The trimming of the light became more pleasant.

After our work with the pigs was finished the mate told Moses and me to get busy with the handle end of a chipping hammer and scraper. We joined Peedul pecking away at the small forward hatch.

"Look Moses, we got help from aft," cracked Peedul as I began pecking away at a patch of rust.

"He'll get his belly full of this eternal rust chipping. There's always other places to peck at. You're never finished," added Moses.

"Oh hell," I answered. "I'd sooner pound rust than scrub floors aft," We kept a chatter going as our hammers pecked away. Shortly before quitting time, Peedul put his tools on top of the hatch and motioned to me.

"Come Carl, there's another job the boys on the afternoon watch have to attend to. We take turns getting coal for the galley."

We shuffled to the galley and got two buckets. Forward, under the fo'c'stle head, we uncovered a small wooden hatch that led into the forepeak. Lowering the buckets on a line I was told to climb down a steel ladder to the deck below. My eyes soon became accustomed to the dim light coming from the open hatch. A bit aft was an athwartship wooden bulkhead about four feet high. Between this and the ship's bulkhead about eight feet farther aft was the bunker for the coal. I filled the buckets and Peedul hoisted them on deck. We then lugged the coal to the galley and (#085) poured it into a bin. We ended that watch by giving Moses a hand sweeping up the mess we made around the fore hatch and putting our tools away.

At five-thirty, the boys on the starboard watch would have their meal and we would eat after being relieved. Moses and Peedul were the waiters for the port watch. I being midships, had to serve both watches. The bosun, carpenter and myself were on the port watch, the sailmaker on the starboard. For over half the trip the sailmaker and carpenter worked a straight day shift, turning to for watches during standby weather only. When on watch, 'Sails' usually fetched his own food from the galley. By doing so, he made it easier for me and he was a fine person. When we had the afternoon watch, I had everything cleared away shipshape by seven o'clock and by seven-thirty we were in our bunks. That old 'Riza, riza' at a quarter before midnight would come soon enough.

Coming on deck at midnight we saw stars shining for the first time since being at sea. The solid overcast of the sky was breaking up. The barometer was rising steadily and we had every indication of fairer weather. There was little for our watch to do during the four hours we were on deck. We hauled the braces tight and that was about all. Moses and I had the lookout, and Peedul, having had more experience took his turn at the wheel. We would get our chance later when more favorable conditions prevailed.

At the start of the forenoon watch I made for the lamp locker to get my gear. The sky was almost clear of clouds, the wind and sea still moderating, The sun made its first appearance since we left port. The Cambuskenneth rolled along under all sail except for the main royal we had lost the third day at sea. Coming out of the lamp locker, I saw the mate (#086) and our watch ganged up near the main hatch. Wondering what was up, I sauntered down with my can and tray to do a little eavesdropping. They were making plans for shifting the fore royal yard to the mainmast. "By golly," I thought, "that will be something to see." I ducked into the fo'c'stle and put the lamps in shape. Next I fixed up the second mate's. To heck with the galley, the side lights and the others! I'd find time to do them between now and noon. Coming out of the cabin I was spied by the mate who motioned me to come to him. Setting my gear against the poop bulkhead I answered his call.

"Carl, so far you have only unfurled a sail. Now you'll get a taste of making a sail fast. You and Moses will make fast the mizzen royal.

The royals are usually a one-man job unless it's a bit of rough going. You'll soon have to make one fast by yourself. See that you roll the sail up tight and well on the top side of the yard. If you do a sloppy job, up you go again!" Then he bawled out, "Make fast the mizzen royal! Moses, you and Carl go aloft!"

"Make fast the mizzen royal," repeated Moses. As the sail was being clewed up we scampered up the ratlines.

"You take the lee side," said Moses. "Undo the gaskets and start grabbing canvas."

Since this was a small sail and not thrashing violently about we soon had her furled and secured by spiraling the gaskets around the sail and yard. Looking forward, I noticed the bosun and carpenter standing on the crosstrees of the foremast looking the situation over for lowering long coil of light line over his shoulders. After I regained the deck, I hurriedly went about my lamp-trimming duties. By the time I had completed (#087) them, the men aloft were unbending the fore royal sail from the yard. The big, single fore gansail had also been furled. They lowered the light line and pulled slings, blocks and a heavier line aloft. A line passing through a block hanging above the yard was made fast to the center of the sail. On deck, an A.B. gave the block line a few turns around a belaying pin. Light ropes were lashed around the sail making it a compact bundle of canvas as it hung on the block line. From aloft came the order, "Lower away the sail!"

Slacking off around the belaying pin the sail was lowered to the deck. We dragged it aft near the mainmast. Aloft, the rest of the gear was being stripped from the yard, and soon only the bare yard remained. Now came the heavy part of the work, lowering the yard. The heavy line by which it was to be lowered led to the deck and then through a snatch block to one of our deck capstans. Several turns of the line were made around the capstan, and to have the full weight of the yard, a good strain on the line was taken. The yard was then uncoupled from its yoke. With other blocks it was tipped gradually abaft the gansail yard and pointed deckwards. Slowly the yard was lowered by slacking off on the turns around the capstan. The men aloft kept it clear of the maze of rigging through which it passed. Landing it on deck, we pulled it to the mainmast on a few wooden rollers. Necessary lines were reeved and soon the yard was on its way up again. Round and round the capstan we tramped and slowly the yard reached the top. It was about noon and the end of our trick on deck. The starboard boys carried on the work and when their watch was over the Cambuskenneth replaced main royal yard and sail. For the rest of the trip the ship carried no fore royal sail. Both watches did their share in a job that called for some know-how. The yard had to be (#088) lowered and raised through about one-hundred and sixty foot maze of ship's rigging that could not be disturbed. To top it off, this was done on a rolling, pitching ship at sea during a good breeze.

For teaching us sailor work we had a system aboard whereby each ordinary seaman was teamed up with an A.B. While sitting midships, 'Chips' asked me whom I intended to have for my working partner.

"I've been thinking of asking Erich Löffler, for Moses has Hein and Peedul goes with Bismarck."

"Erich would be a good man for you. Why don't you go and ask him?"

I went to the fo'c'stle to ask Erich to come to midships with me. Erich sat down and asked what was on my mind.

"Erich, 'Chips' and I have been discussing an A.B. for me to team up with. I'd like to team up with you," I told him.

"Sure Carl, that's all right with me. We all had to learn."

I thanked him, and our talk drifted to card playing. They said they played a German game called Skat. I surprised them by saying that I knew how to play the game so Skat became a frequent pastime for us three during the rest of the trip.

The day after the royal yard was transferred, another flying jib replaced the one lost in the gale. As the weather moderated the ship sailed southward at a steady clip. Outside of the deck work going on, occasional bracing of the yards and constant lookout for tight buntlines or loose gaskets was all the attention necessary. Our lone main topmast staysail and the three-cornered spanker, also known as a 'leg o' mutton sail', were seldom set on the Cambuskenneth. Anderson and a few others grumbled about not setting these sails also.

"Why don't they bend on a full set of staysails. Cripes, she's only (#089) half rigged. Why don't they set the works and sail her like she should be sailed? This ship can do better, what are they afraid of?" They knew the rigging was in bad shape but they had to grumble.

These were old-time windjammer sailor-men. They didn't grumble about the extra work involved by sailing the ship harder or if more sails were lost. They weren't paying for them. But sails cost money and that was the captain's lookout. Besides, the owners, during the declining years of sailing ships were a penny-pinching crowd. They rarely spent any more money than was necessary to keep them afloat. The opinion of the crew was that Captain Sole was too over cautious. The mate did not share the captain's cautiousness for several times during the trip when we were bowling along at a good clip some of the A.B.s said the captain issued orders to take in sail. I didn't know who was right, I was just a first-tripper and kept my mouth shut.

Six o'clock in the morning the watch turned to for scrubbing the deck. We young fellows got out flat, scrub brush type brooms. The A.B.s grabbed rope-handled wooden buckets. On the port side, forward on deck by the break of the fo'c'stle head, was a small hand-operated pump which pumped sea water into a large cask alongside. From this cask, a pipe having valves at intervals along the way, led aft below the pin-rail. At about the fourth or fifth stroke the pump went out of commissions. It must have frozen and cracked while the ship lay at Portland for a piece of the cast iron cylinder fell on deck. This stopped proceedings only momentarily. Two A.B.s, standing on the pin-rail heaved canvas buckets into the sea. Pulling them up with ropes they transferred the water into the wooden buckets. Slosh, went a bucket of water on the deck. Scrub, scrub went our brooms, fore and aft and athwartship. More water rinsed the area already scrubbed. Erich kept, me busy with my broom, and as usual getting fun out of anything he did, (#090) threw some buckets of water at my knees. After the deck was scrubbed, 'Chips' called me.

"Come Carl, let's see what can be done about the pump. Maybe we can get the old girl working again."

Having been a plumber's apprentice before going to sea I was a bit handy with tools. Chips got a piece of sheet metal, put the broken piece of cylinder wall in place, and after applying a thick layer of red lead putty, covered the area with the piece of tin. We lashed the patch to the pump with turns of wire. Looking the job over I held little hope it would be a success and mentioned it might be better if we made a wooden cylinder from a piece of the broken royal yard. Anderson, standing nearby smoking his pipe, watched proceedings. Ready for a trial run we started the pump. Water came out the discharge momentarily but then the broken piece of cylinder got foul of the piston and we couldn't pump at all. Chips looked sheepishly at our job and stole a sly look at Anderson.

"I guess our idea didn't work. We'll have to think of some other scheme. Gather up the gear, let's call It a day," said Chips.

I saw Anderson with a big smirking grin on his face turn and make for the fo'c'stle. The next day, on my watch below, Anderson spied me. The fact that it was Sunday when neither of us had to work didn't matter for a principal was involved. Anderson, I believe, wanted to show the carpenter up for a bit of rivalry existed between them. Anderson's idea was different. We built a wooden box around the pump, then wired a sheet metal patch over the hole in the cylinder. Mixing up a batch of Cement we encased the pump in concrete.

"After the cement sets we'll try her out," said Anderson. When Chips saw the job he shook his head and laughed. Three days later we (#091) gave the pump a trial. The cement didn't seal to the casting and we had water squirting out in all directions. It was now Anderson's turn to look sheepish.

"Well, Anderson," I remarked. "It's at least a monument now to our efforts. Looks like from now on we'll have to hand line all our sea water.

"Yes, I guess we will but it wouldn't be the first time. I never liked pumps anyway," answered Anderson as he walked away. (#092)

7. A few incidents occur

The following day as Moses and I were chipping rust along the bulwark aft, I glanced up and saw Jimmy emerging from the cabin door. In an outstretched hand he held one of the little kittens by its throat. He was making for the rail.

"Moses, look at Jimmy! He's choking one of the kittens!", I yelled.

We made for him at once as I barked, "Put that kitten down you louse!" He stopped dead in his tracks, staring wild-eyed at our approach. He dropped the kitten, spun around and made for the cabin door. He never reached it. We slammed him against the poop bulkhead. One glance at the kitten was enough, it was dead. I smashed my fist into his face. Moses poked him one too. After a few more slaps, we opened the cabin door and kicked him sprawling into the passageway. We carried the dead kitten to the rail and dropped it overboard, watching for a few seconds as it drifted, sinking astern. Jimmy received a beautiful shiner for the trick he pulled. The mate got wind of it, and later told us that at supper time, the captain seeing Jimmy's condition, asked what happened. Jimmy wouldn't answer.

"I'll tell you what happened," spoke the mate. "Jimmy killed one of the kittens. Them two scalawags of mine, caught him at it and gave him a working over."

"That's the lay of it, eh. Too bad they didn't polish his other eye."

The end of the other kitten also was pathetic. One day I saw it poking its head out a deck scupper hole, no doubt fascinated by the action of the sea rushing by below. As I made my way over to get the kitten, the ship took a roll to that side, and the inquisitive little animal slid through the hole. (#093)

So, some of the animal passengers did not travel far with the ship. The two white rats disappeared early. All we had left was the dog Judy, the two pigs and the chickens and pigeons. The pigs, about three months old when brought aboard, were growing big and fat. Cleaning their deck pen was easy for there was no mud to wallow in. A long hoe, a long-handled flat broom and copious dousing of the pen and including the squealing pigs did the job. For their food we had some bran and a whole cargo of wheat. We soaked the bran and wheat in a small keg of fresh water and threw in whatever left-over soup was at hand. Besides, there was the refuse from the galley and our meals. Good care was taken of those pigs for we all looked forward to a few meals of fresh pork during the trip.

The chicken and pigeon apartment was built onto the bottom side of the small bridge on which the standard compass was mounted. The coops were about thirty inches high and had open slat sides. Access was gained by a small door. Probably possessing, among the crew, the best qualifications of being farmers, Moses and I got all the farm work there was to do. Each Saturday morning one of us crawled inside the coops with a three-cornered scraper. The other stood guard at the door to prevent the inmates from escaping. Cleaning the chicken coop was a job we looked forward to, especially when we had the four to eight morning watch. We learned that if we wanted any reward for the job we would have to beat the cock to the nests, so we went at it shortly after coming on watch. There were never any eggs for Adolph If we got there ahead of him, yet he always came to find out.

"Any eggs this morning?", he would ask. Our answer was always the same. "Nope, Adolph, no eggs today. Saturday must be their day off laying."

"I think you fellows are holding out on the eggs. I always find (#094) some during the week."

"O.K. Come and look for yourself."

It would have done him no good. Moses or I, taking turns at the scraping job, made for the nests before our scrapers touched the deck. We divided whatever booty was found and hid them away in a secure place at once. During the entire five months this amounted to about two dozen eggs each. One time we hit a jackpot of eight eggs. To prepare the eggs we sneaked into the galley while Adolph was having his between meal breather, or mostly at night. We fried them on a paint can lid or boiled them. While one acted as chef, the other kept watch so Adolph wouldn't catch us. We didn't worry about anyone squealing on us. Such things were not done by the forward hands of a windjammer.

Sundays we had a dish called plum duff, a sort of bread pudding to which a conglomeration of stewed, dried fruit was added. Adolph made a wine sauce for topping. The wine was kept in the captain's cabin in large, oval-shaped, wicker-bound demijohns of about ten gallon capacity. Adolph would get a catsup bottle and a tin funnel, and always asked me to go aft with him to get the wine for the sauce. I developed a technique for snitching a drink of wine with the cook's unwilling assistance. On my Knees I put the funnel in the bottle and held it on deck while Adolph juggled the heavy demijohn. He couldn't see the wine entering the bottle. When the bottle was about three-quarters full I'd tell him to tip the demijohn a little higher. When the bottle was full I'd let the wine run up into the funnel and then I yelled, "Whoa!" Before Adolph could straighten upright I'd slap my hand under the funnel spout and the wine disappeared down my throat. Adolph never raised much hell about it and I guess he got (#095) his share too.

Washing clothes was a job I cared little about and an incident occurred much to my sorrow. On a midnight watch I would sometimes send my clothes to Neptune's laundry. One night I tied a couple of dungarees on the tail end of a buntline and threw them over the side. Trailing aft against the ship, the clothes got reasonably clean, even though they would get holes or thin spots from chafing against the ship's side. I cared little about that; it was better than washing them by hand. On one occasion, I forgot to pull them in at the end of the watch. The next morning the mate spied the clothes on the trailing buntline. Hearing his whistle, I would be the one who went aft to see what was wanted! Motioning me over to the rail, the mate pointed to the floating bundle.

"Carl, who's wash is that! Does it happen to be yours?"

Their was no use to lie. "Yes sir, Mr. Frerichs, they are mine," I answered sheepishly.

"The rigging belongs to the ship! Haul them in and report back to me. I'll give you a course in clothes washing," said the mate.

I knew I was in for something. When I came back aft the mate was standing near the cabin door. At his feet lay a bundle of clothes and a cake of soap! They were his clothes!

"Here's your first lesson," grinned the mate. "You young fellows should be taught to do things in proper manner. Fetch some water and get busy! The course will be four lessons, one each week. You will wash your own clothes as well as mine. They better be clean or the course will be extended!"

Cripes! Every Saturday, for an entire month, I had to sit aft and (#096) wash clothes under the eye of the mate, beside taking a razzing forward. "How much you getting for washing the mate's clothes," asked Erich as he passed by on his way to the wheel. My clothes never went over the side again.

Before reporting to the mate for my laundry lessons, I ducked into midships and hung my little blue coat on the wall near the door. Later, while munching away at our noon meal, I glanced over at the wall where I had hung my coat. My mouth fell open. I came to a jerk as I stared wide-eyed at an empty space!

"What's wrong, Carl. What are you dreaming about?", asked Chips. "My coat's gone! That lousy Jimmy, I bet, stole my coat!"

I hurried through the dishes, made up the bunks and swept our room. Then madder than a hornet, I went on deck to get hold of that Jimmy. Spying him coming out of the cabin, I ran aft.

"Hey, you Jimmy, just a minute! I want to talk to you, you lousy thief! You dirty bum, you stole my coat!", I yelled.

"Yere coat? Hy 'avent got yere coat. Hy wouldn't steal hit."

"Oh, no! You sure wanted it when we were swapping gear. You better bring it back if you know what's good for you!"

Hy can't, Carl. Hy tell ye hy 'avent got hit."

"You lie, you sneaking thief! If I ever get proof that you stole it, I'll knock the tar out of you! Never let me catch you in the midships quarters. Don't even stick your lousy head in the door!"

The second mate overheard our argument, so I approached him. "Mr. Haugaard, Jimmy is lying about not stealing my coat. If you ever see him with it, will you tip me off?"

"All right Carl. I'll keep my eyes open and let you know." (#097)

I thanked him and returned to my room. "What luck, Carl? Did you get your coat back?", asked Chips.

"So, but Jimmy is guilty all right. He was awful anxious to have that coat."

"There isn't any doubt about it. Just keep watch, the coat will show up one of these days."

Our steady wind did not hold for long. The sky became overcast, the sea and wind increased, and the barometer was dropping. We had barely been on deck during the forenoon watch before we heard the mate's whistle.

"Make fast the main royal!", roared the mate.

We jumped to the work, well aware that, we were going to shorten down more than the royal. By the time Moses and I reached the yard, the sail was clewed up. Others were aloft furling the fore gansail. The wind was whistling through the rigging and the ship was doing some fancy rolling.

I grabbed the flapping canvas and hugged it to the yard. I rolled it up tight to the top side and marled the gaskets around the sail. When we were again on deck we saw the mate staring up at the main royal. Something was up! Looking aloft, I saw at once what made the mate stare. On the lee side the sail was loosely rolled and hanging down on the forward side of the yard. The good Lord must have been with me, for on my side, the sail was properly furled.

"All right! Which one was the farmer on the lee side! Come on, speak up, don't stand there gawking!", said the mate.

Moses admitted sheepishly that he was on that side.

"Up you go! So the job as it is supposed to be done and don't come down until you do!

Moses gave me a dirty look as he made for the shrouds. I felt a (#098) little bad about it, yet it was his affair. Shortly after regaining the deck, Moses cornered me on the lee side of the fo'c'stle,

"What were you trying to do? Show me up?", he began.

Then I got mad. "What do you mean, show you up? You do your work and I'll do mine!", I answered him.

"Oh, yeah! You just tried to show me up in front of the mate!" Moses knew better. Had I seen his job when aloft, I would have given him a hand. He was carrying a chip on his shoulder. One word led to another and he took a swing at me. I swung back and the fight was on!

We were evenly matched and it was a good fight while it lasted. The older sailors did not interfere. It provided a bit of excitement, and so long we used only fists, it was all right with them. I got in a good one and Moses' left eye began to swell like an onion. He finally quit, saying it was enough, but I didn't get off scot-free either. For the rest of that watch we kept well away from each other.

After finishing breakfast dishes the next morning, I sat midships killing a little time when who should come to the door but Moses. "Good Lord," I thought. "What now?"

Looking at me out of his one good eye, Moses began, "Say Carl, I want to ask you something. Bismarck and I got into a row in the fo'c'stle. I want you to help me fight him. He's too strong for me but I think the two of us can handle him."

"What a world!" The very next day after fighting me, Moses was asking me to help him fight someone else. The idea did not set well with me, "No, Moses, I don't want any part of it. I have no differences with Bismarck, nor do I want any. Besides, he might be able to take care of us both." I argued Moses into forgetting his trouble with Bismarck. (#099)

The next day, Saturday, there was the chicken house to clean. Still a bit mad at Moses, I got a scraper and ambled aft, determined to do the job myself. I hoisted myself inside the coop, and with my feet sticking out the small door opening, I was spied by the mate. He came to me and asked, "Where's Moses?" He knew about our fight.

"Oh, I'll manage it myself, Mr. Frerichs. I'd rather do it without Moses. I'll see that no chickens get away."

The chickens, all over in a corner, were quiet and contented as I began scraping. After a few minutes one of the buzzards began cackling. Before I knew it they were all jumping and flying around and cackling like all get out. There ware chickens on my back and neck and everywhere except in the corner where they had so quietly stood a few moments before. I did not have time to block the opening before several of them signed on deck. Some flew up on the fife-rail around the mizzenmast, and the mate flew at me! He got there just as three chickens set a course for the mizzen shrouds. They were sailing by the wind and over the side they went.

I managed to salvage the others by chasing them into corners, and after putting them back in their dry dock, I stood sheepishly before the mate.

I could see some of the crew up forward laughing their heads off, but I knew it wasn't going to be a laughing matter with the mate. Boy, did I get a bawling out! The mate ended up with, "Two weeks straight lookout for you with no relief!" Worse luck, I found no eggs.

Beating our way southward we hoped to pick up the northeast trade wind on our port quarter so as to steer a steady course for the long run to the equator. Fish life and sea birds were more abundant. We encountered schools of porpoise and flying fish. Both night and day the latter (#100) frequently sailed over the ship's low rail and landed on deck. These were never thrown back into the sea. We gathered all that came aboard and took them to the cook. When enough were gathered, we had a mess of fried flying fish on the table. Yes, I would be the one delegated to help the cook clean them. I picked out two nice specimens for myself, I stuffed them with fine sawdust and sewed them up. Spreading the wings I pinned the fish to a small board and set them in the sun to dry. I finally gave them several coats of shellac and kept them as a curio.

The porpoise swam in graceful, arching leaps out of the sea. They were fast swimmers and leapt in parallel rows in a precision-like manner. "They are called 'pig of the sea', even taste a bit like meat. I wish we could snare a couple as fresh food for a change," said old Ernie as he, the bosun and I stood on the fo'c'stle head watching rows of porpoise leaping close across the bow of the ship. How could we catch them for there was no suitable fishing gear aboard the ship. The bosun had an idea,

"Come Carl, I'll saw off a piece of jackstay from the broken royal yard and we'll make a harpoon. Get a fire going in the forge and we'll do a little blacksmithing.

Our shop was soon open for business. Yes sir, the old windjammer sailors could find a way to do anything when necessity arose. We bent the iron to a hairpin shape which made a two-pronged harpoon with prongs about eight inches apart. We flattened out the ends to form the barbs and filed them to a knife-sharp keenness. A broom handle was fastened on for a handle and our harpoon was finished. A long heaving line was tied to the iron, then brought up along the handle and given a couple of hitches at the top end.

Then the bosun had another idea. He sewed a stiff wire hoop to the (#101) open end of a big sack and sewed on another hoop halfway down. He bridled a three-quarter inch line to the top hoop and threw in a couple of shackles for weight.

"What's this for, John?", I asked suspiciously.

"That's your fishing gear, Carl."

"What am I supposed to do with the sack," I asked.

"If I spear a fish, I'll let him run until he's tired out. Then you lower the sack and get Mr. Porpoise in the bag so we can raise him aboard.

A six-foot plank was hung below the bowsprit and lashed to keep it from swaying. Tying a life-line around our chests, we slid down to the plank. Old Ernie made the life-lines fast and passed down the harpoon and sack. The line to the harpoon was coiled in free-running loops on the fo'c'stle head. So John and I sat on our perch below the bowsprit hoping to catch some fresh food for the crew. How I was going to get a four foot porpoise in that sack worried me and I hoped we would snag only a little one. John sat with his harpoon raised ready to strike. A row of five porpoise came leaping across the bow. Down flashed the harpoon but it missed all fish. Though we were but a few feet above the sea, we found it difficult to make a strike. We couldn't see them soon enough and our seat was not steady by any means. We pitched and swayed in all directions. After about two hours we called it quits. The next day we sat on the plank again trying to harpoon a porpoise. We came close a few times but that was all. The fish were about by the hundreds, but the crew never got any 'pig of the sea' during the entire voyage. I guess we were a couple of poor fishermen, but the sport provided a little diversion to while away the time. (#102)

8. Trade winds to the equator

Near the end of February the horse latitudes were behind us. This was an area of usually light, variable winds. Once through the horse latitudes, the trade-winds would catch hold of the canvas and drive the ship merrily along almost to the equator. We caught them lightly at first, but after the second day, we rolled along under a steady breeze with all sails billowing gracefully. We steered course almost to the 'Line', as the equator is called among seafarers. The sails required only minor attention as the trade-wind drove our ship ever southward, logging around one hundred and seventy miles a day. Daily, the weather became warmer. Running around in daytime in shoes and dungarees we acquired a healthy coat of tan. If the deck was not too hot we did without shoes. Little more clothing was needed during night watches. We appreciated the good days and nights for we knew we would encounter cold, miserable weather in the vicinity of Cape Horn.

Much work went on aboard the ship. The greater part of the work consisted of the old job of chipping rust and painting, an almost endless procedure aboard a sailing ship. The areas to be painted were first washed with caustic soda and water, the old 'soogee moogee'. We 'soogee moogeed' until our finger nails turned brown from the strong solution. The skin on our fingertips became tissue paper thin, tender and raw. Our hands were a mess of stinging sores. With such hands we pulled on the ropes of the rigging, and climbed aloft to fight the flapping canvas of the sails.

The deckhouse was our number one painting chore. After washing it down, the bosun mixed a batch of white paint and we were turned loose. After a half hour of painting, I had paint all over the brush handle, my (#103) hands and splashes on the deck. Watching my clumsiness for a few moments, the mate had enough.

"Carl, you're altogether too sloppy. You got more paint on deck and on yourself than you have on the wall. We've only so much white paint. Clean your brush and the mess you've made. I'll give you some painting that's more your style."

In the paint locker he gave me a bucket of black paint and a strip of old canvas about eight feet long.

"Here, you can go to work on the hatches. Lay the canvas on deck first!" So, I was made the black painter of the crew.

The Cambuskenneth began looking dressed up as the painting progressed. She was a homeward bound ship, and on such a trip, the sailing ships usually got a good going over. Outward bound they didn't receive so much attention. After the ship rounded the Horn, the dressing up would be completed.

Another project was soon started while on the Pacific side of the Horn. Under the main deck at the bow of the ship were two deep lockers called chain lockers where the anchor chains were stowed. At the start of the voyage the anchor chains were brought inboard through the hawse pipes and stoppered off at the windlass. The chains were now to be brought on deck so we could chip the rust and paint the chains and lockers. It was a slow and monotonous job. In went the capstan bars and around and around we tramped as we hoisted the chains out of the deep lockers, the two, six hundred and thirty foot chains were laid in long bights along both the port and starboard sides of the deck, covering most of the available area. When the chains were out, Moses and I were given chipping hammers and wire rushes. We were then ordered down into the deep lockers. We certainly (#104) got the dirty end of the project. By dim lantern light we began pecking away at a sea of heavy rust. We worked a week before the lockers were ready for paint and were then handed a couple of buckets of smelly black stuff and old, wide brushes.

"Here it is, boys. Paint everything and don't leave any holidays", were the orders given.

"Good grief, Moses. What's this stinking stuff?", I asked.

"That's coal tar, Carl. Don't worry now, the worst is yet to come." Coal tar has a very strong, acrid, gassy smell. It is used generally as protective coating on bottom work of a ship such as chain lockers, below decks and bilges. The chain lockers were about fifteen feet deep, ten feet long and five feet wide, situated low in the bow of the ship where the rolling and the pitching of the vessel was most pronounced. The only entrance was through a small, oval manhole under the fo'c'stle head. I didn't think anything could be worse than spreading that stuff in the hole we were in. When restowing the chain began, the windlass slowly lowered the chain and the end link was shackled to a heavy pad-eye on the bottom of the locker. We had to keep our brushes jumping, painting link after link as the chain kept coming down. We also had to lay the chain in straight, parallel bights the length of the locker, and the lowering didn't wait! When the bottom of the locker was covered, another layer was started, each layer bringing us approximately six inches closer to the top. The chain was heavy as we tugged at it with iron hooks to lay out the bights. It had to be properly stowed so it could run out freely when the anchor was dropped. Standing on a layer of slippery, fresh-painted chain, laying the bights side by side, as the ship pitched and rolled, was a terrible job. Our eyes smarted, our hands were covered with smelly coal tar, and more (#105) than once we landed on the seat of our pants. We were a mess! When you're chipping rust or daubing on coal tar, especially in a place like the chain locker of a sailing ship while at sea, no safety engineers are on hand. Goggles? The nearest pair perhaps a thousand miles away. Now I found out what Moses meant when he said the worst was yet to come. The old shoes and rags I wore for clothes while in the chain locker I sent to Neptune's laundry, but not at the end of a buntline! They went overboard forever! This was one job I was most happy to see finished. No A.B. of the port watch ever came down to lend a hand. Moses and I were the chief contractors of that job.

Soon after we met up with the trade-wind, and until well south of the 'line', very few of the crew slept in the fo'c'stle. Mattresses were brought on deck, and new lodgings were found on top of the deckhouse, the main hatch and about the fo'c'stle head. One spot that failed to have a new lodger was the top of the pig pen. Sleeping on deck was wonderful, though in the doldrums around the equator we grabbed our bedding and made for shelter when the pesky rain squalls came along. In this area of steady wind the mate called for me after I had completed a lamp trimming tour. I reported to him on the poop.

"Carl, it's time you took a turn at the wheel. So report to Erich for your lessons. Come to the wheel with him until I decide when to trust you alone."

"Yes sir, Mr. Frerichs, take the wheel," I answered. This was a job I was looking forward to. Though never having steered a ship, I knew the compass boon forward and backward. Erich, leaning lazily against the wheel, grinned and asked me what I wanted as I approached.

"You know well enough why I'm here, Erich. You and the mate ganged (#106) up on me."

"Well, if you want to become a sailor you've got to be able to handle the wheel. Besides, I felt lonesome. What course are we steering?"

"South, southeast," I answered looking at the compass.

"That's right. Take the other side to get the feel of how much I move the wheel. This is easy going, she almost steers herself. If she falls off course I give her a couple of spokes. If you give her too much wheel, you'll have her going from one side to the other, so easy does it. When she begins to swing back to course, ease the wheel back again,"

I took the wheel on the opposite side and for half an hour I followed Erich's actions.

"O.K., Carl, take over. I'll keep an eye on what you do."

I changed places and steered the ship while Erich stood alongside. From time to time he gave me other pointers about handling the wheel. The note came aft, glanced at the compass, and made no comment as he walked away. From my position I could see the clock in the chart house. Four o'clock came, our trick at the wheel was over. Erich nodded at the small bell on the wheel box. I rang eight bells. Ding, ding; ding, ding: ding, ding: ding, ding. Soon Bismarck approached me.

"So! We got a new helmsman," grinned Bismarck.

"South, southeast, Bismarck," I grinned back giving him the course. "South, southeast, she is," he answered, taking the wheel over.

My first experience at the wheel of a windjammer was ended. I was to have my next lesson on the midnight watch.

The next forenoon a small shore bird, similar to a swallow, landed on the main hatch strongbacks. We were hundreds of miles from any land. It was a very tired little bird and we set out a pan of water and a (#107) variety of food. After resting about an hour, and partaking of the free lunch, it took off for parts unknown.

As we neared the tropics I became a customer for a haircut. Anderson, who had a clipper and shears, turned out to be the ship's barber. As I sat on a deck bitt he began to clip away. I had a scaly condition to my scalp and Anderson said he knew how to get rid of it. Thinking that he had a Finnish remedy that would work I told him to go ahead. He clipped my hair very short. Boy, was I a sight! My head resembled a billiard ball, when Anderson got through with it. He told me to wash it twice a day with hot water and kerosene.

"That will do the trick," he told me. We'll have hot weather for several weeks and your hair will grow out again," I followed his directions faithfully but his cure did not help.

While most of the crew were sleeping on deck, the fo'c'stle, midships and galley were given a 'soogee moogee' and painting treatment. The carpenter and sailmaker being busy with other jobs, John and I were the interior decorators of midships. Sure, I did the 'soogee moogee' of the paintwork and scrubbed the table, benches and floor with sand and water. John gave our quarters a coat of white paint. The entire living quarters of the ship, including the cabin aft, got a spring house cleaning which she greatly needed.

The sailmaker was having quite a contract, checking and repairing an entire set of sails for the ship. These were our storm sails, which would replace those now carried, when we prepared for the heavy weather anticipated in rounding Cape Horn. Then were of heavier They were of heavier and stronger canvas. They required several hands to drag them out of the sail locker aft and lay them on deck where 'Sails' went over each one thoroughly. The sails were (#108) made of many panels of canvas, all hand-sewn together, with reinforcing pieces and ropes where needed. The sewing was done with a palm, a needle and sail twine. The palm was a leather strap having a hole through which the thumb was inserted. The rest of the narrow strap passed around the lower part of the hand. On the palm part a raised steel button was inserted. This button had indentations similar to a waffle iron by which the large sail needle, with its beeswaxed twine, was pushed through the heavy canvas. It was a tedious, monotonous job. After a sail was checked it was folded in a tight bundle, dragged aft into the sail locker, and out came another sail. Sometimes, during my watch below, the sailmaker let me do a little sewing, but he was extremely touchy about how the work was done. Bit by bit, the young windjammer sailor was taught by the older men, gaining from their experience the tricks of seamanship that would eventually qualify him as an A.B.

I respected the sailmaker greatly. He spent considerable of his spare time pacing the deck, and many times I joined him. As we walked together he would teach me Norwegian. Because of my knowledge of English and German, 1 did not find ordinary conversational Norwegian difficult to learn. By the end of the trip I handled it in fair shape, especially when speaking about the food and the ship. But now, "jeg har verglempt all".

While rolling along before the trade-winds, let me describe the food on the Cambuskenneth, a very good feeding ship. Each day a certain type of food was allotted, so we usually knew what the menu would be, and Adolph didn't have to worry about what to cook. We got no ham and eggs for breakfast. Instead, the rolled oats variety of mush was served, plenty thick and gooey so it would fill a man up and stick to his ribs. We called it 'burgoo'. A bit of the extra-thick Bulgarian milk, mixed with two parts (#109) of water, was poured over the 'burgoo'. Sometimes, Adolph substituted a batch of hotcakes. We decorated these with margarine and a dash of sugar or with orange marmalade. I soon got tired of the ever present marmalade, but at first I thought it was very tasty. Coffee was served at six o'clock in the morning, three o'clock in the afternoon and for breakfast and lunch. At the evening meal we had tea. Having no liking for Adolph's brand of coffee, I would round up all the left-over tea I could get. I poured this into a large mug and saved it for the next day to drink cold with my meals. Sometimes I would break a couple of sea biscuits, also known as hardtack, in my mug of tea and let. it soak overnight. I sprinkled it with sugar and added it to my breakfast lunch or coffee break the next day. Noon was our main meal. Supper usually included left-overs from noon plus some kind of soup. Once a week we got a side dish of stewed fruit such as apples, apricots or prunes.

Soups included the old sailing ship standby, artersuppe (pea soup) or rice, vegetable, potato and søt suppe (sweet soup), the last of which was my favorite. This was a conglomeration of raisins and other dried fruit and had a rich sweet taste. It tasted good and I'd always coax adolph to put an extra dipper full in our pot. If there was any left over it never got back to the galley. From our midships, the pigs could have only the pea and potato soup that was left over.

Sundays we had a pan of canned beef or mutton with potatoes and perhaps carrots floating around called 'pig a pana'. We also had plum duff, another favorite dish of nine, with it's wine sauce topping which gave me my opportunity to get that free drink when I helped Adolph fill the catsup bottle from the captain's big demijohns.

Mondays we were served fiske baller, small patties of finely ground fish with a thin sauce and a side dish of boiled potatoes. None of the (#110) fiske baller ever got back to the galley either. They also tasted good and one didn't have to pick out any bones.

Tuesday was lobscouse day. This was good also. It was a hot juicy hash probably made from the left-overs of previous meals.

Wednesday there was a pan of macaroni with a microscopic trace of Priost cheese. I ate all of this that I could lay my hands on.

Thursday brought a dish of kjød baller or meat balls.

Friday was a day for the Scandinavian standby, lutefisk, swimming in a thin gravy. Preparing the lutefisk, or dried cod fish, was some ritual. Adolph generally asked me to give him a hand. Scandinavians may not approve of the method used on the Cambuskenneth. On Thursday Adolph brought about six dried, hard as rock, lutefisk from the lazaret. I got a light sledgehammer and we made for a deck bitt. Adolph would lay one end of a lutefisk on the iron bitt. I would start hitting the fish with the sledge, pounding it from one end to the other. That was the first softening process. Then he soaked them in lye water overnight, and the next morning after thorough rinsing they were ready to cook. Perhaps that was a fast method and good enough for a sailing ship crew. But Adolph was a Swede and I just followed orders. Cold pieces of lutefisk left over made many tasty sandwiches for me.

Saturdays we had rice and curry, and much better curry after Adolph had received proper instructions from Anderson.

Vegetables consisted of potatoes, parsnips, carrots, turnips and beets. Along with bread, hardtack and knäckerbrod, this was the approximate bill of fare for the forward hands of the Cambuskenneth. As we neared the tropics another old standby of sailing ships was broken out. This was the issuing of lime juice. It was used as a counteracting agent against (#111) scurvy and the heat of the tropics. Some of the hands had no liking for it. Yet I did. To me it tasted like soda pop and I would soak some hardtack in lime juice, sprinkle it with sugar, and eat it the next day as a special dish.

By now the captain had made a few sales from his slop chest. Pipes, knives, socks, sweaters and tobacco were his best selling items. Anderson, Dewey and Wilson, because of better skill at cards, cornered the tobacco assets of several of the crew. The losers bought tobacco from the slop chest, mostly all on credit. Others used substitutes such as dried tea leaves or coffee grounds. I didn't smoke, and I never bought one item from the slop chest during our entire trip. Chips, Erich and I played our game of Skat for pastime only.

As the ship neared the equator, each day became hotter. The pitch between the deck planks bubbled up in streaks and patches. The deck at times was too hot to walk on with bare feet. During this hot weather another job was found for us to do. Two or three A.B's on the pin-rail, hauled up gallons and gallons of sea water with the canvas bags. Filling our wooden buckets, we gave the main deck and hatch covers a thorough dousing to cool them off. Two or three times daily we had to wet down the deck. I also had my bald head to worry about. For protection I used the old custom of tying a knot in the corner of a handkerchief and slapped it on my head. That head of mine caused many grins and wise-cracks from my shipmates.

Our wish for rain was granted before long. And, how it rained. We were entering the doldrums or calm belt. They are not altogether an area of calms and no wind as is generally supposed. True, a ship may lay becalmed at times and not be going anywhere. I saw the mate throw pieces of paper into the sea to see what progress the ship was making and, the paper (#112) floated forward toward the bow. We were actually going backwards. Yet in the doldrums, wind squalls often occurred. But they came up fast from all directions and were usually accompanied by heavy rain, but as a rule, of short duration. When the squalls approached we were busy at the braces. We would go, or put the ship about, six or more times a day. The maneuvers got monotonous, yet taking advantage of any wind, was the only way we could fight our way through this area. For an hour we might be on a starboard tack, then go about and be under a port tack. However, we were fortunate in spending only about five days in the doldrums of the Pacific.

In the doldrums, since we worked the braces so often, we no longer left the ropes hanging on the belaying pins, for every time the braces were worked, these large coils would have to be thrown off their pins and then later rehung. As no seas were boarding, the ropes were laid out on deck near the hatch combings. They lay in fancy shapes such as over-lapping coils, spirals and in figure eights. This arrangement left only a few turns and hitches necessary around the pins, making frequent bracing less bothersome.

We sure enjoyed the rain squalls! The rain was heavy and warm, and we never gave a thought to wearing our oilskins. When it rained we often stripped naked, grabbed a cake of soap and went out on deck to enjoy a shower bath sent from heaven. Judy, the dog, also got washed down. The rain would end as suddenly as it began and, between squalls came the calms and blistering heat. When the rain occurred we also got out of the job of wetting down the deck. The downpours were also a welcome source of fresh water for the ship. A large piece of canvas was stretched between the main-mast and the roof of the deckhouse. This was our rain sail. Attached to a hole cut at the low point was a round canvas trunk that led to our main water tank filling line. Other receptacles for collecting the rain were (#113) scattered about the deck.

While in the doldrums we observed an interesting spectacle. Off to starboard a rain squall was making up. As we stood gazing, we noticed a group of waterspouts forming. Several funnel-shaped columns of water appeared to be rising from the sea. Taller and taller they grew to a tapering point, with similar shapes of water or mist, dropping from the clouds until they appeared to meet the ones from below. They were not straight up and down but were leaning in long, graceful bends. We watched them for several minutes as they traveled along until they disappeared away from our ship.

Another sight that met my eyes in this unpredictable area of the sea was a fantastic affair. There are mysteries of the ocean still unknown, and to many old deepwater sailors, there is nothing fantastic to what I observed. A few hundred yards off our starboard side a queer looking object broke the surface of the sea. It appeared to be about forty feet long with a round body about three feet in diameter. It's heal resembled that of a camel as it moved in undulating motions with loops of it's body above the sea. I stared at it spellbound! For a moment I thought of porpoise, but porpoise swam swiftly, usually in parallel rows. The body of this beast moved slowly along in a straight line. It was not porpoise, it was one single creature! During the many intervening years I frequently think back to this episode. Could it have been a giant squid? However, even today, one reads about observations of queer-looking denizens of the deep and, as long as I live, I shall contend that I saw a sea serpent. Lime juice alone does not intoxicate one.

In the tropics were the most beautiful sunsets imaginable, and at night the sky was densely filled with stars, beside the bright (#114) stars forming the vivid constellation of the southern cross, winked constantly. In the tropics, especially in the trade-winds was a wonderful place to enjoy life aboard a square-rigged sailing ship. (#115)

9. King neptune boards the ship

As we neared the equator another activity, the seafarer's ceremony of crossing the 'line' was to take place! King Neptune and his court were coming aboard the Cambuskenneth! Preparations were already underway for this event, Anderson, ably assisted by the carpenter, took a leading part in planning the ceremony. For once, their quarreling was forgotten.

"Tomorrow we cross the 'line'!", announced Anderson as he came from the wheel. "Just got word that King Neptune is to board the ship! He's heard there are greenhorns and farmers among the crew. These will have to be baptized before being allowed to proceed further! Carl, you're one that King Neptune has his eye on!"

I well knew that, I was the greenest one aboard. The other candidates were Moses and Jimmy. They had already crossed the 'line' twice, yet King Neptune included them again. Perhaps something was wrong with their passports, but most likely, the old Sea King did not feel like coming aboard for just one greenhorn. The ceremony was to take place on Sunday. It would have been an insult to His Highness to come aboard and find his subjects, the sailormen, at work in his presence.

Old Ernie, having spent the longest time at sea, was chosen to act the part of Neptune. A better choice could not have been made. Ernie had a roly-poly shape like Santa Claus. He possessed the personality that went with the role and knew all the angles. My partner, Erich the comedian, was selected to act as Neptune's wife. Anderson, of course, was to be the barber with Gustav Magnussen as his helper. The carpenter, with his tools and equipment, took the part of the doctor assisted by the sailmaker.

John, the bosun, was chief of police with a six man force of patrolmen. The rest of the crew, including captain and mates, became the audience. (#116)

The throne for King Neptune and his wife were two chairs set on the after hatch near the mizzenmast. The area around the throne was gaily decorated with the signal flags of the ship. Blue Peter, the code flag for a pilot, hung over the chairs. Between the hatch and bulwarks was the doctor's operating table and the barber shop chair.

It was very hot as the time for Neptune's arrival drew near. Suddenly there was a long, loud, violent ringing of the ship's bell! The chief of police, with two patrolmen, came striding down the deck from forward where the cast of the show had assembled under the fo'c'stle head. They marched to the music of a harmonica played by Wilson, one of the patrolmen. Each wore a big tin star and from their belts swung wooden belaying pins. They were in comical dress with rope yarn wigs on their heads. Burnt cork provided various types of mustaches and one sported a black eye patch. The captain and mates standing on the poop deck were awaiting their approach. Below the poop, the chief with a grand flourish of his belaying pin, came to a halt. Looking up he addressed the officers standing at the poop rail.

"Ahoy, you sailormen! We seek an audience with the captain of this beautiful ship."

"I am the captain. Whence come you and what do you seek?", asked Captain Sole.

"We are police on an urgent and important mission. We come from the realm of King Neptune, the mighty Lord of the Deep. All true sailormen are his children over whom he keeps careful watch. King Neptune is a great and wise monarch, and through his wisdom, he is aware that on this ship are three farmers. These three are to travel no farther until baptized and thereby qualified to become sailormen. The great Lord of the Sea has (#117) ordered us to take the three into custody and, he will then with his entire court, board your good ship to perform the ceremony."

"I am most glad to hear from our great King Neptune, and shall be happy to have the Lord of the Sea as my guest," answered the captain. "I have enjoyed his presence many times. It is true that we have three farmers among the crew, yet I cannot turn them over to you for I know not where they are."

"Then, we are commanded to search the ship. They must be found!" "Permission is granted."

The chief gave three loud blasts on his whistle. Four more patrolmen came running aft waving their belaying pin billy clubs. From their belts hung short lengths of rope. Moses and I watched the proceedings from the top of the deckhouse where we lay in the shadow of a work boat. Jimmy was nowhere in sight. The four patrolmen, reaching the chief, was our cue to make an attempt to escape. We scrambled down on deck, Moses made for the foremast shrouds and I for the mainmast. As we scooted up the ratlines we were discovered! The chief, pointing to us in the rigging, shouted orders.

"There's two of the farmers trying to escape! Up after them! Seize them and bring them aft to await the arrival of King Neptune and his court."

I reached the crosstrees. Two patrolmen were coming up after me. Waiting until they were halfway up the topmast ratlines, I threw my legs and arms around a backstay and began sliding down to deck. There, two other patrolmen were waiting. They nabbed me and my goose was cooked.

Moses, on the foremast, was caught sliding down the outer jib stay. Poking a belaying pin in the small of our backs, the patrolmen marched us aft and made us sit down on a bench placed before the throne. Jimmy was found hiding in the lazaret and soon joined us. Behind each of us stood two (#118) patrolmen.

Again came a violent ringing of the ship's bell. Neptune, the Lord of the Sea, with his entire court, had boarded the ship! With slow, stately strides they came marching down the port side. The patrolmen jerked our heads around to observe the Sea Lord's approach. Neptune, naked except for leather sea boots and a diaper made from flour sacks, headed the procession. He wore a flowing beard and long hair fashioned from rope yarn, and a tin crown on his head completed his costume. He flourished a large trident spear made of tin, mounted on a broom handle. Hanging on Neptune's left arm was his wife wearing a very short burlap skirt and bare legged from above the knees. A bunk curtain made a well-filled busty blouse. Her rope yarn hair, in two long braids, was adorned with red ribbons. Sailor-fashioned jewelry of tin and brass were added decorations. As King Neptune came marching down the deck, the Norwegian colors were hoisted to the misses gaff!

Following the royal couple came Neptune's court. The doctor carried a saw and a small satchel containing other instruments. His assistant had my wooden lamp-trimming tray loaded with cans and bottles. The conspicuous part of the doctor's attire was his tight-fitting, long, red, woolen under-drawers, one of my own possessions which he had slyly commandeered. The barber wore white pants and jacket with a hat mooched from Adolph. Barefooted, with his pants rolled high, he carried a two-foot wooden replica of a straight-edged razor. His helper had a four-inch paint brush and a wooden bucket full of lather. It wasn't soap lather, I could see that. It was plain old grease used for the ship's gear! This didn't look good to me!

As King Neptune approached, the captain came down to the main deck (#119) to bid him welcome.

"Are you the captain of this ship?", the Sea King asked.

"I am the captain and a member of your realm, great King Neptune, but, while you are aboard, you are in supreme command. We have prepared a throne for Your Highness. The three farmers aboard the ship have been taken into custody. I turn them over to you for their initiation, and hope you will find them worthy of becoming sailors and children of your empire."

Neptune's wife then began to flirt with the captain. She tickled him under his chin, patted his cheek, and was about to kiss him before Neptune jerked her roughly back. The captain hurriedly beat it for the poop deck.

After the royal pair were seated, the harmonica player stepped forward and played a Norwegian polka. The ceremony then commenced.

The Sea King smote the handle of his trident spear three times against the mizzen hatch and roared loudly, "Patrolmen, prepare these farmers for initiation and baptism into the realm of my kingdom!"

We were prepared in short order. Off came our clothes! We stood naked before the throne.

Neptune sneeringly remarked, "Poorer specimens than these I have yet to see! I gravely doubt that any of them will ever qualify to become a member of our realm. What think you wife, of these characters!"

"They are truly a sorry looking lot, my Lord. Yet, they may be ill from overwork and insufficient food. Perhaps our doctor can cure them. Let's begin with that little fuzzy-haired one on the right. He seems worse off than the rest."

The fuzzy-haired one was me! I was plunked down in a sitting position (#120) on the operating table consisting of two benches side by side, Neptune asked the doctor to step forward, and then pointing his spear at me, gave the doctor his orders,

"Doctor, examine this creature thoroughly! Discover what ails him!" The doctor, making a deep bow, meticulously laid out his instruments. "Open your mouth wide!", ordered the doctor as he approached me. After I had done so he stuck a spoon handle in my mouth and pressed down my tongue until I gagged violently. I underwent this ordeal three times. Using an alarm clock the doctor took my pulse, and when the alarm went off, he threw up his arms in dismay. He continued the examination by applying a stethoscope, consisting of a tin funnel and a short length of hose, to various parts of my body. When finished, the doctor shook his head and gravely addressed the throne.

"Great King Neptune, this creature is in a very sad state. My examination shows he is suffering from severe scurvy, no doubt caused by the poor food and conditions aboard this ship for which yonder captain is responsible. I believe that some pills and tonic from our laboratory beneath the sea might improve his condition, your Highness.

"It is my order good doctor, that you give this farmer three pills and whatever tonic is necessary. Examine him further. Scurvy alone, can't be responsible for the miserable appearance of this character."

His assistant handed the doctor a jar containing the pills. They were the size of marbles, made of lard and flour and well covered with a top dressing of pepper. I had to hold my mouth open while the doctor tossed in a pill and yelled, "Quick now the tonic!"

His assistant handed the doctor a small glass filled with amber colored liquid for me to drink. Holy cats, it was pure vinegar! One by one (#121) I had to chew the other pills and swallow the bloomin' tonic. Having now cured me of scurvy the doctor continued his examination. He tapped my knees with a wooden mallet and shook his head in disgust.

"My, my, this creature is rheumatic," was the doctor's diagnosis. "How can he climb aloft with knees like that? Assistant, apply the ointment!"

My knees were quickly and fully covered with a coating of red lead paint. I was then ordered to lie on my stomach on the operating table. The doctor probed my back with a belaying pin and gave it several hard pinches, all of which made me jerk as I yelled, "Ouch!"

"There are no muscles on the back of this farmer," said the doctor. "We better apply a plaster patch to hold the skin together until muscles can develop."

Here came the red lead again. A wide, rectangular streak, well up between my shoulders, was painted down the center of my back. More of this ointment was then applied to other parts of my body and I was becoming a mess. Finally, the doctor placed his stethoscope on my head, and muttering to himself, he approached the throne.

"Lord of the Sea, I have bad news to report. I find in my final examination that yonder farmer suffers from a severely swelled head. I am afraid that only tapping can relieve this condition."

"Then tap him thoroughly! There is no room for swelled heads in my domain!"

Approaching the operating table on the opposite side from his assistant, the doctor asked him if he had the tapping instrument prepared.

"All is ready for the tapping, Doctor," replied his assistant.

"That Is fine, so we will perform the operation. Are you ready?" (#122)

"Ready Doctor! I'm sure this treatment is what the patient needs."

"All right. When I give the signal, now, we will perform the operation. Now!"

Wham! They both slapped me damned hard on my bare bottom! I jerked plenty from that operation. To ease the pain, a brush full, of red lead was applied to the area where I was tapped. Two patrol men then came and swung me to a sitting position facing King Neptune as the doctor made his final report.

"Great Lord of the Deep, the creature sitting before you is now convalescing. However, he stinks. There is a filthy stench like a pig pen about him that others, not I, must remove."

"What! We'll have no stench or filth in the realm of Neptune! Barber! Cleanse and improve the condition of that creature on the bench!"

"Great Neptune, many times have I performed such service," said the barber stepping forward and bowing. "When I get through with him, even Your Highness, with all your great wisdom, will not recognize this farmer as the same person now sitting before Your Majesty."

How right that prophecy turned out to be. With a most sardonic grin the barber and his helper approached me. They ordered me to sit on the barber chair, an upturned nail keg. Taking the lather-filled brush from his helper, the barber asked me my name. When I replied he swished the brush across my mouth!

"How old are you? Where were you born?" As each question was asked I got the same treatment. Amid the laughter of the spectators I was spitting and sputtering, trying to rid my mouth of that greasy lather.

The barber then ran his fingers through the fuzz on my head. Then, smelling his fingers, he told me I had the crummiest head he had ever seen. (#123)

"Helper, apply plenty of shampoo to this crummy head. I must massage that filth away," were the barber's orders.

"Swish, swish, swish," went the brush, each swish depositing a large gob of grease. Anderson then gave me a genuine and rough Finnish style massage. When the treatment was completed, no attempt was made to remove the shampoo. Looking me over he sniffed disgustedly as he wiped his hands on a piece of canvas.

"Pfui! This farmer still stinks like a pig pen! Probably hasn't had a bath for six months. We can't stand for that! Helper, lather him up for a complete cleansing operation!"

I was made to stand up and on went the black grease. My cheeks, chin, neck and almost my entire body was soon well lathered. With a grand flourish the barber grabbed his two-foot razor and began to scrape and not in a gentle manner. After a short time he stopped.

"Helper, this razor seems dull and needs stropping. Hold the strop."

"I'm sorry, Barber, I forgot to bring the strop. It's still down in Davy Jones' locker," meekly answered Gustav.

"What! No strop! Well, there is another way to put a keener edge on the razor. Helper, make this farmer bend over!"

This I had to do. Then, also not gently, the barber slapped the razor up and down my greased and tender bottom. After about ten strokes I was told to sit down which I did very gingerly. After a bit more scrapping, and when about a third of the lather still remained in streaks and patches, the barber said the shaving was finished! Yes, Anderson was right! My own mother would not recognize me now. The barber turned and bowed to the throne.

"Good King Neptune, this creature is now cleansed of filth. No smell (#124) of even the pig pen remains. I turn him over to await the pleasure of Your Highness."

"Tis well, my good barber. I can see that you have done a noble job. Patrolmen! Take this person back to his seat. Being now initiated, he will wait for the baptizing ceremony.

With minor variations, Moses and Jimmy endured the same ritual except that they sported fancy hair designs from the effects of the barber's clippers. When the initiation was over there was a pause while the equipment used in the ceremony was set aside. The Chief of Police now stood before the Lord of the Sea awaiting his instructions.

"Chief, order your patrolmen to arrange the candidates in proper position for baptizing," was Neptune's order.

We were marched over to the bulwarks under the mizzen shrouds. Our arms were elevated and our wrists lashed to the mizzen rigging. What a sight we made! The Harmonica player then stood before us and we were ordered to sing 'The Flying Fish Sailor'. At the conclusion of the chantey, Neptune looked up at the captain standing on the poop. The Sea King smote his spear against the hatch and addressed the captain.

"Captain, I am about to baptize these characters into the Realm of the Deep! Thereafter they will be members of my domain and qualified to travel onward with your good ship. Before I proceed, you must inform me of the time taken for your ship to arrive at the equator, the Capitol of my Empire."

"Great Lord of the Sea, we are twenty-eight days underway since leaving the Columbia River in the northern reaches of your realm."

"Then I order that each be baptized with twenty-eight buckets of sea water poured over their heads. Patrolmen, carry out my order!" (#125)

The six patrolmen jumped to the outboard side of the mizzen shrouds, equipped with a canvas bucket. One hauled a bag of water from the sea and his partner poured it over our heads. After the twenty-eighth bucket the Chief of Police cut our lashings. King Neptune then approached us as we stood dripping wet under the mizzen shrouds. The initiation and baptizing ceremony being now completed the judgement of the great Sea King was to be proclaimed.

King Neptune began, "My boys you have successfully passed the test and you are now citizens of my domain as baptized members in the family of deepwater sailormen. May your voyages be many and safe. I present you each with a diploma, testifying that you are qualified brothers of my realm."

The dipLomas were cleverly designed and drawn by Bismarck, the artist of the crew. The worded contents were neatly penned in Old German lettering. At one top corner, inside a fancy scrolled frame, he drew a picture of the Cambuskenneth, at the other, the Norwegian flag. At the lower left hand corner were two crossed seahorses, at the right, an official seal of which a lock of our hair was embedded in a patch of glue. We were all given names that pertained to sailing ships. But alas, I did not have the foresight to save mine at the time our ship was sunk. It would have been possibly the most cherished memento of my eventful trip. However, the following description is in a similar style.

Latitude 0° - 00' - 00" Longitude 128° - 23' - 30" West.

March 7, 1915.

Greetings to all ye sailormen, mermaids, sea serpents, eels, (#126) sharks, whales, porpoises, crabs, lobsters and worms, and to all other living creatures of the Oceans, Seas, Rivers, Lakes and Fonds of my domain.

Know ye that there arrived at the above designated Capitol of my Realm, the Norwegian Full-rigged Ship, Cambuskenneth.

Know ye further that one CARL FRANK LIST a member of her crew and the bearer of this diploma has been thoroughly examined by me and my staff, this date. He was initiated and baptized in true, deepwater fashion, and is henceforth entitled to enjoy all the Solemn Mysteries and Rights of the Ancient Order of the Deep.

It is hereby proclaimed that he is now a qualified member of my Realm, and is entered in the Register of my Watery Kingdom under the following name:


I command my subjects to grant him all honor and respect wherever he may be. Disobedience to this command will meet with my Royal Displeasure.

                (Signed) NEPTUNE REX.  

                Lord Emperor of all the Seas and Waters and  

                the contents thereof from the surface to  

                their lower-most depths.


His Majesty's Scribe.

                (Countersigned) THOR LARSEN SOLE, Master.

After the ceremony Neptune and his wife made their way to the poop deck and engaged in a very serious conversation with the captain. They followed him, by way of the chart house, into the cabin. In a short time Heptane and his wife came out the cabin door, each holding a bottle of rum. The Chief of Police offered toasts to Neptune and his staff, to the ship Cambuskenneth, to the crew and the last, a little grudgingly to the captain. There was not enough rum to toast each individually so we included them in a group as we drank the toast. Among nineteen men there was barely enough for one drink apiece, but it could have been worse. The (#127) captain might have-refused Neptune the opportunity for us to "splice the main brace", a term used by sailormen as a salute when drinking hard liquor. Later, the crew grumbled about how stingy the captain turned out to be.

After all was over, Moses, Jimmy and I, still In our baptismal dress, had to scrub the deck in the area where the festivities were held. We then beat it forward, and with kerosene-soaked rags, began to scrub ourselves and one another off before taking a soap and water bath. This took quite some time before we could call ourselves shipshape again.

Nevertheless, we enjoyed the sport and horseplay of that day especially when it was all over. However, being still mad at him for stealing my coat, I did not help Jimmy wash his back. I let Moses do that. (#128)

10. From the equator southward

Three days after crossing the equator we picked up the southeast trade winds. Beating it's way southward in the trade-winds the ship sailed mostly "by the wind" or "full and by". Cape Horn became the general topic of conversation for reasons I shall explain. "We should arrive near the Cape during the last week of April or early May. This was not the best season for rounding Cape Horn and the grumbling, not uncalled for, commenced. Much of the rigging was found rotten and Anderson, John the bosun and several A.B.s began complaining about the ship's sea-worthiness.

"We're fools to go around the Cape with the ship in her condition. You can make a half-turn on the ratlines in the t'gallant mast rigging. Those storm sails the sailmaker is working on are full of patches," were some of the remarks heard. In fact, once Hein went aloft to inspect some rigging. On the fore topmast he found the turns around the mast of a backstay almost rusted apart. There was quite a bit of slack and somehow Hein got some fingers badly mangled. For a few weeks Hein walked around with a heavily bandaged hand. Preventer stays were rigged alongside some of the backstays to reinforce them. Much of her other rigging was also found in bad shape. The old ship was indeed pretty well run down and deserved to be in better condition. The sailor's gripes were not unfounded. The crew were fully capable and could make the repairs themselves provided the captain would sanction the work. But dollars and cents entered the picture and, the owners of many ships spent no more than necessary to keep them going. The grumbling continued.

Finally three A.B.s decided to request an audience between the captain and the crew and tramped aft to deliver this message. Captain Sole and the mates soon appeared on the small bridge as the crew assembled on the deck below.

"Well, what's the reason for this meeting?" asked the captain. (#129)

"The ship is not seaworthy for Cape Horn," an A.B. began. Others expressed their opinions on various conditions of the ship and rigging. They finally stated that they would not sail her around Cape Stiff, as the Horn was called by old windjammer sailors.

"Do I understand that you refuse to sail on with the ship? That's a pretty strong statement to make," answered Captain Sole with a scowl.

"We demand that you take the ship into Callao where she could be put in proper shape," an A.B. piped up to the bridge.

According to maritime law, if their objections were based on the unseaworthiness of the ship, the sailors were within their rights and could demand the ship be taken into port for refitting. The ship would be surveyed and if their claims were upheld - well and good. However, this was rarely done and the sailors were usually left holding the sack and would become liable to fines or imprisonment.

The affair aboard the Cambuskenneth was getting close to mutiny but all were not in favor of the plan. Captain Sole looked the crew over sternly before he spoke.

"All right, but remember this! At Callao a marine surveyor will board the ship and a board of inquiry will be set up. If they rule against your claims, you'll be in for it!"

"We'll take our chances! Head her for Callao, we'll make our charges stick," an A.B. yelled.

"I'll head for Callao. But, before we arrive you better think the matter over!"

"With that parting remark, the captain and mates made aft, and the crew shuffled forward, jabbering amongst themselves. (#130)

"What's going to become of the trip now? I wondered. I also wondered why the A.B.s were grumbling about the t'gallant mast shrouds. They seldom went up there; we young fellows were kicked into that rigging. The decision of going to Callao was argued pro and con both in the fo'c'stle and midships. The carpenter and sailmaker were against the move.

The Cambuskenneth altered course and began sailing for Peru. Next morning Moses told me that hot arguments had gone on in the fo'c'stle, and that some of the grumblers were cooling off on the decision to head for Callao. The next afternoon, after further discussion, the men decided to abandon the Idea, Two level-headed A.B.s, Dewey and old Ernie went aft to inform the captain. Thus ended the incipient mutiny aboard the Cambuskenneth. Some may question the discipline aboard our ship. Well, it so happened we had that kind of a crew and captain. The incident actually took place.

The next two weeks were busy times as the crew, who were fully capable of doing the work, prepared the ship for the expected rough weather that lay ahead. Ratlines were checked, shrouds and backstays tightened, chafing gear was put in order and blocks and masts were greased. Running gear and braces were gone over and replaced where necessary. Deck planking was caulked and the seams filled with pitch where needed. Hatch cover lashings and strongbacks were checked, and other minor repairs made. The storm sails were dragged from the sail locker and were bent on the yards to replace the lighter canvas the ship was carrying. Both watches had plenty to do but it was the sort of work that the sailors liked to do.

Soon after this, Moses and I were detailed to a job below deck. We were to check over the supply of potatoes and other root vegetables. These were packed in dry sand in large, round wicker baskets in a storage space (#131) just forward of the lazaret. The area was separated from the lazaret by a wooden bulkhead having a small door. Obtaining a lantern, we headed for another farming job. Dropping down the lazaret hatch in the cabin messroom, we closed the hatch over our heads.

"Wait, Moses," I suggested in the lazaret. "There's dried fruit in those wooden barrels. Let's grab something to eat while we work." Having been cabin boy I knew where the food supplies were stowed. We filled our pockets with dried apples and apricots.

"We can't let an opportunity like this slip by," I said. "On the way out we'll snitch a couple cans of Bulgarian milk."

Entering the storage area we set the lantern on a basket and began rubbing sprouts off the potatoes. We repacked them in the sand-filled wicker baskets and then examined the parsnips, carrots, turnips and beets. All partially spoiled vegetables were put in a bucket for final disposal by the cook. Parts of these were salvaged for the crew or else fed to the pigs. The mate dropped down to see how we were doing, but we always kept our ears and a weather eye open for his approach so we would not be caught eating the snitched food. We made that job last until the watch was over, and coming on deck we had a few private possessions from the lazaret.

We were now well down in the southeast trades. Between bringing the ship about, and other work on hand, the days slipped quickly by. My hair had grown back again and I decided the one treatment was enough.

On Saturday, an exciting event was to take place. Easter being a week away, we were going to butcher one of the pigs! Preparations began on Friday for this event. Adolph's knives and scrapers were honed to razor sharpness by the carpenter. Old Ernie did a meticulous job of honing a long, slender knife. He was to do the sticking or actual killing of the (#132) pig. The butcher shop was rigged under the fo'c'stle head. Two wooden benches were cleated together for holding the pig while the scraping was done. A block and tackle, with a spreader bar, was hung to hoist the pig for dressing out. Our port watch was to do the butchering. Talk commenced over which pig would get the works,

"Why not butcher both of them? What's one pig amount to between twenty-two men," suggested Erich.

"Can't do that. Got to save one for the other side of Cape Horn," replied the bosun.

"In that case, let's take the biggest one," broke in Bismarck, For making such a hog of himself, Ivan was elected.

"Say, bosun, let me hit him on the head," said Erich. "I've done it before and one wallop from me down he'll drop."

"If you're that good Erich, you're elected. Bismarck, you're husky, you can steady the pig while Erich swings the sledge," was the bosun's reply.

"All right, Bosun, but with that clown Erich swinging the sledge I'll sure keep my own head out of the way. I don't trust him. He's too full of monkey business," was Bismarck's answer.

"Carl, you and Moses will have the job of scraping the pig and see that you do a good job of it," added John, the bosun.

In the corning the Cambuskenneth Packing Company would be open for business. The night watches went by, and the old cry, "Riza, riza, rise and shine" brought me out of my bunk. Feeling excited over the day's coming event, I hurriedly slid into a pair of dungarees and beat it to the galley for the breakfast food. Adolph was already preparing for the day's (#133) ceremony. Two huge cans full of boiling water were steaming on the range. His knives, cleaver, pans and cloths lay on a bench top near the door. At eight bells the starboard watch went below to eat and sleep. Except for Peedul, who had the wheel, our entire watch congregated under the fo'c'stle head. The two pigs, in the nearby pen, were grunting and squealing merrily away, Ivan totally unaware of his impending fate. Final instructions for his execution were given. Erich stood by grinning and rubbing his sledgehammer. Old Ernie was giving his sticking knife a few more strokes with a hone. Moses and I brought one of the large cans of boiling water from the galley. Adolph tagged along with a big dishpan and his knives. Bismarck, John and Hein had the protesting Ivan out of his pen and were dragging him forward to a clear space near the benches. Poor Ivan was then squared away to meet his end with Bismarck's strong arms around the pig's hind quarters to steady the stern. There was a momentary silence. We wanted the job done swiftly, and in a minute it would be all over, so we thought. Erich stood with his feet spread wide apart ready to strike.

Down came the sledge! Bismarck was right! Instead of hitting Ivan over the eyes, Erich missed, and hit the poor pig on his snout!

No longer was there silence. The pig broke loose from Bismarck's grasp and went squealing loudly with a stumbling gait past the fo'c'stle, all the way aft, and all over the entire deck! Several of our watch raced after him, adding to the din, with wild yells and curses! The uproar was enough to wake the dead, much less, the watch below trying to sleep.

Out of the fo'c'stle stormed the starboard watch! They were madder than hornets! Now it got real noisy and Civil War almost broke out between the two watches. The still squealing Ivan was forgotten. Except for old Ernie all hands were in a wild and loud argument and fights almost (#134) broke out. The mate came running forward to restore order. After considerable rag-chewing the war ended and peace was declared.

Erich told one of the starboard boys that he could have the job of killing the pig. Erich was told he started it and he could finish it but, if he couldn't even swing a sledgehammer he should give it to someone who could.

The starboard boys were mad because their sleep had been disturbed.

An ironclad rule between watches on the old sailing ships was respect for the watch below. It ill behooved a member on deck to engage in unnecessary, noisy action that could disturb the sleep of sailors in their bunks. Entering the fo'c'stle when the watch below was asleep was done in a most quiet manner. It was no disregard of this practice that caused the tumult. It was an unexpected, spontaneous action with Ivan contributing the initial share of the racket. In the excitement we forgot ourselves as we chased Ivan around the deck. The affair, perhaps not to Ivan, but to us was most comical.

Ivan's initial pep was wearing off. Feeling somewhat sick, he crawled into a corner near his pen where Bismarck and Hein corralled him again. This time Erich didn't miss. Ivan's legs buckled and he fell to the deck. Old Ernie, after Ivan was laid on the bench, probed a moment with his fingers and then stuck his knife home. Adolph caught the spurting blood in the dishpan. He beat and stirred the blood with a wooden spoon until it was cool, otherwise it would become lumpy. Later, adding flour and small pieces of pork, he baked the conglomeration into a black-looking dish called blood pudding. It might not sound appetizing but to me it tasted good.

After the pig was bled, Moses and I poured dippers of hot water over (#135) the hide and went to work with our scrapers. We gave Ivan his last close shave. After rinsing the carcass off it was hoisted with the tackle. It was now Adolph's job to dress out the carcass. This he did in a workman-like manner. The heart, liver, tongue, stomach and leaf-lard were carefully saved, only the entrails were discarded. After the pig was dressed, it was thoroughly washed. Adolph then rubbed it with salt and covered the carcass with clean cloths made from flour sacks. Then it was left hanging to cool. The butchering of the pig completed one watch on the Cambuskenneth that I shall never forget. The entrails were thrown over the side, and they too, were not wasted. After hitting the water they were immediately pounced on by the sea birds that constantly hovered around the ship. Between the birds and sharks seen swimming about, that meal drifting astern, did not last long.

The ship steadily beat her way through the southeast trades. The stifling heat and squalls of the doldrums were behind us. No longer was it necessary to wet down the decks. One by one the mattresses were returned to the fo'c'stle. Soon we would pick up the southern variables and then the westerlies that we hoped would drive us swiftly around Cape Horn.

Monday morning after trimming the lamps I was detailed as Adolph's helper. He had a busy week ahead preparing for the Easter Holidays. Besides his regular duties, Adolph had the deceased Ivan hanging under the fo'c'stle head. I just couldn't get away from working with pigs, be they alive or dead, so I gave Adolph a hand cutting up Ivan. Adolph cut the pig in half and we carted the head off to the galley. We carved the carcass into different cuts, and having no smokehouse aboard the ship, Adolph put some of the meat in brine to save it from spoiling. I cut the leaf lard (#136) into small pieces which Adolph rendered out. The fresh lard, spread on bread with a sprinkling of salt made a tasty sandwich and a share of cracklings provided a delicious side dish. I always had my eyes open for a little reward whenever I had to help Adolph in the galley. We trimmed the head of the pig from which Adolph made a huge batch of head cheese. Tuesday's afternoon watch ended that tour in the galley.

The week preceding Easter was the shortest work week of the entire trip. From Good Friday through Easter Sunday no work was done except for routine handling of the ship. It was a general practice on most European sailing ships to recognize religious holidays. All the old-time sailormen were by no means only rough characters drawn from the riffraff of the port cities around the world. True, when ashore, the majority lived in cheap rooming houses near the waterfront of the port they were in. This was of necessity, for with their small wages they never possessed enough money to live in fancy places, even after months at sea. After spending months on an ill-feeding ship, often during a voyage of out of the ordinary hardships, it is little wonder that the sailormen usually let themselves go and caroused around a bit. Their money soon spent, they were off to sea again. Aboard ship, with the enticements and excitement of the city behind, they became different persons. Nor were they an illiterate and uneducated lot. Sailing the seven seas and docking in various countries, where they frequently lived ashore for a spell, was itself educational. A good proportion of the older hands could converse fairly well in several languages. Few were the sailing ships which could not produce among their crew a member with excellent talent such as an artist or musician. At sea the sailors had ample time for meditation and most were (#137) avid readers when material was available. Many had good family backgrounds, who went to sea to satisfy their adventurous spirit or to make it their life's profession. The officers, all forward hands or apprentices, did not pass a captain's or mate's examination without considerable study along the way. Their responsibilities were many such as the ship's navigation, cargo handling and as agents of their company various business transactions during a voyage. A fair knowledge of medicine and surgery was also required, for at times, broken bones had to be set and amputations were performed by a few of the sailing ship officers. Many captains of the large passenger liners, up to about 1950 and perhaps a bit later, had their beginning in the fo'c'stle of a sailing ship. Only a few of these are now left and soon there will be no more.

The religion of crew members was always respected, and aboard the Cambuskenneth, no argument about religion ever occurred. Nor was the reading of the Bible a practice unknown for our sailmaker spent many hours reading his Bible. Some captains held Sunday Service aboard their ships. Burials at sea included reading passages from the scriptures with the canvas covered shroud of the unfortunate victim draped with his country's flag, if one was aboard, or with the flag of the ship's nationality. Yes sir, religious beliefs and religious holidays were more observed on the old square-rigged windjammers than on the present day steamers!

Celebration of the Easter holiday began on Good Friday and all hands spruced up smartly for the occasion. Extra special food made it a most welcome and outstanding event! Fresh pork from the deceased Ivan was the choice item on the bill of fare! Adolph served the blood pudding and baked a huge coffee cake, which with the head cheese, provided quite a feast. However, within a week or two, all the fresh pork had disappeared. (#138)

A trick at the wheel or lookout and routine handling of the sails helped to break the monotony of these three days of idleness. When aloft during the holiday, we took the fast route of regaining the deck, sliding down the backstays or, we found a convenient perch aloft to park ourselves. Looking down, we enjoyed watching the ship cutting through the sea. The bow waves rolling out and the foamy sea rushing along the side gave one an idea of the ship's speed. While enjoying the holidays time is at hand to describe a bit of sailing ship maneuvering.

Not always, by any means, did we have favorable wind whereby the ship could steer a true course. Unlike a steamship that could hold to the shortest route, direction of the wind would govern the course a windjammer could steer. With the wind ahead, it was practice to brace the yards sharply back almost against the backstays of the rigging. The ship would then be sailing "close hauled" to the wind's direction. This was known as sailing "by the wind". The helmsman had to keep alert for he was constantly straining his neck as he kept his eyes aloft staring at the weather leech or clew of the uppermost sail on the mizzenmast. The leech is the outer, vertical edge of the sail. For proper sailing "by the wind" on a three-mast full-rigger, the wind's action at the lower corner of the weather leech of this sail should keep it lightly flapping. Should the helmsman become careless and let the ship come too close to the wind, he would wind up with sails aback. Then lookout! The wind striking the front side of the sails would drive them hard against the mast and rigging and throw the ship out of control. The helmsman would also wind up with a stiff bawling out from the mate and the crew in general. Such a situation could become extremely dangerous and called for a lot of unnecessary work. Again, if the helmsman (#139) let the ship fall too far the other way, precious miles would be lost. Other knacks at the wheel, such as helping to keep off boarding seas when working sails in rough weather, could only be acquired by experience. We young fellows got many a bawling out from the hands for the way we handled the wheel on such occasions, but that's the way we learned.

When sailing "by the wind", the ship sailed a slanting or tacking course. Tacking means sailing on a slant or angle across the line of the true course and then recrossing the line from the opposite side. Time spent on different tacks varied greatly. The ship might sail a long distance, or "leg", on one tack, then "go about", and slant away for a shorter run on an opposite angle. It depended on the prevailing wind relating to direction and destination of the ship and, on the captain's knowledge of what could be expected in the areas ahead. Starboard and port tacks are when the yards are braced forward to whichever is the weather side. The lower corners of the three lower sails, or courses, are held in place by the sheet and tack line rigging.

There was another type of sailing known as "full and by", similar to "by the wind". The ship falls off a little, and does not steer as close to the wind's direction as she normally could. All sails are drawing full, there is no flapping at the uppermost mizzen clew. Though the wind is somewhat adverse, the ship is proceeding as near as possible to a desired course. Tacking, when sailing "full and by" is a less frequent procedure.

Bringing or putting a ship about, usually called "go about ship", is changing from one tack to the other by swinging the yards and ship around to take the wind from the opposite side. This called for lively action! There was no loafing when bringing the many yards around and setting the jibs and staysails on the opposite tack. (#140)

Shortening sail by reefing was never done on our ship. We either let the entire sail draw or we furled it to the yard. Reefing was no longer common practice aboard most windjammers.

The Cambuskenneth was no clipper ship by any means. But, in her younger days, when well kept up, she at times gave a good account of herself. She made a run of seventy-six days from Iquiqui to Bilboa, which I am informed, was a record for this voyage. She was also credited with the following passages. From the Clyde to Rio de Janeiro in 36 days, Newcastle, Australia to San Francisco in 60 days, Prawle Point to Melbourne in 77 days and Port Talbot to Iquiqui in 90 days. Some of our olden hands held the opinion that our ship, if properly rigged with a full suit of canvas and, properly sailed would still be capable of making creditable passages. However, we felt good when we could roll along at a speed of eight knots, and we usually made much less. We did log better than thirteen knots a few times under favorable conditions. In 1915, very few freight steamers could attain that speed, which we made for short periods only.

In the South Pacific, during a stiff breeze, another Norwegian full-rigger was sighted ahead to starboard. She was also observed to be taking in her gansails, while we in turn, were setting ours. In about five or six hours we overhauled her and passed her by.

Another thing taken into consideration by sailing ship captains was to have their ships in a favorable location for picking up the trade winds. This was desirable so the ship could hold a course for crossing the equator at a favorable spot in order to eliminate as much as possible time spent in the doldrums. Prevailing winds at different times of the year was also a factor the captains took into consideration. Although the prevailing wind did not always hold true such type of knowledge was only gained through years of experience. (#141)

11. The roaring forties

We were enjoying a freshening wind and were rolling along with all sails set. Unbeknown to us, this was not to last much longer. Twenty-eight days after crossing the equator we were in approximately 43 degrees south and ninety degrees west off the coast of Chile. We were carrying our storm sails, but there was still no sign of the westerlies nor the variables of the horse latitudes and we were rolling in heavy ground swells. The wind kept holding to the southeast, and at times, a bit easterly. All were head winds coming from the direction we wished to sail. Wind and sea kept increasing in strength and size. The sky became dark and gloomy, and no longer were stars visible at night as in the tropics and trade-wind belt. Heavy seas thundered aboard and we had to keep our eyes open when going along the deck. Life-lines were in place and all day-work stopped. Standby weather was again on hand. This adverse wind, especially for this locality, could not last forever, and after it blew itself out, we would pick up the westerlies and, in about two weeks we would be rounding the Cape. That's what we thought! Two weeks later, we were miles farther from Cape Horn than in our present position. Stronger and stronger the wind blew and it was getting real nasty aboard the ship. That night the barometer began dropping fast. We seemed to be in even more heavier weather and began to shorten down.

The starboard watch had furled the main upper gansail and the mizzen gansail when we hit the deck at midnight. The mate hurriedly was making his way forward. Blowing his whistle, he roared out his orders.

"Make fast the fore gansail! Step lively! We got to take canvas off in a hurry!"

The wind shrieked through the rigging, and in the coal-black night (#142) the rain was pouring down. We knew it would be a tough watch and jumped to obey the order. There was no room on the ship for mama boys at a time like this. On many occasions everyone's life and the life of the ship depended on quick action and alertness of officers and crew.

Clew and buntlines were thrown off their pins and the job of clewing up the big single fore gansail commenced. We on the weather side were pulling on the lines, when almost before our eyes, a huge sea rose above the bulwarks and came crashing down! Most of us were knocked off our feet, but all held fast to the lines though chest-deep in swirling water. The work of clewing up the sail was retarded only momentarily. Those knocked about got up and went on with the work. About ten minutes previously we had been under blankets in our bunks. There went our dry clothes again and we still had the entire watch to go.

Watching our chance, Erich and I scampered up the weather ratlines to furl the sail. The ship was plunging madly as we made our way up. Our clothes were soaked and our boots full of water as we reached the yard and stepped onto the foot rope. The sail was flapping and billowing furiously as we began grabbing canvas. A sudden, gusty billowing of the canvas tore it from our grasp! This happened again and again, as we cursed that canvas. Only after several exasperating and maddening efforts did we finally manage to get a gasket spiraled around part of the sail and went farther out on the yard. Eventually we got the weather side fast and moved over to the lee to finish the job on a sail that was big, deep and heavy for two men to handle. When finished, we glanced aft, and saw Bismarck and Peedul furling the main lower gansail. It took almost an hour before Erich and I regained the deck. While belaying the tangle of lines we kept our eyes open for boarding seas. Another whistle came from the mate. (#143)

"Haul in the outer jib!" he roared.

Erich, Chips and I made our way onto the pitching and rolling fo'c'stle head. Moses on lookout, stood braced between the spare anchor and the aft railing. In less than an hour, I in my sodden clothes, would relieve him. John, the bosun, slacked the halyard off and the jib was hauled down. Erich and I made our way out on the foot ropes of the bowsprit. Were it possible to have a preference in loosening or furling any sail on the ship, it would certainly not be the flying or outer jib. Though the work had to be done, I had a dislike for working out on the bowsprit during heavy weather. I would rather be high up on the gansails or royals.

Out on the bowsprit there was no deck below and, I had the feeling I wasn't even on the ship, and in a sense I wasn't. Out there you received the full pitching of the ship. One moment you were raised towards the sky and the next moment down you dropped, the crashing sea and bow waves of the ship just below your feet! More than one sailor has been swept to his death off the bowsprit or jib-boom of a sailing ship. That night, the ship was pitching wildly, not just straight up and down, but with a shearing motion besides. The crests of the seas rushed by within four feet below my shoes as the ship fell into a trough of the sea! I was glad when that sail was lashed and I was back on the fo'c'stle head! The ship was snugged down to topsails, main and foresail, inner jib and fore topmast staysail.

As I relieved Moses on lookout for the remainder of that watch heavy sprays were sweeping over the fo'c'stle head. Little did it matter now for I was already soaked to my skin. Stop to change clothes? That just wasn't done. When you came on watch on a windjammer, you were on deck!

At any time, all hands of the watch might be needed. I would be soaked many times again before the trip ended. Nevertheless, I sighed with (#144) relief as I gave the bell a single blow at a quarter to four to rouse out the watch below. Coming on deck again at eight a.m., no let up of the wind or sea was noticeable. The barometer had been holding steady, in fact showed a very slight rise. The sky was covered with a very dark, low, overcast and the ship rolled in sweeping arcs with the sea just forward of her port beam. Seas thundered aboard frequently from the weather side. They also rolled aboard when she lay her lee rail under. On one occasion, when bracing the yards, the bosun stood on the lee pin-rail pulling on the standing part of the main yard brace while others on deck also pulled on the brace. A sea came running along the bulwark as the ship gave a deep roll to leeward. It swept the bosun off his feet with his legs dangling over the side! He hung onto the brace rope as we on deck stared wide-eyed. There wasn't much we could do for it was out of the question to let go of the brace until it was belayed on its pin. There was no time for that and, any slack given now to the taut brace could have caused an end to our shipmate. So we just kept a tight pull. Several yelled "Hang on, bosun, hang on, hang on!" Moses, at the tail end of the brace did let go and made an attempt to reach John. Before Moses could help, one of the oddities frequently occurring at sea took place. Before the ship rolled back another sea came at John. The rising sea enabled him to swing his legs back aboard the ship! He let go the brace and dropped to the deck. It was a close squeak, yet many close squeaks, happened aboard the old windjammers.

The wind increased with sustained heavy gusts and by eleven o'clock it was really nasty. The mate whistled and let out a roar.

"Call all hands on deck! Make fast the main and foresail!" (#145)

The order "All hands on deck" is made only in case of emergency.

the way the barometer was now dropping, it was high time the big sails were furled. We realized we were in for something! Moses ran to the fo'c'stle to arouse the starboard watch. It wasn't with the customary "Riza, riza", it was "All hands on deck! All hands on deck!"

A driving rain was beating down and the deck filled with water from constantly boarding seas, under such conditions, clewing up the heavy storm canvas of the huge mainsail was quite a job, but with all hands tugging at the lines, it was finally accomplished. Then up the ratlines, get out on the yard and make the big sail fast! With the huge sail thrashing and billowing wildly about this was not a three or four man job. Six men were soon scattered along the main yard on both the weather and lee sides. Old Ernie and the big mate even went aloft to lend a hand! Moses and I were out at the yard arm. When several men are aloft working a sail the ordinary seamen are usually at the yard arm, the A.Bs. take the inboard side. Even with twelve men on the yard, making fast the big mainsail under the conditions prevailing, was still a large order. The ship rolled heavily and the wet, heavy Storm canvas ballooned out tight as a drum. Several times a section of the sail was pulled to the yard, only to be torn free from our grasping arras and hands. Out on the yard arm we rose and fell in great sweeping arcs as the ship rolled from side to side. We kept grabbing and fighting the kicking canvas even though our fingertips were bleeding from lifted fingernails. We didn't have time to think of anything except "Get that damn sail fast; get that canvas in!" We got mad and we cursed it as we kept grabbing for a hand hold of that thrashing canvas. Accompanied by a "Heave ho" from the A.Bs. we grabbed and tried to pull together. (#146)

In a case like this we didn't concentrate on making a fancy furl of the sail. The job at hand was to get that blasted canvas up on the yard, throw some gaskets around it and pull the gaskets tight! We finally got that mainsail in. Some of the men that were on the yard had already gained the deck and were forward clewing up the foresail. After a similar struggle, it too, was furled. Lunchtime had gone by the board. Not until the foresail was furled did the starboard boys go below to eat. The port watch carried on and it was almost three bells in the afternoon before the starboard boys took over the deck. The ship was under topsails, inner jib and fore topmast staysail and that afternoon the starboard watch took in the mizzen upper topsail. They also transferred Oscar the pig from his deck pen back to his storm cellar, the locker below the starboard side light. For several weeks to come I again had to stumble through a pigsty on my lamp-trimming tour.

Several days had passed since the captain and mate were able to take a sight for ascertaining our true position. The ship bravely tried to make her way southward against the adverse wind but, what little we gained in that direction, was offset by loss of longitude westerly. Coming on deck at six p.m. our watch huddled under the fo'c'stle head, the only protected and partly dry spot on the deck of the ship. The rest was covered with seas that continuously boomed and crashed aboard. It was risky business going to and from the wheel. Moses and I were not entrusted alone at the wheel under conditions that existed. We only went when two men were ordered at the wheel and then we were paired with an A.B.

The mate gave orders to rig an oil drip in the crew's toilet at the bow of the ship. In very heavy weather, with seas constantly crashing on deck, the use of oil was a common practice on sailing ships. A five gallon (#147) can was lashed to the porthole clamps above the toilet seat, and filled with heavy oil. A hole having an inserted wooden plug that allowed the oil to slowly drip was made near the bottom of the can. The dripping oil, trailing aft on the weather side, helped in a small way to flatten out the crests of the seas as they approached the bulwarks. It also provided us young fellows with another job, that of keeping it functioning.

Lookout became an ordeal so we stood it in one-hour tricks. Visibility was but for a short distance. When the ship stuck her nose down into the troughs, solid water from a rising sea swept over the fo'c'stle head tumbling in a cascade to the deck below. The only safe spot on lookout was behind the spare anchor which came up vertically through the fo'c'stle head and to which we lashed ourselves with a short length of rope. It was too risky to make our way out to the side lights. When the time was struck aft, we would ask one of the hands under the fo'c'stle head to look at the lights from the lockers below. When told both were burning, our "All's well-l-l, sir-r-r" trailed aft. There are variations of this ritual between the lookout and poop. "Lights shining bright, sir" or "All lights shining, sir" are sometimes used. We sang out "All's well-l-l, sir-r-r" fewer words and they carried better.

By morning the overcast became even darker and lower and the wind and sea even higher. During the night the barometer showed an unsteady pumping action, usually dropping until the wee hours of the morning. Then it held steady or even began to rise. Then, down it dropped! Accompanied with driving rain the wind really howled and the sea was in violent motion and running dangerously high, reaching at times, a height of forty feet or more. Entire tops of the seas were blown off in huge curtains of heavy, (#148) flying spray. The deck was never free of water. We were now under lower topsails only with two head sails and experiencing the heaviest weather of our trip. Two men were now at the wheel, and with short ropes, they tied themselves to some secure fitting as a precaution against being washed overboard. That afternoon the barometer took a further drop. Half-way through our watch we were alerted by the mate's whistle. We warily made our way along the deck, and reaching the main hatch, we spied the mate cautiously making his way forward along a life-line.

"We're going to heave to! Step lively at the braces! Watch out for boarding seas!" he bellowed.

His last order was unnecessary. In rough weather it was instinctive to keep a corner of one's eye open for onrushing seas. More than once someone grabbed those life-lines to keep from being washed along the deck or perhaps overboard. The mate awaited a most opportune moment to go through the maneuver of heaving to. Thankful that we had only a lower topsail to contend with we stood by the brace alert and ready.

"Haul away lively!" roared the mate. We hauled with a will as he slacked off the opposite side. With a "Heave ho! Yo ho, heave ho!" we hauled at the brace until the mate yelled "Make fast!" With an old hand like Ernie at the wheel assisted by Bismarck, receiving their orders, the ship was hove to without mishap. Now we would drift with the wind and were at its mercy. Where to and how far, we did not know.

Adolph was having heavy weather in the galley. I was again detailed to give him a hand. The top of the range was equipped with an adjustable metal framework which kept the pots and pans from sliding about. As the ship pitched and rolled the food in the pots and pans sloshed around. (#149)

Adolph could not keep his eyes on everything, so I was cook's helper again. I did not mind, for the galley was at least fairly warm and dry even if I did slide around a bit. Adolph was cursing in Swedish with me helping him in German, Norwegian and English! The next day ended the cooking for a time aboard the Cambuskenneth. All hands were ordered aft to the sail locker. Here, we slept the best we could on the pile of stowed sails. Our meals, served in the cabin messroom, were mainly of canned stores from the lazaret. We made fun of the affair by jokingly reminding one another that we were now part of the after guard. There was usually a couple of souls bold enough to sneak forward to the galley to brew a pot of coffee or tea.

While rooming in the sail locker we received a few snacks of food that we normally would not have had. The pilchard sardines, cheese and pickles made it a sort of Dutch lunch affair. However, Moses and I still had to be the clean up crew. We got no help from Jimmy.

That night the lookout was ordered to be on the poop deck. In our "hove to" condition there was not much to do on the main deck so long as nothing carried away and the sails held out. Coming on deck at midnight I had the first lookout. The rain was coming in torrents and the wind streaking unmercifully as I crawled up the ladder to the poop. Later, the mate sauntered over to where I stood, peering through the blackness of the night.

"Well Carl, how do you like it? I bet you'd rather be home with mama on a night like this," he remarked but with a twinkle in his eyes.

"No sir, Mr. Frerichs! This suits me if you're satisfied."

"How would you like to be cabin boy again and sleep at night instead of being out in weather like this?" the mate added. (#150)

"No sir! I'm satisfied on deck. I don't want that cabin boy's job under any consideration!", was my answer to that.

The mate grinning, merely shook his head back and forth as we huddled behind a weather cloth. My remarks were sincere, not merely for effect. That was just the way I felt. I considered myself a member of the deck crew and I didn't give a damn or seek any favors which are not handed out aboard a sailing ship. Once aboard the ship, I soon found out it would not prove a pleasure cruise!

Later, the mate explained the weather conditions we were experiencing. "Carl, this storm has all the characteristics of a hurricane. It Is of hurricane strength with the wind blowing eighty miles or more an hour. The storm is driving on in a circular shape, in this case from southeast by south. We can thank our lucky stars that lie are on the least dangerous side of the circle. If we can stay hove to on this side we will ride it out but, if we are driven around into the path the storm is traveling, then watch out! That can become very dangerous, and let's hope it won't happen."

"Isn't this unusual for here, Mr. Frerichs? All I've been hearing about is picking up the westerlies and driving around the Cape."

"Hurricanes can happen anywhere. It is a bit unusual to run into a southeasterly storm in this locality. It happens sometimes and justifies this area being called " The Roaring Forties". We will pick up the westerlies when this blows over."

The mate's prediction was right. We rode the blow out, but for six days, the ship lay hove to under lower topsails. Our lease of the sail locker lasted for four days and then the crew moved forward to the sodden (#151) fo'c'stle. The overcast was breaking up but a heavy ground swell again prevailed. For the first time in two weeks the captain and mate had an opportunity to take a sight and ascertain our true position. We had been blown from about 90° west longitude to about 120° west, almost a third of the way to Australia. There went our hope of a trip to England in less than four months. The thousand miles lost westerly, would have to be regained as we again fought our way towards Cape Horn. The wind veered around and began blowing from the west, gradually increasing in strength. The sea ran high in great gray mountainous swells as far as one could see. We set the outer jib, upper topsails and foresail. The mainsail soon followed and, with the wind now on our starboard quarter, we rolled along at a good clip on a true course.

The ship escaped serious damage during the storm, yet we did not get off scot-free. One of the work boats, mounted on the roof of the fo'c'stle, was torn from its chocks and suffered a few splintered planks. The pig pen received a terrific wallop from a sea coming over the fo'c'stle head. It tore the pen loose and tossed it across the deck where it lay wedged between the forward end of the fo'c'stle and the starboard bulwark. The pen was heavily constructed of four by four and two by six framing with a deck of two inch planks and had been securely lashed with many ropes. It did not matter to Oscar for he had already leased his Cape Horn apartment. As the storm tapered off Chips had a few busy watches putting things shipshape again. The sea lost some of its fury and we cracked on the gansails. After picking up the westerlies, the Cambuskenneth made her best runs during the trip, at times averaging better than twelve knots. It felt good to have her roll along at that speed, even though it was getting colder (#152) day by day.

While the ship ran before the westerlies an event took place which I can still clearly see. Coming on deck after dinner to while away some time, I gazed out to sea on the port side and could hardly believe my eyes. About three-hundred feet away a huge black mass rose out of the sea with sheets of water cascading down its side. A huge whale, which to me appeared to be over a hundred feet long, had surfaced from the depths. I turned to Johan Fjeld, who had sailed on whaling ships and asked, "Cripes Johan, what kind of a whale is that?"

"That's a blue whale, Carl. A whale that size would be worth a lot of money to any whaler that could land him alongside."

We watched as he spouted before our eyes. 'With a slow, lazy flip of his enormous tail he dove out of sight. He surfaced a few times more before we lost him in the distance.

Albatrosses were now regular traveling companions to the ship. We met others before but those we now met, were the huge white species of the stormy southern seas. They are the largest of all sea birds. Except during nesting time, their home is the wide stretches of the open sea, hundreds of miles from the nearest land. They followed us constantly, soaring gracefully around the ship but mostly astern. They were keeping their eyes peeled for morsels of food thrown from the ship. We watched them glide swiftly down, pick up the food without any perceptible slowing of their glide, and soar aloft again. Very seldom did they flap their wings, they were gliding constantly. Their presence broke the monotony in this dreary area of the sea.

The cold weather with drizzly rain that accompanied the westerlies (#153) was quite a change from the warm weather of the tropics and the southeast trades. This cold weather, perhaps aided by the uncomfortable days spent in the sail locker during the hurricane, began to affect the health of some of the crew which, outside of a few bruises had remained excellent since we left port. A few became afflicted with colds or some kind of rheumatic pains. Peedul, having developed a severe cough, was persuaded to call on the captain for medical treatment. Returning to the fo'c'stle, Peedul was asked what the captain prescribed.

"Aw, he gave me some Hoffman's Drops, said they would fix me up."

"Humph, a hot drink of his cheap rum would have done more good," snorted Anderson.

Another sailor with a back ache thought he would go to the captain for medical aid. He was also asked the outcome of his visit.

"Hoffman's Drops was all. I got too. I asked him if he had any liniment but he said Hoffman's Drops would do me more good."

"Yeh, yeh," grunted old Ernie. "I've sailed with that kind before. No matter what ails you, cold, lame back, charley horse or diarrhea, all they think of is Hoffman's Drops. They'll cure anything!"

It became a joke among the forward hands. If anyone made the slightest remark about having an ailment, some one would pipe up "Go see the Old Han, he'll cure you." I never had to go aft for medication and I was afraid that had I done so, I would have been cured by another kick from the mate's big boot.

Hereabouts, Moses developed another type of illness. It was sleeping sickness. On a stormy, cold, miserable two-hour midnight watch on lookout I eagerly awaited my relief's appearance. Five minutes went by, ten minutes went by, but no Moses came up on the fo'c'stle head. No work (#154) was going on so I gave a one-bell ring. The mate soon appeared. "What's wrong, Carl," he asked from the foot of the stairs.

"No relief on the lookout, sir," I answered.

Asking who was to relieve me he ordered a search made for Moses. After another ten minutes Moses appeared, and giving me a dark look, took over without saying a word. I inquired where Moses had been. Of all places, they had found him asleep in the officer's toilet aft! Much better back there in the dry and out of the wind and rain than up on the fo'c'stle head. That was not to be the last time I would have to rouse him from his slumbers.

Now that the weather was cold I missed my stolen coat that I intended to use as a sea jacket. However, I provided a substitute. Among my possessions was a hand-knit, woolen shawl, similar to a stole. It was about eighteen inches wide and eight feet long. With rope yarns I tied this around my upper body and sometimes used a bight of it over my head. It was a somewhat comical rig and a bit cumbersome beneath my oilskins. Now and then a sailor remarked, "Look at Carl, wearing his six kilometer shawl." (#155)

12. Around Cape Horn

We were now about 50° south. The weather becoming bitterly cold, the sun rarely breaking through the overcast to lend its warmth. Huge gray seas were running long and high, and the Cambuskenneth, upheld her reputation of being a wet ship. Seas came tumbling and thundering aboard, filling the deck with tons of water. Our ship shuddered under their impact but she did not wallow or hesitate. Up she came, and as the water dispersed over the deck, she went plunging on ready for the next sea to crash aboard. Though an older vessel, she was a fine, sturdy ship and the carpenter never reported water in the hold.

I began giving attention to my personal gear in anticipation of worse weather yet to come. Wear and tear caused an urgent requirement for new canvas suspenders to my oilskin pants. On a watch during standby weather I began to sew on them in the carpenter shop under the fo'c'stle head. At eight bells I put them aside and made my way midships to serve the noon meal. After cleaning the dishes and quarters, I asked Chips for the key to his shop which he kept locked when not on duty. I went forward to get my gear, intending to finish the job in midships. Gathering up my material, I began the return trip. The starboard watch, including the sailmaker, stood huddled under the fo'c'stle head. Sails warned me to watch my step.

"Keep your eyes open, Carl! We're sure taking some big ones aboard!"

"O.K. Peder, I'll watch out," I answered as I cautiously headed down the lee side of the fo'c'stle. I was wearing my heavy, red, woolen undershirt. Over my left arm I carried my oilskin pants, some strips of canvas, my sewing implements and Chips' key to the carpenter shop. Reaching the after end of the fo'c'stle, I peered around the corner at the weather (#156) side before making my turn to reach our midships door, located in the center of the after wall of the deckhouse. Four feet further aft was the high combing of the big main hatch. I decided the coast looked clear and I made for the door. It was a double, Dutch-type door, of two-inch teak and hung with heavy brass hinges. The upper half had a brass ring by which it could be pulled open. Grabbing the ring I tugged at the door but, it was jammed tight. With my eyes more on the door than they should have been during my efforts to open it, I forgot my weather eye, and the sea boarded!

Twenty feet away, on the weather side, a solid wall of water rose straight up about five feet over the bulwarks and, with a thundering roar came crashing down! I stared wide-eyed with fright! My fingers froze to the brass ring! The sea, rushing between the end of the house and the hatch combing hit me and I was immediately carried away! I was totally engulfed and saw only green water as I was swept along! I didn't know if I was even aboard the ship! After an interval that seemed an age, I crashed against something solid. My hands made contact with a round iron bar. Clutching further, I felt another short, horizontal bar attached to the one I already held. The shape of the bars told me they were the brackets for the pin-rail running just below the bulwark. I wrapped my arms and a leg around them and hung on tight for dear life! Though still covered with solid water, I knew I was aboard the ship! The Lord was with me on this occasion for it was a miracle that I wasn't washed overboard. After the water had dispersed along the deck, but still knee deep, I got to my feet, plenty groggy and wringing wet. I glanced forward and saw the sailmaker and others staring at me with their mouths hanging open. My next surprise was the upper half-door to our midships quarters. It hung (#157) queerly open, sagging on the lower hinge, the upper hinge torn completely away from the frame. My grip on the ring and the force of the sea did this job. Outside of being thoroughly soaked, I was not hurt but, I have never fathomed out how I tore that heavy door loose without some injury to my hand, arm or wrist. I guess it just happened too fast. The final surprise was getting one stiff bawling out from Chips for losing his key and sewing palm, and for breaking loose the door which he would have to fix on his watch below. What a world! I almost go overboard and get bawled out for it besides. That was the way it went with us young fellows. The older hands never missed an opportunity to give us the works. The sailmaker made his way to midships.

"Gosh Carl, are you all right? Did you get hurt?" were his first words.

"I'm O.K. Peder and damn lucky too. Cripes, that sea came up fast," I answered as I was drying myself off and trembling a bit too.

"We saw it coming and heard it hit. Then we looked aft to see if you made it to midships before it struck. We didn't see you at first but then patches of your red undershirt were seen as you were washed about. We all hoped you would stay aboard and not go over the side."

Chips went aft to get another key and I gave him a hand to repair the door. The episode was soon forgotten.

The following Saturday, when cleaning the chicken coop, Moses and I hit a jackpot of four eggs apiece. I had my share in a pocket of my dungarees as I approached Erich under the fo'c'stle head. My intentions were to surprise my partner and share my good fortune with him. Grinning, I patted my pocket and said "Erich, I sure got something mighty good in my pocket." (#158)

"What you got, Carl," he asked as he swung a hand smack against the eggs. I let out a curse as I heard the eggs crunch. Quickly, both my hands went into my pocket, and scooping out the remains, I swallowed them raw spitting out pieces of egg shells during the process. I never again took Erich, the clown, into my confidence regarding eggs.

For the past ten days, near the middle of April, navigation was by dead reckoning only. The heavy, gray overcast obliterated the sun and likewise the stars. Since the last sight was taken our position could be determined only by the apparent course and distance plotted on the chart. Still keeping the wind on our starboard quarter, we held well to the southward in order to clear the Cape. Albatrosses, more numerous than ever, constantly glided around the ship. Flecks of smaller birds, Cape Pigeons, made their appearance. They were not afraid of the ship and followed close by along the sides, nature teaching them that our ship was a source of food. We threw scraps to them, and for diversion, attempted to catch some with bait on bent pins using sail twine as a fish line. We had no success for they were either too smart or we too dumb.

An unwelcome visitor now appeared aboard the ship. The almost constant rain turned to sleet, forming a sheet of ice along the pin-rail, running gear ropes and lower rigging. Up on the fo'c'stle head one had to watch his step. Jackstays, foot ropes and the rigging aloft were coated with sleet. With belaying pins we knocked the ice off the lower ropes, shrouds and ratlines. The weather was biting cold, the sea a wild and high-heaving expanse of gray. I managed to keep somewhat snug in heavy woolen underwear, two pairs of trousers, sweater and my six kilometer shawl beneath my oilskins. Even this did not help when one got soaked by a boarding sea. In such weather one's hands and face took a beating. Gloves? (#159)

Outside of wheel and lookout duties we never wore them. Aloft and at our other work they would only be a nuisance. Among old deepwater sailors, who spent years at sea, tough, strong and gnarled hands were a mark of their trade. Compare this to many of the seamen on steamers of today.

By dead reckoning and the chronometer, the approximate position of the ship was known. According to the last plottings on the chart, we should be well south of the Cape, so we gradually shifted our course to the eastward. We were nearing the vicinity of Cape Horn, and it required only a break in the overcast to verify our position and then setting a course for rounding the Cape into the South Atlantic. Finally, the captain and mate were able to ascertain our true position and found our latitude to be over 59° south, well below the Cape. The mate informed us that we would pass the longitude of Cape Horn the following day - the day we had talked about for the past month. We had hoped to catch a glimpse of Cape Stiff as we made the rounding, but we would never see it. The Cape lay many, many miles to the northward of our now known position.

Cape Horn is on an island off the southern tip of South America. There are many islands in this vicinity and Horn Island is the most southerly of all. Cape Horn is a bleak, forbidding cliff about five to six hundred feet high, and was named by a Dutch navigator, a native of Hoorn, Holland, on a voyage in 1616. Though cases exist where sailing ships have rounded Cape Horn with royals set, fair weather occurs seldom around the area of the Cape. In all but summer months it is usually an area of howling gales, and considered a most treacherous region of the seven seas. It is the graveyard of many fine sailing ships and their crews. Even though men would be able to gain land after being shipwrecked, there was little chance of survival for the adjacent islands or coast is a bleak, rocky and practically (#160) uninhabited shore. Sailing ships were far between and usually gave the land a wide berth. The prevailing winds are heavy westerlies usually accompanied by wild and high-running gray swells. The direction in which ships were rounding the Cape made quite a difference. In making a passage from the Pacific to the Atlantic they had the wind and sea in their favor. Rounding the Cape from the other direction was a far different matter. On such voyages they encountered heavy head winds and seas. Sometimes little or no headway could be made. Fighting for every inch in this cold, stormy region, they would be weeks and even months trying to round the Cape.

Many vessels never got around. To gain the Pacific they would turn back, and running before the westerlies, continue the voyage by the much longer way, around the Cape of Good Hope and South Africa, The Cambuskenneth, though an eastbound ship, had nasty enough difficulties in the area of Cape Horn. Being one-hundred and fifty miles farther south than necessary, we made a very wide rounding of the Cape.

There was no respite from the strong wind and freezing cold. Standing on the sleet-coated foot ropes and fighting the heavy, sleet-coated canvas of the sails was a terrible ordeal. When a man went aloft, grabbing the icy shrouds, his fingers felt like clumsy thumbs. Pulling on the frozen buntlines, and tying knots with small sail twine to stopper them off, was different from working on them in the tropics. There, we had eagerly looked forward to this little chore, but not here!

Another unwelcome visitor sometimes surrounded the ship - fog. Fog is a most dangerous situation for a ship at sea and has caused more marine disasters than gales, typhoons and hurricanes combined. This fog caused an incident to my discredit aboard the Cambuskenneth, and for a week or so, I was the butt of many jibes from my shipmates. A foghorn was set up on (#161) the fo'c'stle head. It was no fancy affair but consisted of a wooden box to which a short, stubby horn was attached. It was operated by a short crank or handle. My turn at lookout came and somewhat eagerly I climbed the ladder to the fo'c'stle head. I'll have some fun with this musical instrument I thought as I worked the crank and a low, mournful "Bloo-oo-oo" went bellowing through the fog. The noise sounded like a sick bull. I twisted the crank again, and feeling more musical, I thought I would liven it up a bit. Instead of one blast, I tried to play Yankee Doodle on the foghorn. I merrily tooted away, getting quite a kick out of it, when I heard a scraping sound behind me. When I looked around, there stood the mate! He wasn't smiling and I knew he didn't come from the poop aft to join the chorus. I wasn't left long in doubt as to why he came

"So, where do you think you are, in a circus! Haven't you got sense enough to know that foghorn is no plaything!" the mate bellowed at me.

I stood there like a whipped dog as I looked up at the mate. I was not feeling musical anymore and I knew there would be more than the bawling out. Out of the corner of an eye, I spied some of my watch on the main deck, grinning up at my discomfort.

"All right, Carl!" continued the mate. "Since you're so ambitious with a foghorn, you will have the pleasure of operating it every necessary minute when you're on watch. I don't want to hear anymore fancy tunes! Blow it in the proper manner, or else!"

He went down the ladder and disappeared in the fog on his way aft. I had no hankering to find out what his "or else" meant so I now paid strict attention to my business.

A foghorn on a vessel gives a very important signal required by maritime law. It has established characteristics of sound and silent intervals, (#162) the sound to be from four to six seconds with one minute interval between. On sailing ships the signal was governed by conditions under which the vessel was sailing. If on the starboard tack, one blast; on the port tack, two blasts in succession and with the wind abaft the beam, three blasts in succession. Hearing the characteristic of the signal, another vessel in the vicinity could determine the approximate course the sailing ship was steering. Before the mate was through with me, I became one of the most efficient foghorn operators aboard the ship!

We also frequently encountered snow around the Cape. The snow squalls, approaching from a distance, appeared to have a grayish or dirty-yellow tinge. Often the ship sailed head-on into an area of densely driven flakes. Visibility was cut down as if the ship lay enshrouded in fog, and on the fo'c'stle head, the foghorn began bellowing its mournful, deep-toned sound. The snow squalls were still better than that biting, cold, wind-driven sleet. On lookout we were sternly warned to keep our eyes peeled for drifting ice or bergs, but from such danger, we were spared.

With the mate's permission we planned a little diversion to break the monotony of our dreary days. We wanted to catch an albatross. On a somewhat less miserable day on our watch below, we cut a diamond-shaped piece of tin about four inches wide and six inches long. Cutting the center out of this left a hollow diamond with about one half inch wide frame of metal all around. At one end we attached our marlin fishline. Around the tin, except for a short space at the opposite end, we tied thin strips of fat pork for bait. How could a bird as huge as an albatross be caught with such an arrangement? Albatross have a large, powerful beak six to eight inches long. The end of the upper beak is sharply curved or hooked much (#163) like an eagle's. When an albatross grabs at the bait the idea is to jerk the bait so that the bare part of the tin becomes wedged behind the prominent hook of it's beak. Once this is done, the fun and battle would just begin.

A group of us tramped aft to the poop and payed out the marlin until the bait trailed about two-hundred and fifty feet astern. Several great white birds were soaring and gliding about over the wake of the ship. For all their huge size, often with a wing spread of ten to fifteen feet, the albatross is perhaps the most graceful of all sea birds. They can glide continuously in all directions without the least flapping of their wings. The only discernible motion is a sharp, quick tilting of their head as it scans the surface of the sea for a morsel of food. To give them confidence we let a few loose pieces of pork drift astern. They never missed spotting these and came sailing down and, without getting their feathers wet, they would glide away with the handout. A few landed on the water to gobble the pork, then on the crest of a sea with two or three flaps of their huge wings, they soared away again.

One finally came at our bait! As he grabbed at it Erich jerked the line. Our reputation of being poor fishermen held true; Erich missed. With a sharp, angry squawk the great bird soared away. We could not see the bait over the tops of the running seas. Our actions were more or less controlled by the action of Mr. Albatross when he approached the spot where we thought our bait was tossing about. We didn't have to wait long for a bite, for in a few moments another came gliding down and, we missed again. Finally we got a break. A huge greedy customer, deciding to sit at the counter instead of grabbing his meal on the fly, landed on the water, cocked his head a time or two, and then made a grab for our lure. (#164)

"This baby won't get away" said Erich. "I'll get him this time. I'll give a short, slow-pull before I jerk the bait."

Down bobbed the head as the albatross again pecked at the bait. Erich slowly pulled the line.

"Got him this time" yelled Erich as he jerked the line and began pulling it in. At the other end of the line Mr. Albatross had ideas of his own. With huge wings spread, and braking with his large webbed feet, he began fighting violently to free his beak from the accursed contraption that was pulling him through the water.

"Keep him coming, Erich. Don't give him any slack," yelled Bismarck. "I got him, I got him! He won't get away," Erich, the clown, answered. "Yeh? Don't be too sure. You ain't got him until he's on deck."

"Don't worry, he'll be on deck! Don't ya fellows get any ideas.

That beak belongs to me! I'll catch me a shark and use that beak as a handle for a walking cane. You blokes can fight over the rest."

"You haven't got that beak yet, Erich," broke in old Ernie. "Getting him to the ship is one thing. Raising him up through the overhang of the stern, and bringing him in over the rail, is something else. That's where you'll have your hands full. I've seen many of them get away."

Erich was getting plenty of advice and ribbing from his shipmates. Our victim was almost half-way to the ship. Then it happened! Somewhere, deep in a trough of the wild, running sea, Mr. Albatross and our tin triangle parted company. At the crest of the following sea he flapped his huge wings, and with a derisive squawk, went soaring away.

"There goes your walking cans, Erich, It's heading for the South Pole," snickered Chips.

Erich, cursing, gave the line to Moses saying "Here, some of you (#165) smart blokes try your luck. I'm through with it."

Some of us blokes did try, but no albatross was landed on the ship. For all his gracefulness when in flight, there is nothing graceful about an albatross once he is on the deck of a ship. He is a poor sailor. On deck he becomes seasick and disgorges his food, Even with his powerful wings he is unable to take flight unless pushed off the rail or tossed overboard into the sea.

Many of the old seafaring men were gifted in making curios, and the anatomy of the albatross provided a source of material. Albatross beaks were used to form the head of a walking cane with the remainder of the cane constructed from round vertebrae taken from the backbone of a shark strung on a stiff rod. The webbed feet of an albatross were made into tobacco pouches and the hollowed out bones of their wings provided pipe stems. Such curios, along with fancy needle and rope work, ship models etc., were a sailor's stock in trade once he was ashore. They were sold for cash or traded for pleasures not obtainable at sea. Quite frequently they were given away in gratitude for some kindness shown them while in port.

Sailors were also a superstitious breed of men. St. Elmo's fire, a mishap to the ship at launching, rats leaving the ship, consistent loss of lives, sailing on a Friday and having a woman aboard among other things were considered hoodoos to a ship. Some even considered having a Finn aboard as a hoodoo. With this, I do not agree, for Finns as a most general rule were excellent deepwater seamen. The alleged superstition that catching an albatross brought bad luck was ignored by most windjammer sailors. To break the monotony of long voyages they would try to catch anything - even an albatross - be it for diversion, food or souvenir. (#166)

The days spent running towards and rounding the Cape were the most miserable and trying times of the entire trip. The wheel and lookout were a most unpleasant one-hour trick. After an hour at the exposed, open wheel, the helmsman eagerly awaited relief. I, on lookout, was an exception. I could expect no relief if that bull-voiced foghorn had to operate. Between it and my lamps, I was the busiest man in our watch during that standby weather around Cape Horn, But I did not envy Jimmy having my former cabin boy job as I watched him grab the sleet-covered life-line with one hand, his other precariously balancing a coffee pot or pan of food, as he stumbled his way aft over the icy, snow-splattered, pitching deck. During this part of our trip, these were the only times he was seen on deck. Otherwise, he kept himself in the more comfortable confines of the dry cabin.

The ship suffered also in the southern latitudes below the Horn. Some hands mentioned they had rounded the Horn with royals set. But we did not. For the past three weeks the two remaining royals of our ship were never set. Running before the westerlies, the ship was mostly under fore, main, mizzen and topsails and sometimes less. During infrequent moderation of the weather the gansails were cracked on for a short period of time. Here, the Cambuskenneth made her best daily run, logging a bit over three-hundred miles. On one occasion while carrying gansails the wind increased with an unexpected suddenness. There was a loud cannon-like report from aloft, followed by machine-gun crackling of flapping canvas. There went our mizzen gansail, and forward, the flying jib let go. It was "All hands on deck" again. We stepped lively as the mate shouted to furl the fore and main gansails. The blown-out sail on the mizzen and the tattered rags of the flying jib had to be attended to. The biting cold was forgotten as we hurried the work of getting those gansails in. A ship, drawing heavy (#167) and meeting a sudden increasing wind, can cause the dismasting of a vessel. Having already lost a royal yard, we didn't want to lose a t'gallant or a topmast as well. Getting the big single fore gansail in was no picnic at any time. Erich, Bismarck, Moses and I scampered up to take care of it.

Our exertions from climbing aloft and grabbing at the billowing canvas soon provided a bit of warmth against the biting cold. It was a lively hour's work, with everyone doing his share, before we had the ship snugged down. Several other sails were torn to shreds before we rounded Cape Horn.

After passing the Cape, the ship began veering to the northward, catching the wind and sea off our port beam. We were shipping plenty of water and rolling in wide arcs. When the angry seas tumbled aboard, flooding the deck with tons of foam-flecked water, I experienced the feeling of being happier and more comfortable high aloft than on deck. Aloft was really a much safer place to be, for more men have been lost from the deck than from the rigging of a sailing ship. Both, however, have taken a heavy toll from crews that sailed the windjammers.

Let the seas tumble on deck. We were in the South Atlantic heading north towards the tropics again. We could not get there soon enough! (#168)

13. Northward in the Atlantic

Cape Horn lay behind us, but miserable days still lay ahead before we would pick up the southeast trade winds. Each day northward was one day farther away from the ice, fog, snow and sleet-laden rain. Because of our wide rounding of the Cape, Staten Island, off the southeastern tip of South America, and the Falkland Islands farther east, lay many miles to the westward and we sighted neither as we ran north. Making a landfall during a sailing ship's long voyage was always a welcome sight. It broke the monotony of seeing nothing but water after months at sea. Since leaving the Columbia River early in February no land was ever sighted.

Another sail had replaced our mizzen gansail lost below the Cape. The little flying jib that blew away was never replaced during the rest of our trip.

Since our abortive attempt to put the ship into Callao, the morale of the crew remained excellent. Outside of myself all were experienced deepwater sailors. Cape Horn was soon forgotten and now the main topic of conversation became reaching the tropics and getting paid off in Europe. The war going on hardly ever entered our discussions, and no one seemed perturbed over it's outcome. Was it over or not? We did not know.

Near the Falklands I had my second narrow escape from death or injury. It involved my partner Erich and me. The night was pitch black, the wind was howling, and it was raining heavily as we came on deck at midnight. Shortly afterward I made my way aft along the life-line in answer to the mate's whistle.

"Make fast the fore gansail!"', the mate yelled at me.

"Make fast the fore gansail", I repeated and then made my way forward to relay the order to our watch.

While pulling on the buntlines I glanced up at that big, heavy sail (#169) being clewed to the yard. Whether a premonition, I do not know, yet the thought occurred, "Cripes, I hate to go up there tonight". It was the only time during our trip that such a thought entered my mind. Reaching the yard Erich and I made our way out on the foot rope. The sail was flopping and billowing furiously as we lay against the yard and began to grab the kicking canvas. As soon as we had a few folds of canvas on the yard a gust of wind tore it from our grasp. We cursed as we fought that wild billowing sail. While clawing at the canvas, Erich's hands slipped, and out of the corner of my eyes, I saw his arms fly straight over his head. I grabbed the jackstay with my loft hand and threw my right arm across Erich's shoulders. I shoved him back against the yard. A moment later, through my exertions, I was in the same predicament. I had a hold of nothing! Erich grabbed me and shoved me back against the yard! Laying against the yard a moment to regain our breaths we again tackled the whipping canvas. Finally we had a section of the sail on the yard and wasted no time in spiraling a gasket around it. Getting the first part of a billowing sail made fast was the hardest, though the rest could still call for a lot of tugging and maddening moments. Getting that sail fast was enough to occupy our minds, and not until we reached the deck, did any reaction set in. My knees were shaking as we stood looking at each other. Grins came to our faces as we silently shook hands, for we had had a very narrow squeak and we both knew it. I still feel that someone besides Erich and I was on that yard, watching over us, on that pitch-black, stormy night near the Falkland Islands.

In a few days the islands lay astern, and to everyone's gratification the fog disappeared. No longer would I act as chief foghorn operator and no longer would it's bellowing tone disturb the watch below. Actually it disturbed us little. Coming off watch, wet, tired and cold, we (#170) gladly crawled into our bunks and were soon asleep and dead to the world. Only the arousing "Riza, riza" or "All hands on deck" could awaken us.

North of the Falklands, the monotony of seeing only ourselves was again broken by the sight of a ship. About six miles ahead and to starboard another homeward bound windjammer came into view.

"A ship! A ship!", someone yelled. The crew tumbled on deck to view the stranger, a large four-mast bark. We wondered who she could be. We were sailing a parallel course and the old Cambuskenneth was gaining on our company. Someone on that bark did not like this for they began breaking out their upper gansails. Not to be outdone by such a maneuver, out came our own main and mizzen royals. The race was on! By gosh, in about three hours we had her abeam!

"I know who she is", yelled Anderson. "That's the Russian bark Port Caledonia. She left Portland almost three weeks before we did. I've sailed on her and it's her alright."

Whoever she was, and Anderson was probably right, the Cambuskenneth proved the better vessel that day. By afternoon our rival was astern and toward nightfall we saw her no more.

Hereabouts, Moses and I had round two of our fights aboard ship. Coming on deck at midnight, I stood the first two hours lookout. It was a miserable night and I eagerly awaited Moses to relieve me. Four bells came and no Moses appeared. I waited ten minutes before I gave the bell a single blow. "Where's Moses", I asked the mate who again ordered a search. No one had seen him for some time and the first place they looked was in the officer's toilet aft. Moses wasn't there, he wouldn't pick the same place twice. A half hour went by and still no Moses. Finally they (#171) found him, fast asleep underneath a lower bunk against the wall of the fo'c'stle. He was rooted out and ordered up on the fo'c'stle head. We exchanged cold glares but spoke no word when he took over. Moses' sleeping in the fo'c'stle when he was supposed to be on watch was too much for the mate. Besides a stiff bawling out, it was two weeks straight lookout for Moses. On that pitching fo'c'stle head, and having to ring that bell every half hour, even Moses had no chance to sleep. Going into the fo'c'stle the next afternoon with Erich, I met Moses, evidently with a chip on his shoulder.

"What's the big idea, hollering for your relief," he began.

"What do you expect," I answered. "Do you think I like standing out in the wind and rain while you're curled up in the dry sleeping your head off? You would have hollered for your relief long before I did. Blame yourself, not me!"

The fight was on as we began swinging away with our fists. We didn't wait to go on deck. I fell down and got caught with the top of my head under the water tank which stood on short legs against the after wall. Moses was on me in a flash. It was no longer a stand-up fight. When I attempted to raise my head, my forehead struck the bottom of the tank. However, enough of my head stuck out to suit Moses, and he began to massage that part in a thorough fashion. We were finally parted, and needless to say, I could only eat soft food for a couple of days. That made our battles even, this second fight was won by Moses. I made up my mind that should a third fight take place I would see that it took place on deck with no low-standing water tank about. Our differences were soon forgotten and we became chums again.

We were now at about 45° south latitude. Standby weather was getting (#172) monotonous and we looked forward to daily work. However, better weather could not be hoped for until we neared the southeast trades, and they lay many miles to the northward.

As the ship rolled north, Moses and I were again sent down to check over the vegetables. That suited us fine! It provided us with another chance to help ourselves of the supplies from the lazaret, and in the dry hold of the ship we would be out of the wind and rain. But, not knowing when we would be called on deck, we were clad in oilskins. Before turning to on the vegetables, we again stopped in the lazaret and helped ourselves to some of the ship's stores; We stuffed our pockets with dried fruit. We filled some tobacco sacks with sugar, which along with other items, were stowed inside our shirts. Our sou'westers, full of dried apples on which we munched, lay beside us as we rubbed sprouts from the potatoes. We were having a swell time when in sneaked the mate! The mate scowled sternly before he spoke.

"So, now I catch you two hyenas stealing food from the lazaret!"

After some more fancy bawling out we wondered what sort of penalty the mate was going to dish out. But nothing happened! Finally, sternly warning us to leave the stores alone, he turned and left after grabbing a few apples from my sou'wester. Chances are, that in the past when he was young, he had done a little food snitching himself. Nevertheless, we were two scared monkeys for a few moments. The climax to the episode was yet to come.

I relieved the wheel at four o'clock and would be followed by Moses. I still had a cargo of dried fruit in my pockets as I took over the wheel. Standing on the low wooden grating, but keeping an eye on the mate, I just (#173) couldn't resist a bit of munching from my private lazaret. Reaching inside of my oilskins, for my stolen possessions was a rather clumsy procedure. Unnoticed by me, some pieces of dried fruit fell through the grating and onto the deck. Moses, returning from the wheel at six o'clock, wore a big scowl as he approached me at the galley door

"Damn you, Carl! You could at least have been more careful."

"What are you talking about. Careful about what?" I answered with a puzzled expression.

"The mate spied some pieces of dried apples under the grating that you must have dropped. He thought they were mine and I got another bawling out!"

For a moment I thought, "Here comes fight number three." It was pure carelessness on my part and Moses deserved a lot of credit for not squealing on me. I felt pretty low over the affair. However, we smoothed things over and had no more fights during the trip. We worked another watch sorting the vegetables but took no more chances of snitching food, well knowing that if caught a second time, our punishment would not end with only a bawling out. On the next watch, the mate payed another visit, but all he discovered was two, young ordinary seamen busily engaged at their work. We made the job last as long as we could, for such type of work, was never hurried aboard a sailing ship.

About this time Captain Sole decided to show a great streak of generosity by serving us an extra special dish. He gave Adolph orders to supplement our Sunday dinner with chicken! This may sound fantastic but it actually occurred. The idea was swell, only he trimmed his generosity with too heavy a list towards aft. All he got for his benevolence was a big beef with the crew. (#174)

Saturday afternoon, after I had made my round of the lamps, the mate ordered me to report to Adolph. Whenever the cook needed a hand, I got the contract.

"Say Adolph, why don't you get Jimmy when you need a hand?" I asked in the galley.

"Aw, Jimmy's too dumb and lazy to be of any help. Besides, they can spare you better on deck, so I ask the mate to send you."

I did not consider Adolph's joke a compliment, yet working in the shelter of the warm galley, should give me no reason to complain. Besides, I often worked the cook for a few tidbits whenever I gave him a hand and, helping him get the wine for his plum duff sauce, was always good for a drink from the tin funnel.

"O.K. Carl. Grab that gunnysack, we're going after some chickens" said Adolph.

"Chickens! You mean chickens to eat!"

"Yup, the captain suggested that I should serve chicken along with tomorrow's pigapana."

"How many chickens are we going to get," I asked Adolph as we made for the chicken coop. "Three," was his answer.

I wondered how three chickens could help much. Adolph guarded the door while I crawled into the low hen house with my sack. Crowding the chickens into a corner, I made a grab for one and managed to catch it by one leg before hell broke loose. With a wild squawking the rest took off. I had chickens In my face and about my neck as they jumped and flew wildly about. The coop, about two and a half feet high and five by eight in area, gave me little space to retreat. I managed to put the flapping and (#175) squawking chicken into the sack. Getting two more from that aroused flock posed quite a problem, the way they were flying around. I got all sorts of advice on how to do it from my shipmates standing nearby. I finally captured them, and crawling backward, dragging the sack, I left the battlefield to the remaining hens. Adolph slit their throats near a deck scupper. After scrubbing the area free of blood I followed Adolph into the galley. Dipping the chickens in a big can of boiling water, he handed them to me for plucking. As I sat picking feathers off I wondered which part of a chicken I would get at tomorrow's meal. Three chickens between twenty-two men would not allow much for anyone. For us ordinaries, only scraps would be left, after the A.B.s helped themselves.

Sunday forenoon, while the chickens were stewing, the news leaked out! Two chickens were to aft to the cabin's mess! What a deal! Two chickens for five men aft, and only one chicken for seventeen hands forward! The A.B.s picked this up at once and were up in arms over such a proposition.

"What kind of a deal is that? The Old Man is only thinking of his own fat belly, remarked Old Ernie.

"Well, what do you expect? Remember the two lousy little bottles of rum he dished out when Neptune came aboard.

"Hey, Adolph! What's this about two chickens going aft," yelled Anderson.

"Don't jump me. That's the captain's orders," answered Adolph with a red face.

"Send them all aft! We don't want any of them!" yelled Gustav "No! I'll throw our chicken on their messroom floor. That'll let him know what we think of his idea," chimed in the sailmaker, who would (#176) not have hesitated to back up his words.

"Nah, they'd pick it up and eat it. I'd sooner give it to the pig,"

said another A.B.

"Oh no, we won't," broke in Anderson. "We'll have chicken, only the Old Man will do the giving, not us. Pipe down, I have a scheme in mind." A council of war was held and a plan was made. If the captain had long ears, he would have wished he had never suggested chicken as a side dish to our pigapana. Shortly after eleven-thirty Magnus came to the galley to get the pigapana for the noon meal. Then Peedul, who had sneaked aft, came trotting breathlessly to the galley door.

"Hey cook, the captain wants to see you immediately," said Peedul. Would Adolph fall for the ruse. Sure enough, wiping his hands on his apron, Adolph high-tailed it aft. When he entered the cabin door, Bismarck ducked into the galley, grabbed a big fork, and speared two chickens from the pot. He put them in a pan and handed it to Moses waiting at the galley door. They disappeared at once into the fo'c'stle.

Adolph came hurrying from aft, and we could see by his expression, that he knew he had been hoodwinked. Having a good idea of what happened, he looked into the pot. He broke out with the fanciest Swedish profanity you could ever hope to hear, then beat it aft again. He reappeared accompanied by the captain. They headed straight for the fo'c'stle. Scowling faces greeted the captain upon his entrance. The starboard boys were sitting at their meal while some of the port watch stood by to back them up. No chicken was in sight. The boys waited for the captain to begin the argument.

"What's this I hear? While Adolph was sent aft on a wild goose chase he now reports that two chickens were stolen from the pot. Do you call (#177) that gratitude?" the captain spouted, his face red-flushed.

"What gratitude! Two chickens for you five blokes aft and only one for us forward," spoke up Anderson.

"That's my business, and I want those chickens!"

"What chickens are you talking about? You don't see any chickens on the table, do you? What do you intend to do about it?"

"I'll have those chickens if I have to search the fo'c'stle!" the captain shouted, his face becoming redder by the minute. Anderson had taken the lead as spokesman for the crew.

"Haw, haw, go ahead and search, but don't paw around my bunk looking for your lousy chickens. My bunk contains my personal belongings, and what's in there is none of your business." After several more left-handed compliments were hurled back and forth, Captain Sole gave it up.

"Get out of the fo'c'stle, go aft where you belong," was a parting shot as he walked out. To top it off, the chickens were hidden under Anderson's pillow.

The fo'c'stle on the old windjammers was the sailor's castle. Unless some business concerned the welfare of the ship, the fo'c'stle was usually given a wide berth by the after guard. Captains and mates rarely entered it, and were never welcome. The tables were turned, and the cargo trimmed so that one chicken went aft and two remained forward. The fo'c'stle hands won the chicken fight, but there was little to divide. I took in a plate for midships' share. Anderson, doing the carving, put four small portions on my plate. Looking them over, as I carried the plate to midships, I saw at first glance which piece would be mine. I gave it to the pig.

In the southern forties of the South Atlantic we still encountered (#178) heavy gales accompanied with high-running seas. Bracing the yards, setting and furling sails to meet the changing conditions, were daily maneuvers as we fought our way northward. Our ship was not equipped with any winches so all bracing was done by hand. In hoisting the upper topsail and main upper gansail yards, their halyards were taken through a snatch block leading to the most convenient of our four deck capstans. Several turns of the halyard were wrapped around the capstan. A sailor held the turns tight by taking up the slack of the halyard as we tramped around the capstan pushing against the bars. It was a slow process, but in such manner the yards were hoisted into place. The royal yards were usually hoisted by hand power only accompanied by a chantey. As five or six of us tugged on the halyard, we invariably started her up by singing "The Flying Fish Sailor".

I'm a flying fish sailor and come from Hong Kong,

For the way, heavee-ay-yo, blow the man down.

Went out of the city just for a walk,

Give us some time to blow the man down.

As I was walking down the highway,

For the way, heavee-ay-yo, blow the man down.

A pretty young damsel came in my way,

Give us some time to blow the man down.

I tucked her my tow-line and took her in tow,

For the way, heavee-ay-yo, blow the man down.

Like a homeward bound sailor if you must know,

Give us some time to blow the man down. (#179)

Up aloft now this yard must go-o-o-o,

For the way, heavee-ay-yo, blow the man down.

One more heave and then we'll belay,

Give us some time to blow the man down.

There are many other worded verses and parodies, the parodies of a ribald nature, but we always finished heaving with the above last verse. Aboard our ship, the parodies were sung.

It was standby weather and the life-lines were still regarded with respect. Cape pigeons had disappeared and albatross were becoming more rare daily. We had yet to pass through a somewhat treacherous area of the sea. This was off the Rio de la Plata, or River Plate, as it was known to deepwater sailormen. The area is off the Argentine coast eastward of Buenos Aires. Here, heavy storms sometimes occur due to a wind known as a pampero, generally blowing off the pampas of Argentina. They are of violent strength, lasting for several days or be of very short duration. Many sailing ships have come to grief in a pampero off the River Plate. The mate explained these storms while I stood a trick at the wheel.

"Usually," he said, "you see them approaching accompanied by heavy black clouds, thunder, lightning and heavy rain, yet they can come up with a terrible suddenness. When that occurs, ships caught carrying a heavy press of sails have been dismasted and, some have foundered."

The mate's hopes of not encountering a pampero were fulfilled. We did not meet such a storm, and once through this area, we would have the hardest part of our trip behind us. After picking up the trade-winds, we could expect good weather for the remainder of the voyage, as we would hit the North Atlantic in the summer season. Our spirits arose at the prospect (#180) of picking up the trade-winds in possibly another week. Standby weather would be over and we could complete putting the ship in homeward bound shape.

During the first breezes of the southeast trades, an event took place that gave me quite a shock. Moses and I were unfurling the mizzen gansail.

While loosening the sail I glanced off to starboard. A short distance ahead I noticed some wreckage of an irregular shape consisting of several planks and spars held together by an entanglement of seaweed. In the center was an object that resembled a human head!

"Hey, Moses," I yelled across to the other side of the mast. "Look at that mess floating ahead. It looks like a man's body is lashed to it!"

We stared wide-eyed. The wreckage soon floated by within eighty feet of the ship. When close at hand, I discovered what that object was. It was a huge sea turtle! Its head sticking up, was what I thought from my lofty perch, to be a man's head. I came close to singing out to the mate on deck that there was a man lashed to that wreckage. I would have had quite a time living that one down! Objects and distances are easily misjudged at sea, for as on a desert, mirages often occur. An irregular, dark cloud on the horizon, can have the hazy appearance of land. At night, a star hanging low on the horizon, being mistaken for a light happens frequently. On one occasion, Hein mistakenly reported breakers ahead! You came in for a ribbing by your shipmates when making such mistakes. Nevertheless, it proved you were not sleeping.

Hereabouts we received the first news in over three months from the outside world. To the eastward, a fair-sized passenger steamer was bearing down on us. She slowed down as we hoisted international signal flags. Answering our signals, she told us that the war was still on and, that German raiders and cruisers were on the high seas. We were informed that a (#181) submarine blockade had been proclaimed around the British Isles. They told us that German submarines were sinking many vessels, including neutral ships loaded with contraband for enemy ports. This was astonishing news to us! Submarine warfare against merchant ships had not yet started when we sailed from the Columbia River. After verifying our position, the Brazilian steamer picked up speed and proceeded westward. The war, which we had discussed little, now became the leading topic of conversation. We had a feeling that the war would be over by the time we arrived in Europe. Many of us had plans of where we would go after arriving at Queenstown, but now, it was if we arrived at Queenstown. Unless the war ended quickly, my hopes of cruising in the Baltic with Moses would go overboard. Moses would never get to Germany. He and the other German members of our crew had visions of facing internment in England. Our last month at sea might have been happier had we not spoken that steamer off Brazil. Our ship sailed on.

We were bound for Queenstown and, barring incidents beyond our control, that's where we would go. There was no talk of changing our destination. That wheat cargo was to be delivered to the British Isles.

Each day became warmer and it felt good to be rid of our oilskins. The dreary, gray overcast was replaced by bright, sunny days. High aloft in the rigging one enjoyed a most wonderful sight. As one looked down, the rolling bow waves of the ship, the foam-flecked sea running alongside, together with the white canvas billowing gracefully accompanied by the gentle roll and pitch of the ship, all provided a picture lovely to behold. At night, the countless stars and the brilliant Southern Cross, the most beautiful constellation of the sky, made the sea about the ship shine with a myriad of sparkling, phosphorescent lights.

In the warm weather of the southeast trades my thoughts wandered (#182) back to my little blue coat. Though I no longer needed it, would I ever see it again? One day as I stood loafing about the deck the second mate called me.

"Say Carl, I got news. Jimmy offered to trade a blue coat to me for a plug of tobacco. I think it's yours." The second mate had kept his word.

"Oh, he did, huh. Thanks Mr. Haugaard. I'll nail that Jimmy when I catch him on deck!"

The tobacco he referred to was our slop chest tobacco. It came in rectangular bars about one inch thick by two inches wide and ten inches long. It was hard as a rock. ' The sailors sliced it very fine with a sharp knife and rolled it vigorously in their palms to prepare it for smoking. Tobacco furnished a medium of exchange in their gambling at cards. Money was of little use on these long voyages but tobacco was always welcome. Shortly before noon I spied Jimmy coming forward for the food.

"Just a minute, Jimmy! I want to talk to you, you louse!"

"What habout, Carl? What's hon yer mind?" he answered meekly.

"You know what's on my mind! You wanted to trade the coat you stole from me to the second mate for a plug of tobacco, didn't you. What are you going to do about it!"

Jimmy stood cringing, and at a loss for words, as I continued, "I'll tell you what you'll do. Bring me back that coat and two bars of soap besides. I'm out of it."

"Hy 'avent hany soap. Hy'd 'ave to steal hit,"he answered.

"I don't care how you get it, but you should worry about stealing, so you can now steal some soap for me! If you don't bring my coat and two bars of soap by one o'clock, I'll beat the livin' daylight out of you when I catch you on deck!" (#183)

One o'clock came but no Jimmy. Suppertime came and no Jimmy came to the galley for the food. Adolph had to carry it aft and act as waiter at the officer's table. At breakfast next morning, still no Jimmy. About nine o'clock I answered the mate's whistle and was told to report to the captain.

"What's this trouble between you and Jimmy! I hear you threatened to beat him up. What in thunderation is this all about!" said the captain with a dark scowl on his face.

I told the captain the entire story about my coat. I admitted that I threatened to beat him up but that I had not done so because I had not seen Jimmy since the threat was made.

"That's just it! We haven't seen Jimmy either since yesterday afternoon! He may have jumped overboard because of your threat and, you may find yourself in serious trouble if that occurred. I would have to make out a full report in a case of that sort."

"Captain, Jimmy hasn't the nerve to jump overboard," I answered. "He's hiding out on the ship, that's where he is."

"For your sake, he'd better be! Make a search for him and see that you bring him aft in good shape. Now, get out of here and get going!"

"Yes sir, Captain. I'll find him somewhere on the ship."

Coming on deck I told the mate about my visit with the captain. However, I did not divulge to either one the angle about the soap. That was a private matter between Jimmy and me and was to be his penalty for stealing my coat. The mate, also vexed over Jimmy's disappearance, began to rake me over.

"What did you do with Jimmy? He's gone and the cook is doing his work." (#184)

"I didn't do anything except perhaps scare him a little, Mr. Frerichs. He's still aboard the ship." I asked the mate if Moses could assist me in the search.

"Yes, take Moses with you but, you better find Jimmy or you may be cabin boy again!

That was enough to spur me on, and finding Moses, I told him that we had to play policeman and search the ship for Jimmy. We searched the ship's boats and sail locker with no success. Then arming ourselves with flashlights, we climbed down into the forepeak of the ship. We looked that area over but found no Jimmy. Deciding to search from bow to stern, we climbed on top of our wheat cargo and began crawling aft. We had to crawl on our stomachs for there was little space between the sacked wheat and the deck beams. Here it was stuffy and warm, and after crawling about forty feet, we rested. Turning off our flashlights, which we used only intermittently, we lay in coal black darkness of the ship's hold. Now, a distance farther aft, we could detect a dim glow! Touching Moses, I whispered, "Moses, do you see that light farther aft?"

"Yeh, Carl, I see it and I bet Jimmy is there."

"That light couldn't get down here by itself. Keep our flashlights off. Let's sneak up as quiet as we can."

Slowly we pulled ourselves along, careful to make no sound. The glow grew brighter as we came nearer. We could see it came from just below the outline of the big main hatch. Under the hatch was a depression, roughly four feet deep, left when the last sacks of the cargo were loaded. We peeked over the edge of the hollowed-out area. There sat Jimmy, huddled on a sack of wheat! He was no longer a cabin boy - he was traveling as a passenger. (#185)

Scattered about was a tin of meat, some marmalade, three loaves of bread and other provisions. His one jug of water would not last him long in the muggy hold of the ship. By his side lay a big kitchen knife, and a low-burning lantern rested on a sack of wheat nearby. I wished the captain could have seen that. If that cargo of wheat had caught on fire it might have been the end of us all, including the ship. Jimmy had no inkling that we were close at hand. We retreated to the darkness of the hold, and in low whispers, planned a course of action. Capturing Jimmy had to be accomplished by swift surprise. We didn't like the looks of that knife and lantern.

"Moses, we'll work our way to just above and behind him. You grab the lantern and knife and I'll grab Jimmy.

Quietly we made our way back to the depression, Jimmy still unaware of our presence. Keeping our eyes on him every second we came to the edge of the depression. We hunched ourselves, and nudging Moses with my elbow, we jumped. Jimmy had no chance! I landed on top of him, bowling him over on his back. Moses grabbed the knife and moved the lantern to a safer place. The captain, not being around, I buffed Jimmy in his face as he struggled to get free. We propped him up against the sacked wheat where he sat shaking like a leaf. The situation seemed comical to us, yet I was sure relieved that Jimmy was found.

"What's the big idea, Jimmy, hiding in the hold with all this grub," I asked.

"Hy were going ter finish me trip hin the 'old. Hy weren't comin' hon deck henymore," he mumbled.

"What'll we do with his grub, Carl," asked Moses.

"Jimmy got it down here so he can take it all back." I cut a string (#186) from a sack of wheat letting the contents flow out. "Here, Jimmy, put your stores in this sack. You'll drag it out, not us. Come on, get going! The captain will be glad to see you."

Using our flashlights we crawled aft over the wheat sacks. Jimmy, in the lead, had to tug his loaded sack over the uneven surface of the stowed cargo. Reaching the lazaret, Jimmy set his sack down intending to stow some of the contents to their respective places.

"No you don't! You'll take the whole works to the Old Man," I ordered. I didn't want the captain to miss any act of the show. Moses had raised the small hatch leading into the officer's messroom.

"Up the ladder, Jimmy! Get going and take the sack with you." Following him up I closed the hatch, and seeing no one about, we led Jimmy to the captain's quarters. Captain Sole, lying on the settee, stared wide-eyed as we entered. With a flourish, I presented Jimmy, sack and all, to the captain. "Here's your Jimmy, Captain," I announced.

A squall was making up fast on the captain's face as he growled, "So, you found him, eh? It's a good thing for you! What's the meaning of that sack?"

"The sack is full of food from the lazaret. Jimmy had set up Housekeeping quarters where he intended to stay for the rest of the trip. His apartment was under the main hatch in the hold. We found him there with this knife and lantern."

The captain looked into the sack and then tore into Jimmy. "I see you have quite a supply here. Maybe they should have left you there with your fits! You must be crazy, taking a lighted lantern down in that cargo of wheat! If it caught afire we'd all be in a fine pickle! So, you wanted (#187) to be a passenger, did you? You've caused enough commotion! Anymore tricks from you, I'll confine you to a room aft where you won't travel in any style, I'll tell you that!"

Little did the captain realize how prophetic his words would prove before the trip ended. He now turned to us.

"You two farmers, get the hell on deck where you belong, and you, Carl! You keep your hands off Jimmy! Now, get out of here!"

On the way out I stepped into Jimmy's room. There, against a wall, hung my coat! I grabbed it and went on deck. Seeing Jimmy later on, I thought that I could still run a bluff.

"Hey Jimmy, what about that soap! You better produce if you know what's good for you!"

"Ho kay, ho kay, hy'll get ye yer soap. Give me toime, won't yer." Late that afternoon Jimmy came to the door of midships. "'Ere's yer soap," he whispered as furtively he pulled two bars of square, yellowish-brown soap from beneath his shirt.

"O.K., Jimmy. Now we'll call it square." I was satisfied. I had my coat and a new supply of soap, enough to last for the rest of the trip. (#188)

14. Rolling northward

After we picked up the southeast trades, standby weather never again occurred during the remainder of the voyage. Our storm sails had been replaced with the lighter and older fair-weather canvas. Changing sails on the Pacific side had been a necessary maneuver in anticipation of the heavy weather that lay ahead. Here, in the Atlantic, it was a matter of economy. Sails were an expensive item, so it was now done to save wear and tear on the heavy storm canvas. Reaching the tropics and the doldrums, the ship might lie becalmed, the sails hanging limp would flap and rub against the adjacent rigging and the intermittent rain squalls combined with the blazing heat was also detrimental to the canvas.

Most of our work would be to complete putting the ship in homeward-bound shape for her arrival in port. Cleaning the anchor chains and chain lockers were attended to during the Pacific side of the trip. How the outside appearance of the ship, from mast trucks to deck, would demand our attention. The mate was a stickier for having the work done right, but he had little cause to complain, for the crew also took pride in their work in seeing that it was done in shipshape manner. However, the mate's methods were severely criticized later. The two life-boats in the davits aft and the work-boats on top of the fo'c'stle were washed and painted, inside and out. The deckhouse and the chart house on the poop received a final coat of white paint. The galley and living quarters, both forward and aft, got a final touching up. Lockers, benches and walls under the fo'c'stle head received a going over. Chipping the rusted areas and applying a protective coating of red lead was usually the contract of the ordinary seamen. The old "soogee moogee", or washing the areas to be painted, also fell to (#189) their lot. After the gray trim was applied, the old Cambuskenneth began looking brighter.

The old deepwater sailor was a "Jack of all trades". During years at sea he became familiar with the use of tools and could readily adapt himself to various types of work, especially painting. Occasions for painting are never lacking on ships going to sea. Having now mastered control of a paint brush, I could take my place with the rest of the boys. There was much other work to be done besides painting to put our ship in homeward-bound shape.

Blocks were greased, repaired and varnished. Rigging and fittings aloft was inspected and put in order. Foot ropes, stirrups and wire splices had the marlin serving renewed where necessary. Marlin is a small, two-stranded rope about three sixteenths in diameter and impregnated with an oil and tar compound. Wrapping this marlin in tight, adjacent coils around the cables and splices was known as serving. It helped to protect them from the elements. The work was performed with wooden serving mallets, coming in various sizes with the outer part of the head, for its entire length, having a rounded groove of approximately the radius of the wire on which the serving was to be done. By wrapping a few turns of marlin around the wire and handle of the mallet, a tight tension was kept on the marlin as the mallet was revolved around the wire. The marlin was wrapped very close and tight and sometimes a helper passed the supply of loose marlin around the wire as the mallet made its turns. I was Erich's helper on such operations, he at times, allowing me to do the serving. To give additional protective covering the final serving was coated with Stockholm tar. This was not the evil-smelling coal tar used in the chain lockers. Stockholm tar is a wood distillation from pine stumps. We liked its sweet, (#190) invigorating odor. To have the serving appear nice and round on larger cables some preliminary work was necessary. On such cables a depression exists between adjacent strands. The depressions were filled with some suitable material, usually marlin. This was called worming. Then, by a process known as parcelling, a layer of burlap or canvas strips was wrapped in spiral fashion around the wire before the serving was done. This made a neater and rounder job and gave added protection as well. An old sailor saying relating to this procedure was "Worm and parcel with the lay. Turn around and serve the other way".

New ratlines were spliced and seized to the shrouds where necessary. The fore and aft stays, backstays and shrouds were wire-brushed and tarred down. In this work, a sailor sat in a bosun's chair hanging from a shackle going around the stay itself. By means of a line fastened at the top and then with a hitch to the hanger of his chair the sailor gradually lowered himself as the work progressed. At the lower end, the backstays and shrouds passed around iron thimbles and were doubled back about four feet. The doublings of the cables were held together by several bands of wire seizings which were renewed if necessary. 3etween the thimbles and the bulwarks, or to the side of the ship, were heavy turnbuckles by which the cables were held taut. The turnbuckles were protected with iron tubes or barrels with the ends covered with parcelling and a boot of sewed canvas. The turnbuckles were inspected, greased, adjusted and the covering renewed. This type of work the sailors enjoyed except perhaps the tarring down.

Another job, the holystoning commenced. There was nothing enjoyable about this! First we tackled the pin-rails along the bulwarks and the fife-rails around the foot of the masts. On the poop, railings, doors, skylights, wheel, wheel box and benches received our attentions. These were (#191) built of teak. We rubbed and scrubbed until we had a section scoured clean. It was then given several coats of varnish and shellac, applied mostly by the carpenter and Bismarck.

Others were rechalking and pouring the deck seams with pitch wherever it was needed. After the excess pitch was scraped off, the holystoning of the deck commenced. It began on the poop! Fix the officers up first - authority must be served! The rest of the deck need not be so perfect, but the poop had to shine. Pushing that canvas-wrapped brick back and forth, while on our knees, soon became monotonous and back-breaking work. We were glad when our watches were finished and we could go below.

We welcomed every opportunity to man the sails or braces. A trick at the wheel was a pleasure and, no tight buntlines or loose gaskets existed for long while the holystoning went on. Spotting these, we would drop the brick like a hot potato, and climb the rigging. We did not return to deck by sliding down the backstays as on our Sunday watches. We climbed down by way of the ratlines, and not too fast by any means. The holystoning required over a month of tedious and tiresome work before being completed.

After we had the ship looking hunky-dory and in tip-top shape, the mate gave orders to complete the job by giving the masts and yards a coat of fresh buff paint! All hell broke loose! The beefing commenced, and Anderson in particular, blew his top.

"That crazy bloke! We get the ship tidied up spic and span and now the idiot tells us to do painting aloft! It's doing the job backwards."

"Sure, that's right! Why didn't the big stiff do the yards and masts first?" chimed another.

"Why! Spite work, that's why," continued Anderson. He's just trying to take his spite out on us, that's all it is. When I go aloft I'll (#192) fix him and his clean deck!"

On it went, one gripe after another and perhaps they were right in this. Griping was a common virtue in the fo'c'stles of the old windjammers, especially against the officers aft and particularly against the steward.

The painting aloft commenced, and one day as Anderson was painting the mizzen lower topsail yard, an accident occurred while the mate stood conveniently at the break of the poop. Down crashed Anderson's bucket of paint! It landed square upon the newly varnished fife-rail and the holystoned deck! It made quite a mess, but Anderson of course, claimed it was an accident. Now, who was guilty of spite work! Of all the painting done aloft, the only pail that tumbled down was Anderson's, the most efficient sailorman of the crew. The old animosity against the mate by some members of the starboard watch was still in force. All this caused was a lot of extra work. We had to clean the area over again, but Anderson no doubt, felt he had put his point over.

The starboard boys had little regard for their own second mate, easygoing and soft-speaking Julius Haugaard, even though he was Norwegian. Behind his back they beefed about his timidness and sailorman's ability. Perhaps a more forceful officer, like the mate, could have gained their respect. At sea, where our world was narrowed to the confines of the ship, someone must give orders and others obey, if the ship is to reach its destination. The starboard boys held no disrespect for the mate's ability for unquestionably he was the most efficient officer of the after guard. But from the start of the trip they disliked having a German mate aboard. Unless it was the captain's idea, the mate no doubt, considered getting the ship's deck in proper order first, and then if time remained, to paint (#193) the masts and yards. No one hurried us, and with a little care on our part, it could have been accomplished without such – accident.

In the heat of the tropics, wetting down the deck and hatches again became a daily ritual. Sleeping on the open deck was a welcome relief from weeks spent in the cold and close confines of the fo'c'stle. It was a wonderful feeling to be warm and dry for a change. Bathing in the rain was seldom missed. The days went rapidly and we soon entered the doldrums near the equator. At times we lay in a dead calm, the sea like a sheet of glass. On one such occasion we young fellows got the brilliant idea to go swimming in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. On a free Sunday watch, Moses, Peedul. Bismarck and I jumped out of our clothes and made for the mainmast shrouds. We intended to swim out with the end of a buntline and pull ourselves hand over hand back to the ship. It was lucky for us that the mate happened to be alert on the poop. He gave a loud blast on his whistle, let out a yell, and came hiking to where we stood. His eyes were flashing as he tore into us.

"How crazy can you monkeys be! Have you no brains at all! he roared at us.

"We only thought a swim would be refreshing and fun, Mr. Frerichs, the ship isn't going anyplace," answered Bismarck.

"Fun, huh! Belay them buntlines! Take a look over the other side of the ship. Go on, take a good look! Then tell me if you still want to go swimming. It might prove a bit too much fun to suit you!"

After belaying the buntlines we made our way over to the starboard rail. About forty feet from the ship, several sharks over eight feet long, were swimming lazily about! We stared at them with astonishment and then glanced at the mate who stood shaking his head at our bewilderment. (#194)

"You want them babies to join your fun! Still want to go swimming," barked the mate with a sardonic grin as he eyed us over.

Our enthusiasm for swimming entirely disappeared! But out there perhaps fun of a different nature presented itself.

"Can we change our fun to catching sharks", asked Bismarck.

"I'll not object to that but clean up every bit of mess you make on deck. Scrub it good so no smell of a shark remains on the ship."

The mate turned and tramped aft. We jumped into our dungarees and were soon joined by others for our fishing expedition. Having no fish hooks, we rummaged through some gear under the fo'c'stle head and found an object that would do for a hook. It was a galvanized see-shaped hook commonly used in butcher shops for hanging up meat. At one end we forged an eye and then shaped it more to a hook form. To this we attached a short piece of chain and then a one-inch line. We mooched some pieces of fat pork, about the size of a fist, from Adolph for bait. The hook had no barb and we merely jabbed the bait over the sharpened point. Knowing we could never pull Mr. Shark up with such tackle, Anderson came to our rescue.

"I'll show you fellows how to lasso the babies so you can haul them up," said Anderson.

Around the line to which our hook was attached he placed a second line with a running loop that could be drawn tight. Dropping the baited hook over the side we awaited the approach of Mr. Shark. The other line, with it's three-foot loop, was held ready at the ship's rail. A customer soon appeared swimming leisurely towards the bait. He was accompanied by several little friends swimming and darting around his head. These are known as pilot fish. They resemble a mackerel and have bluish-green irradiant stripes along their sides. Mr. Shark never bothers them and, (#195) every shark seen, was accompanied by a group of pilot fish. We became tense as the shark approached. Our baited hook was only about three feet below the surface. In the clear, blue water we could have seen our bait thirty feet down, but with our type of fishing gear we had to make the catch near the surface. When about four feet from the bait, the shark gave a slight roll, and with his big mouth gaping, he plowed right into our bait. When that disappeared in his mouth we gave a good jerk on the line and kept a hard, steady pull. The hook held and the fun commenced! Mr. Shark was thrashing madly about practically against the side of the ship. Finally, we raised his head to the surface. Then we dropped the running loop down our line, and Mr. Shark by his own violent actions, helped to settle the loop over his head. When it dropped just below the long, triangular dorsal fin, we pulled the loop tight. Both lines were in the clear outside of the ship's rigging and led to the fo'c'stle head. We soon had the shark off the bow of the ship and were ready to hoist him aboard. The big brute was plenty powerful but so were the five men hauling on the line.

"Bring him aboard sailor style with a chantey," someone yelled. With each pull of the song the shark rose higher out of the sea. So we heaved him aboard with a chantey while he danced at the end of our line. Dragging him onto the fo'c'stle head, we kept well clear of his thrashing head and powerful tail. His huge mouth, continuously opening and snapping shut, disclosed rows of sharp, triangular-shaped teeth capable of biting off an arm or leg if within reach of his clashing jaws. That shark was plenty mad, with a hateful gleam in his small cruel-looking eyes. With long capstan bars we pushed the shark to the break of the fo'c'stle head and let him drop eight feet to the deck below. There in an entanglement of lines he continued to thrash around. One of the boys pushed a capstan (#196) bar about four feet down the brute's throat. Two of us hung onto the bar trying to hold him steady while he was hit over the head with a sledgehammer. This did not faze Mr. Shark, he thrashed around worse than ever. We let go, and the capstan bar protruding from his jaws, was making wild swipes through the air. A.B.s standing around offered us young fellows plenty of sarcastic advice on how to gain the upper hand. Finally Chips came out of his shop with a hand axe.

"I'll show you how to finish him off. You blokes are making too much heavy weather of the job and are working at the wrong end." said Chips.

At an opportune time he cut the shark's tail off close to the body. A stream of dark-red blood spurted out. It was like sticking a pig, and within a few minutes, he was a dead shark.

No longer could it be said that we on the Cambuskenneth were poor fishermen. The ice was broken by a shark ten feet long that lay on deck. Fishing prospects looking good, we untangled our lines and went at it again. We fished until five more of the brutes lay on the deck of the ship. Remembering the mate's orders about cleaning any mess, we decided that six of the monsters was enough.

Now the curio hunters went to work. The jaws and the round, gristle-like discs of the backbones were the parts most desired. With knives, hatchet and hacksaw we went to work. Cutting out the parts fairly close was good enough - plenty of time to trim them later. Carving the jaws from the ugly heads proved a tough, messy and tedious job. I inherited a fine set of jaws, a tail and a backbone as my share of our fishing expedition. Strips and patches of the tough, rough-surfaced hide were peeled off for making other curios. The largest tail was nailed to the end of the ship's bowsprit (#197)

The deck area, covered with blood and slime, was a gory sight with parts of shark heads and carcasses scattered about. We hung a block from a backstay to hoist up the heavier pieces which were dropped over the side. The rest was thrown overboard, all to become a welcome meal for their brothers and sisters still swimming around the ship. To scrub away the filth we went over the area several times and did not have it shipshape until well after our evening meal. Having been on watch all forenoon, we now had to stay until-midnight. That was a long Sunday for the port watch.

We didn't care, the excitement kept us interested. We could sleep the midnight watch and get more sleep tomorrow forenoon.

To satisfy my curiosity if shark flesh was edible, I cut some small fillets which Adolph fried for me. I found the meat to be course, rubbery and with little taste.

"How do you like your fish?" asked Chips.

"I don't care for it. Either I got ahold of a tough fish or Adolph don't know how to fry shark meat. It might keep you from starving if you had nothing else but I'll give the rest of it to the pig."

During spare moments we trimmed most of the meat and gristle from our trophies. The next night Adolph let us boil the jaws on the galley range. This helped to soften what meat and gristle remained. After drying them in the sun we wire-brushed all foreign matter from the bones and teeth. The jaws measured about fourteen inches across with three rows of closely spaced, sharp-pointed, sawtooth-shaped teeth with rough serrated edges. The gristle-like discs of the backbone were from a quarter to about a half-inch thick and from one-half to over an inch in diameter. When dry and hard they could be strung on a stiff rod, and with an albatross beak (#198) for a handle, made a unique walking cane. But alas, Erich's albatross beak was still down around Cape Horn.

As is usual in the doldrums we were busy at the braces, taking advantage of each wind squall and catspaw of breeze to get across this infernal region. Our daily mileage was very little, yet bit by bit, we kept nosing northward. The miles gained were precious miles, each one bringing the ship nearer the northeast trades. Odd as it may seem, our busiest times were spent in these areas of little or no wind. One may think the busiest time on a sailing ship would be during a heavy blow. That is not so unless disaster has struck. In a good fair breeze, we would trim the sails to suit and let the ship roll on. In heavy gales, we would shorten down to fit the sea and weather and let her stagger through. Then, it's more dangerous getting around the deck, but not near so much work as in the doldrums.

Reaching the Line, King Neptune did not board the ship again. We young fellows, having rounded Cape Horn, were now considered worthy subjects of his realm, though we had much to learn before we could qualify as first-rate sailormen.

A short distance north of the equator we sighted land! This was the first land we had seen since leaving the Columbia River. Dead ahead, two small islands were shaping up from the expanse of sea. They were St. Paul's Rocks, a small group of islands off the northern coast of Brazil. The ship sailed slowly in their general direction and the islands began looming up more distinctly. No signs of habitation or navigational aids were visible. Nothing except uneven, craggy rocks. Shortly before dusk they lay about six miles ahead. The distance between the islands appeared to be from five to eight miles. The wind was very light, the ship barely logging two knots. (#199)

In the area of the doldrums the wind could fail at any time and we might lie becalmed and drifting. The direction of what breeze there was could also vary greatly. When some of the forward hands saw the ship was headed to pass between the islands they blew their top.

"What's that big, dumb bloke going to do, pass between them rocks during the night! What kind of navigation do you call that? He ought to have his head examined! If this catspaw of wind fails, we'll lay becalmed between those rocks at night. Yeh, and just our luck to go drifting onto them," were some of the remarks overheard.

It was another chance for them to take a dig at the mate. Surely, our mate or any mate, would take the responsibility of navigating the ship when within such close proximity of land without the captain's knowledge.

No doubt Captain Sole was aware of what was taking place and gave the orders. Our mate was responsible for everything according to some of the crew. The very rare appearance of the captain on deck no doubt helped create such an impression.

Darkness, relieved by a starlit sky, overtook the ship before we entered the pass between the two islands, the hazy outlines of which were just visible as we trained our eyes in their direction. The wind, though barely strong enough to keep the sails billowing from the yards, held on and our ship slowly slipped through the passage. In the morning daylight the islands were barely visible against the horizon astern.

We were becoming fed up with the heat of the tropics, and would welcome the cooler and steady breeze of the northeast trades which we encountered after five days in the doldrums. The ship was put on the starboard tack bearing a little to the west of north. We entered the eastern portion of a peculiar area of the Atlantic Ocean known as the Sargasso Sea. It (#200) was a comparatively still-water area, the sea slowly working and heaving in low, undulating-swells. Enormous patches of brownish-yellow seaweed floated about, covering huge parts of the surrounding surface as far as one could see. We lowered buckets to pull up some seaweed which we sealed in lime juice bottles filled with sea water. More curios. The Sargasso Sea teemed with various species of minute sea life. Odd types of jellyfish, by the thousands, floated around. Each dip of the bucket included jelly-fish and very small crabs entangled with the seaweed. For amusement we teased and prodded the jelly-fish with sticks. They were repulsive and slimy appearing and we didn't handle them as some were capable of inflicting a sharp sting which was poisonous and could cause infection. The most interesting things we dipped from the Sargasso Sea were the queer-looking fishes known as sea-horses. They were from two to five inches in length. Perhaps one should say high, for they swam about in a vertical position. They had a horse-shaped head with a slender pipe-stem-like snout. The head, set on a curving arch-like neck, was attached to a short chest-like body that tapered off to a slender, forward up-turning tail. Their entire body was covered with small, bony, spine-like ridges and knobs. After they had furnished us with considerable amusement with their maneuvering about in a bucket of water we threw them back into the sea.

A superstitious legend has prevailed that a ship caught in the Sargasso Sea would be unable to get free. This belief, like some others concerning the sea, is entirely false. No such danger exists yet a small wooden sailing ship, with her hull heavily encrusted with barnacles after long months at sea, would perhaps drag along an enormous amount of seaweed which could make her passage through the Sargasso Sea a long and tedious one.

Around the first of June we left that area behind. When west and (#201) north of the Azores we picked up a westerly wind and swung to a general northeasterly course for the final run to Queenstown. (#202)

15. Events in the North Atlantic

At the northern edge of the Sargasso Sea an eerie event took place. It happened on a warm night as I stood lookout. The ship pitched and rolled gently as I paced back and forth. All that entered my mind was to answer the bells and to let my "All-l-l-s, well-l-l, sir-r-r" go trailing aft to the mate. Five bells were struck at the wheel aft. I rang the answer, reported the lights, and happened to turn my eyes aloft. On both tips of the fore gansail yard a bright, red and orange ball of fire, about two feet in diameter, began spitting and dancing about. I wasn't dreaming as I saw that St. Elmo's fire had settled on our ship! St. Elmo's fire is an electrical accumulation and discharge. When appearing on a ship, usually at a mast head or yard arm, it is considered an omen that bad luck will overtake the vessel. I, too, had superstitions and felt a little creepy with a feeling that disaster would befall our ship before the trip ended. When I went aft to relieve the wheel I met the mate.

"Did you see what took place on the fore gansail yard, Mr. Frerichs?" I asked in a scary tone.

"What are you talking about, Carl?" answered the mate rather sternly. "Didn't you see St. Elmo's fire on the yard arms!"

"You're talking through your hat and say no more about it."

He said that as an order. However, he had seen it, for much later he admitted it to me and said he didn't want it advertised among the crew. I was a very serious-minded boy as I stood at the wheel. "What's going to happen next," I thought as I crawled into my bunk.

Troubles beset the ship for the remainder of the trip. After over four months at sea the amiability of the crew began to wane. The men seemed to crawl into a shell and no longer had the same spirit shown during (#203) the earlier part of the trip. Our entire world was our ship. Seeing the same faces over and over again and the discouraging news about the war began to have a depressing effect, especially among the thirteen men in the small fo'c'stle. They were becoming restless and easily irked. That was the least of our troubles.

Trouble over the food appeared! When the cause came to light, a certain member of the crew cooked his goose! One morning we found our breakfast "burgoo" tasting like soap. The coffee was so salty that no one could drink it. The sailmaker grabbed our pan of "burgoo", picked up his mug of coffee, and stormed out to the galley where others of the crew were congregated.

"Hey, Adolph, do you expect us to eat this garbage!" roared the sailmaker. Others voiced their opinion of the food, none of it complimentary. Adolph's face turned red as he stared at the delegation at the galley door. "Wha-what's wrong with it?" the cook stammered finally.

"Taste it and you'll find out what's wrong with it," yelled Dewey. Adolph sampled the food and let out a stream of Swedish curses, and saying, "By yimminy, I'll swear I didn't put that stuff in the food, but I sure would like to know who did!"

He was a mad cook as he threw his pots around to cook a second batch. We were inclined to believe Adolph for he had developed into a mighty good cook for the ship. The second day was the same story. Someone on the ship was meddling with the food! The third morning Adolph stepped out of the galley momentarily, and on his return, caught the culprit. It was Jimmy! Before Adolph could grab him, Jimmy flew out the other door and ran aft. The cook told us of his discovery when we came for our food.

"Jimmy is the one who has messed up the food," began Adolph. "We have (#204) been having a few difficulties and he wants to get even with me. He's going off his beam for sure. I caught the crazy galoot standing before the mirror in our room. He was acting the part of a mad man with white foam around his mouth."

"You mean, foaming at the mouth?" asked a sailor.

"Yeh, only the foam was lather from my shaving soap. He was standing before the mirror making crazy faces and mumbling to himself."

That was the closest Jimmy ever came to having an actual fit while aboard the ship. The crew had enough! A group, headed by the sailmaker, tramped aft to see the captain.

"Captain, Jimmy is meddling with our food. We don't intend to stand for that!" announced the sailmaker in no uncertain terms. He told the captain what had taken place.

"What do you propose I should do about it?" asked Captain Sole.

"With Jimmy running around loose he may poison us all with his crazy doings. We are asking you to lock him up."

"Yes, that may be the best for all concerned. I'll confine him to a room aft for the rest of the voyage," was the captain's decision.

Jimmy was going passenger at last, but when I heard that, I began to worry. Cripes, would I be chased back aft, and finish the trip as cabin boy? However, this did not happen. I don't know if it was Neptune's diploma or the good graces of the captain, mate and cook that allowed me to stay on deck. Perhaps the willingness I tried to show after going on deck now reacted in my favor. I even gained by Jimmy's confinement, for during a lamp-trimming tour, I was called to the poop by the mate.

"Carl, take all cabin lamps to Jimmy for cleaning, not to make it (#205) easier for you but we got to give him something to do or he might really go crazy. The key to his door is hanging in my room. Have someone with you when you take the lamps to Jimmy and keep your eyes on him. We don't want him to get any ideas about starting a fire on the ship."

A bit later, with Moses at my side, I knocked and unlocked the door to Jimmy's jail.

"Hey, Jimmy, here's some lamps for you to clean and fill, mate's orders," I announced.

"Hy know, the myte told me habout hit. 'Ow's things hon deck?"

Moses and I sat before the open door watching Jimmy work. The lamp cleaning chore assured him of visitors each day, and we managed a few favors for him, including reading material. Jimmy was sure a character and never at a loss for words. One sunny day he stuck his head out of the porthole of his room, and glancing up, spied the mate at the poop rail.

"'Ow ye do, Mr. Myte. Hit's sure wonderful weather we're 'aving, haint hit," was the greeting he gave.

Jimmy, confined to a room, was discussing the weather with the mate. However, there was no resemblance of a jail to Jimmy's present quarters.

In the dry cabin aft he had a room all to himself just like the captain and the mates. For his meals, he even received room service by the cook. Except for being confined, he was living in a style far better than us forward hands in the deckhouse fo'c'stle. He no longer had to get up early in the morning, wash dishes, scrub floors, make up bunks or fetch the food from the galley.

More bad luck. During our long months at sea, serious sickness had not struck the crew, but this good fortune also came to an end, almost resulting in a burial at sea. The grim reaper was pointing his finger (#206) at Joe, the worn-out looking Brazilian sailor of the starboard watch. He became very sick with a bladder ailment and was in great pain. A bed was made for him under the fo'c'stle head. Being an old-time foremast hand, he said he would rather be there for the cabin aft was not for him. Nor would he stay in the fo'c'stle, where his groans and the sight of him in misery would disturb his shipmates. Captain Sole did all he could to ease Joe's suffering, frequently draining his bladder to give him relief. The captain's Hoffman's Drops would do no good in this case. Joe never turned to for work again. He was in bad shape, at times moaning and often shrieking in pain. With staring eyes, he at times, pitifully begged for a padre or priest.

Jimmy's meddling with the food and Joe's illness showed how St, Elmo's fire cursed our ship and, St. Elmo was not finished with us yet.

At the time Joe took sick we spoke our second ship. Queenstown should not be much over a week away. On the afternoon of June 23, a gray-hulled steamer was heading our way. Sailing slowly on the starboard tack we turned our eyes aft to see if signal flags were flying to speak the steamer. No action was noted on the poop and several of the crew tramped aft and demanded that we speak the steamer for information regarding the war situation. Somewhat reluctantly, Captain Sole gave the order. The mate, not hesitant in carrying out the order called for the carpenter and me to come up on the poop. In the chart house was a large book of International Code flag signal combinations. It was an English edition, and the mate quoting a message to me in German "Ist Frieden erklärt", asked me to find the English equivalent. I ran my fingers down a page listing messages appertaining to war. Coming to the phrase "Is peace proclaimed" I told the mate it was the message he wanted to send. Code flags were listed alongside.

"Get out Y and T", quickly ordered the mate. (#207)

Grabbing the flags from the locker we rushed on deck. As I stood by, the mate and carpenter bent them on the flag halyard and up they went. The steamer, now about a half-mile off, slowed her speed as she approached our starboard quarter. After a short interval the answer came back! "No". The steamer slowly rounded our stern at a very close distance and further conversation could be carried on by megaphone. She was the British steamer Statesman, out of Liverpool and bound for Montreal, We were told that many vessels were being sunk by submarines operating in a wide area around the British Isles. They could offer little advice on how best to avoid the submarines, but said that patrol boats closer to shore, might advise us as to the best procedure to avoid being intercepted. With an exchange of waving arms the Statesman steamed away. We sailed on to whatever fate lay before us, our spirits greatly subdued. The meeting with this steamer was to provide a most remarkable sequel forty-five years after the event occurred.

All hands except Joe and Jimmy were on deck when we spoke the British steamer. The bad news was now known. The thought of abandoning ship, if intercepted by a submarine, weighed heavily on our minds. Were the lifeboats provisioned? Did they contain all necessary gear and could they be launched on short notice? Outside of raising the boats a few inches when the painting took place they were never swung out during the entire trip. The carpenter's periodic inspection and greasing of the blocks and davits was all the attention they received. The crew decided to find out. With a copy of the Norwegian maritime regulations to back them up, a group hiked aft and demanded that the life-boats be inspected. They were in no mood to be sidetracked and were well within their rights. The order to make such inspection should have originated aft with no argument necessary. The next morning several sailors of the starboard watch yanked the cover off (#208) their boat. Water casks were refilled and the supply of sea biscuits, or hardtack, renewed. Additional food was requested and stowed in place. The sail, compass, emergency signals and other gear was checked for working condition. They swung the boat out twice and did not leave until well satisfied that all was in proper shape. The port watch checked their boat with the same thoroughness.

Our ship was in excellent homeward-bound shape. Painting aloft was completed without additional spilling of paint. Outside of the sea-scarred hull, the ship would look beautiful to the eyes of any deepwater seaman. The scarred hull, together with the missing fore royal yard and flying jib, merely added to her beauty, not from appearance standpoint, but it gave direct evidence that our ship had experienced stormy times, yet had overcome all adversity to bring her cargo to its destination. War or no war, we were nearing our landfall, Queenstown, Ireland, for orders. The knowledge that soon we would be in dangerous waters dampened any feelings of happiness and good cheer. The German members of our crew were especially down in the dumps, realizing that confinement in a detention camp would be their ultimate fate upon arrival in port, and the Scandinavians realized that going home would not prove a simple matter.

Things were getting pretty touchy aboard the Cambuskenneth. Since observing St. Elmo's Fire, I held little hope that we would ever arrive at Queenstown. Nevertheless, I began putting my going-ashore clothes in shape by pressing the pants to my suit. Hot having any "Suits pressed while you wait" service aboard our ship, we used our own method for pressing pants. After yanking out the mattress and cleaning the bottom boards of my bunk, I neatly folded my pants and laid them nice and flat on the boards and carefully placed the mattress on top. There were no springs to worry about. (#209)

All I had to do was sleep on them a few days, and that was doing it the easy way, pressing my pants while I slept.

Except for handling sails, the usual deck scrubbing before breakfast, was the only activity aboard the ship after speaking the Statesman. Our morale was now at a very low ebb. The carpenter and John, the bosun began checking the windlass and going over the anchor gear to see that all was in order should we be fortunate enough to reach port. It took little to keep us young fellows busy. I, with my tour of the lamps, added to a few other jobs, was the busiest person aboard during the last days of the trip. Moses and I still had the chicken coop and pigpen as a sub-contract. Little did we realize Saturday that this would be the last time we would crawl into the hen house. More bad luck, no eggs!

Oscar, the pig, now nice and fat, was about seven months old. Why hadn't he shared the same fate as his former pen-mate Ivan? We blamed it on the affair over the two chickens. That chicken deal may have cooled any generosity Captain Sole had in regard to serving special food for the crew. Perhaps we were the losers after all, having traded one chicken for a pig. More of St. Elmo's work!

"Joe, the sick seaman, was not informed of the recently known danger that confronted the ship. The sailors would take care of him if we had to abandon ship. Jimmy was given a chance to make up a bundle of clothes in case we had to take to the boats. The mate warned his watch that no one would be allowed any large bundle of gear in the life-boat. With this warning I knew that much of my clothes would have to be left behind. I decided to go "schooner-rigged" which means traveling with bare necessities. In packing my "abandon ship" outfit I decided that a pair of dungarees would do as my valise. They would surely not take up much space, my (#210) gear would be easy to get at, and in a pinch, I could wear the dungarees.

I closed each leg at the knees with a lashing of sail twine. In the upper part I stuffed a pair of long woolen socks, my heavy red underwear, a spare sweater, a couple of shirts and my dress coat. My pants, still on the ironing board, would be grabbed at the last minute. I looked longingly at my fine leather sea boots and then at the new pair of yellow button shoes that my uncle had bought for me. On shore, I would no longer be on a ship with water-filled decks, so the boots were sacrificed. Doubling the loose, lower legs of the dungarees over the top made a convenient handle. This bundle, with what I would be wearing if we abandoned ship, would represent my worldly possessions. I was prepared for come what may.

With only a few hundred miles to go, we were a pretty gloomy bunch. The wind freshened considerably, driving the ship at a good clip nearer to the submarine-infested water around the British Isles. The question was, would we arrive safely.

Monday morning, June 28, we sighted land! Not a rocky uninhabited island, which had been our only previous landfall, but Ireland, the land of the Irish colleens. Off our port bow, Fastnet Rock, with a white lighthouse tower, was faintly visible off the southern Irish Coast. We were sailing course under a stiff breeze as we entered the southern reaches of St. George's Channel. Our destination lay not far away, yet we were well aware that our most dangerous hours were at hand. If the wind held, in about forty hours more we should lay anchored in Queenstown Harbor. But in less than thirty-six hours the fate of our ship would be sealed. St. Elmo's fire was to get in it's final licks.

Shortly before noon a steamer was seen making in our direction. Coming (#211) closer she appeared to be a small passenger vessel but painted a battleship gray. From her stern flew the white war ensign of the Royal British Navy! Off our port quarter she paced her speed to ours and ran parallel with us for a short distance. She kept about four-hundred feet off and we could clearly see her mounted guns and her uniformed crew looking us over. On her bridge several officers had binoculars trained on our ship, she proved to be H.H.S. Woodnut, a British auxiliary cruiser. A crashing roar smote our ears. The Woodnut fired a shot ordering us to stop our ship! Up went the Norwegian colors to our mizzen gaff!

"All hands on deck!" roared the mate, after a hurried conversation with the captain. The order was unnecessary; all hands were already on deck. The crashing shot from the Woodnut had taken care of that!

"Stand by to heave to!", bellowed the mate, making his way on deck.

We swung the main yards around and soon had the sails aback. Our ship gradually lost headway and came to a stop. We stood around wondering what was to occur next. We were not kept long in doubt. On the Woodnut a lifeboat was being lowered manned by a crew of uniformed men. Through a megaphone an officer told us that they were sending an inspection party to our ship. We threw a Jacob's ladder over the side just forward of the mizzen shrouds and awaited the boat. As it came alongside, lines were tossed to us by which we held the boat in place. Two officers, wearing side-arras, boarded our ship. They were followed by two sailors with rifles slung over their backs. They took a guard-like sentry duty near the cabin door. The two officers were met by our captain and mate who were informed that the ship was boarded for an inspection of her papers and crew. Captain Sole escorted them into the cabin.

Our crew lined the rail above the pitching life-boat in which approximately (#212) six men remained. While the conference aft was taking place, we on deck, proceeded to have a conference with the lads in the boat. Having been without information on world events for the past five months, we were most eager for latest news of the war. We fired questions at the boys in the boat who did not hesitate in being cooperative with their answers. We received surprising news.

We were told that the war was but started, that the Germans were deeper into France and that Russia did not prove to be of much help and was about done for. They also told us that the Germans still held possession of the island of Helgoland to which the British had made no serious attempts to go near as they considered it to be as strongly fortified as Gibraltar. Except for a few cruisers, they had never met up with any main part of the German fleet which they said was pretty well holed up. Then we asked some questions which were of great concern to us.

"Are the submarines actually sinking many ships?" was asked.

"Yes, they are. It's getting worse every day. We have yet not been able to successfully counteract their activities."

•Where do they operate mostly?"

"Right along here is their most successful hunting grounds! But, they're operating all over the bloomin' area around the islands, sometimes sinking ships close to a harbor's entrance and within sight of land."

"What's our chances of getting safely to Queenstown?"

"Hard to say. You'll have to keep a sharp lookout at all times." I wondered what good keeping a sharp lookout would be to us. What could we do if spotted by a submarine? We could not swiftly change course like a steamer and go zig-zagging in another direction. Our speed and direction was governed by the wind over which we had no control. Looking (#213) over at the Woodnut, I observed what was meant by keeping a sharp lookout. Lookouts were all over the ship. At the sharp stem, on both sides of the bow, at the wings of the bridge, at intervals along the upper deck and around the stern men were posted. They stood like statues, their eyes constantly scanning an area of the sea allotted to their care.

The British officers emerged from the cabin and with the two sentries reentered the life-boat. We accompanied their departure by a farewell waving of our arms.

The German members of our crew received very unwelcome news shortly after the officers left. Little did our German shipmates realize how close they had come of being taken over to that British cruiser. The mate told them about it later. The British officers examining the crew list spotted our German shipmates. Orders were given for them to pack their gear immediately, they were to be taken aboard the Woodnut as enemy aliens, to be confined in an internment camp in England for the duration of the conflict. With much emotion, Captain Sole pleaded that they be allowed to remain on board until we arrived at Queenstown. With the wind making up, our captain insisted it would be difficult for him to bring the ship safely to port if he had to part with his mate and over a third of the crew. Captain Sole's pleadings did not fall on unsympathetic ears. The British officers, no doubt deciding that they would get the Germans ultimately, agreed to allow the men to remain. Little did the British officers or the German mate realize that this decision would never be fulfilled. (#214)

16. Our ship is sunk

We watched the Woodnut turn away, and soon she was but a small speck in the distance. Hurriedly we swung our main yards around to catch the fresh southwest wind that would drive us up the Irish coast. This was no place to loaf around with submarines lurking about. Our port of destination being not many miles away, each mile meant much to the ship in these dangerous waters.

Because of the day's excitement the Monday afternoon passed swiftly by. No one turned into his bunk. Enough conversation was going on to keep everyone awake. Even Joe, sick as he was, wanted to know what the commotion was all about. The spirits of the German members were at a very low ebb, now that they knew what their fate would be when the ship reached port. It must be admitted to their credit that never did a single one express a wish that our ship would be sunk. They too, were deepwater sailors, and would see the ship through come what may. We went off watch at six o'clock with the midnight watch our next tour of duty. I slept little after crawling into my bunk. There was too much to think about. My "abandon ship" gear was available at a moment's notice. The watch below dragged on, and finally at a quarter to midnight, came the old "Riza, riza" to bring me on deck again. Little did I realize that it was the last night I was to spend on the Cambuskenneth.

Shortly after eight bells I answered the mate's whistle and was ordered to inform our entire watch to come aft. Our entire watch, except for John, the bosun, old Ernie and myself were German. After we had congregated on deck below the poop, the mate said he had a proposition to make.

"Boys," began the mate, "I have given a lot of thought to what could happen should we take to the boats. If we land on the English or Irish (#215) coast all us Germans will be interned as enemy aliens. That is not a cheerful outlook so I have thought up a plan for trying to avoid such a fate. I propose that we make well off to the westward, and attempt to sail the boat north around the British Isles and try to land on the coast of Norway. Our boat is a very good sea boat, and if we can avoid being seen by passing ships, the venture might succeed. It is a very long chance and will entail hardships. What do you boys think of this idea?"

He found his gang willing, including the two Norwegians and myself. The Norwegians wanted to get home and I thought it would be quite an experience. The mate was right as to the qualities of the port boat. It was a beautiful whale-boat type, seaworthy and an excellent sailing and pulling boat. Navigation would be in the good hands of the mate, John, Ernie and the carpenter. It was agreed that the attempt be made and the mate began issuing his orders.

"Carl, Peedul and Bismarck, sneak quietly down to the lazaret and bring up an assorted supply of food. We'll provision the boat for a month's cruise. The others can stow the food, extra water and useful gear in the boat."

Peedul and I sneaked down the small hatch to the lazaret and passed up to Bismarck cans of meat, an assortment of other food, including lime juice which we carried out to the boat. Everything went like clockwork, and in less than an hour, we had all stores and gear stowed snuggly in place and the cover back on the boat. No one outside of the port watch was aware of what took place during the very early hours of that Sunday morning. Had our wild venture succeeded, In view of what transpired later that day, no doubt the English would have considered it a most daring exploit to escape concentration. Moses and I were ordered to keep a sharp lookout, (#216) but we saw nothing over the expanse of a choppy, running sea. After turning in for our watch below I wondered what the next day or two would bring.

Tuesday morning, June 29, 1915. We came on deck at eight a.m. The day began peacefully enough but, before the day was over, it proved to be one of the most memorable and exciting days of my life.

The ship was sailing at a very good clip. No other British patrol or any vessel was sighted since meeting the Woodnut. The mate announced that if our luck held we would arrive at Queenstown by midnight, and with a fair wind, they intended to sail her into the harbor should no pilot or tug be available. If anything disastrous was to occur to our ship it would have to happen within the next sixteen hours.

Because we were so near the end of the voyage and aware of the danger surrounding the ship, a standby situation for the crew prevailed. But for overhauling a few buntlines and working a few ropes, there was little else to do. The mate went rather quietly about his work and issued no orders except for the welfare of the ship. The other German lads were in the same frame of mind as they went somewhat listlessly about their duties for none had any idea of how long the war would last.

I began my lamp-trimming tour, and with Peedul, brought the lamps to Jimmy, still confined in his private cabin,

"Here you are, Jimmy. These may be the last lamps you'll have to do, so do a good farewell job on them. "

"What makes yer sy that, Carl?"

"By morning we should be anchored in Queenstown Harbor. You'll probably get the sack, Jimmy. Then you can go ashore and be a free man again. How does that sound to you?"

"Blimy, that's good news hy'il tell ye. Hit's gittin' moighty lonesome (#217) hin 'ere. When hy gits hashore, hy'll bloody well sty there. Hy've 'ad henough bloomin' sea fer a toime." That day, Jimmy, even though confined, was perhaps the only cheerful man on the ship. He could look forward to do something he wanted.

That Tuesday morning the wind increased with a sustained strength. Still holding from the southwest, it drove the ship toward our goal, only a bit over one-hundred miles away. Other than a dim outline of the Irish Coast now and then nothing was seen. We sailed steadily on our way. Our watch came on deck at six p.m., facing the long tour till midnight. Totally unbeknown to us, the fate of our ship was already sealed. Nevertheless, the anchor chains had been brought out through the hawse pipes and shackled to the anchors. All gear and equipment was on hand to make short work of dropping our hook. Thinking I might have a chance to go ashore the next day, I laid out some suitable shore-going clothes without disturbing my "abandon ship" gear. I could already taste a fresh cooked meal and a mug of Irish ale. Aware that the sails required no immediate attention, I decided to ask the mate's permission to take a bath. I found him looking over the anchor windlass.

"Go take your bath, everything seems shipshape," was the mate's answer to my request.

I ducked back to midships for a washrag, soap and towel and came forward with a bucket of water. Slipping out of my clothes under the fo'c'stle head I was standing stark naked as I began soaping my body, while the mate nearby, still checked the windlass. We were sailing at a good clip, logging about eight knots. At this stage of the game, only about twenty miles off Galley Head, no one thought we would never arrive at our destination. Heck, we were as good as in! (#218) "BOOM-M-M!" A loud crashing roar echoed in our ears, disturbing the peacefulness that surrounded our ship.

"Ach Gott! Was ist das!" (Oh God! what is that!) yelled the mate with great agitation to his voice. He went hurrying down the deck to the poop aft.

Sliding into my dungarees and sweater, and jumping into my shoes, I went hurrying down the deck. There was no mistaking that crashing roar for anything but a cannon shot! Could we be the object of that booming crash? Could we still be intercepted, with less than four hours to go after spending one hundred and thirty-eight days at sea? We certainly were! All hands came tumbling wildly on deck.

The ship became a madhouse! Confusion reigned all about, with some of the crew running around not knowing what to do for no orders had yet been given. Some men were already tearing the covers off the life-boats and stowing their gear aboard. The captain, his face red as a beet, was tramping excitedly from one side of the poop to the other with the mate at his heels. For possibly four more minutes no order came from aft; the ship kept sailing on. Some of the crew, running towards the poop, yelled up at the captain.

"Heave her to, you farmer! What do you think that shot meant!" finally yelled Anderson. Further urged by the mate, the captain then ordered him to stop the ship.

"Heave to! Heave to!" roared the mate to us on deck.

A group of us ran over to the main braces and stood ready to obey the order. The mate stayed on the poop, and the second mate, all confused between port and starboard, was running around on deck shouting this and that to which little attention was given. The mate yelled to haul in! The (#219) second mate was nowhere near the mainmast to slack away the starboard lower main braces, so. I ran over and did the job. The sails on the mainmast were swung into the wind and the ship slowly came to a stop. It was over ten minutes since we heard the warning shot. Glancing aft, no signal or flag was flying from our ship.

"Hoist the flag, you farmer! What are you waiting for! Get the flag up!" yelled an A.B.

The tempers of some of the crew were extremely on edge, and the circumstances surrounding the ship added more fuel to keep them aflame. The nerve-wracking suspense of the past week and the excitement on hand plus the indecision of our captain could be partially blamed for the present conduct of our crew. I do not feel myself to be an egoistical person and the conditions described actually occurred. The remarks by the crew had their effect. The Norwegian flag soon flew from our mizzen gaff, never to be lowered again on the Cambuskenneth. The eyes of all hands were now scanning the sea. For all the world that shot came from nowhere! Not a thing could be seen over the expanse of sea that surrounded our ship. We were convinced the shot came from a submarine, but where was it? Had it submerged? Would our next confirmation be a torpedo striking a death-dealing blow against the ship's side? We stood around in suspense, wondering what would happen next.

I kept staring over the port rail at a section of the crested seas, momentarily expecting a submarine to emerge straight up from beneath the waves. It was nearing eight o'clock, and since this was one of the longest days of the year, full daylight surrounded the ship. What was this, a false alarm? If that shot came from a submarine, had something in the meantime interfered with its attack on our ship? Why didn't we see something? (#220) Would we again swing our yards and go sailing on?

No! Finally, far astern off to port, a disturbance on the surface of the sea was barely noticeable. It was still a long way off, but we could tell it was the bow spray of some sort of craft heading our way.

From vantage points on the shrouds, several of us were anxiously waiting, trying to make out what it could be. The carpenter, a German Navy reservist, climbed to the mizzen top and after a few moments yelled down, "That's a German submarine!"

Having never seen a submarine I was still not convinced. The size of the seas and spray thrown from the bows of the oncoming craft made me skeptical. From my position on the shrouds I yelled down to some of the gang on deck,."Aw, that ain't no submarine. I'll bet it's a small cruiser or gunboat."

"Oh no, Carl! That's a submarine," said Chips passing me on his way down to deck.

The carpenter was called up on the poop and began conversing with the captain and mate. Somewhat later the approaching vessel was near at hand, and no longer was there any doubt in anyone's mind as to what it was!

From a short staff at the after end of the conning tower structure flew the white, black-crossed flag of the German Navy! It did not look like a submarine I had pictured in my mind. My impression of a submarine was a cigar-shaped vessel perhaps fifty feet long, having a round, can-shaped tower projecting midships from the deck. Cripes, this light-gray thing was a trim-looking craft approximately two hundred feet long. The submarine now lay about three hundred feet off our port side. Three or four men on the top of the conning tower were looking us over through binoculars. Beside a gun, mounted aft of the conning tower, stood three men dressed in (#221) gray oilskins, the same color as the submarine. They swung the gun around and I saw a man slam a shell into the breach. That gun appeared to point straight at me where I stood on deck. It gave me the creeps and I moved away from the spot.

Our carpenter, standing on top of the chart house on the poop, was waving his arras rapidly in all directions sending a semaphore message to the submarine. I later learned that the carpenter's message read, "Hier sind Deutsche an Bord. Wir schicken ein Boot." (Here are Germans aboard. We will send a boat.) The message was acknowledged by the submarine.

Our mate ordered the port life-boat swung out, then he and the captain ducked into the cabin. In a few moments the mate appeared on deck carrying some papers. The life-boat had been lowered to the rail with Hein and Löffler sitting in the boat waiting for the mate. They launched the boat on the weather side in a fairly choppy sea but the boat got away without mishap. The mate grabbed the steering oar and in a short time they were alongside the submarine. Some sailors on the submarine held the boat with lines while the mate climbed aboard the U-Boat to present our ship's papers for inspection.

Aboard the Cambuskenneth the starboard life-boat was swung out and lowered to the rail. Those who had not already put their gear in the boat brought it on deck, and several bundles of "abandon ship" gear were scattered around the mizzen hatch. Jimmy was also on deck, released by the mate. Joe, bundled up and supported by two shipmates, came stumbling down the deck with an agonized expression of pain, and soon lay huddled in the starboard boat. Others watched the proceedings taking place aboard the submarine which now lay more off the bow of our ship. I high-tailed it up to the fo'c'stle head to have a better view of what was going on. Captain (#222) Sole also came on the fo'c'stle head carrying his derby hat and a long glass or telescope, tucked under an arm. Walking to where I stood, he remarked as he looked towards the submarine, "I wonder what they intend to do next, Carl?"

"I don't know Captain. Guess all we can do is wait for the mate's return," I answered. It may seem odd that the captain would converse in such a manner with the greenest ordinary seaman of the crew. Yet, he did, for I was the only other person on the fo'c'stle head at the time. The captain's shoulders seemed to sag and his face wore a perplexed and downhearted expression as he stood there beside me. Aware that his ship would no doubt be sunk, how else could he feel? In his present predicament, I somewhat shared his feelings.

On the submarine, our mate was holding quite a conversation and about ten minutes elapsed before he returned to the life-boat which began pulling back to our ship. This time the mate's boat came along our lee side just aft of where the starboard boat was hanging from the davits. All hands congregated in this vicinity as the mate climbed aboard. As soon as he hit the deck he addressed the captain and announced the sad news.

"Captain, I must inform you that the Cambuskenneth, being loaded with a contraband cargo for England, is to be sunk. We are given ten minutes to abandon ship!" Then in German he added, "Alle Deutschen gehen an Bord des U-Boots!" (All Germans are to go aboard the U-Boat!)

That was sure a surprising announcement! As I glanced over at the submarine a thought flashed through my mind like lightning, "that U-Boat sure looks bigger to me than a life-boat. Cripes, I'd like to go along myself." Being a member of the mate's watch and belonging in his boat, I thought I would ask him what I was todo. Immediately after making his (#223) announcement the mate hurried to his room. I chased right after him! "Herr Steuermann, wo gehe ich?". (Mr. Mate. Where do I go), I asked. "Du gehst mit uns, Carl."(You go with us, Carl). "Get Moses and Peedul! Jump down in the lazaret and bring up some extra stores, canned meat, milk and whatever else you can grab suitable to take along. We must bring some food along. Put it in the life-boat. Hurry, we have only a few minutes time!"

The mate began throwing his things together and I yelled out the cabin door for Moses and Peedul to come running. I told them what was wanted. We already had a big supply of food in the life-boat, but with eight extra men coming aboard, more provisions were requested by the commander to augment the U-Boat's own supplies. We did as the mate ordered, we hurried! In less than five minutes the additional provisions were added to those in the lifeboat. That job completed, I ran to midships. Throwing my mattress back, I grabbed my nicely pressed browsers and stuffed them into my dungaree-packed "abandon ship gear". I then ran aft to the life-boat. The captain's boat had already pulled away from the ship. Our boat now lay below the empty rope falls of the starboard davits. Throwing my bundle down into the boat, I grabbed a rope fall and slid down to the life-boat. I landed alongside of Hein who yelled at me, "This boat for Germans only! You can't go with us!"

"Aw, shut up!", I yelled back, "The mate said I'm to go in this boat!"

With this exchange of words I made my way to the other end of the boat where Erich, hanging onto the other empty falls, was holding the boat alongside our ship. Some of the other German members of our crew were already in the boat and when all were aboard we sat in the boat waiting for the mate. I plunked myself down on a seat. (#224)

The mate soon appeared at the rail. He passed down a loaded sea bag, then another one, and finally a large bundle! "Holy smokes," I thought, "is that what you call no large bundle of gear?" We had been given definite orders that no large bundle of gear would be tolerated in the boat, and here came the mate, who had given the order, with more gear than any three of us combined could match. There's only one answer; he was the mate! When the mate landed in the boat we cast off and drifted away from the ship. Moses and I each grabbed an oar, and with the mate at the steering oar, the two of us were the only oars used for the short pull over to the U-Boat.

Astern of our ship the captain's boat lay bobbing about. We pulled ours nearby and rested on our oars. Both boat crews gave three rousing cheers to our good ship that lay wallowing helplessly a short distance away, soon to be sent to Davy Jones' Locker. If her days were numbered, the bottom of the sea was by far a more appropriate resting place than having her glorious days ended as a rusted hulk of a coal barge or by being broken up under some ship wrecker's hammer. After giving farewell hails to our former shipmates, Moses and I pulled the boat alongside the submarine. Lines were tossed to seamen standing on her deck. Our gang crawled aboard, passing their gear to waiting hands. I was the last one in the boat and therefor fell heir to being the longshoreman of the crew, for someone had to unload our big cargo of provisions. I began passing them to waiting hands aboard the submarine, and then hand to hand, the stores disappeared down an open, round hatch on the U-Boat's deck. Finally I climbed aboard the submarine and our life-boat was cast adrift.

After conversing with our mate the commander of the submarine motioned to our other boat to come alongside. By signs he tried to convey (#225) to them an offer to tow the boat closer to land. Evidently deciding they could manage by themselves, our captain declined the offer, and the boat pulled farther away. Evening dusk was fast approaching and the order to shell our ship was given.

Boom-m-m! The first shell was on its way, followed in about half a minute by number two. Five shells, each striking along the waterline and tearing a hole that appeared to be about two feet in diameter, struck the port side of the Cambuskenneth. Going around to her starboard side, four additional shells struck her steel side. Slowly at first, our lovely ship began settling lower in the water, then faster as the sea poured into her hold. Her deck was soon awash. Her bow dipped under the surface but slowly it rose again. Once more her bow went under but this time it didn't rise. Lower and lower she dropped by the head. A final shudder shook the ship. Her fore and main to'gallantmasts broke as she slid beneath the waves at about a forty degree angle. In homeward-bound shape, with all sails set and the Norwegian flag still waving at her mizzen gaff, our beautiful full-rigged ship met her doom. Her grave - Davy Jones' Locker. A few hatch covers and loose gear from her deck floating about - her tombstone.

She too, ended her life in the line of duty, and her death struggle lasted a little over ten minutes. There went my happy home for the past five months. Five months of my life spent on a square-rigged windjammer on a long voyage around Cape Horn. A voyage beset at times with heavy gales, hurricane and some hardship, yet it had many brighter moments too. The good ship Cambuskenneth had met and overcome them all. Now, she was no more; her days of roaming the seven seas were ended!

All further action centered on the submarine. The commander greeted (#226) each of our group with a handshake as we passed him on the conning tower bridge. Each was asked if he was German before going through a round hatch into the submarine. I was the last of our party to approach him.

"Bist du ein Deutscher?" [Are you a German?), he asked.

"Ich bin in Amerika geboren," (I was born in America), I replied. It was an indirect answer, and I went through that hatch in a hurry.

I didn't want to give that answer too long a time to sink in, for our other life-boat was still too close at hand.

With no money, no papers, and with my worldly possessions stuffed into the top part of a pair of dungarees, I, an American seventeen year old boy, found myself, shipwrecked aboard a German U-Boat! (#227)

17. The submarine and the crew

The submarine proved to be the U 39, commanded by Kapitänleutnant (Captain-Lieutenant) Walter Forstmann. She was considered one of the most modern submarines of the German Navy, having been in service approximately six months.

Going through the hatch, I climbed down an iron ladder and was now in the conning tower. I did not linger but continued through a similar hatch and down another ladder. I landed on the deck plates of the center compartment known as the control room. Our gang was assembled in a compartment just forward of the control room where I immediately joined them. This proved to be the crew's messroom. However, at the time, everything was too exciting for me to take any bearings and I didn't know where I was.

Those taken aboard the submarine were all the German members from the crew of the Cambuskenneth and myself. They included Paul Frerichs, the mate, Hermann Nilson, the carpenter, and the following seamen, Erich Löffler, Heinrich Löding, Hein), Bruno Konze (Bismarck), Karl Dessler (Peedul) and Erich Völker (Moses).

Several of the submarine crew made a few remarks of greetings to us as we stood spellbound in our new surroundings. Within five minutes we were told that the submarine was going to submerge. A death-like stillness momentarily took place interrupted by various orders passed around. I felt absolutely no sensation from the submarine's submerging and we were told that we were now under the surface at a sufficient depth to be free of any surface danger. Everything became more quiet and I felt no pitch or roll of the submarine. It was like sitting on a chair in one's home.

Commander Forstmann appeared and addressed our bewildered group of (#228) ex-windjammer sailors. He made us feel at ease and mentioned that he was perhaps as astounded as we over the incident of taking us aboard the submarine. He said he had sighted our ship, as a mere speck on the horizon, before six o'clock that evening and had made a long, three-hour, full-speed chase before overhauling us. That can be easily understood - we were not standing still. We were sailing at a good clip, and a stern chase at sea, is usually a long chase. He thought it best to submerge for the remainder of the night in order for us to get over our excitement, get some rest, and become a little accustomed to conditions aboard a submarine. He said there were some regulations we should be informed about. We were given orders that should the alarm ring, calling his men to diving stations, we were to make ourselves as small as possible and keep out of the way. On that rule he was very specific! Because of eight extra men aboard, restrictions would have to be made on the fresh water supply. Use of water for washing purpose was curtailed and that went for his crew as well as for us. Smoking below deck was verboten or prohibited. When the submarine was engaged in action, we should congregate in the messroom and await his orders. We would eat with the crew and otherwise enjoy the same privileges as the men of the submarine. No other restrictions were mentioned. Being accustomed to orders, we knew how to obey.

We were issued a woolen blanket and assigned to sleeping quarters. No longer would I have to make up any bunks. No bunks or mattresses were available. The mate, the carpenter, Moses and myself slept on the linoleum-covered steel floor plates of the crew's messroom. Others were given quarters in the forward and aft torpedo compartments. As we were not accustomed to luxuries, sleeping on the floor plates proved no great ordeal. Using my "abandon ship" gear as a pillow, and wrapped fully clothed in my (#229) blanket, I lay down for my first night's sleep aboard a submarine. Electric lights shined in my face, the first electric lights I had seen in five months. In a short time I fell into a deep slumber as we lay beneath the surface of the sea. We were up before five o'clock the next morning. It was also the first time in five months that I slept for a seven-hour stretch. We stowed our bedding away and awaited the day's events. The compartment in which we slept was known as the Mannschaftsraum, or crew's quarters.

It became the general headquarters where we spent most of our time. Here, the majority of the enlisted men had there meals. Two tiers of bunks, which folded up above a seat, ran fore and aft along both sides. Below the seats were foot lockers containing personal articles of some of the crew. Collapsible tables were hinged to iron posts in the center of the aisle. As the men in the bunks tumbled out a few "Good Mornigs" were passed around. We received a little ribbing, especially the mate over his snoring, but we answered their navy style in good old windjammer fashion.

The collapsible tables were raised, eating utensils appeared as some of the crew seated themselves for an early underwater breakfast. We grabbed any vacant spot available. We also had to eat, and were not backward in getting our legs under the table. The galley was in a small compartment just forward of the messroom, and the cook was about his duties when we awoke. Our diet would now change from a Swedish to a German style of cooking and both were good.

After breakfast Commander Forstmann came to the messroom. He said he had given our disposition quite some thought. One was to put us ashore at Zeebrugge, or some other German-held base on the Belgian coast. It could probably be accomplished he said though an element of danger existed by (#230) having to pass through the English Channel. However, such a side trip would entail too much lost time from his allotted area of operations. His final decision was to keep us aboard the submarine for her scheduled tour of duty.

Commander Forstmann then asked me to come to his compartment. After we were seated he looked me over a few moments somewhat sternly.

"I now understand you are an American and not a German subject," he began. I wondered what now.

"Yes, Herr Kapitänleutnant, I am an American," I answered a bit worried.

"You did not then answer me correctly when I asked if you were German as you came aboard."

"Perhaps not quite. I did tell you that I was born in America."

"Yes, I recollect that now. In the excitement taking place it got by unnoticed, but why did you choose to come aboard?"

"I belonged in the mate's boat, and when he returned to our ship with the news, I asked him where I was to go and he said I was to go with him. Besides, the submarine looked safer to me than the life-boat and I wanted to stay with Moses."

"So! "Well, now that you are on board we will make the best of the situation." That was his decision and he told me to go back to my companions. My being an American was never brought up again aboard the U-Boat.

The conversation and questioning was conducted in a quiet manner, and at no time, did Commander Forstmann show or express any displeasure that I was aboard the U 39. Returning to the messroom I received questioning glances from my shipmates but I kept my mouth shut. I sure felt relieved by the commander's decision, though my cockiness was quite subdued. Yet I felt I had committed no crime and it was no time to lose my nerve. No personal restrictions of any nature were imposed on me because I was an American. (#231)

I enjoyed the same privileges as my German shipmates. It could have been an easy matter to be rid of me by placing me in a life-boat from ships subsequently sunk. It could have been done the next day. Never was I considered a prisoner while aboard the U 39 for the episode occurred almost two years before the United States entered the war.

Commander Forstmann, the navigating officer and the engineer made their way to the control room. Overhearing the conversation, we knew preparations were being made to surface the submarine. I was all eyes and ears to observe what took place. Though unable to see everything, I could see a part of the control room and could hear the orders given. Because of the involved procedure I was unable to grasp any great amount of knowledge from this first surfacing. All was rather quiet aboard the U 39, still being propelled by the electric motors used when cruising underwater. At the starboard side of the control room, two men were standing before large round dials and manipulating brass wheels about two feet in diameter. Others were standing silently at various stations. What their duties were I did not know but a clearer knowledge of all this came later. After a few moments the commander gave an order.

"Auf zehn Meter gehen!" (Bring her up to ten meters below the surface).

Immediately, the engineer officer issued orders right and left. This concerned blowing out the ballast tanks that were filled with water when the submarine submerged. The water was blown out by compressed air in a step by step routine. When the submarine was at the desired depth another order came from the commander.

"Sehrohr ausfahren!" (Raise the periscope!)

Through the periscope the commander scanned the surface of the sea, (#232) warily alert for patrol boats or naval vessels. Finding all clear, he gave two additional orders.

"Sehrohr einfahren!" (Lower the periscope!) "Auftauchen!" (Surface!)

"Ausblasen!" (Blow the tanks!) yelled the engineer. Free of water ballast, the U 39 leapt to the surface, and we again felt the action of the sea to the boat's hull.

A loud clattering, banging noise swept through the submarine. This was from the twin diesel motors springing into action to drive the U 39 onward. Immediately after reaching the surface the upper hatch of the conning tower was thrown open and the deck watch crawled out to take their station on the small bridge.

Any reader with knowledge and experience superior to mine should make due allowance for my description of the submarine and of various procedures that took place. I was but eleven days aboard, and at the time, a seventeen year old boy from off a windjammer. I had no previous training of naval matters, much less of a submarine, in fact, I had never seen one before this.

The U 39 was in a sense cigar-shaped but with the cigar-shaped part of the hull below the water. Only the top sides of her diving tanks made a bulge-like form at the sea's surface. Approximately thirty inches above this was the built-up superstructure of her flat deck which was about six feet wide. Near the bow the deck made a graceful slope to a somewhat higher elevation, while aft of the conning tower it remained flat, ending about eight feet from the extreme stern of the hull which extended on at a lower level. The flat scope of the deck was broken by several round hinged hatches, the deck gun and the conning tower. The round hatches, approximately two feet in diameter, had flat tops with a bowl-like extension on (#233) the bottom side that made contact with a seal or gasket. They were quickly dogged or locked shut from within by cam-like lever arms. The bottom side of the hatches had hand grips, grabbed by the last man through, to pull the hatch shut. Throwing the locking levers took but a second or two. On deck, near the aft end and stowed below hinged deck plates, was a small dinghy or boat capable of carrying two or three persons. Putting the boat in use was but a matter of raising the deck plates, lifting the boat and setting it in the sea.

Attached to the ballast tank tops on the starboard side were the two aerial masts of the submarine's wireless. They also were hinged and usually lay flat along the tank tops. It took but a few moments to raise the masts which were about thirty feet high. They were seldom used during the day, but generally every night at a specified time, the wireless of the U 39 crackled over the air.

Extending horizontally from each side of the hull at both fore and aft ends were fin-like structures or rudders used when diving and surfacing and to keep the U-Boat on an even keel when cruising submerged.

About twenty feet aft of the conning tower, in a widened out area of the deck, stood the submarine's gun. This was made by Krupp and had 8.8 cm bore, a little under three and a half inches. However, it was capable of deadly and accurate work. The breech was a falling-away, rolling-block type operated by a short, stout, curved lever. The gun stood out in the open at all times, though protective measures for the barrel and breech mechanism were used. Around the gun, below hinged deck plates, were several compartments for holding ammunition. The shells, about fourteen inches long, were kept in watertight containers which I think were made of lead. Each container had a loop handle and a brass cover held shut with (#234) a cam linkage arrangement that could be quickly released. Spare shells were stored under floor plates in the aft torpedo compartment. A three-man crew manned the gun.

The conning tower is a very important structure on any submarine. A steamship has its large bridge, sometimes including a wheelhouse and chart room, and over this large area are various instruments and apparatus utilized in the navigation of the vessel. On a submarine, the small cramped space inside the conning tower must suffice for all this in addition to other complex apparatus. The conning tower, above the deck, was in general of two elevations. The lower and longest section, more of a superstructure, was somewhat elliptical in shape with the ends curved like a ship's bow. Above this was the upper extension of the conning tower proper, fabricated of riveted heavy steel plate, with the forward end more rounded. Extending above this were the two periscopes of the U 39. Above the periscopes, when in their lowered position, was a steel framework or A-frame from which two wire cables were attached running to the bow and stern of the submarine. They were intended to give some protection from foreign objects being dragged over the top of the vessel. On the top side of the conning tower was the main entrance hatch to the submarine, of the same type as those on deck. The remainder of the area around the top of the conning tower was called the bridge. Small protection from flying spray was provided by sheet metal baffles around the bridge area. An iron railing partially encircled the after end of the bridge and a short steel ladder led down to deck. Near the after end of the railing was a receptacle for holding a short staff from which flew the war ensign of the German Navy.

Inside the conning tower every inch of the area was put to use with gadgets and instruments mounted in every conceivable space. There were no (#235) telephones aboard the U 39; speaking tubes led from the conning tower to the various compartments of the submarine. Push buttons for firing torpedos and ringing the alarm bell were mounted at convenient places. The forward end of the steel shell was pierced by three small apertures of exceptionally thick glass. Here was the ship's wheel manned by a Rudergänger or helmsman. In his cramped quarters he kept his eyes glued to the compass and his ears alert to quickly follow every order coming his way. It is my recollection that there were two compasses before the helmsman in the conning tower. One was a conventional type compass and in another receptacle was mounted a card from a gyro-compass. On the bottom deck of the conning tower was another hatch leading down into the control room.

The periscopes, or underwater eyes of a submarine, were an important link between the inner hull and the surface of the sea. The U 39 was equipped with two periscopes, one manipulated from the conning tower and the other from the control room. The upper one was generally used by the commander during underwater attacks and when bringing the submarine to the surface. When surfacing I sometimes saw the engineer peer through the control room periscope possibly to observe the condition of the sea. The periscopes slid in casings or wells and were operated by electric motors. The commander usually brought the submarine up to ten meters below the surface for his final look to see if the coast was clear before ordering the U 39 to surface. The order was one word, crisply given - "Auftauchen".

Below deck, the first compartment at the bow was the forward torpedo room. On an athwartship bulkhead, at each side just above the level of the deck, were the inboard ends of two torpedo tubes. Most of the remaining space was a mass of valves, piping, gauges, machinery and gadgets. The (#236) convex doors of the tubes, fitted with a polished wheel, were the first objects that attracted my eyes. Another main attraction was the two spare torpedoes resting in cradles behind each tube. A conspicuous feature of each torpedo was the war head, painted a bright red. There were four torpedo tubes on the U 39, two forward and two aft. Before the submarine left her base each tube was loaded, and with the two spare torpedoes in the bow, six in all were carried. They were big babies, each capable of being the death of any ship against which they might strike. The outboard end of the tubes were fitted with a watertight gate or cover that could be operated from within. After a torpedo was fired the outer gate was closed, and the water inside the tube was blown out with compressed air. The spare torpedo was then slid into the tube where it lay ready for its run of destruction.

Going aft through the watertight door of the forward torpedo room, we entered Commander Forstmann's quarters. On the port side was his bunk, and across the passageway, was a small table-like desk. His bunk, as well as those of the other officers, was of a stationary type having drawers below. On the walls were shelves and racks for books, charts and instruments. A barometer, chronometer and other recording devices were also mounted. Except for the small desk, Commander Forstmann's compartment was no fancier than those of the other officers.

The entire forward portion of the submarine, from the torpedo room to the crew's messroom, was utilized as living quarters for the officers and higher petty officers of the crew. Near the forward end was the officer's mess with a collapsible table similar to that in the crew's quarters. At the aft end of these forward compartments was a compact space for the galley with a small electric range and lockers.

Following this was the Mannschaftsraum or crew's quarters already described. (#237). At the aft end, on the starboard side of the crew's quarters, was a small closet-like sealed-in section. This was the wireless room, barely large enough to contain the necessary equipment and space for the operator himself.

Next came the Zentrale or control room, directly below the conning tower and with it, serving as the nerve center of the U 39. On the starboard side were two circular dials approximately two feet in diameter. A large rotating needle on the dials registered the depth in meters when the submarine was submerged. Before each dial was a large brass wheel by which the fin-like horizontal rudders, or diving planes at the bow and stern, were controlled. Any action caused by these rudders was registered by the needle. Each wheel was manned by a Tiefenrudergänger, or depth helmsman. They kept their eyes glued to the dials, for this operation called for constant teamwork, especially when submerging or surfacing the submarine. The periscope coming into the control room could be revolved a full three hundred and sixty degrees by two hinged handles. Aft of the periscope was the ladder leading up to the conning tower. The port side of the control room was a mass of piping, manifolds, valves, levers and gauges, mostly used for filling and blowing the ballast tanks. Pieces of auxiliary equipment, such as pumps, motors and other apparatus, including a rack holding a few rifles, took up remaining available space. Every nook and corner was utilized, and gadgets were everywhere, including the all-important, loud-clanging alarm bell that sent men running to diving stations.

The compartment aft of the control room was the engine room. When the submarine traveled on the surface, two diesel motors drove the twin screws of the U 39. They were six-cylinder Krupp diesels, each rated at about nine hundred horsepower, and capable of driving the submarine at a speed of (#238) around eighteen knots if necessary. If one considers the control room as the nerve center of the submarine, then this engine room, was the workhouse. When the submarine cruised at full speed, the pounding of the cam shafts, the chugging of the pistons and the slamming of the cranks, together with a clattering of the auxiliary parts, made a banging racket that traveled throughout the hull. Occasionally the door to the engine compartment was partially closed to deaden the noise. The diesels were dependable and would pound steadily day and night and quickly answered any requirement as they drove the U 39 on its way. No smoke plumes trailed from the exhaust pipes to lend their aid for spotting an otherwise unseen submarine. Only a thin, whitish puff of haze that quickly dispersed in the atmosphere was noticeable.

Aft of the engine room was the compartment containing the big electric motors that drove the submarine when submerged. This electrical compartment, together with the torpedo rooms, were the neatest and most shipshape compartments of all. Neatly arranged panels with mounted instruments, switches, knobs and handles, and rows of large batteries known as Akkumulatorenbatterie or accumulator or storage batteries, attracted my attention. Large clutches disengaged the diesel motors from the propellor shafts when the electric motors took over the propulsion of the submarine. Disengaging the clutches took but a moment. It was much more pleasant inside the submarine when the electric motors took over from the noisy, clattering diesels.

The aft torpedo room was the last compartment. It was practically a counterpart of the one in the bow except that the tubes were set at a somewhat higher elevation, and no spare torpedoes were at hand.

In an enclosed section at the starboard forward end of the electrical compartment was another very important and useful Item. This was (#239) the head, or toilet, also of a mechanical nature. The first time I wanted to use it I had to ask a near-by crew member what levers I must use to operate the bloomin' thing. I never thought, when I shipped out on the Cambuskenneth, that before the trip was over, I would be using a toilet fifty to one hundred and fifty feet below the surface of the sea. Among any ideas I might have had, that was the farthest from my mind!

Now that the submarine has been described it may be appropriate to give a description of some of the crew. The U 39 carried a crew of thirty-one men. The officers, besides the commander, included two lieutenants, the navigating officer and the engineer. The majority of the remaining crew were petty officers of various ratings.

The commander, Captain-lieutenant Walter Forstmann, was about thirty-two years of age. Though he had an amiable and quiet disposition, there was no hesitation when he issued orders. In early 1915 he placed U 39 in service having previously been commander of U-12. He greatly considered the welfare of his crew, speaking casually to all, and did not throw his weight around to show that he was boss. To keep the crew's interest and attention at top peak, the commander at times from the bridge or periscope, kept his crew informed of what went on. His remarks were then quickly passed along.

On a few occasions I acted as an interpreter for the commander. This was not when action took place but in reading English newspapers obtained from ships intercepted. Calling me to his compartment he would request that I read certain articles to him. I have never forgotten an incident that occurred. I came to the word "important" and had to admit that I did not know to express the word in German. He nodded his head, then remarked, "Ja, ja, important, that means wichtig." Evidently he understood English (#240) better than he let on but perhaps not to read it.

The two lieutenants were both young. I felt that neither had the amiability of the commander in regards to speaking with the crew for little conversation passed between them.

The Ober-Steuermann, or navigating officer, was broad and powerfully built. He was a rather quiet sort of person, slow and deliberate in his movements. I was told he was a veteran submarine man, and he was greatly respected by the crew. When the submarine was chasing a possible victim, he was the commander's right hand man. Under such circumstances there was nothing slow about his actions. His decisions had to be swift and accurate as he checked the course, angle and speed of both the submarine and the vessel being chased. He usually worked at the side of the commander in the close confines of the conning tower. As the commander maneuvered the submarine on the target, the navigating officer at the commander's order, pressed the electric button that sent the torpedoes on their way. He had to familiarize himself with the sea around the adjacent coastal area in which the submarine operated and to determine the course to any destination. When taking over the watch on the bridge he bundled up in heavy clothing including a large woolen scarf around his head and neck. When coming down the passageway on his way to the bridge some of the crew often remarked,

"Look, here comes Santa Clause."

The engineer was elderly looking with white hair. He and the navigating officer were perhaps the oldest members of the crew. I was impressed at seeing a white-haired person as a crew member of a submarine. Quick and active in his movements, he possessed a rather nervous disposition. His was an important duty. At the commander's orders, the engineer directed the diving and surfacing of the U-Boat. From his station in the control (#241) room he gave his orders in a short and crisp manner. A slip-up here could prove disastrous, and on one occasion, this almost occurred. All things of a mechanical nature came under his care and what was under his supervision functioned like clockwork, even the toilet.

Among the crew, the commander, the navigating officer and the engineer

carried the heaviest load on their shoulders.

The Funkmaat, or wireless mate, was a young chap named Repke and considered very efficient. Receiving wireless messages was quite an event aboard the U 39. Nightly, when the wireless operator entered his small cubicle, the crew members awake in the messroom would eagerly await the messages received. Repke was well liked but sure took a lot of ribbing from his shipmates. They would tell him not to come out unless he had some good news instead of-the blarney he handed out the night before. Sometimes, he jokingly received congratulations if he turned in a good report. Any news, other than confidential, would be divulged by Repke as he emerged from his cubicle waving a sheet of paper. The wireless was considered the submarine's news program from their homeland.

I became closest acquainted with Praedels, the cook. He was a well-built blond person with a full round face, and unlike most cooks, took but little to blossom out in a chuckle or grin. His galley being adjacent to the crew's quarters, where we spent most of our time, it was only natural that we came more in contact with the cook than with others. Praedels came in for a lot of ribbing when he dished out the food but this did not faze him for he could hand it back with remarks of his own. Being a person who enjoyed conversation, he supplied many answers to our inquisitive questions. In his cramped quarters, with only a very small electric range on which to prepare the food for the entire crew, it was a miracle how he managed. The (#242) drinking water, on which no restriction was placed, was doled out from a pump in the galley. Besides his duty as cook Praedels doubled up as a member of the deck gun crew. If any action with the deck gun disrupted his cooking, the meals could wait.

The Torpedomaat, or torpedo mate, in the bow compartment was quite a boy! With his red beard and red goatee, he could well qualify as a character actor in a sea-faring movie without any additional make-up. He had the mannerisms and vocabulary for such a part and was a born actor. Whenever Moses and I made our way to his compartment he kept us constantly amused with his wild yarns, expressions and antics. He and his partner the Rohrmeister, or tube master, kept the torpedo room spic and span. He called the big torpedoes his children, and always wished them a fond farewell with some awe-inspiring name when they left the tube. A visit to the red-bearded torpedo mate was a daily occurrence for Moses and me.

I did not become too acquainted with others of the crew, but while passing through the various compartments I usually asked questions of those on watch or spoke a few words with others I met in the passageway.

Including the officers, a very congenial atmosphere prevailed among the entire crew. The submarine was their ship and all contributed their utmost for its welfare. All knew that if some serious mishap occurred they would perish together. The crew relied on their officers for leadership and judgement, and the officers relied on the crew for alert attention to their duties and full cooperation. This, no doubt, holds true on any submarine. Even with the familiarity between officers and crew, discipline was on a high plane. They jumped at every order. The men, like all submarine crews, were carefully chosen and trained. Through their exploits, all members of the U 39 possessed the Iron Cross, a German citation for (#243) distinguished service.

My only knowledge of naval uniforms came from observing those worn by members of naval vessels that made periodic visits to Portland. The stripes of the officers and the different arm insignias intrigued me but I had no knowledge of what naval sailors wore at work when at sea. I was surprised at the uniforms worn by the crew of the U 39. No insignia of who's-who met my eyes. Most of the crew, including the officers, wore suits of black pliable leather. The only resemblance to a navy uniform were the officer's caps and German Navy hats, with the two dangling ribbons, that some crew members wore when out on the open deck. Their clothing showed wear and tear of weeks and months spent in the cramped confines of a submarine. The majority of the leather suits were wrinkled and stained from oil and grease. Salt water sprays also left their marks, and Commander Forstmann's uniform looked no better than any of the others. Because of mainly watch officer duties, the cleanest uniforms were worn by the two lieutenants. The most conspicuous articles of clothing that set the officers apart from the crew were their caps and a heavy, woolen, white, turtleneck sweater worn under their coats. Except for the engineer, another feature by which the officers could be recognized were binoculars hanging from a strap around their necks. We from the Cambuskenneth, looking more like a dirty bunch of prisoners in our motley array of clothing, added nothing to improve the over-all looks of the crew.

It was a hard and dangerous service aboard the submarine. The approximate three-foot wide passageway and the narrow open deck, that could be utilized only under favorable weather conditions, were the only areas where one could move about. When off duty, there was no opportunity for recreation on the open deck if the weather outside was sloppy. Such time was spent in (#244) sitting around or trying to catch a few winks of sleep which was not as simple as it sounds. The clattering of the diesels, the actions of the cook in the adjacent compartment and the movement by others through the passageway made this a bit difficult. Sleep was also impossible when any action took place. The orders shouted back and forth, the booming of the deck gun or the crashing roar of a torpedo striking its target saw to that. The men slept fully clothed, ready for instant action should the alarm ring calling them to diving or battle stations. About every third or fourth night Commander Forstmann would submerge the submarine and spend the night underwater to give the crew an opportunity to catch up with their interrupted sleep.

Those on watch at the diesel motors had the hardest duty aboard the U-Boat. The heat and clattering noise of the motors in the sticky oil-saturated air, made their tour of duty nerve-wracking and strenuous. The noise was so intense that most conversation was conducted by a sort of sign language with their hands and nodding heads. In oil-splattered clothing they held a four hour watch in a passageway about three feet wide and about eighteen feet long. In rough weather they had to watch their footing on the slippery floor plates as the submarine was rolled and tossed by the action of the sea. Wiping up oil with a handful of waste was always an added chore to keep their compartment shipshape. After a tour of duty under such conditions they welcomed being relieved. All liked it better when the submarine was submerged and the diesel boys liked it best of all.

Dampness caused by condensation on the inner hull was an annoying inconvenience below deck, especially in the living quarters of the submarine. Though the paint was impregnated with particles of cork for absorbing moisture, at times a thin film of water would adhere to the inner hull, frequently (#245) heavy enough to drip from the plates. The bedding in the bunks became wet. Crew members frequently wiped the contents of their foot lockers against inroads of mildew. The dampness also affected some food supplies, especially the bread. In stormy weather the Wachhabende Offizier, or Officer of the Watch, and his assistants on the bridge wore suits of gray oilskins. They slipped into them like into a coverall, leaving only their hands and face exposed to the rain and driving salt sprays from the sea. Orders were strict against bringing wet clothing into the living quarters so the oilskins were removed in the control room.

Though we were at sea, surrounded by an abundance of fresh air, there was nothing invigorating about the air inside the submarine. A detrimental influence was the smelly oil fumes from the diesels, odors from the electrical and auxiliary equipment plus contributions from the cook's galley. Constant breathing and exhaling by approximately thirty-five men in the confined space did not help the situation. It was a sort of sleep-provoking air that made one feel drowsy, fatigued, or with a buzzing sensation in one's head. On such occasions, a little relief could be provided from a pipe air line running through the submarine along the upper starboard side having an escape valve in each compartment. However, permission to open a valve had to be requested from the engineer, which he usually granted. Relief could also be had by opening the round hatches on the submarine's deck but this could be done only in calm weather when sprays no longer blew across the deck. Such condition did not often exist, and when quite the contrary, even the hatch on top of the conning tower was partially closed. To prevent unnecessary pollution of the air was possibly one reason that smoking below deck was verboten.

When the sea became rough tossing the submarine about, the pitching (#246) and rolling of the boat made things a bit uncomfortable below. We had to watch our step when moving about. At meal times we held our bowls of soup or stew in our hands to keep the contents from spilling. Those in bunks secured their bedding to keep from being tossed out. We who slept on floor plates, having no place to fall, had no such worries. Yes sir, on a submarine during rough weather was not quite the sane as sitting in a deck chair on a large passenger liner, or like being on a steadier old windjammer where the wind's pressure against the sails had a tendency counteract the action of the sea. During the eleven days I spent on the U 39 we experienced fairly mild weather, yet there were times, when it became a bit nasty inside the submarine. Whenever wind and sea action too violent the submarine could simply submerge a feature that only they possessed.

Underwater it was nice! Here we cruised slowly and silently and felt no motion of the boat. We seemed to be standing still. The low deep hum of the electric motors was the only sound of any action going on. Together with the time spent on deck during smoother weather, they were the most enjoyable hours I spent on the submarine. We cruised mostly at a depth of twenty meters, approximately sixty-five feet. While the submarine was submerged, Moses and I did most of our visiting. We would spend time in the electrical compartment by the big motors and often stood behind the two depth helmsmen in the control room watching them go silently about their work. I was fascinated by the action of the needles on the dials as they manipulated the brass wheels mounted in front of the big round depth gauges. I wish I could have watched them when the U 39 was submerging or surfacing, but at such times we windjammer sailors had to keep out of the way. (#247)

Obeying the commander's orders, we made ourselves small. We never failed to visit the red-bearded torpedo mate in the bow compartment, who always had a different yarn to spin accompanied by pantomime gestures. His partner, the tube master, never got a chance to say much when redbeard had the floor.

Underwater the crew seemed relaxed and happy. Out would come a phonograph or an accordion and soon an underwater concert was softly taking place. Sometimes two phonographs played at the same time, one forward in the officer's quarters and the other in the crew's messroom. Some crew members occupied themselves by writing letters or rereading letters they had received. Others took great delight in opening their packages of Liebesgaben, or gift packages from home, containing items of luxury such as cookies, cheese, chocolate bars and etc. The men were quite inquisitive over what each received and soon a brisk little trading business went on. A few sailors just crawled into their bunks to sleep. We from the sailing ship were accepted to take part in the conversations and activities. My old partner Erich, with his clownish manners, soon established himself as a popular member of our gang. They would hand him an accordion, also known as a North Sea piano, and let him present his type of music and entertainment.

The food aboard the U 39 was nothing fancy like ham and eggs, cake or pie. There was no room on the collapsible tables for platters of meat or two or three kinds of vegetables. Most of the food was a preserved type coming in sealed containers. However, it was ample, tasty, nourishing and well prepared. The main meal was served at noon. Our utensils were usually an aluminum bowl and a spoon. We passed our bowl to the cook who doled out a portion of the main item of the menu. This was usually a stew conglomeration (#248) of meat and vegetables, peas and bacon, rice with sausage or a mixture of prunes and dumplings. Only one of the items was served daily and the prunes and dumplings was my favorite dish. If the run on the cook pot was not too heavy second helpings could be obtained. Side items of cheese, margarine and the forever sea-going orange marmalade were available. The meal was topped off with rye bread and coffee, much better coffee than "Adolph's Special" served on the Cambuskenneth. The main evening dish was soup, usually the German standbys of Erbsen, pea soup, or Linsen, lentil soup, with a boiled potato thrown in. Fried potatoes and bacon or a bowl of mush accompanied with bread and coffee usually sufficed for breakfast. No bread was baked on the submarine. It came aboard in sacks at the beginning of the cruise and was a dark heavy rye bread coming in large oval-shaped loaves. After about two weeks at sea the bread began to mold. A job at mealtimes was to cut the moldy part away to find a piece fit to eat. Considering how the cook's supplies and facilities were limited he still provided good-tasting food. Furthermore, no distinction was made between officers and crew. It all came out of the same pot.

In order to make ourselves a bit useful, we young members from the sailing ship undertook a few minor jobs mostly in helping the cook. We peeled potatoes and onions and gave the cook a welcome hand by washing his pots and pans. Fresh water being restricted we added the left-over coffee for this purpose, for if it was fit to drink, it was fit for dishwater.

A handful of cotton waste sufficed for a towel. We helped getting rid of the refuse from the table and galley, but the sea gulls did not get fat from anything thrown overboard from the U 39. Should the diving alarm bell ring when the collapsible tables were up they were dropped immediately, for the passageway must be cleared at once to allow the men to reach their stations. (#249)

At times we assisted in passing ammunition. Strung out in a long line, from the ladder in the control room to the aft the containers with loaded shells hand to the conning tower hatch. Empty cases were passed down from deck.

Other than the chores mentioned, which we voluntarily undertook, we were never detailed to other duty, and we were not restricted to any certain area of the U-Boat. With no sign of action in sight we could go where we 1iked when below deck. We never abused this privilege by making a nuisance of ourselves, and none of us ever received a word of admonition from officers or crew. Weather and conditions permitting, we were allowed on deck as the submarine cruised the surface of the sea. Those off watch utilized every opportunity for going on deck to smoke or lounge about. We would stand against the conning tower or deck gun as the submarine cruised along in search of prey. Sometimes we would walk the foredeck holding to the wire guard cables for support. We thoroughly enjoyed these periods on deck where the air was fresh and invigorating. When a vessel or smoke feather was sighted on the horizon, everyone except the bridge watch was ordered below. At times, while on deck, islands or parts of the southern coasts of the British Isles were in sight. (#250)

18. Sinking ships

Due to the intervening years, the sequence and manner in which the ships were sunk may not be entirely correct. I did observe several sink only a few hundred yards off from the submarine. Each sank in a different manner. Some just settled lower and lower until their decks were awash then vanished below the surface. Others dropped the stern under, and during the final plunge, stood up and down with the bow of the ship pointing towards the sky. Some went down by the bow with the stern, rudder and big propellor, that but a short time previous was driving the steamer on its way, being the last vestige of a once active ship. In a few cases they rolled on their sides with the bottom and keel in view. Some took but ten minutes to disappear from sight, others an hour or more. The time was influenced greatly by the construction of the ship, its cargo, and the damage caused by shell fire or torpedo. The amount of air trapped beneath the deck was another factor. The pressure of this entrapped air eventually blew some hatches out. In some cases, where the angle of the ship's list permitted, shells were fired into the hatch covers to relieve this pressure, after which the vessel did not stay long afloat.

A ship sinking is not a pleasant sight to see, nor is it pleasant to relate. At the time the ships were sunk, their crews in open life-boats, found themselves from approximately a hundred and fifty to within fifteen miles of the nearest land. Our ship was sunk about twenty-six miles SW by S of Galley Head on the Irish coast. My thoughts, as to the justification of initiating submarine warfare are of little value, and I only wish to confine the narrative to what actually occurred during the eleven days I spent on the U 39.

This particular cruise of the U 39 began from the German island of (#251) Helgoland off the German North Sea coast. The general tour of duty for her class was about twenty-one days from her base. Other submarines were dispatched to stations of those in action to relieve them when due to begin the long run back to their base. It was about a five or six day run from Helgoland before the U 39 arrived at her sphere of action, roughly off the southern coast of Ireland to beyond the Scilly Islands and then across the southern entrance of the English Channel to near the island of Ouessant off the French coast.

In less than forty hours after I was on the submarine two more vessels were sunk. Being below deck most of the time, the reader may justly question my description of what occurred. Later, through conversation and my own observations, I gained a clearer knowledge of what took place in the general operation of the submarine and the procedure followed during the attack and sinking of the ships. I have therefore taken the liberty of describing the general procedure during the sinking of the first two ships, merely to avoid repetition when subsequent sinkings are described, so that the reader may grasp the picture of what is taking place. It followed this general pattern. First the chase, the German Naval Ensign flying, then the warning shot ordering the vessel to stop. Finally, the signal to abandon ship at once if the intercepted vessel flew the flag of a country with whom Germany was at war. During the time I was aboard the U 39, Commander Forstmann gave every ship intercepted, unless escorted by patrol craft, a warning shot to stop. Sometimes more than one warning was given before shells were fired directly at the vessel. The signal "Abandon ship at once" was not set if the vessel hoisted a neutral flag. Such vessels were signaled to deliver the ship's papers to the submarine for inspection. If a neutral ship carried contraband cargo destined for enemy ports, the crew was then ordered to abandon ship, as she was to be sunk. However, neutral vessels (#252) bound for a non-belligerent port were allowed to proceed and this happened on three occasions while I was aboard the submarine. In all cases, the order to man the deck gun and to standby at diving stations was a regular procedure. Not until the fate of the overtaken vessel was established, did any relaxation take place. The officer of the watch, together with the lookouts on the bridge never relaxed their vigilance. This was a necessary precaution, for during the process of chasing or sinking a ship, a patrol vessel might be spotted rushing to the scene. Also by such vigilance, another prospective victim might be sighted.

The interception and sinking of a vessel was a time-consuming event. One must consider the long chase involved before the vessel came within range. Approximately ten minutes were spent to abandon ship, and in the case of neutral vessels, additional time was required for examining papers. The sinking time of the ships could be hastened by additional use of shells or torpedo, but the supply of these were limited and could not be used promiscuously. The vessels and cargo were taken into consideration and the hulls were holed sufficiently to ensure that they would not stay long afloat.

Prior to meeting up with the Cambuskenneth the U 39 had sunk two vessels. They were the small British fish steamer Campania and the two hundred and fifty-two ton old Norwegian iron bark Kotka, built in 1861. The same day after sinking the Kotka, the U 39 nabbed us.

Wednesday, June 30, 1915, was my first day aboard the submarine. After breakfast the U 39 surfaced and began scouring the sea for additional victims. The sea and wind had moderated, the sun made its appearance and the prospect of a fine day was at hand. Though the submarine was operating in one of the most frequently traveled areas of the sea, a ship was not always in view. Many hours of a day could pass, and a wide expanse of heaving (#253) seas was all that could be seen. Since there was no sign of immediate action, the crew members off duty, and we from the sailing ship, were given permission to come on deck. We lost no time in taking advantage of the opportunity and scrambling up the ladder we went through the conning tower hatch. With a greeting of "Guten Morgen" (good morning) to those on watch, we hit the main deck and lounged around the conning tower structure. For the first time I was riding the deck of a submarine underway on the high sea. The long slender bow knifing gracefully through the swells and the sea rushing past over the bulging tank tops almost at my feet kept me spellbound. It was more exciting than the slower sailing of a windjammer. The entire forenoon went by and nothing was seen except a few sea birds that soared about. Since submerging the night before, the U 39 had run across the southern reaches of St. George's Channel on a course towards the southern coast of England. At last, to the eastward off the bow of the submarine, a smoke feather was sighted! Everyone became alert!

"Beide Maschinen volle Fahrt voraus!" (Both motors full speed ahead!), came Commander Forstmann's order.

The U 39 quivered with the increased speed and held the smoke feather dead ahead until the navigating officer determined the direction the steamer was heading, then altering course if necessary to make the interception at an angle. In ten minutes the mast tops could be made out.

"Freiwache unter Deck!" (Free watch below deck!) was yelled down from the conning tower. We scrambled up to the conning tower hatch and hurriedly dropped below. Our gang made for the messroom to keep out of the way. The engineer took his station in the control room, and others stood alert at their posts, ready to submerge the submarine if the necessity arose.

I was soon to learn what took place on a submarine when an attack (#254) on a vessel was made, I did not have long to wait.

"Kriegsfahne auf!" (Up with the War Ensign!), was shouted down from the bridge. The flag was passed up through the conning tower and was soon flying from it's short staff at the aft end of the superstructure.

"Geschütz besetzen!" (Man the gun!), was the next order. The cook and two others scrambled up the ladder.

The engineer, squinting through the periscope in the control room, kept us informed on what was taking place. We were told the steamer appeared to be a medium-sized vessel and would soon be within range of the gun.

Boom-m-m! Above the noise of the pounding diesels came the crashing roar as the warning shot to stop was on its way. The steamer payed no heed and kept running full speed ahead. A second shot crashed into the superstructure of the fleeing vessel. Now, heeding the warning, she slowed her speed and came to a stop. When the submarine neared the vessel, signal flags were hoisted on the periscope of the U 39.

"Zeigen sie sofort ihre Flagge!" (Show your flag at once!).

The British flag soon flew at her staff. An enemy belligerent and not a neutral vessel lay helpless a short distance off. Up went another signal on the U 39.

"Verlassen sie sofort das Schiff!" (Abandon ship immediately!)

The procedure taking place on the steamer was closely observed through binoculars by the officers of the submarine. Life-boats were swung out, into which the crew began tumbling. In less than ten minutes the boats were away without mishap. The U 39 ran alongside the captain's boat to examine the ship's papers in order to identify her and to ascertain the (#255) cargo along with her point of departure and her destination. The abandoned steamer was named Lomas, bound from Argentine to Belfast with a cargo of corn. About fifteen shells were fired into the steamer's sides, all landing close along the waterline. We were given permission to come on deck. Slowly the Lomas settled lower and lower, listing heavily to port as the sea poured into her hull. Fire broke out midships and the end of her career was not far off. She rolled over on her side, settling lower by the bow, and with part of her bottom and keel showing, she slid beneath the waves. Her life-boats were now small specks in the distance. I learned later that, they were picked up by a Belgian trawler and landed at Milford-haven.

The diesels came to life and the cruising prowl continued. Off our port bow the straight line of the horizon was broken by a couple of small bluish-gray humps. The humps grew larger and more distinct. We were approaching the Scilly Islands. Night approached, shrouding the submarine and the surrounding area in a mantle of darkness dimly lit by stars appearing through broken patches of a clouded sky. After darkness had set in a steamer was dimly sighted. She bore no marks of identification. The commander, not knowing if she was an enemy or neutral vessel, did not want to risk an attack. Instead he kept the vessel in sight throughout the night.

Usually after our evening meal, no one stayed up late, for as a rule, all who were off duty wanted to sleep. I was no exception, so grabbing my clothes-bundle pillow, and a blanket, I made for my floor-plate bunk.

The crew held four-hour watches with eight hours off, both for those on the bridge and for duties below. The outside watch, during sloppy weather could be quite an ordeal. There was no deck to pace, no fo'c'stle head to duck under. The small bridge shields offered little protection against the heavy salt sprays, the wind or driving rain. At night the superstructure (#256) of the submarine was completely blacked out. No light of any kind was tolerated.

Thursday, July 1, The inactivity of June 30 was more than made up for by the actions that took place this day, one of the busiest days of the entire career of the U 39, Before the day was over, five steamers were sent to the bottom of the sea. Three neutral vessels were stopped and then allowed to proceed on their way. There were few idle moments from early dawn until dusk. The cook, whose other duty was at the deck gun, was perhaps that day, the busiest man on the submarine. At daybreak the U 39 made after the prospective victim. Heeding the warning shot, and in answer to the signal flag flying from the periscope, she hoisted the British flag. Her captain was ordered to abandon ship.

It was the steamer Gadsby, bound from Sydney to London. The crew took to the life-boats and were later picked up by the steamer Leon and landed at Moville, Ireland.

A torpedo was used to sink the Gadsby. The commander, through a speaking tube, gave the order to the torpedo mate in the bow compartment, "Torpedorohr klar machen!" (Make clear the torpedo tube!). In a moment the torpedo mate answered back, "Nummer eins, Bugrohr klar!" (Number one bow tube clear!). The submarine, in the meantime, having swung around to firing position.

"Los!" (Fire!), shouted the commander.

The navigating officer pushed a black button on the inside wall of the conning tower. Whush-h-h, a short sound of escaping air was heard. A slight shudder passed through the submarine, and a red-headed torpedo loaded with destruction was on its way. Seconds seemed like minutes, everyone was tense awaiting the blast of the torpedo striking its target. A loud (#257) echoing crash, making the deck gun sound like a toy pistol, came roaring back to the submarine. A heavy column of smoke and water spouted like a geyser high above the deck of the Gadsby. Intermingled with debris torn loose by the explosion, the water fell in a heavy cascade over the ship's deck and the adjacent area. As the sea poured into her hold through a huge ragged hole torn in her side the Gadsby quickly showed the effects of the blast. Her stern dropped under and with a slow slanting dive she headed down. A few pieces of loose gear floated around where she had disappeared.

Sinking of the Gadsby completed, the diesels began pounding and the U 39 continued her prowl. The cook came below to prepare breakfast but this he was unable to complete, for soon the order "Man the gun!" came down from above. After the warning shot this steamer stopped. On her staff flew the blue and white striped flag of Greece, a neutral nation at that time. She was named Leon, and she had a dirty run-down appearance of a tramp steamer. Her papers were examined and as she was not destined for a belligerent port she was allowed to proceed on her way. We were allowed on deck and observed the life-boat returning to the steamer lying a short distance off. She picked up speed and steamed away. It may well be that this was the steamer Leon that picked up the crew from the Gadsby. After this incident Praedels completed his breakfast preparations and we soon had our feet under the table, little realizing that no meal that day would be served on time.

Shortly after breakfast a smoke feather was sighted and the U 39 raced at full speed to make the interception. In about an hour the vessel could be plainly seen and soon came within range of the deck gun. The warning shot was on its way to which the steamer paid no attention by (#258) making an effort to escape. This tough British customer was a good-sized steamer and was not brought to a stop until three shells landed against her superstructure. It was the British tank steamer Caucasian sailing from London with a cargo of one million gallons of creosote bound for Gibraltar. After the crew had taken to the boats about a dozen shells were fired into the steamer's side. The Caucasian had enough holes torn in her side to sink an ordinary ship carrying an ordinary cargo, but she was not giving up without a prolonged struggle. The U 39 could not tarry about for hours waiting for a ship to sink so several more shells were fired into the sinking hull. This was more than the stricken steamer could stand. She settled faster by the bow and about ten minutes later stood almost perpendicular to the surface of the sea. Her rudder and rounded stern was the last seen of the Caucasian before she disappeared.

Shortly after the noon lunch another steamer was sighted and little by little the distance grew less and she was soon within range. Heeding the warning shot this steamer stopped. A neutral flag flew from her stern.

"Ein Neutraler, ein Spanier!" (A neutral, a Spaniard!) came the word from above. A boat with the captain aboard pulled over to the submarine. His ship's papers showing the vessel bound for a non-belligerent pert, the captain was told he could proceed. She was the Spanish steamer Pena Augustine of Santander, Spain. This did not conclude the episode of meeting up with this Spanish vessel. Her captain, perhaps a bit friendly with the gentians or in gratitude that his ship was spared, wished to send a present from his ship and asked Commander Forstmann for the submarine to standby. It was agreed, and shortly the captain returned with a few bottles of wine and two cases of fresh cherries. With a friendly waving of arms between his boat crew and those on deck of the submarine, the captain pulled back to his ship. This was an unexpected windfall and happy grins broke out (#259) when the news was passed around. None of us, or the enlisted men got any wine. The officers took that forward to their quarters! The cherries, however, were left, in the messroom for the crew's consumption.

An hour or so after the Spanish vessel departed another chase commenced. This intercepted British steamer, named Inglemoor, proved a valuable prize as far as the Germans were concerned. Not only was she a large, fine-looking and practically new vessel, but she carried a cargo of war material and 6643 tons of coal destined for Malta. No time was wasted in sinking the Inglemoor by shell fire. The black button in the conning tower was pressed and - whoosh - another torpedo was gone forever. A huge ragged hole was torn in the Inglemoor's side and a heavy column of water, smoke and debris rose high above the ship's rail. The steamer shuddered and rolled under the impact. A fair-sized motor launch carried on deck as part of the cargo was tossed through the air by the force of the explosion. As the sea rushed in she settled by the bow with a heavy list toward the submarine. She lay thus for quite some time, stubbornly fighting to stay afloat. With such a cargo, and to hurry her end along, orders were given to shell the hatches. The gun spoke, and as the shells struck home, the trapped air in the hold tossed the heavy hatch covers high and wide in all directions like pieces of kindling wood. With a final lurch the entire foredeck of the ship went under. As the bow dropped the angle grew steeper, and finally with her stern pointing to the sky, the big rudder and propeller in plain sight, and with the British flag still flying from her staff, the Inglemoor went down. The short career of a fine, new and modern ship was ended. She was sunk off Lizard, near the southwest point of the English coast.

A short time after the evening meal the mast tips of another vessel came into view. The U 39 swung around until a mast tip lay dead ahead and (#260) the course held for some time. The slender mast still lay dead ahead, becoming more distinct, and was evidence that the vessel was heading directly towards the submarine. With the two craft approaching from opposite directions it was but a short time before the bow and hull of the vessel came into view. The warning shot went booming on it's way.

"Er stoppt!" (He is stopping!) remarked the engineer at the periscope. In answer to the signal to show her flag the vessel hoisted the flag of the Netherlands. A Hollander, came the report from above. At the second signal to present the papers for inspection, the captain brought them over to the submarine. She was the twin-screw motor-vessel Selena, a beautiful practically new tanker built in 1914. Not bound for a belligerent port, she was given permission to proceed. However, not before a little dickering was done. The captain was asked to sell some eggs and butter to which he agreed. He was pulled back to his ship where a crate of eggs and some butter was lowered into his boat. He delivered the merchandise, was paid for it, and returned to his ship where the life-boat was raised and the Selena resumed her interrupted voyage.

A big grin spread over the cook's face over this acquisition to his stores. Between feeding dozens of shells to the deck gun and preparing three meals to thirty-nine men, he spent a busy day. It was a busy day for the entire crew of the submarine but the activities of this day were not yet complete. A somewhat complicated affair, involving two steamers, was yet to take place.

The ceaseless search went on as mile after mile the diesels drove the submarine along. There was no relaxation to the lookout's vigilance and, during the long summer evening, before dusk had set in, two steamers were sighted simultaneously. Apparently undetected by either vessel, the U 39 (#261) tackled the one that lay farther away. Boom-m-m, went the warning shell! The U 39 kept racing towards this vessel, and her officers with binoculars, were observing what attention was being payed to the warning to stop. Apparently none. She kept plowing full speed ahead in an effort to escape or to distract the submarine from the other steamer nearby.

"Sicher ein Engländer," (Positively an Englishman) remarked a member of the submarine's crew.

Boom-m-m! Another shot went flying towards the steamer. Again she payed no heed. The steamer was now within easy range, and with another prospective victim in sight, Commander Forstmann wasted no more time. Orders were given to shell the steamer at once. One shell struck the bridge, another smashed into the smokestack toppling it down. Any further ideas of escaping were removed and the steamer stopped. The crew was given time to abandon ship. She proved to be the British steamer Richmond carrying a cargo of railway ties and timbers from Gulfport, Mississippi and bound for Queenstown. Her crew landed at Plymouth. A torpedo was fired into the hull. She began to list heavily but still seamed very much afloat. This all took time, and the other steamer now aware of what was taking place, poured on fuel and at full speed headed away from the immediate vicinity. The U 39 wheeled around and made after her at once.

"Beide Maschinen äußerste Kraft!" (Both motors, extreme speed!) came the commander's order. This was a little extra speed, in excess of full speed that could be coaxed from the diesels and was used in emergencies only. The U 39's entire hull vibrated as she leapt ahead under this extra power. In about twenty minutes the deck gun spoke again. The steamer, still about four miles off, made no further effort to escape. She stopped, and after hoisting the British flag, her crew was ordered to leave (#262) at once. She was the British steamer Craigard, loaded with 10,309 bales of cotton from Galveston, Texas destined for France. Dusk was fast approaching and a series of shells were fired into the Craigard's hull. In the total darkness that soon prevailed it was impossible to determine if both vessels had actually sunk, for the vessels were several miles apart. Commander Forstmann decided to stay in the vicinity overnight. On this action filled day, five steamers suffered the fate of being victims of the U 39, and three neutral vessels were intercepted and allowed to proceed. For the remainder of the night the U 39 submerged to give the crew a chance to sleep and recuperate. This was done on other occasions.

July 2. When the submarine surfaced at daybreak it was discovered that both the Richmond and Craigard were still afloat. Below deck plates at the aft end the U 39 carried a small boat. This was set in the sea and two or three men of the submarine crew rowed over to the stricken steamers, the final sinking was accomplished by opening the hatches to allow the entrapped air to escape.

After breakfast, with no sign of action in sight, the welcome order "Free watch on deck!" came from above. This included our group from the sailing ship. We lost no time in scrambling through the conning tower hatch to the open deck. After a night in the close confines of the messroom, we enjoyed the crisp morning air. Almost the entire forenoon was spent on deck as the U 39 continued her prowl. Around noon a sharp-eyed lookout spotted the tell-tale smoke feather of a hull-down ship. Another order "Free watch below deck!" chased us back inside. This precaution was always taken if possible action was sighted when the free watch rode the open deck. One never knew what type of vessel it might be. Perhaps a cruiser, destroyer or patrol boat was responsible for that wisp of smoke. Emergency actions might be called for, so the commander always cleared the deck of all unnecessary personnel. (#263)

Sometime later the gun on the submarine barked. The intercepted vessel was a small-sized steamer flying the Norwegian flag. However, after the warning shot, the steamer lowered the Norwegian flag and hoisted a Belgian flag in its place. She then stopped. It was a Belgian steamer named Boduognat of 1441 tons. Her crew was ordered to abandon ship and reached Falmouth without difficulty. After her cargo, departure and destination was established a patrol yacht was spotted coming on at high speed, there was no time for any shelling by the gun crew, so even though it was a small steamer, a torpedo was used to sink the Boduognat.

The U 39 quickly submerged and made an underwater escape from the area. Later on during the surfacing maneuver a steamer of around 6,000 tons was spotted through the periscope. We overheard that she carried no markings and that patrol craft were in the vicinity. An underwater torpedo attack was made but the torpedo missed the target. Regardless, the U 39 surfaced and began to shell the steamer. Even though she was struck by several shells that steamer had one of those tough British captains aboard and would not stop. The encounter had to be broken off for one of the patrol craft was coming at high speed to attack. The intended victim was supposedly the British steamer City of Edinburgh. The U 39 crash dived and again made an underwater escape.

Later on after surfacing we were again allowed on deck and it was sometime before another vessel appeared on the scene. The sea was fairly calm as the U 39, in the early evening, made after a small vessel which was soon overhauled and quickly hove to after the warning shot. She was the smallest, yet by far the trimmest, of all vessels intercepted. A neat little french sailing schooner with a white hull lay but a short distance off. Her name was Hirrondelle and her home port Palmpol, France. She (#264) carried a cargo of mine timbers. Her small crew pulled away in a boat and landed safely at Bordeaux. We were allowed on deck, and glancing over at the schooner, we observed a fins large dog trotting around the deck. Due to the circumstances, and no doubt unwillingly, it had been forsaken by the crew. The fate of this dog reminded me of our Judy on the Cambuskenneth. About five shells struck the sides of the Hirrondelle and the beautiful little new schooner ended her short career as she sank from sight. This completed the action for that day.

July 3. Since our ship was sunk eight vessels were sent to the bottom of the sea. Today, three more were added to that list. The weather was exceptionally calm, the sea like a sheet of glass as the masts of a vessel hove in sight. It was a short chase and the vessel was soon intercepted. Boom-m-m, went the warning shot from the deck gun. The steamer stopped and raised the British flag. Her name was Renfrew. No cargo would be lost in the sinking of this steamer. She was sailing empty on a run from Marseille to Barry. After the crew abandoned ship the Renfrew was sunk by shell fire.

A few hours later another British steamer became a victim. This was a fairly new vessel named Larchmore, carrying 7,000 tons of coal destined for Bombay. She was another vessel that did not heed the warning shot and only came to a stop after being hit with several shells. The short career of this vessel was also ended by shell fire.

One more victim today was to be the final score of the U 39 on this cruise. In trie early evening, dimly visible, were the mast tops and upper sails of a hull-down square-rigger. Her masts showing broadside, the U 39 ran an angle course to make the interception. In less than an hour the warning shot was on its way and its effect was soon noted. The sails of the mainmast were being swung as she hove to and came to a stop. At her (#265) mizzen gaff the flag of Norway fluttered in the breeze. She was found bound for an enemy port with contraband cargo so her crew was ordered to abandon ship. They took to the boats and after twenty hours landed at Swansea. This white-hulled swan lying helplessly nearby proved to bean old-timer named Fiery Cross, a well-known speedy bark, and familiar to many old windjammer sailors. Several fast passages were credited to this somewhat clipper-like sailing ship. She was bound from Philadelphia to Le Havre with a cargo of 8,450 barrels of oil. Ammunition getting low, Commander Forstmann decided to sink her with bombs. The hinged deck plates near the aft end of the submarine were raised and the small dinghy was set in the sea. Taking three bombs, the navigating officer and a seaman stepped into the boat. The bombs were in the shape of round, red-painted cans, about five inches in diameter and nine inches long. The dinghy was rowed over to the Fiery Cross and the men climbed aboard. Two bombs were hung over one side to the waterline and the other on the opposite side. Fuses and detonators were attached and the long fuses lit. The men hurried into the dinghy and began pulling back to the submarine. About five minutes later the bombs exploded. Ragged holes were torn in the hull where each bomb had hung and columns of water spurted high above the bark's rail. Even though the sea rushed in, her cargo of oil became ignited and columns of smoke poured from her hold. Slowly the bark settled by the bow, her jib-boom dipped under, followed by the fore part of the vessel. Sinking lower by the head, her mizzen mast lay almost horizontal with the sea.

She went down almost perpendicular, and the last vestige of the Fiery Cross was the Norwegian flag waving from her mizzen gaff. Her fine thirty-seven year career of roaming the seven seas was over. Our group was allowed on deck during the entire sinking of this veteran of the sea. No signs of (#266) jubilation were seen or expressed by any of the submarine's crew during the sinking of a ship. I overheard expressions of remorse by the commander, the navigating officer and others when a sailing ship chanced to be the victim. Our group felt the same way. To us, a sailing ship was the only ship, and like most deepwater sailors that served on the white-winged vessels, we felt they were far above the level of a smelly steamer. Commander Forstmann offered to tow the life-boats from the Fiery Cross nearer to land, the calm sea making it a simple matter. The old windjammer sailors being a tough and independent tribe of men, well able to shift for themselves, this offer was refused by the captain. The Fiery Cross was the last vessel, making eleven in all, that were sunk while I was aboard the U 39. In our group's estimation, she was the finest.

The largest vessel sunk was the British steamer Caucasian of 4656 tons and the smallest the 183 ton french schooner. In 1915 ships were smaller than those of today and freighters of 4000 tons were considered a good sized vessel. The ages of the ships sunk varied from the fifty-four year old Kotka, built in 1861, to the modern British steamers Inglemoor and Larchmore which along with the schooner Hirrondelle were but three years old. On many occasions, after the shells or torpedo got in their licks, we were allowed on deck and witnessed the sinking of the vessel. On some occasions we were on deck as shelling took place. We also observed the action going on by taking turns in observing it through the periscope that came to the control room.

No British cruiser or regular navy craft was seen during the days I spent on the U 39. Now and then the only patrol craft spotted were some so-called yachts and fishing trawlers some of which were also assumed to be armed. They were not considered worth a torpedo nor the risk involved in making a surface attack. Being higher out of the water they could be (#267) more easily seen than the submarine. This gave the U-Boat ample time to alter course or submerge. She surfaced again when the coast was found clear. This refers of course, to the early months at the beginning of submarine warfare.

The U 39 was not snorkel equipped like modern submarines so could not stay submerged for a great length of time. I was told that seventy-two hours was about the limit of her endurance below the surface. She could submerge quickly, disappearing from sight in about a minute, and during a crash dive, in even less time. Unlike modern submarines that can submerge to much greater depths, the limit for the U 39 with any degree of safety, was around two-hundred and fifty feet although on an occasion or two she had gone deeper. However, at that time, she was a new and most efficient model of her type. During my eleven days aboard she did not stop on any coast for refueling as propaganda so often claimed. Nor was she refueled from German ships that managed to elude the British blockade. After leaving her base she could cruise a month or more on her own resources.

After the Boduognat was sunk one torpedo remained from the six she originally carried. This torpedo caused quite a bit of conversation among the crew. They hoped to use it against a British naval vessel, and their remarks generally followed this vein of thought. "That one we must save for a cruiser or warship before this cruise is over. If only we could meet up with one for our last torpedo." None were seen and their wishes were not fulfilled.

The papers of all vessels stopped were examined. Obtaining information of a vessel's cargo, departure and destination was considered valuable to the overall military situation. This information, no doubt, was reported to operational headquarters during the nightly functioning of the wireless.

The sinking of the ships required no exceptional skill or effort. The (#268) vessels were sitting ducks only a few hundred yards away. Unless some mechanical malfunction of the torpedo occurred, hitting such a target was a foregone conclusion. An underwater attack on a moving target was a far different matter. I was a bit astounded over the accuracy of the deck gun even though the shelling was at only a short distance. The effects of the shelling could be plainly seen as the victim rolled and pitched from the action of the sea. Ragged holes about two feet in diameter were torn in the ship's side and in almost every case right along the waterline. When hatch covers were-shelled, to allow the trapped air to escape, the shells struck smack into the hatches. Neither the submarine nor the target were standing still, and there was no mistaking the fact that the deck gun on the U 39 could be used with devastating effectiveness.

The types of some cargoes sunk also evoked some remarks aboard the submarine. I definitely recall a cargo of beef and provisions and another cargo of sugar carried by vessels sunk. When this became known, some of the submarine's crew ruefully remarked that they wished they could have landed that cargo in Germany.

Never did I hear any animosity against the members of a life-boat who had to abandon their ship. Sinking the ship and cargo was the main object in view. The submarine crew felt they were doing their duty in their country's service. They were also aware that the hapless crew members from the vessels sunk, and now adrift in open life-boats, were doing theirs. Many of those tough and daring lads endured such an experience several times, their courage undaunted by previous mishap.

The crew of the U 39 did show a preference for sinking British ships. Yet there was no bragging or shouting for joy when this was accomplished. No propaganda remarks of "Gott strafe England" (God punish England) were made. The chief remark when a British vessel was sunk was a curt "Wieder (#269) eins weg" (Again one gone). They were not a bit backward in expressing admiration for the tenacity of many of the British captains. Quite the contrary, when a ship ignored the warning to stop and endeavored to flee, no hate or scorn was expressed and the following remarks were often over-heard. "That must be an Englishman." "Only the British try to make a run for it." "She's got a tough captain aboard who doesn't want to lose his ship." "That fellow thinks he can get away and wants to make a fight of it." I overheard such remarks several times.

Some British steamers did stop. Many others, having a tenacious captain and crew, would gamble on escaping knowing that the odds were very much against them to succeed. Though usually their efforts were made in vain, and accompanied with unnecessary loss of life among the crew, Cases did exist where such officers and crew did succeed in saving their ships. For this, they received no censure for credit must be given to a captain who against heavy odds makes an attempt to save his ship and cargo.

The men on the submarine held that England's sea-power must be broken for Germany to emerge victorious in the war and they were doing their best to bring tills about. However, though hundreds of vessels were sunk, this was in the end not accomplished. More and more ships were built, the ships were later armed and more effective methods were developed for combating the submarine menace that was raising havoc with the ships and commerce of England and her allies.

On July 3d, the U 39 began her return voyage to Helgoland. As on other occasions, Commander Forstmann cruised that night submerged in order to give his crew a better chance to sleep and recuperate themselves. I still had to do my recuperating on the steel floor plates of the crew's messroom. (#270)

19. An underwater attack and a running fight

The only underwater attack by the U 39 while I was aboard occurred on either July 3d or 4th. Luckily it failed. Had the attack been successful, another situation between the United States and Germany such as occurred from the sinking of the Lusitania, might have developed.

Early in the morning, while we were up and about below deck, the information came from above that a huge passenger liner was sighted. In a few moments commander Forstmann and the navigating officer hurried to the bridge. The diesels clattered noisily to full speed for the liner was a considerable distance off. By conversations overheard, we learned the astern angle of the chase and the liner's speed made diminishing the distance a slow process. Standing alert near the control room door, and judging from other remarks heard, we became aware that no ordinary attack was underway. Usually at this stage, the gun crew would be on deck, but the order to man the gun was not given. A remark was relayed down that made me prick up my ears aplenty.

"Ein Riesen Kerl mit vier Schornsteinen!" (A giant one with four smoke-stacks!! was the remark I overheard.

It was also reported that patrol vessels were convoying the liner on its way. Could this be the Mauretania, flashed through my mind! I knew that only a few liners had four funnels, and the Mauretania was one of them! The news that patrol vessels were escorting the liner also kept us on edge. No indication came from the escorts or the liner that they were aware of the submarine's presence. The U 39 was gaining but at any moment now It might be detected. The alarm bell rang! (#271)

"Auf Tauchstation, auf Tauchstation!" (At diving stations!) was immediately shouted through the submarine.

We jumped to one side as men came running to their posts!. The clattering diesels stopped, their shaft was disengaged, and the two large electric motors with their purring hum, were already in service.

"Auf zehn Meter gehen!" (Submerge to ten meters!) came the commander's order. The engineer in the control room took charge his orders coming crisp and clear in rapid fire fashion. We at the door, watched the men perform their work with silent efficiency. The commander and the navigating officer were at their posts in the conning tower, now the underwater bridge of the submarine.

"Sehrohr ausfahren!" (Raise periscope!) was the next order.

The commander now at the periscope, directed the maneuvering of the U-Boat, and all further orders came from there. The U 39 cruised only a short time underwater seeking a more advantageous position. But the distance to the liner increased because the submarine's speed underwater was much less than on the surface. The commander wasted no further time and the order to prepare a torpedo was given.

"Torpedorohr klar machen!" (Make clear the torpedo tube!).

"Nummer zwei Bugrohr klar!" (number two bow tube clear!) answers the torpedo mate through a speaking tube.

"Los!" yelled the commander. The navigating officer immediately pressed the black button.

Whoosh. A slight shudder was felt as the torpedo left the tube. The submarine lay silent as a tomb. All hands waited with cocked ears, but no resounding crash echoed back, telling that the torpedo had struck. The last torpedo, the one they had so hopefully saved for a naval vessel, missed its target! The submarine swung around, and with, the periscope trained (#272) on the liner and its escorts to observe any results of the attack, headed away from the scene. Apparently the wake of the torpedo went unnoticed for no effort to combat the submarine was made. Perhaps no one aboard the huge liner was ever aware that an attack had been made which might have sunk their ship.

The commander climbed down the ladder to the control room. I heard him remark about it being a long shot and at a bad angle, but it had to be then or never. He tarried momentarily in the messroom, and I overheard him tell our mate, that he did not feel too bad about missing the liner. He mentioned he would have liked to have included the ship among vessels sunk, but a heavy loss of life including women and children was something he did not care to have on his conscience. My feelings were similar. The affair was over, but to me, it was a nerve-tingling situation while underway. A sort of quiet spell prevailed throughout the submarine for a time.

The U 39 went to a depth of twenty meters and remained submerged for over an hour. Twenty to twenty-five meters was the usual cruising depth of the submarine. Later on the commander brought the submarine up to ten meters for a look around through the periscope. Finding the coast clear the submarine leapt to the surface and the diesels went into action. The conning tower hatch was opened and the officers scrambled up to the bridge. Ten minutes later the free watch was allowed on deck and this always included our group from the sailing ship. A pleasant breeze, accompanied by a light sea, greeted us when we hit the deck. Nothing was visible except the heaving sea, the round horizon and a sky partly flecked with patches of white lacy clouds. Having had breakfast while submerged we had the entire forenoon for our leisure unless some action intervened. With but about thirty shells remaining, the U 39 was about to begin the long homeward-bound (#273) voyage back to her base. Her schedule actually called for one more day at her allotted area of operation before being relieved by another U-Boat.

A couple of hours passed and then a smoke feather appeared on the horizon. Even though ammunition was low the U 39 swung around and the chase commenced. Little did anyone aboard realize that the steamer responsible for that smoke would prove to be a very gallant and stubborn foe. This affair narrowly missed being the end of the U 39! As the mast tops came into view we were ordered below. The submarine was gaining rapidly and soon the familiar order from the bridge to man the gun was relayed through the submarine. The engineer arrived at his post in the control room and the men took their places at diving stations.

Boom-m-m, came the crashing roar of the warning shot and the steamer began to slow down as if to stop. Then belching smoke, away she went at full speed. This was a steamer having one of those tough and nervy British captains in command. Apparently he was going to make a run for it. Boom-m-m, another warning shot was fired and again the sane procedure took place. She slowed down and started up again.

There was no question now but that the steamer's captain was determined to attempt an escape. Commander Forstmann was equally determined to prevent this happening so began using more persuasive methods to bring the vessel to a stop. He ordered the gun crew to shell the bridge, wireless stack and superstructure. One by one, whizzing shells crashed into the steamer's upper works. Once again she slowed almost to a stop and a couple of lifeboats were partly lowered. The commander held his fire. Then again at full speed she ran on, steering a zig-zag course, even though fire broke out midships. Shells, now in rapid order, were landing fore and aft against the superstructure and hull. One landed just below a swung-out and partly (#274) filled life-boat. One end broke loose from the davits. The boat hung crazily along the steamer's side spilling some of the occupants into the sea. The deck gun was eating shells rapidly and an order came from the bridge to pass up the remaining ammunition. About a dozen shells were passed along and that was the last of then. During this running attack we were allowed to take turns watching the action through the periscope in the control room, each commenting on what was seen. The ship was of course, a British vessel of the type that did not easily surrender. She was the Anglo-Californian, 7,333 gross tons, built in 1912 and bound from Montreal to the British Isles with a cargo including horses and mules.

The U 39 maintained a position a few hundred yards off the steamer's quarter and beam. There was no stopping this ship, she ran on! With the type of captain and officers she carried the thought of surrendering never entered their minds. They possessed unadulterated guts, even firing back with small arms. Men were seen falling about her deck. One man, on the bridge, prone on his stomach was steering the steamer by a lower spoke of the ship's wheel. I read somewheres later that this was the second officer and the captain's son. The captain was already killed but no one on the submarine was aware of that. Trying to save a ship, regardless of the circumstances, is an old tradition of the sea and the crew of the Anglo-Californian succeeded in doing that, deserving the highest credit for their brave action. Words along this line were even expressed later by some members of the U 39. They were aboard a large and practically new vessel, loaded with a valuable cargo destined no doubt for military use by their country. They gambled on a very long chance, for they had no knowledge that the submarine was out of torpedoes, one of which could have easily ended the steamer's career. With the submarine's superior speed and maneuverability, (#275) a torpedo undoubtedly would have struck the target. Had all shells been concentrated against the hull, the Anglo-Californian would have probably never reached port. Commander Forstmann's purpose was to stop the ship to ascertain her identity, cargo and destination. Had he succeeded, the crew would still be given time to abandon ship and she could then be sunk by bombs or by scuttling. This occurred on others that tried to escape.

The running attack continued for almost an hour. After the shells were expended a machine gun was ordered on deck. It was passed through the hatch and clamped to the conning tower structure. After spitting a short string of bullets it became jammed and was sent below. I was handed some of the parts which I laved on a seat in the messroom. Four or five rifles were then passed up which were used against the steamer in a last effort to bring her to a stop. Someone remarked that the compass was shot away on the navigating or flying bridge of the steamer.

Whether the Anglo-Californian succeeded in calling for assistance with her wireless was not known. All at once a patrol yacht came sharply around the bow of the steamer! The yacht lost no time in using the U 39 for a target!

Wham-m-m! A shell came flying!

All hell broke loose on the submarine! We heard loud shouting on the bridge. Six to eight men were on deck at the time. The alarm bell was ringing madly! Hurriedly our group ducked into the messroom. The cry of "Diving Stations!" echoed throughout the boat. Fortunately the men were already at their posts which was common practice during times of action. Emergencies could arise which necessitated a speedy submerging of the submarine. We sure had one now! In this case seconds counted. The man came (#276) tumbling down, they didn't climb. As soon as their legs were through the lower hatch of the conning tower, they dropped to the floor plates. The three gray-clad members of the gun crew landed in a heap of tangled arms, legs and bodies. Their faces wore an alarmed expression as they disentangled themselves. This took place within ten feet of my eyes, and I have never forgotten the incident nor a few others that were to take place.

"Crash Dive!" yelled the commander from the conning tower. The white-haired engineer, his face showing great concern, rapidly barked his orders. Something must have gone wrong! Staring at the depth dials, the engineer let out a shout, "Ach Gott, was ist los!" (Oh God, what is the matter!).

At the time I didn't know what was los. Afterwards I learned that the submarine dove to fifty meters, or about one hundred and sixty-five feet, before the engineer could retard her action!

Praedels the cook, his face flushed, excitedly told us what took place during his last moments on deck. "Ach Gott, ich dachte schon, dass ich Deutschland nicht wieder sehen würde! (Oh God, I didn't think I would ever see Germany again!) he said. "A shell came within fifteen feet of our bow! How he missed us I don't know."

It was indeed a miracle that the U 39 escaped without damage. All hands were safely inside before the order to dive was given. The papers stated that the submarine was attacked by a destroyer and was presumably sunk as much oil was seen on the surface of the sea. However, we were not sunk for I have lived to relate the story. Had the patrol vessel been a regular navy destroyer, unquestionably that also would have been the end of the U 39. To me, this was the most exciting day I spent aboard the U-Boat!

After we submerged, the excitement of the previous minutes soon disappeared (#277) and the normal life of underwater cruising took its place. Parts from the machine gun still lay at my side. I became curious, wondering what was wrong with it and while handling the parts I noted that it was a Spandau machine gun. I knew nothing about a machine gun but I jerked a few levers and gadgets during my inspection. Since no bullets were with the parts I had I saw no danger. I even thought that I might find the trouble. Our mate, sitting across the passageway spied me!

"You Carl! Why do you have to stick your nose into everything! Put that down and keep your hands off!" he snarled.

"Aw gee, Herr Steuermann (Mr. Mate), I only want to find what's wrong."

"Never mind what's wrong. Its none of your damn business. Leave it alone at once!" the mate ordered.

The commander, entering the messroom, overheard part of my bawling out and asked the mate what the trouble was.

"Oh, Carl there is too inquisitive. He's been fooling around with the machine gun and I have just ordered him to leave it alone."

"Ach, lass ihn gehen, er kann keinen Schaden anrichten, Das verdammte Ding taugt überhaupt nichts," (Oh, let him go, he can't do any damage. The damn thing is no good anyway,) Commander Forstmann answered. Evidently he did not think much of the machine gun aboard the U 39. However, I obeyed the mate's orders, and a crew member then stowed the parts away.

The conversation drifted back to the Anglo-Californian. Several crew members did not hesitate to utter remarks of respect for the ship and her crew.

"Her captain should be given an Iron Cross, he deserves it," remarked one. No one disagreed. They knew what odds were against a captain trying to save his ship, and only by a most stubborn shots of resistance did the (#278) Anglo-Californian succeed. We learned later that she reached Queenstown with many wounded and her captain and eleven men killed.

Apparently the steamer had early received an answer to a call for help from a patrol vessel near the vicinity. This may account for her maneuvering actions during the attack. Knowing help was on the way the steamer was using delaying tactics to gain time and to keep herself as much as possible between the submarine and the on-coming aid. Such aid could have been detected had the U 39 forged ahead or dropped astern a bit for a look around. No doubt, on the submarine during the excitement, all attention was directed on the steamer and a relative position was maintained during the running fight.

A man-of-war could not have given a better account of herself than did the Anglo-Californian in her running fight with the U 39. Though she had no guns with which to fight, the Anglo-Californian most certainly did fight, on the nerve and guts of her officers and crew. Later, I read that after the Anglo-Californian was repaired, she had the misfortune to be sunk on a subsequent voyage. A better fate was deserved for such a ship and crew. She was the last vessel attacked by the U 39 during this cruise.

As for the submarine, her torpedoes and shells exhausted, the only thing left for her was to begin her long cruise back to her base. This suited everyone aboard the U 39. (#279)

20. To Helgoland and Germany

For several hours the submarine cruised submerged. The crew seemed cheerful and happy that this particular tour of duty was about over. Being homeward bound a lot of joshing and talking took place. Both gramophones were getting a good workout. When tired of gramophones they handed Erich the accordion to dish out his type of entertainment which apparently could go on and on. The crew also locked forward to the furlough usually granted after a submarine tour of duty at sea. It meant a meeting with their Schatz or sweetheart, or with their wives and families at home. It meant the same to my shipmates from the Cambuskenneth, but for me, I did not know what it would mean. I began to give this considerable thought for I must make my own decisions once I landed in Germany.

The homeward run of the U 39 was about a six-day voyage. The trip led up the west coast of Ireland, around the Shetland Islands well north of Scotland, and then dipped roughly southeast towards the southern tip of Norway. Crossing the western approach to the Skagerrak, it skirted the Danish coast to the German North Frisian Islands and finally to Helgoland.

After surfacing the U 39 rounded Southern Ireland and swung northward off its western coast. During the night the surface run continued. After breakfast we were allowed on deck. The morning gave prospects of a bright and beautiful day as we lounged about in the invigorating freshness of the air that surrounded us. In the distance, about a point off our port bow, a disturbance was noted on the surface of the sea. It was assumed to be caused by a submarine but of what nationality was unknown. We were ordered below. Only the regular watch kept their post on the bridge. The alarm rang sending the crew to diving stations should it become necessary to submerge. We stood around waiting. After a short time a shout was relayed (#280) from above, "Free watch on deck!"

There could be only one answer. Through an exchange of signals the stranger made her identity known. It was the German submarine U-20, on her way to relieve U 39 at her former sphere of operations. By the time we got on deck the submarine was close at hand. Both vessels stopped barely sixty feet apart. Greetings were exchanged between the officers and crew and a lively conversation ensued. They were already aware that a group from a sailing ship were aboard the U 39. The commander asked Erich to provide some accordion entertainment for his guests. Erich, seated crosslegged on top of the conning tower, gave the North Sea piano a good workout for he did not have to play it softly on the open deck. He played some lively polkas and waltzes plus a few of his own specialties. Crew members of both submarines began clapping their hands and stomping their feet in unison with the music. A few began dancing on the narrow decks. The two U-Boats could not tarry forever, so the high sea symphony was brought to a close. With waving arms and salutes by the naval ensigns the U-Boats parted and soon the U-20 was no longer visible. I was told that this was the submarine, but under a different commander, that two months previously sank the Lusitania.

No other out-of-the-ordinary episode occurred during the trip home. The weather varied and we could not always ride the open deck. Most of the trip was made on the surface but the submarine cruised submerged at times for several hours or for the entire night. No hostile craft were seen.

The cheerfulness of the crew increased as each day brought the submarine closer to her home base. The restriction on fresh water was removed. Every one took advantage of this which greatly improved the general appearance of all onboard. (#281)

As we skirted down the Danish coast all hands were hoping this would be the last day at sea, for we might arrive at Helgoland before the day was ended. However, after a certain time at night and, until a specified time the following morning, no vessels not even German craft, were allowed to enter the small harbor of this fortress-island naval base. As the day wore on, it became apparent that U 39 would not reach Helgoland before the closer hour arrived. Because cruising around all night was unwise and uneconomical, Commander Forstmann chose an alternative. Arriving off the German North Frisian island of Sylt, about eight o'clock in the evening of July 9th, he submerged the submarine until it could go no farther. We lay smack on the bottom of the sea! Except for a skeleton watch on duty, the others had an unmolested entire night to sleep. Out of curiosity Moses and I went up in the conning tower to peer through the thick glass ports. No fish were swimming about, no swaying seaweed met our eyes. All that was visible was gray-green water too dense to see the outline of the submarine's deck.

Since leaving Portland I had sailed the ocean's surface on a windjammer, below the surface in a submarine, and now I lay on the bottom of the sea. Quite an experience I thought for one trip! Tomorrow our long months at sea would come to an end. We went back to the messroom, and though a good night's sleep lay before us, we stayed up late reminiscing over our trip. Finally I lay down for my last sleep on the floor plates of a German submarine.

There is a somewhat odd coincidence connected with submerging the U 39 in this particular locality. The largest town on the island of Sylt was named List! The Bucht, or bight of the sea in which the submarine lay, was known as Lister Tief! I, an American with the name of List, was aboard a German submarine resting on the ocean floor of Lister Tief!

We surfaced at seven o'clock and were on our way. On our port side (#282) the low-lying island of Sylt was plainly visible. We were allowed on deck where we stayed for the remainder of the trip. The submarine headed south. The day was bright and clear and the morning rays of the sun made our final run most comfortable. We were off the German North Sea coast where German patrol craft were cruising about. Before long the island of Helgoland appeared almost dead ahead, and another half hour brought it plainly in view. To me, Helgoland was an impressive sight, rising abruptly and cliff-like from the sea. The shear cliffs, about one hundred and eighty feet high, had a reddish hue and were crowned with a flat green cap. On the top stood a tail, white lighthouse. It was not a large island, perhaps a mile and a half long and less in width. As the submarine rounded one end, the only low-lying strip of the island came into view. It was an extremely small portion somewhat crescent-shaped like a crab's claw. It was alive with activity. Several concrete piers extended out from shore. The harbor was manmade, and included several mooring basins where destroyers and submarines were tied to the piers. The island lay approximately thirty-five miles off the triangular-shaped North Sea coast of Germany. I was told that Helgoland and two small, low outlying islands were heavily fortified, and in 1915, Helgoland like Gibraltar, was considered almost impregnable.

Some of the submarine's crew in dress uniforms formed a line on the foredeck, standing at attention, as the U 39 slowly headed for a pier crowded with navy personnel. Ready hands grabbed mooring lines as the submarine nosed into an open space along a concrete wall. It took but a few moments to make the lines fast, and at about nine o'clock on the morning of July 10th, her cruise was ended.

"Welcome home!" was shouted by the sailors ashore who were also aware that the U 39 was bringing in passengers. Spying our group on deck, someone (#283) yelled, "Da sind die Barbaren und Seeräuber," (There are the barbarians and pirates). In our out-landish garb and unshaven faces we looked the part, but we were warmly greeted as we jumped ashore with some of the free watch of the U 39.

This was the first time I set foot on land for over five months! We were surrounded by German sailors who fired questions at us right and left. It was suggested we go to the Kantine, or post exchange, for refreshments. None of us declined. As I began walking I seemed to have trouble with my feet and legs. One foot would go up higher than the other and I couldn't always put it down where I had planned. The concrete deck of the pier was not cooperating. It seemed to have an undulating motion and was canting from side to side. The thought of refreshments kept me going. The canteen was aboard the hulk of an old dismasted sailing ship named Sophie. She also served as a naval barracks, having mess quarters and sleeping facilities in her between-decks area. We went aboard and sauntered over to a counter. Here, I had my first taste of German beer! For ten Pfennig, approximately two and a half cents American, a big mug full was served. After five months at sea it tasted pretty good and I had several mug fulls before we departed. It cost us nothing for German sailors picked up the tab. We all felt good as we stumbled back to the submarine, but I was not quite sure if it was the swaying pier or the effects of the beer that caused me to waddle along like a duck. At noon we had our last meal aboard the U 39. We were then told to pick up our belongings for moving to other quarters. A petty officer led our group back to the Sophie where we were assigned cots and for a time we were on our own. Moses and I strolled over this low-lying part of Helgoland. Easily recognized as members from the group the U 39 brought in, we were accosted several times by German sailors who (#284) wanted to chat. Answering their questions, we asked a few ourselves. We asked how to get to the top of the island but were told that only those who had duty there were allowed on top. That left us out! We learned that two women nurses were the only representatives of their sex on the entire island. The civilian population had been evacuated and the only occupants now were naval personnel and artillerists for the island's defense.

Later while alone, I was surrounded by a gang of sailors eager to hear of my past experience. The group was soon joined by a rather dignified and smart appearing person, who from his long dress coat and cap and uniform, I recognized as an officer but I did not know his rank. He began a conversation with me and no other sailor spoke while the officer had the floor. He finally invited me to share a bottle of wine with him aboard his ship. Through bashfulness, and perhaps awed by his uniform, I felt I would be out of place. In a stumbling manner I thanked him but declined his offer. After he departed one of the sailors spoke up.

"You should not have done that," he remarked.

"Done what?", I asked.

"You shouldn't have refused his offer to share a bottle of wine. That's considered an insult to refuse such an offer from a German Officer. He is the commander of a destroyer flotilla."

Cripes, how was I to know the social etiquette of the German Navy! For my ignorance I lost out on a bottle of wine and unintentionally insulted a German officer at the same time!

Later I took a long last look at the U 39. Though over fifty years have passed my days spent on the U-Boat was an experience I shall never forget. I was well treated on the submarine, and though two years later the United States went to war with Germany, I shall always have the highest respect (#285) for Commander Walter Forstmann of the U 39. More about him later. In an autobiography of his submarine service entitled "U 39 auf Jagd im Mittelmeer" (U 39 on Chase in the Mediterranean) published in 1918, Commander Forstmann includes an entire chapter relating to his encounter with the Cambuskenneth. He devoted the last page in referring to me as a member of the group taken aboard. He stated "Though among this little group, a young German-American, the seventeen year old Carl List, thanks to his name and his knowledge of the German language, smuggled himself on board." He goes on to say that I had the opportunity to observe at first hand the method by which the Germans conducted the submarine warfare, and the trials and life aboard a U-Boat, about which I later gave an account in the New York American of September 5, 1915. He remarked that my story was based on highest observation and attention without taking any prejudiced side, and also mentioned that at that time the Americans, including Carl List, were not disfavorably looked upon.

My experience occurred shortly after the submarine campaign against merchant ships began. Such vessels were not yet armed which became a later procedure. All interceptions of vessels sunk by the U 39 while I was aboard was by surface attack. Every vessel was first given a warning shot to stop, and signaled for subsequent procedure by international code flags flying from the periscope. Where a vessel attempted to escape, she usually was again warned before shells were fired directly at the ship. After vessels stopped, including those that tried to escape, the crews were given the opportunity to abandon ship. A vessel under convoy was a different matter, and an underwater attack would be made like the one that occurred while I was aboard the submarine.

Note: On February 10, 1916, the German Government proclaimed that all (#286) armed enemy merchant ships would be considered as war vessels. Unrestricted submarine warfare was declared on February 1, 1917, and diplomatic relations with the United States were broken on February 3, 1917, almost two years after my experience aboard the submarine.

My meals and lodging aboard the U 39 over with I walked to my new home on the sailing ship hulk. After supper and another beer or two I stumbled to my cot. No longer would I have to sleep on a steel floor plate. We learned that tomorrow we would be taken to Germany.

After breakfast our group was led to a pier where some destroyers were berthed and were escorted aboard the German destroyer S-17. She was one of a flotilla of ten destroyers being readied for the run to Wilhelmshaven. Looking at the low, rakish, multiple-stacked German destroyer, I wondered on what other type of vessel I would travel on before I returned to Portland. The fine weather of the day before was beginning to change. Low, leaden clouds hung overhead, and the gray-tinged water of the North Sea, was making up in rough white-capped swells. It did not look encouraging, and I lacked the same enthusiasm for a ride on that sleek destroyer as I had for the submarine. But having no choice in the matter I did not have long to wait. One by one the flotilla got underway. In two parallel rows, about two hundred yards apart, the destroyers plunged into the open sea, the S-17 being the last boat in the port column. In no time at all they began knifing through the swells at about thirty knots. Their sharp-cutting bows and pounding screws whipped the adjacent water of the North Sea into a smother of foam. I stood on the starboard side at the extreme aft end with my arms stretched sideways gripping a small handrail on the side of a deckhouse. The vibrating of the U 39 did not begin to compare with the dancing deck at the aft end of the S-17. Her entire hull rolled, pitched (#287) and shivered as she drove at high speed through the choppy sea.

I hung on tight, watching the last destroyer in the opposite column careening and diving along. Suddenly she swung around and headed directly at us. Her sharp bow seemed to point dead on to where I was standing! I froze to the handrail with my eyes staring as I leaned hard against the deckhouse. Now but four lengths separated the two high-speed vessels, the S-17 never changing course, kept plowing ahead. "My gosh, has something gone wrong on that rakish speed hound," flashed through my mind. On she came, now three lengths, now two, separated the knife-sharp bow of that on-rushing destroyer and me! Suddenly she made a swift turn to starboard, and at a distance of about one hundred and fifty feet, she raced parallel with the S-17. Some of her crew waved to us but I did not wave back. I hung onto that handrail for the stern of the S-17 was dancing a jig below my feet. After a short run at our side the other destroyer swung off and joined her former column.

For almost three-quarters of an hour the breath-taking speed continued and then suddenly began to slacken down. I observed several of the destroyer's crew, in dress uniforms, forming a line along her foredeck. In a few moments the reason became apparent, a short distance ahead lay a gray battleship and beyond were many more. Huge battleships, battle cruisers, medium-sized warships and many smaller vessels covered a large area. We were passing by the German High Sea Fleet. This big gray fleet, lying just off the German Coast was the largest assembly of naval craft I had ever seen. A short time later we entered the North Sea naval base at 'Wilhelmshaven. After the S-17 nosed alongside a pier and was moored our group was taken ashore in charge of a petty officer. I landed in Germany without money, without papers, and with my small bundle of clothes, representing all (#288) I owned. The clothes would help me little during July and August, for they consisted mostly of heavy woolen gear for use in an open life-boat. I did salvage my dress suit and a shirt which I donned after arriving at Helgoland.

We were taken before various officials for questioning, for recording our entry and for the final disposition of our situation. An official from one of the bureaus arranged transportation and accompanied our group on a train for Hamburg. The German train was quite different from our American type. The aisles ran along one side of the coach, and opening into the aisle, were passenger compartments containing two benches that run crosswise. Across from Moses and me, in our compartment, sat a young German Fräulein.

At the depot in Bremen, where our train had stopped, I made an awful blunder. On an adjacent track stood another train. On a frosted window of one of the coaches was a painted sign.

"Say Moses, what does that sign over there mean?"' I asked in all innocence.

"What sign, Carl?"

"That Abort on the window over there."

Moses' face turned red. He grabbed my arm and yanked me out of the compartment. Out in the aisle I asked him what was wrong.

"You fool, haven't you any manners! That sign means toilet," he bawled at me. Cripes, I didn't know. We at home called that a closet. We did not return to our compartment but caught seats elsewhere.

Arriving in Hamburg, we were all escorted to a large wooden building where sleeping quarters were arranged for the night. This building was being used as a dormitory for soldiers and sailors finding themselves in the city without lodgings. We were given two rooms each containing two or (#289) three beds. Some of us doubled up and Moses and me became sleeping partners. That night we slept in a bed for the first time in over five months. The next morning we were escorted to various military and civilian bureaus for more questioning. As we were led along the streets by an officer we were the butt of constant stares from the people. Small groups of German children found us especially interesting and tagged along behind shouting, "Kuck, noch mehr Gefangene!" (Look, more prisoners!).

We looked like prisoners with each carrying his bundle of gear salvaged when we abandoned ship. Wearing a wrinkled white shirt under a wrinkled pin-stripe suit and carrying an upper part of dungarees stuffed fat with clothes, made me the most conspicuous. Moses, wearing a tassel-topped drooping beret, a stiff-collared shirt with a striped bow-tie, new yellow button shoes with bulldog toes and my brother's cast-off suit was unquestionably the dude of the party.

As the interrogations continued I began to find myself in a jam. They seemed particularly interested in whether my parents became naturalized American citizens. According to German law, any child born of German parents who had not changed their citizenship were considered German subjects. I was unable to state definitely that my father became an American citizen since he passed away before I was nine years old. Several officials told me I was then eligible for German military service. Things were getting warm, but I insisted that being born in the United States, I was an American citizen. Finally I was ushered into a large well-furnished office. Behind a big desk sat a German officer of high rank. Listening courteously to my case, he stated that a conflicting existed. I could, if my parents were not naturalized, be claimed as a German subject. On the other hand, being born in the United States, I could legally claim citizenship of that (#290) country. He said I was correct in my stand and the decision was mine to make. He evidently had the last word. I chose to remain an American. That settled it!

Having a few hours leisure before our next interview, Moses and I spent the time at the Hagenbeck's Zoo. It was situated in a beautiful landscaped park with a large ornamental ironwork sign making a curving arch over an entrance. It was the finest zoo I had ever seen, and I thoroughly enjoyed the time spent there.

At the last interview that afternoon, the final disposition of each of our group was made. All were given the opportunity to go to their respective homes. Moses did not renew his invitation for me to accompany him to his home and I did not discuss the natter with him. I felt I would make out somehow. Wishing each the best of luck, our gang parted. The authorities asked me where I wished to go. Having no close relatives in Germany, and not knowing where any others lived, I told them I would go to an uncle's mother living in the city of Altenburg in a section of Saxony. This was an uncle by marriage to my mother's sister. My aunt and uncle had taken me a bit under their wing after my father's death. As a youngster my uncle let me address the envelopes to the letters he had written home and the address of his mother was still in my mind. It turned out to be the best decision I could have made. (#291)

21. Ashore in Europe

The police authorities arranged my transportation and a detective escorted me to the Bahnhof or depot. When the time came to board my train he led me to a door of a coach and handed me my ticket. Reaching into his pocket he also handed me two marks saying I should have a little spending money for my trip. Thanking him for his kindness, I climbed into the coach.

I wondered about what sort of a reception I would receive at the end of my fairly long trip. The country changed from the drab flat land of the north and became more rolling and interesting. In Magdeburg I lay over from midnight to four a.m. before boarding another train. I bought a cup of coffee and a sandwich, the first food I had eaten since noon. Early the next morning I arrived at Altenburg. I found it an older city, not very large but picturesque. I was no longer hampered by military or police escort. I asked a policeman to direct me to the Gasse or narrow street I was seeking. It was but a short distance away, and turning up a hilly street I found the right number on a three-story apartment dwelling. In the entrance the names of the tenants and their apartment number was listed. I spied her name, Frau Anna Taubert, and I felt a surge of apprehension when I knocked on her door. The door slowly opened and there stood an elderly person over eighty years of age. From pictures I had seen I recognized her at once. I managed to blurt out in a stumbling manner who I was. She was aware that her son had a nephew named Carl and I was invited in with open arms. She was a lifelong resident of this vicinity and still adhered to an old-fashioned type of dress known as the Altenburger Tracht, or Altenburger Garb, still worn by the older people in this area. She brewed a pot of tea and set out a light lunch. After the meal she became concerned over what lodging could be arranged for me for no accommodations were available in (#292) her small apartment. Finally she thought of a plan.

"Come, first I must go to market and then we will see about a lodging for you," she said.

Despite her age, going to market was for her a regular ritual. I grabbed her wicker basket and tagged along. As we trudged along the cobblestone streets and alleys, she pointed out various small shops along the way. There were no super-markets or drug stores as in American where almost anything could be had. Each little business catered to its own type of trade. The market was situated in an open area near the old town hall. Here, the farmers congregated to sell their produce, brought into town by various conveyance, such as wagons, push carts, dog carts, or simply in baskets on their backs. After purchasing a few items we started back and stopped at a small apartment house. Here lived my uncle's half-sister of whom I did not know. She was a widow with a ten year old son named Kurt. Lodging was arranged for me and I lived at her apartment for the entire time I was in Altenburg. Frau Taubert said that tomorrow she would take me to visit her brother Bernhardt. What a stroke of luck this turned out to be!

About eight years previously, her brother Bernhardt Trenkmann, made a trip to Portland to visit another brother and my uncle. There, I met him several times. I remembered him well as a very social and dignified appearing person. He was born in the same little village as my uncle in the vicinity of Altenburg. As a youth he emigrated to Russia. He became the owner of extensive flour milling interests in Odessa and was a very wealthy man. He and his wife left Odessa to attend the wedding of a son who was being educated in Germany as an engineer. Just after crossing the Romanian border the war broke out and they were unable to return. It was due to these circumstances that I was again able to meet him. He then rented a (#293) spacious apartment in Altenburg and sort of took me under his wing. Out of respect I called him Uncle Bernhardt.

That first day passed swiftly by. I slept with Kurt in a nice feather bed which reminded me of my own feather bed at home and I wondered when I would sleep in it again. The next morning it was suggested I report my arrival to the police and then to apply for ration cards to supplement the food supply. I headed for the Town Hall where the city's functions were centralized. It was compulsory throughout Germany, for a person traveling from one location to another with the intention of staying over three days, to report one's arrival to the police authorities. You were given a form to fill out known as an Anmeldeschein, signifying you have reported in.

When leaving, you again advised the police and filled out a departure form known as an Abmeldeschein which you presented to the police upon your arrival at your new destination. If disregarded, you and the person or establishment with whom you resided were liable to a fine or jail sentence. The Town Hall was a very old building, it's architecture a thing of the past. At the police headquarters I asked to fill out the necessary form. They asked me for my papers. I told them I lost them in a shipwreck but divulged nothing further.

"Where have you come from?" I was asked. I told them that I arrived from Hamburg yesterday. On an Anmeldeschein he wrote down "Hamburg without papers." He gave me a room number on an upper floor where ration cards were issued. I found the corridors narrow, dark and gloomy and was unable to find the room, I went back to the police and requested further instruction as to where the room was located. The person I spoke to looked me over and then sneeringly told me the number was over the door and wanted to know if I couldn't read! That answer did not help much, but up I went again and I finally found the right place. Presenting my Anmeldeschein (#294) I requested ration cards. The official noted my form stated no papers. I was told it was irregular to issue ration cards under such circumstances. He said he would make an exception and give me cards for two weeks only and would not reissue them unless I produced satisfactory papers.

I walked to Frau Taubert's house and we were soon on our way to visit her brother. Though about seventy-six years old he still had the same dignified appearance and bearing as when I first met him. He also remembered me. Towards evening, after a pleasant visit, he suggested having dinner at a restaurant. The ladies thought it best that he and I go alone. In a cozy little corner restaurant we sat at a table and first ordered beer. The beer was served in earthenware mugs having a hinged cover. I was soon to learn the art of drinking beer in a restaurant of Altenburg. Before I even finished the beer in the mug the waitress came, grabbed my mug and brought it back filled to the top. I began wondering for it never happened to my host.

"Uncle Bernhardt, why does the girl keep grabbing my mug when it's only half empty?" I asked.

"Don't you know, Carl? You must keep the lid closed. When the lid is open it is a sign that more beer is wanted or you want the beer refreshed."

From then on I kept the lid down! We enjoyed a fine meal and took an evening stroll about town. Uncle Bernhardt told me that in the morning we would take a trip to my uncle's boyhood home. This pleased me for it was one place I had planned to visit.

The next morning we boarded a local train, and after a short ride, got off at a waiting-room-like station in a farming community. It was a beautiful day and the growing crops in the fertile fields made a pretty sight. No ground was wasted with fences between farms. Along the railroad (#295) right-of-way, potatoes grew within a few feet of the tracks. We walked about half a mile up a sloping road. At the crest of the rise another road connected to it, and at the intersection, stood a two-story Gasthof or inn. This little Dorf, or village, was named Clausse. Across from the inn was the start of a small Wald or woods. My uncle's parents were former owners of this inn, and here he grew up before emigrating to America. A cottage beyond the inn was Uncle Bernhardt's boyhood home.

We entered the inn, a typical European country inn, with meals and lodgings available. Uncle Bernhardt introduced me to the Gastwirt, or inn keeper, and told him the reason of our visit. While enjoying a beer, the inn keeper joined us at the table and quite a bit of reminiscence took place. After a light lunch the Gastwirt charged only for the meal, saying the beer for this occasion, was on the house. After locking the Dorf over, we decided to return to Altenburg on foot and started down the connecting road alongside the fir tree forest. The ground under the trees appeared as if roughly swept and was clear of underbrush. The half-grown trees seemed to be standing in regular rows.

Suddenly we heard singing voices. The singing grew more distinct and it was not long before the source was known. Around a bend in the road came a column of German soldiers. We stood to one side as they passed. They were singing a martial song as they tramped along lively in leather jack boots. It was a company of recruits undergoing a training march. After they passed, Uncle Bernhardt shook his head and sadly remarked "They are singing now but, many of those boys will never come back."

The forest of trees thinned out and the road turned left. At one side, a large rectangular area or stockade, enclosed by a high wire fence, met my eyes. In this stockade were rows of long, low, barrack-like wooden (#296) buildings. At intervals along the fence watch-tower structures were erected. I was told it was a prisoner of war camp. When closer I could see hundreds of prisoners in rather nondescript and varied uniforms lounging about or walking around in groups. The prisoners were predominantly French but included English and Russian as well. We also met work parties of prisoners, mostly Russian, outside the stockade. They accompanied a wagon or cart on the way to the forest where cutting wood and other jobs kept them occupied. We came to the main gate of the camp. A Russian work party was forming nearby. Uncle Bernhardt, who spoke Russian fluently, asked an elderly German guard if he might talk to the Russian prisoners. After a short conversation his request was granted. Later he told me he had asked how the camp suited them and was told they had no serious complaints except for the food. They were doing the most work and getting the least to eat. Food was available, but the Frenchmen being in the majority, practically ran the camp, including doing the cooking and doling out the food.

"First, the French prisoners are served, then the English and we Russians come last. By then, only scrap pieces are left and the soup would be nothing but water," the Russian prisoners remarked. It would probably be the other way around were the Russians in the majority. Some prisoners, also mostly Russian, were loaned to German farmers where they lived and ate with the family. They had it good. The work party took off. No one seemed in a hurry as they leisurely walked down the road with only two elderly, pipe-smoking German reservist guards plodding along at the sides. Late that afternoon we arrived back at Altenburg. It was a wonderful trip.

Returning to my lodgings I mentioned that I would like to look for work. I was told that work might be obtained at the Kohlengrube or mine, about four miles out of town. Kurt said he would take me there in the morning. (#297)

Even though coal mining would be a new experience for me I felt happy over a prospect of employment where I could earn money to pay for my board and lodging. After breakfast we started out and in a short time were again in the open countryside. At one side of the road we came to a long row of cherry trees loaded with luscious ripe fruit.

"Kurt, let's stop. I'll pick us a nice mess of cherries," I exclaimed with an eagerness I could not hide.

"Oh no, Carl! Das ist verboten! Es könnte ein Schutzmann kommen." (That is forbidden! A policeman may come," Kurt answered at once.

My spirits fell and my thoughts wandered back to Portland. There I would not hesitate, for ever since I could climb a tree, I was the best cherry thief in our neighborhood. No tree was safe when cherries began to ripen. One neighbor often remarked "Carl gets the cherries even before the robins have a chance." But in Germany, it was verboten.

The countryside became hilly as we approached the mine, a conglomeration of wooden buildings clustered about. At the office they showed little concern that I had no experience in mining. The work was there, and due to the war, male labor was becoming scarce. However, they could not employ me without a doctor's certificate approving my physical condition. I was advised to get such a certificate in Altenburg and I would then be given work. Calling on Uncle Bernhardt that evening I told him that I was going to get work at the mine.

He began shaking his head as he remarked, "No Carl, forget all about it. You are not going to work in the nine. I still have old acquaintances in Altenburg and tomorrow we will see what can be done. We will find something more suitable for you."

The next forenoon the first contact he made bore fruit. He took me to (#298) a place where they were erecting a three-story brick addition to another building. Uncle Bernhardt introduced me to the contractor, an old boyhood friend of his. After a short conversation I was hired to work with the brick masons at four marks a day, or approximately one dollar. I was to be a sort of hod carrier and helper. The next morning I reported for work.

A horse-drawn wagon pulled up with a load of bricks. I was given a pair of leather pads which slipped over my thumbs and fingers. We began to unload the wagon. A young chap, with whom I was to work, got on the wagon and began throwing bricks at me. He tossed two at a time which I caught and stacked on the ground at various places below the scaffolds. The bricks were also not carried up in a box or hod. They were also tossed two at a time from the ground to the first scaffold and then to those above. I soon got the knack of it. It was a sort of hand to hand deal and to me it was like playing ball. We also mixed the mortar. This we carried up the ladders in metal buckets and we had to keep the masons well supplied. Between the bricks and mortar we were kept mighty busy. I got along fine with the foreman and crew.

Two weeks later I began to worry about my papers which I needed to obtain my next ration cards. The nearest American Consul was at Leipzig, a little over an hour by train. Getting papers, I believed, would prove only the formality of asking for them and the consul would issue them to me. On a Friday evening I asked the foreman for Saturday off to go to Leipzig and obtain papers from the American Consul, He gave me permission and I told him I would be back on the job Monday morning. Saturday morning I told my friends in Altenburg that I would return that evening. I boarded the train for Leipzig, and as I waved goodbye, I little realized I was never to see my good friends or my job again. My working days in Germany were ended! (#299)

Arriving at the big city of Leipzig, I found the Consul's address in a phone book. A little questioning put me on the right course to his office where a sign on the door read, William Patton Kent, American Consul. I entered and found myself in a waiting room where a clerk approached and asked my Wishes. I told him that I would like to see the American Consul in regards to obtaining papers to verify my American citizenship. In a few moments Mr. Kent appeared and invited me into his office and asked me how long I had been in Germany.

"Three weeks, and I have no papers of any kind," I answered.

"I can not issue papers on a moments notice. It is not that simple. The procedure takes time for it has to go through the Embassy in Berlin. Your birth would have to be verified by cable and it may require two weeks before papers can be issued. How did you get to Germany in the first place without papers?" he said.

"I came to Germany on a submarine as my ship was sunk by a German U-Boat. I was taken aboard the U 39 where I spent eleven days before being landed at Wilhelmshaven. I had no papers to begin with."

He stared at me with a skeptical expression that made me feel he was doubting my reply.

"You mean to say you were inside the submarine all that time!" he asked staring at me with a serious expression.

"Certainly I was inside. You don't suppose I hung onto the outside for eleven days, do you," fresh-like I blurted out.

Mr. Kent admitted that his was a rather dumb and foolish question to ask before he added, "But, your story is so extraordinary, why nothing like it has ever occurred!"

Now, Mr. Kent became very much interested, firing questions at me in (#300) rapid order. Finally convinced that my story was true, he said I could be sent back to the nearest port in the United States as a shipwrecked seaman. I was aware of this maritime law but so far never gave it any serious consideration. I thought pretty fast about it now. I wondered how long I would have to work at four marks a day before I had sufficient money to pay my way back. To write home for funds never entered my mind. But, if I refused the Consul's offer now, it might not be renewed should I return later and request the same privilege. I made up my mind fast and decided to take no chances.

"I'll accept that offer, Mr. Kent!" was my decision.

"Fine! Final arrangements will have to be made in Berlin. When can you leave?" the consul asked.

"I'm ready right now, there's nothing to hold me back," I told him.

Grabbing a telephone he quickly made arrangements for my transportation to Berlin. Hurriedly he wrote a letter, saying I should present it to Mr. Julius G. Lay, the American Consul General in Berlin. I should do this immediately after my arrival. It was around noon when he shook my hand, saying good-bye, and that I would have to hurry to the depot for little time remained for me to catch my train. I ran all the way making it with but few moments to spare. The first leg of my return journey home had begun. I arrived in Germany with a few odds and ends of clothing stuffed into a pair of dungarees. I left with even less. All I now had was on my back.

Arriving in Berlin around five o'clock, I found the building containing the Consul General's office. A janitor in the entrance hall was scrubbing the floor. I asked directions to the Consul General's office.

"There is no one in the office. It is closed for today," replied the janitor. (#301)

"Can you tell me where he lives?" I asked.

"Yes. He lives at the Hotel Esplanade near the Potsdamer Platz.

He gave me directions and I was on my way. Besides the letter, there was another reason why I wanted to meet the Consul General that Saturday evening. Being low on funds, and with a week-end staring me in the face, a little more cash would be very welcome. When I arrived at the Potsdamer Platz, a large intersection where several streets converged, a bystander pointed out the Hotel Esplanade. It was a high-class hotel having several entrances, including one with a glass-covered portico over a curving driveway. I was a bit awed by the place, trying to make up my mind which entrance to use and what I should say when once inside. Finally I screwed up courage and entering found myself in a huge lobby. It was the first hotel I ever entered in my life, so to me this was a new experience. Toward a rear corner was a large polished counter behind which two immaculately clad gentlemen were on duty. To me, everything about that lobby was immaculate and elegant. Beautiful wood paneling adorned the posts and walls. Huge over-stuffed chairs and davenports were scattered about. As I started for the desk, my shoes sank a half-inch on the thick-carpeted floor, "This is no fo'c'stle for me," I thought with a feeling that I was entirely out of place. I almost backed out! However, I kept going and when I arrived at the counter one of the men approached me and politely asked if he could be of service.

"Yes please. I would like to contact Mr. Julius Lay, the American Consul General," I answered.

He nodded and immediately tapped a little bell. A small German page boy, with a jaunty flat cap and dressed in a tight-fitting, brass-buttoned red uniform approached (#302) and stood at my side.

The page, standing stiff as a ramrod, clicked his heels sharply together and made a flourishing bow as he motioned with an arm towards a wide stairway leading to an upper floor. I followed him. Holy smokes, I never thought a few weeks back while living in the fo'c'stle of a sailing ship, that in a short time I would be in one of the most swanky hotels of Berlin, where a red uniformed page boy would click his heels and bow to me. At the door of an apartment the ceremony again took place. I nodded and pressed a button alongside the door.

This wasn't the American Consul General who came to the door, of that I was sure! An extremely pretty, dark-haired, young, German beauty, evidently a maid, small, with a beautiful figure and lovely flashing eyes, that to a young sailor seemed most entrancing, stood in the doorway. Her head was crowned with a cute white and lacy jib-like sail. I blinked with surprise at this lovely apparition, stared wide-eyed and, stuttering, asked if Mr. Lay was in.

"No, I'm sorry, he is out playing tennis," she warbled sweetly.

"Could you please tell me when he is expected back? It is very important that I contact him tonight," I finally managed to reply.

"I expect Mr. Lay back around eight-thirty."

Not knowing what else to say to keep the conversation going, I stole another good look, thanked her, and unwillingly turned away. Walking down the corridor I glanced back but the pretty little maid had disappeared. Returning to the office, I told the attendant it was imperative that I meet the consul after he returned from tennis.

"Please return later, mein Herr. We will arrange an opportunity for you to meet Mr. Lay," the clerk suggested. (#303)

Thanking him I said I would return. I spent the next two hours walking in a large park nearby that contained many statues. A few minutes after eight I was back at the hotel. As I approached the desk, the clerk rang for a page, ordered him to escort me to the driveway entrance and to stay with me until the American Consul arrived. With the heel clicking and bowing ceremony this was certainly accommodating service. Finally a carriage drove up.

"Der Amerikanische Konsulat, mein Herr," (The American Consul, sir) said the page with a flourish of an arm.

I thanked the page and he left without a tip. I had little cash and was quite unfamiliar with the art of tipping. A man and lady left the carriage and began walking up the entrance. I stood at one side until they were abeam of me, then I spoke up.

"Good evening, sir. Are you Mr. Lay, the American Consul General?"

"Yes. What can I do for you?" he said a bit startled by my question.

"I have a letter from Mr. Kent in Leipzig. I left there this noon and was instructed to give you this letter as soon as I arrived in Berlin." With his wife looking over his shoulder, he read the letter.

"I can't do anything for you now, but come to my office Monday morning, and we will see what can be done," he then told me.

"Yes sir, Mr. Lay, but I am very low on funds and I thought perhaps you could assist me," I ventured to ask.

He hesitated, then turning to his wife he asked "Have you any money, dear?" He must have lost his playing tennis. Reaching into her purse, Mrs. Lay handed me a ten mark note. As she gave me the money she patted me on my shoulder and remarked "Now son, be very careful with whom you speak and be careful in what type of hotel you stay. I am sure Mr. Lay will be able (#304) to help you Monday morning." I got the impression that she should have been the consul. I never learned whether Mr. Kent's letter made direct reference to my submarine episode. Thanking them both, I left.

However, I had no intention of staying at a hotel. My mother was born and raised in Mariendorf, a suburb of Berlin, but left there over twenty-five years ago. Throughout the years she maintained correspondence with her favorite school chum and her husband. These people I intended to contact. I only knew their names and that they were proprietors of a dairy and delicatessen business. Inquiring directions to Mariendorf, I boarded a streetcar and was on my way. Arriving there at about ten o'clock I began wondering how I was to locate my mother's friends. Not many people were abroad at this late hour. I entered a small tobacco shop and asked to use the telephone directory. The tobacconist, seeing by my efforts that I was having heavy weather and no doubt realizing I was a foreigner, asked if he could be of help. I told him I was trying to locate a family by the name of Oehlerts.

"The only Oehlerts I know live a few blocks up the street," the tobacconist told me.

Telling him I would like to call on them, the tobacconist took me out- side and pointed out the directions. Finding the place I rang the bell and a gentleman came to the door. I asked if they were the Oehlerts who were schoolmates of my mother. Giving them my Mother's maiden name, I said the family I was seeking were owners of a dairy business.

"No, we are not the family but I believe I can help you," he said. "There is a family of Oehlerts who have such a business. They no longer live in Mariendorf but are now in Südende. One moment, I think I can find their address in the phone book." Returning he gave me the address and (#305) told me Südende was the neighboring suburb. I was told I could reach it by crosstown car but at this time of night they no longer operated. He suggested I stay at the inn and take the car in the morning.

The inn was named Der Schwarze Adler (The Black Eagle) and for three marks, approximately seventy-five cents, I got a good room including breakfast. The car for Südende was but a block farther on.

Early Sunday morning I arrived there. Encountering two policemen I asked politely if they could direct me to my street. One of them curtly told me to follow my nose and I would come to it. I followed my nose, came to the street and the rest of my search was simple. I soon stood before a glass-fronted, street-level store. A sign on the window read "H. Oehlerts Milch und Sahne" (Milk and Cream). I walked in. Behind a counter, waiting on a customer, was a good-looking, dark-haired lady. I recognized her at once from pictures sent to my mother. Finishing with the customer she asked if she could serve me.

"Yes, very much so," I said grinning. "Are you not Paulina Oehlerts who was a schoolgirl friend of Clara Scholz, in Mariendorf?"

She stared at me with open mouth and came running from behind the counter. Throwing her arms around me she began to hug and kiss me! With this outburst over she exclaimed "Yes, you are her son Carl!" She evidently recognized me from pictures mother had sent.

I had no need of a hotel. My entire time in Berlin was spent with this gracious family. I was shown a wonderful time. Tante Paulina bought me a shirt and other wearing apparel and provided me with a passable suitcase for my trip home. With the ten marks from Mrs. Lay, together with what little I possessed, I bought a razor for myself and a large kitchen knife and a pair of shears for my mother.

I did not report my arrival in Berlin to the police as was the general (#306) rule. The speedy decision in Leipzig gave me no opportunity to report in Altenburg that I was leaving. If any question arose, I felt I would let the American Consul iron it out.

Monday I appeared early at Mr. Lay's office. After hearing my story, he at once took me to the American Embassy where the questioning went on in earnest. They were astounded that an experience such as mine had occurred. Most of the questioning took place in the office of Mr. Joseph C. Grew, at that time, First Secretary to the American Embassy in Berlin. Mr. Grew took a personal interest in me and was most kind and considerate. He, perhaps more than anyone of the Embassy, took the leading part of the situation in Which I was involved. I was also closely questioned by Captain Gerhardi, the American Naval Attache, and by others of the Embassy staff. The questioning went on for hours, or until the people of the Embassy were convinced I was telling the truth. Then, the wheels of action for returning me to the United States began to roll. Following are copies of telegrams sent to verify my birth.

206 SF SD 51 Govt. 6.55 p.m.

Washington DC

Mrs. Clara List July 28 – 15.

        834 Rodney ave  

                            Portland Ore.

Karl List stranded in Germany please inform department

by telegraph date and place of his birth and if natural-

ized American citizen the name of the court and place

where naturalized should be stated urgent

                    Robert Lansing Secy of State  

                - - - - - - - – - - - - - - -


                                        834 Rodney Ave., Portland, Ore.,  

                                                July 29, 1915

Robert Lansing,

    Secretary of State,  

        Washington, D.C

My son, Karl List, was born September thirteenth, eigh-

teen ninety-seven on Sacramento Street, Portland, Oregon.

                                Mrs. Clara List  

            - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


                                        WASHINGTON DC  6PM JUL 31 1915


                            834 RODNEY AVE PORTLAND ORE



                ROBERT LANSING  

                    SECRETARY OF STATE  

                                435 PM  

            - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

With the verification of my birth established the Embassy lost no time in providing papers and transportation that would send me safely on my way. A colored employee of the Embassy was detailed to go with me to obtain my picture for the passport. We went to a large department store which contained a hurry-up type of photograph gallery where the pictures were soon finished. "Walking back to the Embassy my escort remarked "Boy, I wish I was in your shoes. You can get most anything you want when you get back to the States and tell them your story. You wait and see." Similar words were expressed by other minor employees at various American government (#308) offices before I left Europe. I didn't give much thought to what they meant.

I was issued an Emergency Passport, good for thirty days and valid only in Germany and Holland, from which country I was to leave by steamer for New York. A Dutch visa by the Netherlands Consul General was stamped on the reverse side of the passport. It was still necessary to obtain clearance from the German police so I could pass through German customs at the Dutch border. This, arranged somehow by the Embassy in a police precinct at Steglitz, another suburb of Berlin, was also stamped on the reverse side of the passport. There must have been a way for I was never in that suburb.

During my last visit to the Embassy, a sealed letter from Ambassador James W. Gerard, was given me with instructions to present it to the addressee after reaching New York. That this man would help me in some way was the impression I received about this letter.

Everything was now in order and train transportation arrangements alone remained. A few last words of advice were also given. Saying good-bye to Mr. Grew and others at the Embassy, and carrying my second-hand suitcase, I was escorted to a depot and put on the right train. Before the day ended I should be in The Hague, Holland.

The train was a fast express stopping only at the larger cities such as Hanover and Osnabrück. I felt a little squeamish about that letter from Ambassador Gerard. Not knowing the contents, I feared it might prove a bit embarrassing should the German border authorities intercept it. Placing it inside my shoe, I walked on that letter the remainder of the day. The German train arrived at Bentheim, a small city in Germany a few miles from the Holland border to which the Dutch trains also came. (#309)

Before transferring to the Dutch train I had to pass through German customs. This proved no simple matter and I experienced a few anxious moments before I passed through. Inside the depot was a long U-shaped counter. At each corner, my papers and luggage was examined by a sharp-eyed official. Germany being at war, an army officer took part, giving special attention to papers and documents of the passengers. One inquisitive army officer gave me and my passport a severe going over. Here, my knowledge of the German language was perhaps a detriment. This officer asked me many questions, perhaps thinking that I appearing of military age, was a young German making an attempt to skin the country. However, though he examined it closely, he could not ignore that passport which had all necessary seals and endorsements. Finally he let me pass. I was not searched personally. I lost no time getting out of the depot and boarding that Dutch train. The stop-over lasted about an hour before the Dutch train pulled out. In less than that time I was over the border in Holland.

It was late at night when I arrived at The Hague. My immediate worry was a place to stay. Arriving in the dark of night in a strange city where a foreign language was spoken did not make my task any easier. I walked around looking for a suitable hotel or inn. Not able to afford something luxurious like the Hotel Esplanade in Berlin, an ordinary fo'c'stle was all I was interested in. On a short side street named Spui, not far from the railroad depot, I stopped before a small hotel named Genfer Hof. A sign also said German Tourist Hotel and the price quoted was within range of my pocketbook. I also felt that in this hotel I could understand the language spoken. The place looked respectable and I walked in. I was approached by a short stocky-built man with a genial expression and I asked if he spoke German. (#310)

"Yes, I am Fritz Schrader, the proprietor," he said. I asked if a room was available. Following him up one flight of stairs I was shown a front room. It was clean and the bed looked very inviting. I told him I would take it. The rate was two florins, or approximately eighty cents, including breakfast. Returning to the lobby I enjoyed a most welcome mug of beer during conversation with the proprietor. Finally excusing myself, I asked him to call me for breakfast, but not too early. I was quite tired, having finished a long and hectic day. I crawled into the clean bed and lay there thinking about tomorrow and my immediate surroundings. I wondered what kind of a place I was actually in. Feeling it best to take protective measures, I propped a chair under the doorknob and put the big kitchen knife I bought in Berlin under my pillow. It was an unnecessary precaution. The little hotel proved a very sociable and comfortable stopping place. I slept soundly until nine o'clock the next morning when I heard the proprietor's knock at the door. In a little dining room I enjoyed a good breakfast, the first meal I had since leaving Berlin the previous morning! After breakfast I made myself as presentable as possible for I intended to call on the American Minister as instructed in Berlin.

Herr Schrader gave me directions to the American Legation. It was a beautiful day near the end of July and I felt more relaxed as I walked along. Many people were on the streets, and as in Germany, bicycles were a popular mode of transportation. Becoming a bit confused with my directions I approached a Dutch policeman for information. He was far more considerate than the two German policemen I approached in Berlin. I asked first in English, and feeling I was not clearly understood, I tried German. This worked better, but I had to listen carefully to the directions he gave. I could speak no Dutch but my command of English and German helped for many Dutch words are similar. (#311)

Arriving at the Legation, I gave a clerk my name and informed him I was sent by the American Embassy in Berlin to contact the American Minister. The clerk soon reappeared accompanied by an elderly and dignified looking gentleman who introduced himself as Mr. Van Dyke, the American Minister to the Netherlands. He invited me into his office, apparently already aware that I was to contact him. Mr. Van Dyke was a very genial person, he seemed much interested and sometimes amused at some of the answers I gave his questioning. Among those joining the interview was a tall slender man who was the American Military Attache. He later invited me to his home for the evening, insinuating he might have clothing I could use. Mr. Van Dyke informed me that had I arrived a day sooner, I would already be on my way home. As it was, the next steamer on which passage could be booked, would not sail until the middle of the next week. This suited me fine for I would have several days to enjoy the sights of Holland. I was at the Legation for over two hours before the interview ended.

I spent the afternoon walking about The Hague. It was a very clean and beautiful city, containing several parks and tree-lined streets with two pretty lakes situated in the heart of the city. Many buildings and statues attracted my attention, especially the Peace Palace dedicated only two years before, and now most of Europe was at war.

I came to a place where a very old building formed an archway across a street. A sign at the entrance read Gevangenpoort which I interpreted to mean a prison or jail. It was open to the public as a museum and I decided to enter. Displayed inside the dark gloomy building were instruments of torture and methods of punishment commonly used several hundred years ago. Among them was a rack and wheel to which persons were bound and stretched until they confessed or died from the punishment, an Iron Maiden, (#312) consisting of a hollow iron statue with the front half a hinged door and the interior studded with knobs and spikes, stood against a wall. The victim was placed inside and the door then slammed shut. Beheading axes with execution blocks, and many other devices of torture, were displayed. It was not a cheerful museum by any means and I finally left the place.

During the rest of the afternoon I observed some of the customs of Holland. The majority of the people dressed in modern European clothes, but some passed by wearing typical Dutch costumes, including the white peak-shaped caps and billowing skirts of the women and the tight-fitting jackets and full baggy pants of the men, as they clogged along in their wooden shoes. Dog carts passed by, and sometimes a large dog was teamed up with one much smaller. So long as they were dogs and could pull a cart seemed all that mattered. On several occasions, when a fancy carriage or car passed in the street, I noticed many Dutch people stepping to the curb. The men doffed their hats and both men and women made a deep bow. I was curious over this maneuver so I asked my hotel host what it was all about.

"Oh, that is showing respect. Many Dutch people do this when a member of the royal family, the nobility or very important people pass by," Mr. Schrader explained. Well, I was not Dutch, nor was I acquainted with the royal family or the nobility, so I kept my cap on my head and did no bowing.

After dinner I tidied up and headed for my appointment with the Military Attache. He opened the door and escorted me to a sitting room. Apparently we were alone and our little interview commenced. It was practically a complete repetition of the conversation that took place at the Legation during the forenoon. We talked for perhaps an hour, and by his actions as he arose and escorted me to the door, I knew the interview was ended. (#313)

I did manage to ask if he did have any wearing apparel that I could use. He gave me a most surprising answer.

"No, I do not have such clothing on hand. I merely said that as an incentive for you to come."

Such subterfuge was unnecessary! An interview could have been held in his office, and while I was at his home, I wasn't even offered a drink. I said nothing, but as I walked down the street, I was saying plenty to myself. My impression of that snobbish major dropped to a low level. I have him stowed down in the bilges ever since. I went to my hotel and crawled into bed.

The next forenoon Mr. Van Dyke said I should call on the American Consul-General at Rotterdam who would make arrangements for booking my passage home. I was given tickets for the electric train running between The Hague and Rotterdam, a distance of about twenty miles. In less than an hour I arrived at Rotterdam, one of the largest ports in Europe. The offices of Mr. Soren Listoe, the Consul-General, was not a large or elaborate affair. A short distance in from the door, a low wooden railing having a hinged gate, ran across the width of the room. Inside the railing, at the right hand side, was a desk at which sat a young clerk. Beyond were some cubby hole offices, partitioned off with frosted glass tops above wood wainscoting. The clerk approached and asked my wishes.

"I would like to-see the Consul-General," I replied.

"Have you an appointment with him," the clerk asked.

"No, I have no appointment. I just arrived from the Legation at The Hague and was told to contact him."

"I'm sorry, but you will have to make an appointment before I can let you see him," the clerk replied a bit officiously. (#314)

Suddenly a voice from the first enclosed office rang out, "Is that you Mr. List?"

"Yes, it is, sir," I answered.

"Come right in," came the voice from the enclosed office.

The clerk stared at me open-mouthed for a moment, as he sprung the latch on the gate and held it open. I gave him my best "how do you like that" look as I passed. Mr. Listoe proved very agreeable to talk with. After quite a conversation he told me he was making arrangements to book my passage home on the Holland-Amerika liner Rotterdam, due to sail on Wednesday, the 4th of August. He filled out several forms, some of which required my signature. After more conversation I was free to go.

I spent the remainder of the day wandering around Rotterdam. My first interest was the waterfront. It was many miles around the various arms of this huge port, and much of it I could not hope to see. The main harbor was formed by two rivers, the Nieuw Mass, and the smaller Rotte coming in from the north. Near the confluence of the two rivers were the long piers of the Holland-Amerika Line. The harbor was crowded with craft of all descriptions. Puffing tugs busily pushed barges around. In the distance the tall masts of square-rigged sailing ships could be seen, but they were too far away for me to visit.

Many canals and mooring basins branched off here and there. Along the canals, in some instances, their stone or concrete walls formed one side of a busy boulevard or street. Arched bridges crossed these man-made waterways. On the canals, cargoes were transported on long narrow wooden barges. Some were towed or pushed by small squatty tugs and a few were power barges. Others were maneuvered along by bargemen pushing on wooden poles or were pulled from the bank by ropes, to which sometimes, a horse was harnessed. (#315)

I was told that many bargemen and their families lived on the barges from one generation to another. It was along the canals that the typical Dutch costumes with wooden shoes were most in evidence. The shoes appeared cumbersome, but both adults and youngsters, not yet ready for school, went clogging along as if the shoes were grown to their feet. At a small shop along a canal I watched a shoemaker ply his trade. A long knife, similar to a carpenter's drawknife but having only one handle, was fastened at the opposite end by a metal eye to the top edge of a heavy wooden block, providing a sort of universal joint. From rectangular wooden blocks he was shaping the outer form of a shoe. In one hand he held the wood blank, and with the other he operated the knife, twisting and rolling both the blank and knife with amazing speed. It did not take him long to roughly shape a shoe, chips flew at each stroke of the knife. Behind a work bench hung an assortment of gouges and chisels with which he carved out the inside. I purchased a small pair of wooden shoes for my sister.

Having more time than money, I kept walking and came to a huge windmill along the side of a canal. It was as high as an eight story building, and was not used for pumping purposes as were those in the open country.

It was a sort of landmark and tourist attraction. Inside, at street level, was an establishment selling novelties, confections, postcards and such. I spent a few cents for postcards of Rotterdam. Another thing of interest was a massively built huge edifice called the Groote Kerk or Big Church, situated in a large open square. I bought a cup of coffee and a sandwich in a small shop and it was dark when I boarded the electric train for my return to The Hague.

After Sunday breakfast the proprietor of the hotel suggested I should make a trip to Scheveningen.

"Where is that and what is there to see," I asked. (#316)

"Scheveningen is a large beach resort. It is only about four miles from The Hague and. accessible by streetcar," Herr Schrader replied.

I thought it a pretty good idea, and after obtaining directions, I was on my way to spend a Sunday at the beach. Not far from the hotel I came to the beginning of a well-kept promenade or footpath plainly marked, To Scheveningen. I considered four miles no great distance and by walking I could enjoy the sights along the way so I started out. The wide path was bordered on one side by beautiful shade trees and on the opposite side a grass-edged canal flowed along for the greater part of the path's distance. Many people were walking and at intervals were benches where one could sit down and rest. In about an hour I arrived at Scheveningen and found it to be a very large resort. A wide paved boulevard ran the length of a heavily patronized long sandy beach. At a higher elevation were many large and picturesque buildings. Beyond the water's edge was a huge round pavilion-like structure set on piling containing too fancy a restaurant for my purse. It was a very ornate building connected to the boulevard and the upper level of the town by an equally ornate walkway. Scattered about the beach were many upright wicker baskets about five feet high with the top flaring out in a round hood-shaped affair. These aroused my curiosity so I walked down on the beach to give then a closer look. They were beach chairs. Sitting in these, I thought, was sure a lazy way to enjoy the beach. Another thing strange to me were four-wheeled wagons pulled by horses to the water's edge. These I learned were dressing rooms. Tents with pointed roofs, farther up on the beach, were available for the same purpose. All this was decidedly different from the beaches back home in Oregon. A tall red lighthouse, enclosed by an iron fence, stood on the higher ground. I would have enjoyed climbing to the top of that tower but lacked the courage (#317) to seek permission. When darkness fell I took a streetcar back to The Hague.

Tuesday, I was informed at the Legation that I would leave Holland the next day and that the Consul-General would give me final instructions. Mr. Henry Van Dyke, the American Minister to the Netherlands, conducted me to the door of the Legation. He shook my hand as he smiled and said good-bye. Then he reached into his pocket and pulled out his wallet. He handed me a ten guilder note, saying "Here son, is a little spending money so you can enjoy your trip on the steamer. Good luck to you on your journey home."

This little token of his personal generosity only helped to raise the high respect I have always held for Mr. Henry Van Dyke. I did not break that note, but mailed it right back after my arrival in New York. Now I wish I had kept it as a cherished souvenir.

Arriving in Rotterdam early Wednesday forenoon, I went immediately to the Consul-General's office. This time, the clerk did not ask if I had an appointment.

"Come right in Mr, List, Mr. Listoe will see you at once, Boy, I sure wish I were in your shoes," said the clerk as he opened the little gate.

I was escorted to the inner office where the Consul-General asked me to be seated. He reached for a file folder on his desk. After glancing over several papers, he said that all forms seemed to be in order, and the liner Rotterdam was to sail in a few hours. Mr. Listoe continued, "I have arranged a second class passage and you will have the cabin to yourself. I hope you will enjoy a pleasant voyage home, and a bit safer than your trip on the sailing ship."

He gave me some final instructions and stressed on how I should conduct myself aboard the liner. These mostly concerned keeping my experience (#318) to myself, and not becoming too familiar with other passengers aboard the ship. I followed his instructions during the entire trip and no one aboard the liner ever became aware that I had been on a German submarine. He handed me my ticket and informed me of the procedure for going aboard the ship. Then shaking my hand, he wished me good-bye and good luck as I left his office.

Walking toward the pier, I realized that in a few hours I would be on the open sea again and that my tour of being a landlubber would be over. My thoughts drifted back to the days spent in Germany and the people I had met in Altenburg and Berlin. The week spent in Holland flashed through my mind for I knew that soon this would all be a thing of the past. I also thought that some day I would like to retrace my steps in Europe but with money in my pockets and more time to spend.

The termination of my sailing ship voyage around Cape Horn had surely ended in an entirely different manner than I originally anticipated. Now, I was on my way back home as a shipwrecked sailor. (#319)

22. New York

The Holland-Amerika pier was bustling with activity. Last minute cargo and baggage was being loaded, and groups of people, mostly passengers or friends who were seeing them off, were standing about. The foot of the wide gangway, leading to the liner's deck, was an exceptionally busy spot. A few officers stood about examining tickets, and white-jacketed attendants of the steward's department, assisted the passengers with their luggage. After I presented my ticket, an attendant grabbed my second-hand suitcase and escorted me up the gangway to the ship's deck. My suitcase was probably the lightest load any attendant carried up the gangway that day. We stopped at the purser's office, picked up a key and then continued on to my cabin. The attendant opened the door, turned on the light and I entered my new fo'c'stle. He put my suitcase on a bench, gave me the key and then left, without a tip. Aware that I was to occupy the cabin alone, I did not bother to stow my belongings in a drawer. I was traveling schooner-rigged, and leaving my suitcase on the bench, I went on deck.

About an hour later a deep blast from the big whistle of the Rotterdam echoed in my ears. This was the warning whistle for all visitors aboard the ship to go ashore. Already a few tugs stood by, some with lines made fast to the huge liner. Sailing time arrived, and slowly the big ship began to move. The tugs puffed and strained as they pulled and pushed the Rotterdam away from the pier and out into the harbor. People on the crowded pier waved arms and handkerchiefs in a farewell gesture to their friends aboard, but I knew that none were waving at me. When free of the tugs the Rotterdam gave three farewell blasts and was on her own. Slowly she increased speed as she moved down the broad river to the sea. Our trip had begun, yet one more stop was to be made. As was the general custom, the (#320) Dutch liner stood in at Southampton, a seaport on the southern English coast. I did not see much of this port, for I made myself inconspicuous below decks, while the liner lay hove to for some sort of inspection. I feared that after our other life-boat from the Cambuskenneth made shore, the fact would become known that I went on the U-Boat. I presumed the English, surmising that sooner or later I would make an attempt to return home, might want to intercept and question me. Being homeward-bound I had no hankering to be detained. The liner finally got underway and the trip across the North Atlantic commenced.

The Rotterdam was a vessel of 37,190 tons displacement and to me appeared rather blocky and wide. She was not considered a greyhound of the Atlantic for the trip from Rotterdam to New York took eleven days. She was a comfortable riding ship and provided excellent accommodations. With my limited funds, there wasn't much for me to do except walk around and enjoy a beer now and then. I missed no meals, and for the first time in weeks, I enjoyed three meals a day regularly. The dining room was fancy and spacious, each table seating six or eight people on a side. The service set at the table was much finer than anything to which I was accustomed. For table manners, I sneaked a look with my eyes to observe what others were doing and soon learned the ropes. Sometimes the menu had me stumped with items having fancy foreign names. I did not know what they meant but decided to try one. I gave the waiter my order for an item that had a real fancy handle concerning fish. Imagine my surprise when the dish was placed before me. On it were two medium-sized oyster shells filled with chopped fish meat! That settled it, thereafter I ordered only items which I understood.

One day seemed like another as the Rotterdam, rolled and pitched her (#321) way westward. To me it was a drab trip. That is the great difference between traveling on a steamer and on a square-rigged sailing ship. A steamer may be faster and more comfortable but, excitement to make the trip interesting like on a sailing ship rarely occurs. A voyage on an old windjammer would be something for a tourist to remember. "We enjoyed excellent weather as day by day the distance to New York grew less. I tried to keep up my personal appearance the best I could. I finally gave my new razor a trial run but the razor was not overworked, for what I had to scrape off was more a crop of fuzz than a man's beard. The barber shop on the liner was too fancy a place for me to patronize. I merely rubbed some soapy water on my face and shaved in my cabin.

On the morning of the eleventh day the low, gray-like haze of the New York coast was sighted near the horizon. Seeing the land become more distinct cheered me up greatly, even though my arrival in New York would still be over 3,500 miles from my home in western Oregon. At least, I would be back in the United States! As we approached the lower reaches of New York harbor other sea-going vessels were seen and many smaller craft were about. The Rotterdam slowly came to a stop as one of the smaller craft came alongside. A man, I thought to be the pilot, and a few other men climbed aboard the liner. The Rotterdam got underway again, and before long as she approached the pier of the Holland—Amerika Line, puffing tugs would nose her alongside the pier. This however, I was not to see.

Shortly after getting underway, I was paged by an attendant of the steward's department. He informed me that some gentlemen wished to see me in the dining room. Near my table stood three men. One, an elderly person, wore a graying mustache, the second, a tail well-built man appeared in his late thirties, while the third was a young man. All were neatly (#322) dressed in civilian clothes. The gentlemen introduced themselves. The one with the mustache was Rear Admiral Albert W. Grant, Chief of the United States submarine service. The younger officer, whose rank I no longer remember, was named Stirling. The young man was a yeoman. Admiral Grant asked the steward if he could provide an empty stateroom where we could conduct our meeting which the steward did. They questioned me very thoroughly regarding my experience and on the operations of the U 39. They were much interested in the gyro-compass angle, which apparently was being developed around that time. My recollection was that the U 39 already had a gyro-compass in service. Because of inexperience, I was unable to answer important technical questions but I gave no answers unless I was positive of my statements. The conversation was taken down by the yeoman. The Rotterdam was being nosed against the dock when the conference in the stateroom ended, and my first view of New York Harbor, was the side of the Holland-Amerika pier.

The naval officers accompanied me down the gangway and led me to a Customs Official to clear my baggage. This took but a few moments. I tossed my battered little suitcase on a counter and opened it. The inspector lifted a couple of shirts, a few socks and one or two pieces of underwear. Below lay a handful of postcards, a big kitchen knife, razor, scissors and a pair of small wooden shoes. The inspector and the naval officers grinned a bit humorously when they spied the contents.

"Is this all you have to declare?" asked the inspector.

"Yes sir, that's the entire works. I have no other baggage."

"Be on your way! I wish they were all that simple," he replied as he stamped a rather empty form that I had cleared the customs of New York. Outside the pier a chauffeur-driven automobile awaited our arrival. (#323)

We drove to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and to a big gray battleship moored along a pier. I believe it was the North Dakota. I was taken aboard and escorted to the officer's wardroom and was given an adjacent room. I stayed aboard the battleship for one or two nights. I met many other naval officers and had my meals with them in the wardroom. All were in immaculate uniforms while I wore an ill-fitting and well-worn, pin-stripe suit badly in need of a cleaner's attention. I was surrounded by a sea of gold stripes and shoulder pads. However, I was shown every courtesy. Sturdy comfortable chairs, instead of wooden benches, surrounded the long table on which the meals were served. The table was covered with a spotless white table-cloth with napkins to match and was set with sparkling tableware. Colored mess attendants, also in spotless white, waited on the table. This wardroom was sure some fo'c'stle! However, I was not to be a boarder for long. They transferred me to a ship more my style. This ship carried square yards on her masts, but a black smokestack cancelled any claim to her being one of the glorious old frigates of the United States Navy. Her days of going to sea ended, she was a permanently tied-up station ship, providing sleeping and mess accommodations for navy personnel. On this ship I spent about five days. An elderly Chief Petty Officer, with service stripes running half-way up his sleeve was in charge. I was not restricted to this ship by any means, but was issued a pass, and when no conference with me was scheduled, I could leave the Navy Yard if I wished.

I walked the streets of Brooklyn, and spent some time around Erie Basin where some square-rigged ships were tied up. I went aboard several of them hoping for a chance to sign on. None were about to sail and none would be bound for the West Coast of the United States. For any other destination I had no interest. Having to avail myself of the most economical (#324) types of amusement, I took a few streetcar rides, walked across the Brooklyn Bridge and spent an enjoyable day at the New York Zoo. I was finally advised at the Navy Yard that I was free to go. However, I put it off until the next morning for I could not get a free night's lodging plus a good breakfast any place else. After breakfast I said good-bye to the old chief and headed for New York.

There was a little unfinished business I had to attend to - delivering that letter I had received from Mr. James Vi. Gerard, the American Ambassador to Germany. The address proved to be that of a newspaper, the New York American. I told the clerk at the information desk that I had a letter from the American Ambassador to Germany that I was to deliver personally to Mr. Bradford Merrill. The clerk stared at me a moment and then made a phone call. An appointment was made immediately and I was ushered up to Mr. Merrill's office. A slender, gray-haired man asked me to be seated.

"You say you have a letter from Mr. Gerard in Berlin?" he asked.

"Yes sir, I was told to deliver it to you personal, here it is," I answered as I reached into my pocket and handed him the letter. After reading it he looked me over for perhaps half a minute.

"The letter states that you were aboard a sailing ship that was sunk by a German submarine and you were taken aboard the submarine for eleven days during which time additional vessels were sunk. Is this a fact." he asked.

When I told him it was indeed a fact he continued, "Why, that's a most unbelievable experience! Mr. Gerard states you probably have an interesting story to tell."

I began to form a pretty good idea of what the secrecy of this letter was all about. Through further conversation, Mr. Merrill became more acquainted with my story. He said a good contract might be arranged if I (#325) would relate my experience for publication. Being but seventeen years old, I knew nothing about business deals, but I knew I needed money in a hurry. I told him I had no objections to publishing my experience, but that my main concern was to ship out on a west-coast bound vessel. When he said that the newspaper could arrange a berth for me on such a ship, that clinched the deal. He grabbed a phone and requested the party to whom he spoke to come to his office immediately. He then typed the following agreement.

August 23, 1915

The Star Company hereby agrees to buy and Carl List, the narrator agrees to sell the said Star Company, a story of two thousand words or more, descriptive of his sailing from Portland, Oregon, on a Norwegian sailing ship, his capture by a German submarine, and all other incidents appertaining thereto, for the sum of one hundred dollars: if the story be more than two thousand words, at the rate of 5 cents a word for each word over and above two thousand words: this story to be given by Carl List, to a person designated by the Star Company within three days this date.

Mr. List is to receive said payment, at least one hundred dollars, within twenty-four hours after giving all the facts concerning his experience in the submarine to the representative of Star Company. He further agrees, after giving said facts to the Star Company and receiving payment therefor not to give to any other person or publication any facts concerning his said experience until after the appearance of the article concerning his said experience in one of Mr. Hearst's magazines, provided such publication is made within three months of this date.

Star Company

By (signed by Bradford Merrill).


In a short time a tall, heavily-built man with a rather pleasant, large round face appeared at the office. This was the person whom Mr. Merrill had called. I was favorably impressed by this smiling and good-natured person with whom I was to work. He was Mr. Henry Reuterdahl, a nationally known marine writer and artist. Mr. Merrill had reached pretty high, and outside of his own organization, in engaging this person to do the collaborating. (#326)

Mr. Reuterdahl suggested it would be best that I be his guest while the story was being composed. This suited me fine for it would provide food and shelter without cost. After leaving the office, Mr. Reuterdahl treated me to a light lunch in a small place on Broadway. He lived in Weehawken, New Jersey, and on a piece of paper he wrote down the directions I should travel to arrive at his home. He suggested that I come to his house the following forenoon.

After we parted I had to find lodgings for the night and thought I better take care of that first. Walking up Broadway I came to a square where several streets converged. Nearby I picked out a hotel and asked for a room. The rate was three and a half dollars for the night. I thought that was pretty steep, but thinking I would soon get money from the newspaper, I registered. I was shown a large room containing a double bed. A soft carpet covered the floor and through an open door was an adjoining bath. Setting my suitcase against a wall, I left the hotel and hit the street, for I had the rest of the day to myself.

Having read about the Battery, Wall Street, the Bowery and other places, I decided to look then over. At Old Trinity Church I peered through the iron fence at tombstones and saw names prominent in American history. I walked down Wall Street. To me, there was nothing alluring about the old, drab-looking buildings that lined this narrow canyon, even though they were the establishments of the richest banks and wealthiest financiers in the United States. Feeling that Wall Street and I had nothing in common, I turned a corner. Up ahead I saw a crowd of people milling about on the sidewalks and in the street. They were yelling and waving their arms and fingers in the air. I walked closer to see what this was all about and found it to be the curb stock market. Above in building windows, others (#327) were shouting back, their fingers also making signs in the air. They acted just as crazy as those in the street. I couldn't figure out how either side could understand one another with all the shouting that went on. I watched the wild scene a short time, but not being in the market for any stocks, I walked on and headed for the Battery and the Aquarium at the harbor's edge.

After viewing the Aquarium with its display of objects from the sea, which were quite interesting to me, I strolled along Battery Park. Here, at the southern tip of Manhattan Island, a large part of the harbor lay open before me. Across the wide expanse of water I could see the distant shore of New Jersey. Farther down I gazed at the Statue of Liberty, wishing I could make a trip out to it. On the bay-like harbor, small craft, tugs, barges, freighters and passenger liners moved in all directions, but no square-rigged sailing ship was in sight. Here and there, squatty ferry boats went scooting on their way. I wished I were on one of the ships heading out to sea and bound for the West Coast and home. Late that afternoon I turned my back on the harbor and headed north.

I swung right, and picking up a few bearings on the way, I set a course for the Bowery. Passing under the Manhattan approach of the Brooklyn Bridge, I got my first glimpse of the thoroughfare commemorated in legend and song. It was more a street of wild conglomeration than a thoroughfare. Overhead, on straddling steel framework, elevated trains made a deafening racket when they went roaring along. Clanging streetcars added to the din. From rickety old wagons, drawn by decrepit-looking horses, or from pushcarts and stands, street vendors boisterously hawked their wares. Now and then a big argument arose between a hawker and his customer or with the kids running around. Eccentric characters, together with broken-down derelicts of the (#328) human race lounging about, seemed to make the street their headquarters. Mooching from whomever they could appeared to be their only occupation.

Fist fights among the kids also helped to keep the turmoil of the street alive. I began to get hungry. On a side street that was leading me back to Broadway, I came to a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant. I went inside and was soon stowing away a cargo of roast pork, battened down with a slice of pie and a cup of coffee. Returning to my hotel shortly before ten o'clock, I crawled into bed.

I turned to early the next morning from a most restful sleep in my hugh bouble bunk. Glancing over at my private bathroom, I decided that for three and a half dollars, I was entitled to my money’s worth. After an invigorating bath, I scraped the fuzz off my face and out on a clean shirt. Tossing my dirty clothes into the suitcase, I checked out of the hotel. After breakfast, again in the little restaurant, I went to the subway station at Park Row to begin my trip to Mr. Reuterdahl’s residence in New Jersey.

Walking down wide steps, I found myself in an underground depot flooded with electric lights and crowded with people. It was the first time I had seen a subway depot. At a long counter was a row of ticket windows. A large open area was sectioned off with pipe railings, and beyond this area at the sides, I could see the dark openings of the tunnels or tubes. I bought a ticket for the express to Forty-second Street and was directed to join a group assembled in a part of the waiting area. It was not long before a rumbling noise, growing louder every second, came to a climax as a subway train burst through a tube opening and quickly braked to a stop.

The people ran like stampeding cattle to enter the open doors. I ran along with them and found a seat in one of the coaches, When sailing time came the doors slammed shut with a bang, and in no time at all, we were roaring (#329) through that tube at a speed approaching fifty knots. At Forty-second Street Station I disembarked from my first ride on a subway train, I boarded a surface car marked Cross Town, W. 42 St. Ferry. I crossed the Hudson River to Weehawken on the ferry. A little questioning directed me to a street known as the Boulevard. "Cripes, this is some place," I thought as I came to the number 800. I walked to the entrance door of a large pretentious home set in a garden of beautiful shrubbery. Mr. Reuterdahl answered my knock and after introducing me to Mrs, Reuterdahl and their daughter, he showed me to a room I was to occupy during my stay at their home. It was a nice corner room on an upper floor with a beautiful view across the Hudson River to New York. Mr. Reuterdahl's home was situated on top of the Palisades, or cliffs, along the Bank of the Hudson River. An ornamental iron fence across the rear of the property ran within two feet from the edge of a shear-faced cliffs.

After squaring myself away in my new fo'c'stle I went downstairs. Mr. Reuterdahl took me into his study where the compiling of my experience began. Taking notes, he questioned me for about an hour and I was then left on my own while he wrote from the information I had given. This went on for several days. That afternoon a couple of photographers from the New York American arrived to obtain photographs of me to go along with the story to be published. To make the photographs appear a bit realistic, they scrounged around for some clothing for me to wear. Mr. Reuterdahl had a German Navy hat from the Baden. They twisted the ribbon around so the name could not be recognized. A pair of dirty, ragged dungarees, an old slipover sweater and a Shawl twisted around my throat, completed the costume. This rigging was far from the actual clothing I wore on the submarine, but to the newspaper photographers, it seemed quite appropriate. About the third (#330) day I mentioned being low on funds and felt I should be given some consideration by the newspaper. Mr. Reuterdahl called Mr. Merrill, telling him of the progress being made and about my financial status. I was told to come to the office where a payment would be made. I called on Mr. Merrill, but instead of one hundred dollars, as mentioned in the contract, I was given fifty dollars. Even so, I felt rich and decided to buy some wearing apparel.

A small store on Broadway had windows full of men's furnishings, and noting the prices were reasonable, I walked in. First, I picked out a suit The clerk told me the price was twenty-two dollars and fifty cents. I then bought shirts, socks, underwear and a few minor articles, the entire transaction amounting to about thirty-five dollars. I was in high spirits as I grabbed my packages and walked from the store. My high spirits soon vanished, as walking out the entrance, I glanced through a window. There on display, was a suit identical to the one I purchased. A price tag of fourteen dollars and fifty cents was attached! "All the pirates aren't at sea, I thought as I marched back into the store and threw my packages on a counter.

"Hey, come here!" I yelled at the clerk who had waited on me. "What's the idea of charging me twenty-two fifty when the same suit in your window is marked fourteen fifty! What kind of a lousy joint are you operating?" My voice could be heard throughout the store.

"Oh no, your suit is custom-made," remarked the oily clerk.

I didn't know what that meant but I knew I had been swindled. I yelled back "I don't care how its made! You cheated me on the price, that’s what you did!"

"Please, please, not so loud. You are disturbing other customers," (#331) the clerk replied holding up his hands.

"I don’t care who I disturb. I want my money back!" was my answer.

"Mister, we want only satisfied customers. We will make it right, but please lower your voice," said the clerk as he walked towards a cash register. He handed me eight dollars and asked if I was satisfied. I was.

I liked the suit, and grabbing the money, I stormed out of that clip joint on Broadway. That was the fastest eight dollars I ever made.

The week I spent with the Reuterdahls, where I received a warm consideration, is a week I shall always remember. Regretfully it had to come to an end. Mr. Reuterdahl had not completed the story at the time I left, and I did not review any of the work he had prepared. At the newspaper office, Mr. Merrill informed me that as my story was not ready for printing, they could not make the final payment. I was told that when the story was published, they would determine the amount due, and this together with a set of the pictures, would be mailed to me in care of the editor of the San Francisco examiner. I did not feel happy over this arrangement, and felt the finances of the New York American would not be greatly strained had they paid me in advance, for the number of words could have been approximated. It became apparent that I would leave New York before my story appeared in print.

The matter of a job on a homeward-bound steamer was discussed and I was told that steps had already been taken. I was to go to the office of the International Mercantile Marine Company, operating the passenger and cargo steamers Kroonland and Finnland in the east and west coast trade. I was given a letter of introduction to the port captain of this company. He in turn, gave me a letter to the First Officer of the S.S. Kroonland. Requesting (#332) that I be signed on as a quartermaster. At the pier where the Kroonland lay berthed, a man on gangway watch pointed out the mate busily engaged on the foredeck of the ship. Approaching him I drew the letter from my pocket.

"Good day, sir. The port captain told me to give you this letter. I'm looking for a berth, sir,” I announced a bit apprehensive over what the mate’s reaction would be.

He read the letter, took one look at me and snarled "I don't want you, get out." He didn't mince words or ask questions. He turned his back on me and went about his work. I turned my back and walked off the ship. Returning to Mr. Merrill, I told him about my luck aboard the Kroonland. He got quite a kick out of my remarks, then picked up the telephone. He pleaded my case with some friend at the other end of the line. Hanging up the receiver, he told me to go to the American-Hawaiian Steamship Company and contact Captain Bennett, the port captain. Captain Bennett also wrote a letter and told me to present it to Mr. Ryer, the First Officer of the S.S. Honolulan. I walked to the pier, boarded the ship and finding the mate I handed him the letter, wondering what his attitude would be. I soon found out. After one look at me he also snarled "I don't want you!"

Cripes, two mates on two different ships, in a little over two hours time, took one look at me and said they didn't want me. That I couldn't even get a job on a stinking steamer began to irk me. This time I decided to go back to the port captain and find out what it was all about. Captain Bennett seemed surprised at my return.

"Mr. Ryer said he didn’t want me, Captain Bennett,” I blurted out as I approached his desk.

"Oh, he did, eh? You go right back to Mr. Ryer. Tell him that I said (#333) he can go to hell, and that I'm hiring the men for the ships. Tell him that I said he's to put you aboard as the letter stated."

I told Captain Bennett that was quite an order for me to carry out. But he insisted and back to the Honolulan I went. The mate eyed me sternly up and down as I approached. I delivered the message according to instructions. The mate's face turned into a dark-red scowl and I was ready to duck or run. He cursed a blue streak and when finished he snarled at me "All right! Get your gear and come aboard!" He was still muttering to himself as he walked away. I had a job but the mate's attitude gave me no cause to be happy. Even though now homeward-bound I could see nothing but squalls ahead, for at the start, that mate did not want me aboard his ship. (#334)

23. Homeward bound

At an outfitting store near the waterfront I bought a sou'wester, an oilskin slicker, a couple of dungarees and two work shirts. I didn't bother about boots. My feet had been wet before and intending to jump ship in some West Coast port, I could do without boots for a few weeks. This was my gear and I hurried back to the Honolulan, hoping the mate hadn't changed his mind again. A quartermaster at the gangway told me our room was below deck up forward at the bow. There I met a shipmate who told me which bunk and locker was available. I changed into work clothes and was ready to turn to.

"Take it easy the rest of the afternoon,” said my new roommate. "All the quartermasters are new to the ship and the other two are on watch. You and I will relieve them at four o'clock."

Though all quartermasters were new to the chip, there the similarity ended. They were experienced men but I knew next to nothing about my duties. I had never steered a steamer in my life. I explained my situation to my new partner and he gave me an outline of what my duties would be. He told me not to worry and that he and the other quartermasters would steer me along. I took a liking to him at once but we made an odd looking pair. My partner was skinny as a rail, stood about six-foot seven inches tall and towered a foot above me. These words from Slim helped to case the situation. The worst that could happen, if I could not fill the bill, was to be kicked on deck with the sailors, or to be turned over to the steward as a mess boy or cook’s helper. For this I had some experience and it little mattered to me. At last I was on a West Coast bound ship and homeward bound!

The Honolulan, of 7059 gross tons, was a flush-deck type of steamer, about five years old, and for that time, equipped with many late aids to (#335) navigation. She had limited passenger accommodations in a midships cabin section. However, passenger bookings were cancelled for this trip because of slide conditions prevailing in the Gaillard Cut of the Panama Canal. If additional slides closed the canal, the Honolulan would have to make a long voyage by way of the Straits of Magellan near the southern tip of South America.

Our quarters at the bow were reached by a companionway leading down from the main deck. Adjacent was a room for the bosun and carpenter. To me, our room seemed a swell layout, it had an electric fan and was steam heated. Drawers below the lower bunks and metal lockers provided storage for our clothes. The bunks were equipped with clean bedding and had metal springs. This caught my eye and I remarked to Slim how I will appreciate sleeping in a bunk like that.

"What's so exciting about the bloomin' bunk," he asked.

"They are real fancy to me, more like being a passenger. I spent five months on an old windjammer. There we only had flat boards below a cotton or straw-filled mattress. No fan, electric lights or heat either," I replied. Slim looked at me with a sort of quizzical expression on his face.

Later I met the bosun and carpenter. I also confided in the bosun, just in case I got kicked on deck with the sailors. I told him about my sailing shin experience but that I was unfamiliar with duties aboard a steamer. I told him my main desire was to get home, and that I intended to jump ship on the West Coast. Jim Buckley, the bosun, proved a swell fellow and said he would take care of me if I came on deck. Jumping ship didn't matter to him as he had done the same several times. I was getting fine cooperation from my new shipmates of the Honolulan.

The first night's watch proved easy, for the only duty required was holding gangway watch and patrolling about the ship, Slim and I taking (#336) turns at specified times, We were scheduled to sail two days later. The next day while standing gangway watch I got a good bawling out. Sure, I got it from the mate! He was a medium-sized, wiry type of person from Maine with a typical, down-eastern twang besides a snarling voice. Shortly after lunch he approached me at the gangway.

"Say, you! Keep your eyes open and don't you allow anyone carrying liquor to come aboard. Do you understand!" he said as he scowled sternly and walked away. I thought that would be quite an order to fill. How was I to know what the bundles and suitcases contained, that intermittently someone packed aboard the ship? Longshoremen and others were using that gangway, and I didn’t know yet, who actually belonged to the crew. A half hour later I spied the mate. He was coming from aft, herding before him two red-faced individuals with a suitcase. At the gangway the mate snarled at them.

"Get going! Get the hell off the ship and don't come back.

He then snarled at me "You dumb excuse of a quartermaster! Didn't I tell you not to allow any roosters carrying booze to come aboard ship!"

"Yes sir, but I haven’t seen those fellows before this. I don't know when they came aboard, sir," I answered.

"You better not let me catch such roosters coming aboard while you're on watch or you’ll go flying off the ship with them!"

"Yes sir, Mr. Ryer," I replied as he stood scowling at me before he turned and walked away.

That mate was sure trying to nail me with some pretext to fire me off the ship. I was lucky never to be caught in such a bight, but I would not be surprised if a few bottles found their way aboard right under my eyes. This gangway business was more complicated than I thought and I began wishing (#337) we were at sea.

Among our other quartermaster duties we kept the boat deck, the flying or navigating bridge and the wheelhouse clean and shipshape. The Honolulan had a nice, warm and roomy wheelhouse, equipped with a large, beautiful, wooden wheel. Looking at that wheel I thought "Boy, it will sure be different from standing at an open wheel on the poop deck of a sailing ship. Yes sir, steering in here will be a pleasure."

Having Sunday in port, Slim and I decided to spend our free afternoon watch ashore. After walking the streets we thought a glass of beer would be refreshing, but all the bars we passed were closed.

"There ought to be someplace where we can get a drink," said Slim. I’ll ask that newsboy over there. Say Bud, is there a place around here where we could get a beer?"

"Sure, I’ll show you a place." He led us up a back alley and pointed to a door. "Go in there and you can get a drink."

We gave him a dime and walked in. Sure enough, it was a regular bar with bartenders on duty. Through an opening in a wooden partition, that ran across the establishment, we could see a similar bar. That section, opening to a street entrance, was closed for business. The alley entrance evidently took care of the Sunday trade! After a couple of beers we walked out, and shortly before four o’clock we were back aboard ship.

The next morning the crew signed articles reading from New York and return. I signed on as quartermaster, my wages forty-five dollars a month.

A coincidence was that I signed on the same steamer that passed the Cambuskenneth while she was under tow down the Columbia Oliver on my way to sea.

Our afternoon departure time worked out swell, for the other two quartermasters would be on watch. On our watch, Slim would take the first (#338) wheel and I would not relieve him until nine o’clock. Snug Harbor, the old third mate would be on the bridge. By that time we would be well at sea, and I didn’t care what they did with me then. The third officer was an elderly person, heavy-set and extremely slow in his actions. The bosun once said the third mate ought to retire from the sea, so we christened him Snug Harbor.

The quartermasters received a rude awakening when time cane to take the wheel. That cozy warm wheelhouse was but an ornament aboard the Honolulan for this trip. Our post was above the wheelhouse at a brass wheel on the open flying bridge. The mates held watch there so the quartermasters could do the same which to me proved no hardship. I was accustomed to being out in the weather and at least I would not get kicked in the pants by a boarding sea.

The ship was on course when I took over the wheel. Snug Harbor slowly paced back and forth, his eyes staring ahead. For several minutes everything went fine. Then the ship began to stray a little to starboard. I gave her a couple of spokes to bring her back. She did not answer so I gave her a few more spokes. I observed no action, and becoming a bit nervous.

I gave her still more wheel. How she answered, rapidly swinging farther off to starboard. Cripes, I was turning the wheel the wrong way! I spun the wheel back and it took several minutes before I had her steady on course again. During this interlude, and difficult to believe, Snug Harbor kept pacing back and forth, never looking at the compass or saying a word. I was sure thankful the mate wasn’t on the bridge! I barely had her steady when Captain Anderson appeared. Ignoring me he remarked sarcastically to Snug Harbor, "How does this man steer, Mr. Harding?"

Lumps came in my throat when I heard that. I thought "Boy, here’s (#339) where I join the sailors." Snug Harbor’s reply astounded me!

"He steers fairly well, Captain, fairly well I would say, sir."

"I gravely have my doubts," replied the captain. "Its your watch, but you keep an eye on him and make sure you are satisfied."

Giving me only a dirty look Captain Anderson left immediately, apparently aware of my blundering, from observations of his own from the deck below. Thereafter, I gave strict attention to my steering for I didn’t want that captain coming on the bridge asking questions about me a second time. The captain’s concern apparently did not worry Snug Harbor one bit, for I could not detect an extra vigilance toward me after the captain left. He glanced at the compass only once during the remainder of my trick and I was lucky.

The ship was on course. At four bells Slim relieved me at the wheel. Going forward, I was again at my familiar post as lookout aboard a ship at sea.

At five bells my "All-l-l’s well-l-l, sir-r-r!" again rang from the bow of a ship.

My next watch would be under the mate who I knew had no liking for me since I came aboard. If I could get by that stern, red-faced New England mate, I would consider myself lucky. Slim took the first wheel for I was delaying meeting that mate as long as possible. The mate gave me a scornful glance when I came to the wheel. This was no Snug Harbor that now paced the bridge. He frequently squinted at that compass. Luckily I had the ship on course, for I soon realized that giving the wheel a spoke or two soon enough did the trick. I kept on my toes, and my first watch under that mate, was perhaps the best job of steering I did during my entire time aboard the Honolulan. I knew it better be a good demonstration and at eight bells the ordeal was over. The mate never spoke to me during the entire watch.

I began to wonder what the second mate’s attitude would be. That afternoon (#340) my introduction to this officer took place. He looked me over for a moment and then remarked, "Say, how old are you?”

"Seventeen, why sir?"

"How come you to get your job?"

"Oh, I just asked for it," I glibly told him though it was not entirely the truth.

He grinned and shook his head and then added, "I’ll have to hand it to you. There are no quartermasters your age aboard our ships. Do you know what the mate told me when you came aboard?"

"No sir, what did he tell you?" I asked.

"He said, did you see that school kid they sent me as quartermaster?"

"School kid! I haven’t been to school for three years, sir. I finished grammar school four years ago, had a short spell in high school and then I went to sea."

"You say you went to sea?" he asked as if doubting my remarks.

"Sure, sir. I just spent five months on a square-rigged windjammer on a voyage around the Horn." I told him about my trip and of my experience aboard the submarine. The second officer, Mr. Haskins, was a West Coast man from the San Francisco area and the youngest of the three mates. He was by far the most sociable, and turned out to be the best friend, I had aboard the ship. He turned out to be like a father to me! So ended my introduction to the three officers of the Honolulan, While on watch, Snug Harbor seemed indifferent to what went on and rarely spoke. The mate never spoke more than what was necessary, and the second mate was talking to me most of the time I was at the wheel.

Each trick at the wheel gave me more confidence. At the end of the third day I no longer had fears of being chased on deck with the sailors. (#341)

My other duties, such as reading the log, keeping the boat deck, wheel-house and bridges clean, the brass polishing and soogee-moogee of the paint work, were nothing new and I kept myself busy. However, thereafter, I was always referred to as the school-kid quartermaster.

After my third watch under that dour, down-eastern mate, he became a bit sociable in his nasal, grumpy way. dancing at the compass he remarked, "I hear ya had sailing ship experience. Why didn't ya tell me that when ya came aboard looking for a job?"

"Sir, you didn’t give me an opportunity to say anything. You simply said you didn’t want me and turned your back to me. I never thought it would have made any difference had I mentioned it,” I answered.

"Well, it may have made quite a difference for I also started going to sea in sailing ships. I was only a kid myself but I spent several years at it before going into steam. You would have made a better man had you stayed with square-riggers a bit longer. I haven’t got much use for quartermasters; haven’t seen a good one yet. I would rather have an experienced A.B. at the wheel instead of Fancy Dan quartermasters. So you better watch your step if I’m to put up with you."

The mate wasn’t smiling; he meant what he said. He reminded me of Anderson on the Cambuskenneth. Being in no position to argue the point with him, I just answered, "Yes, sir!" How I stayed within his good graces is another story.

The run to the Panama Canal was uneventful. In Limon bay, the Atlantic entrance of the canal, we picked up a pilot. An hour’s run through the sea-level approach brought the Honolulan to Gatun. Here, we came to the first series of locks which we would pass through during our transit of the canal. I was off watch as we passed through the three stages of Gatun (#342) Locks, but I stayed on deck, not wanting to miss the procedure going on. Squatty, double-ended, powerful electric locomotives on shore towed our ship through the locks. We steamed into Gatun Lake whose surface is normally eighty-five feet above sea level. A short distance into the lake we anchored near two ships already there and were later joined by others that followed us through. Normally the vessels would continue, but now passage was controlled by the slide condition prevailing in Gailard Cut. A fleet of vessels was coming through from the Pacific side, and their passage was to be completed before our group could continue on. We would lie anchored overnight and pass through the next morning.

The weather was hot and muggy and the water of the lake looked inviting. The second mate and I, along with others, threw a Jacob’s Ladder over the side and were soon swimming in Gatun Lake. Someone remarked that we were crazy because there were alligators in the lake, but we saw none out where we were anchored.

During the afternoon the fleet of vessels from the Pacific side passed by. After dark we quartermasters amused ourselves by signaling with a flashlight to other vessels anchored nearby. I did the signaling in Morse Code and we had conversations going with several ships. A few uncomplimentary remarks over nationalities entered into our conversation and we thought we had better quit our shenanigans.

Early next morning a canal pilot boarded the Honolulan. The mate, bosun and carpenter, with a sailor or two standing by, hoisted the anchor.

My thoughts wandered back to a cold, drizzly morning on the fo’c’stle head of a Cape Horn windjammer anchored in midstream of Portland Harbor. Hoisting the anchor then was an all-hands occasion, with long wooden bars inserted into the anchor capstan around which the crew steadily tramped to (#343) the tune of sailor chanteys. On the Honolulan, only a little valve was turned, and there was no chantey. We got underway as we began our passage through the Panama Canal and made most of the run through Gatun Lake at full speed. Approaching Gaillard Cut we slowed down, for the normal speed through this section was six knots an hour. However, because of slide conditions, we proceeded even more slowly, We crept through.

Captain Anderson’s opinion of my ability to steer evidently never improved. He would not have me at the wheel during our trip through the canal! Perhaps he thought that I might put the Honolulan crosswise in the channel or take off through the jungles. In Gaillard Cut I was handed a megaphone and chased to the after end of the boat deck to relay messages from the bridge to the second mate, who with a few sailors, was standing by on the stern of the ship. Navigating through the slide area was a ticklish performance. The ship crept closely around several marker buoys, and sometimes required a short push or pull from a small tug at our bow or stern.

My job with the megaphone gave me ample opportunity to look the situation over. The main slide had occurred at the deepest part of the cut. Here at both sides, the mountains of the continental divide were over seven hundred feet above the surface of the water. The Honolulan looked small indeed alongside those towering hills. The area was bustling with equipment and activity in an almost superhuman effort to open the canal to its former normal condition. Leaving this critical area astern, we nosed into the locks at Pedro Miguel, were lowered to the surface of Miraflores Lake, and after a short run, entered the locks by the same name. This elevator lowered us in two stages to the sea-level approach at the southern end of the canal. Hot long thereafter the Honolulan poked her bow into the Pacific Ocean, When less than a day in the Pacific, we received word that another (#344) slide had closed the canal indefinitely. We came very close to making the long trip around South America. Passing through the Panama Canal I celebrated my eighteenth birthday.

The Honolulan was a good-feeding ship. There were however, several grumblers about the food which is a common trait among men going to sea.

The worst grumbling is usually made by those who did not have food as good when living at home. The reader may think this is only my opinion, but it does generally hold true, especially so over fifty years ago. I have been on ships where the crew had a perfect right to grumble. For the first week or so aboard you ordered eggs fried, later you ordered them fried on both sides and finally you didn't order them at all. On one steamer, if a person was near the big ice box when its door was opened, he ran on deck to get fresh air. They were American ships, too. Yes sir, some of them had what the crew called "pretty hungry stewards" aboard. Such conditions did not exist aboard the Honolulan. Our messroom was on the port side in the midships section. After five months aboard a sailing ship, the bill of fare on the Honolulan, and the night lunches set out in the messroom, were regular banquets to me. I soon got onto the ropes. before relieving the wheel or lookout, I made a wild dash to the messroom. Throwing a couple of sandwiches together, I munched away while at my post. During the approximate four weeks aboard the Honolulan, I gained ten pounds!

On one occasion, after midnight while the second mate had the watch, he called me over after Slim relieved me at the wheel.

"Carl, I'm hungry as a bear. I'll watch her and you duck down to your messroom and bring me something to eat. Bring enough for two men and plenty of coffee too," was Mr. Haskins order.

I beat it to the messroom, filled a coffee pot and grabbed two cups. (#345)

I leaded a big tray with sandwiches and added trimmings for a goad meal.

On the bridge I proudly put the tray on the chart desk. The second mate took one look and exclaimed, "Great Jehosaphat, what do you call that?"

"That’s your order, sir. You told me to bring enough for two, so I figured this ought to be enough for both of us," I answered with a big grin.

"I’ll say you brought enough, but it isn’t for both of us. We can’t start a restaurant on the bridge. Besides, you better chase yourself on lookout."

"Yes sir, Mr. Haskins," I answered as I filled two cups with coffee.

I swallowed mine in a hurry, and grabbing a sandwich, I made for the bow of the ship. It finally dawned on me that the second mate meant that, he alone, could eat enough for two! When it came time to relieve the wheel I did not duck into the messroom as was my usual custom. There should be a bite to eat from that tray on the bridge, walking towards the wheel, I glanced over at the chart desk. The tray was empty! The hungry second mate and Slim had swept the deck of that tray clean. I would have to wait another hour before I could visit the messroom again.

On another occasion, during a night watch again with the second mate, I dozed off at the wheel. Hazily I heard someone calling me, and half asleep, I made out the second mate a short distance off looking aft. He was watching the wake of the ship and asked me if I was trying to write my name astern. Glancing at the compass I saw I was off course but I soon had her back and steadied down.

"Well. It’s not too bad unless you have O’s or U’s in your name," the second mate remarked. However, I had no such letters in my name, and that was the only time I ever fell asleep at a wheel.

Sometimes while puttering around the bridge on afternoon watches, the (#346) second mate would call me to the chart desk. Pulling out a chart, he tried to teach me a few problems in navigation. During one lesson he mentioned having a daughter about my age, and if I would promise to be a good boy, he would take me to his home in San Francisco. That happy event did not take place, as I was not long aboard the Honolulan after she arrived in the Bay City.

Shortly after leaving the canal an event occurred on the mate’s watch that had me puzzled, but there was nothing I could do about it. I was puttering away at some odd job when I heard the mate’s whistle. I arrived on the bridge just in time to overhear a hot conversation, through a speaking tube, between the captain and mate. Evidently Mr. Ryer had been tearing into Slim, and the captain was taking exception to the style the mate used. The mate, a former captain, was more than holding his own.

”Mr. Ryer, control yourself. That is no language to use on the bridge, came the captain's voice.

"Oh hell, control myself !” answered the mate, "W/hen I’m on the bridge I’m responsible for the men under me. I'll damn well speak to them in any way I see fit. I was just talking to a dumb quartermaster. All he needs is for someone to close his eyes, push him over and he’d be dead."

I bet the captain was thinking that I was the party referred to. The mate turned to me and gave me this order, "You, take over the wheel while I take this bearing!"

Turning to Slim, he snarled, "You git yerself aft and read the log when I give the signal!"

The mate went to his instrument set up at the wing of the bridge. As he prepared to take the bearing, I repeated every few seconds, "Right on, right on, right on." The mate peering through the instrument asked, "Are (#347) you on?”

"Right on, sir!" I kept my eyes glued to the compass and made sure I was on course before I answered.

Mr. Ryer got his bearing, noted the time and blew his whistle. Slim shortly returned and gave him the log reading. I was told to hand the wheel back to Slim and to go about my work. I never learned the reason for the mate’s action for Slim never told me what went wrong. Inwardly, I did not like the situation, but thereafter every time the mate wanted to take a bearing, he called me to the wheel.

Before long though, I got a raking over from the mate. The brass spokes of the wheel left a greenish-yellow stain on your hands which were difficult to remove with soap and water. The other quartermasters wore gloves at the wheel, and I finally surrendered by coming to the wheel with gloves on my hands. The mate stared at me and snarled, "Yer gittin’ as bad as the rest of them!"

"What do you mean, sir? What’s wrong?" I asked.

"Wearing handshoes at the wheel, that’s what's wrong," he sneered.

I took the gloves off and stuck them in my pocket. If he could be so sarcastic and offended by such a little thing, I decided to show him that I could do without handshoes.

Off the southern coast of Mexico we ran into sloppy weather. That night, during the second mate’s watch, the ship was taking a few over the bow as she plunged ahead. We stood lookout on the open bridge. On the bow of the ship was a small hatch about four feet square over an open area to our living quarters below. Remembering that the hatch was open when I came on watch I brought this to the second mate's attention.

"I think I can make my way forward and close it, sir," I volunteered. (#348)

"I don’t like to send you but that hatch should be closed. Keep your eyes open, we’re taking pretty good ones at times," he warned me.

Leaving the bridge I picked my way over the dark foredeck of the ship. I stayed close to the hatches and winches which I could grab if the need arose. Peaching the companionway to our living quarters, I took a short rest in the shelter it offered. When the seas looked favorable, I jumped from behind the companionway and tugged at the thick hatch cover wedged against some deck fittings. It was much heavier than I had anticipated.

My efforts were hindered by the skirt of my clumsy slicker that was a size too big for me. Windjammer oilskins would have been more appropriate at a time like this. Heavy sprays hit me a time or two, and I was ready to jump behind that companionway if I saw a big sea coming close. I managed to get an edge of the cover over the combing of the hatch. Glancing through the open hatch I saw the deck below covered with water sloshing about. I kept lifting and shoving, thinking that in a few moments I would have that hatch closed. As the ship sheered sharply I lost my grip on that wet, heavy and slippery hatch cover. It slid cornerwise through the hatch, and with a loud crash, it landed on the deck below. Cussing a blue streak, I scampered down the companionway, aware that the noise would rouse those sleeping below. There stood the bosun and carpenter at the door to their room.

"What the hell’s going on here!" yelled the bosun.

"Aw, that damn hatch was left open! I tried to put the cover back on but it got away from me," I yelled back.

The water also sloshed around in our room. Socks, shoes and other articles were floating about. The other two quartermasters merely leaned out of their bunks, looking the mess over. They made no attempt to retrieve even their own gear or to lend a hand. (#349)

The bosun, glancing up at the open hatch, admitted that he should have seen that the hatch was closed. He told me to standby and he would give a hand to get the cover back on. The bosun and carpenter slid into their boots and oilskins. The three of us wrestled the hatch cover up the companionway stairs and then closed the hatch. My shoes were full of water as I made my way back to the bridge. That was nothing new, they had been full of water many times before. The second mate grinned when I told him what had happened, but the hatch was closed.

When about to enter the harbor at San Pedro, I had a brilliant idea.

I wanted to visit a brother living in Los Angeles, and to call on the newspaper that printed the story of my submarine adventure. I would have the forenoon watch off with my next tour of duty beginning at noon. If I could get that afternoon watch off I would not have to turn to until eight p.m. That would allow ample time to take care of everything, so I approached the mate.

"Mr. Ryer, could I have the afternoon watch off, sir? I have some business to attend to in Los Angeles," I asked with my fingers crossed.

"No, yer can’t have the watch off! Ya didn't come aboard this ship to go gallivantin' around the country like a tourist. If you're supposed to be on duty, you better well see that you are on duty," was his answer to my brilliant idea, but I decided to go to Los Angeles regardless.

During the early morning watch, the Honolulan was already tied to the pier. I stood the last gangway watch and Slim relieved me for a short spell so I could sneak forward and dress in my shore-going clothes, an electric train was to leave for Los Angeles a few minutes after eight o'clock. To give me time to catch this train, one of the other quartermasters relieved me a bit early. Letting my breakfast go by the board I hurried off the ship. (#350)

Arriving in Los Angeles I learned that my brother had married and moved to Australia. At the office of the Los Angeles Examiner, I found my story was published in three daily installments. I was able to obtain the three copies of the paper. That was the first time I saw my story in print. Twelve o’clock went by, at which time I was scheduled to go on watch. However, I was still in Los Angeles instead of aboard the Honolulan! I was, as the mate said, gallivanting around the country. It was two o'clock before I got back to the ship. Slim at the gangway tipped me off as to what I was in for. He said the mate was boiling mad and had been around several times asking him where I was. I well knew I would be in the dog house, but did not let it worry me for even if the mate was going to kick me off the ship, I didn’t care. I was on the West Coast and not too far from home. I asked Slim what the boys were working at and was told they were cleaning and greasing the davit screws on the boat deck.

I changed into work clothes and managed to reach the boat deck undetected by the mate. Finding the cleaning gear, and noticing where the boys left off, I got busy. I had barely started when here came the mate! By the deep scowl on his face I knew a storm was about to break.

"Where have you been?” he snarled sarcastically.

"I’ve been to Los Angeles, sir,” I answered still busy at my work.

"Thought I told yer ya couldn’t go."

"Yes sir, you did, but there was some business I had to attend to. I couldn’t get back any sooner, sir."

"I got a mind to log ya fer that."

"That’s your privilege if you want to log me, sir," is what I told him.

"You keep busy on these davit screws and see that you do a good job of it," he answered as he walked away. (#351)

I did my work sailor fashion and made a shipshape job, for I did not want the mate to find fault with my work on top of everything else. Shortly before five o’clock the mate came again. He eyed me at my work a few moments as I finished one of the screws.

”Well, how many have you done?” he sneeringly asked.

"Five, sir," I answered.

"Five! Are ya counting the ones the other fellows did, too?"

"Ho sir, I did two on the port side and three here."

"All right, out yer gear away. The other lazy quartermasters did two all forenoon," were his final remarks.

The mate’s madness must have worn off for he did not log me as he had threatened. He had a perfect right to do so, but for all his orneriness, he was fair. He tolerated no monkey business and that was his job.

Nearing San Francisco we ran into dense fog. We slowed our speed, and every two minutes a long, deep blast from the steamer’s whistle bellowed in our ears. The second mate asked me to give him a hand with the deep-sea lead, for we were not far off the coast as we ran north, as we approached the lightship off the Golden Gate, I was stationed at the submarine telephone. Hearing a signal from the lightship, I would point out the direction in which it was heard. Suddenly, like a window shade being slowly raised, the fog lifted. We had the lightship close at hand and approximately dead ahead. Nearby lay a trim, white-hulled, pilot schooner. The sun broke through and the day became bright and clear. As we picked up the pilot, I took the wheel where I stayed until the ship docked. Near the lightship we swung to starboard and stood headed for the Golden Gate. About a thousand yards ahead steamed the Kroonland! Aboard her was the mate who said he didn’t want me, and now I was but a thousand yards behind him on (#352) another vessel. Passing between the headlands of the Golden Gate the Honolulan began to yaw a bit. I could do nothing to stop it, for she yawed an equal amount on both sides of the course the pilot directed. The pilot, the captain and the mate were on the bridge. The mate said nothing, but the captain turned to me, and in a brusque and snarling voice shouted, "Keep her steady, quartermaster, keep her steady!"

I didn’t even answer with a "Yes sir" for the pilot spoke up, "Leave the quartermaster alone, captain. The yawing can't be helped in this area. I'll give the helmsman orders when its necessary," calmly remarked the old pilot;

It did my heart good to hear that, for I was trying to tend strictly to my business. After we got farther in the bay the yawing ceased, and I followed the pilot's instructions to whatever wheel he ordered without any complaints from him.

When well within the bay a launch approached, running alongside the ship. The occupants hailed the bridge and informed the captain that they were representatives of the press.

"Have you a quartermaster List aboard?" they asked.

"No! There is no quartermaster List aboard the ship," answered Captain Anderson.

I was standing at the wheel, barely twenty feet away, when he said that. I never did care for Captain Anderson's attitude towards me, and this little affair, only lowered my estimation of him. The launch veered off for shore. After nosing alongside our pier, the final order I was to receive aboard the Honolulan was given, "That will do the wheel."

In San Francisco we learned that each quartermaster would receive fifteen dollars of wages due. The Panama-Pacific International World's Fair (#353) was going on. Being close enough to home, and having an eager desire to see the fair, I made up my mind to jump ship. The American Seaman's Act was not yet in full force. An American seaman could not demand to be paid off in any American port as is now the case. Though he could leave a ship, that little matter of receiving his wages, was left to the discretion of the captain. Very few of then would ever pay a man his full wages due. Having little hope that Captain Andersen would prove liberal, I decided to collect my fifteen dollars first before asking him to pay me off. The crew was notified to call at the captain’s cabin to receive their allotment. I received my fifteen dollars and, the captain being busy with others, I decided to call later for the remainder of my wages. An hour later I knocked on his door.

"Come in," snorted the captain. He was seated at his desk, and when he seen it was me who had knocked, he sneeringly asked what I wanted. Inwardly I felt that my mission would not prove successful. However, I had nothing to lose, and miracles do sometimes occur. With my fingers crossed I popped the question.

"Captain Anderson, I want to leave the ship. Will you consider paying me my full wages?" I asked. A big scowl came to his red face and he blew up at once.

"NO" he roared, telling me where I could go at the same time. I didn't

want to go to such a hot place, I just wanted to leave the ship. The captain roared again. "Hell, no! I won’t pay you off! You signed to return with the ship to New York, and that’s where you'll go before you or anyone else will receive their entire wages. Now, get the hell out of here!"

The usual recourse left in a grievance between a crew member and the ship was to take the matter up with the Port Commissioners of the harbor in (#354) which the chip is berthed. But, crew members were usually left holding the sack by the Port Commissioners. Invariably they sided with the owners or officers of the ship. Nevertheless, being off duty, I went ashore and called at the Port Commissioner's office. I was told that members of the commission would be aboard the Honolulan the next morning and if I would come to the captain’s cabin they would see what could be done about the matter.

I walked out with a feeling that they would be of little help. The next morning I knocked at the captain's door which was open. The captain glowered at me as I stood at the door opening. The Port Commissioners were seated around a table on which was an open box of cigars, some glasses and a couple of bottles of liquid refreshments. I greeted the captain and commissioners good morning and spoke to the member I had met the day before.

"Have you spoken to the captain about my wages, Commissioner?" I asked.

"Well no, not yet. It seems to me that much depends on the manner in which you approach the captain. You might ask him again in our presence and see what he has to say," was the extent of the assistance I received. Little good I felt this would do but I asked the captain again in a civil manner if he would pay me the rest of my wages.

"No! I won't pay you, hell no!" he roared back.

"All right, captain, keep the money and with it buy more cigars and drinks for my friends of the Port Commission," I told him. "Give me a pass for my clothes. I'm leaving the ship regardless."

The captain hurriedly wrote out a pass, told me to get out, and I left his cabin. I also left about thirty dollars of my money behind.

Among the officers aboard the Honolulan, I felt that Captain Anderson had a distinct dislike for me and my feeling towards him was mutual. I respected Mr. Ryer the mate with all his sternness and sarcasm. He was no Fancy Dan type of ship's officer like the captain, nor did he obtain most of his experience out of books. He was my conception of a good ship's officer. (#355)

The old third mate, Snug Harbor, bothered no one, but the second mate Mr. Haskins, was my favorite. I locked up the second mate and told him I was leaving the ship. I gave him my home address and asked him to call on my folks when the Honolulan arrived at Portland. This he did and also on subsequent trips he called at my hone.

I threw my few belongings together and made for the gangway. Shaking Slim’s hand, I wished him luck, and walked off the ship. My uncle had some relatives, whom I had met, living in Oakland. I called on them and was welcomed with open arms. I needn’t look further for a place to stay.

The next morning I returned to San Francisco and went to the office of the San Francisco Examiner expecting that a check would be awaiting me there, My story had been released through the International News Service and published by newspapers throughout the United States. My contract said that I was to receive five cents a word and I found that my story consisted of nearly six thousand words. I felt happy, as I felt that a check for two hundred and fifty dollars was waiting for me. Arriving at the newspaper, I was immediately ushered to the office of Mr. Sent H, Robert, the publisher. I was treated most cordially, and was handed the following letter mailed from New York.


September 15, 1915

Mr. Carl Frank List

C/o Dent H. Robert,   

    Publisher, "The Examiner”,   

        San Francisco, Cal.

Dear Carl List;

Mr. Reuterdahl tells me that he thinks the story you gave him, printed as you told it, would make two or three thousand words. By his own knowledge of submarines, and the facts we were able to give him from our own war collections as to the attacks on the ships, he made the narrative longer. (#356)

But I have taken the highest estimate of the number of words of the very valuable and interesting information which you gave, and I take pleasure in enclosing herewith check for $100 in addition to the $50 which we have already paid you. Please accept this with my hearty thanks for the fine way you behaved here.

I will also send you a set of pictures of yourself, made by our photographer.

I am sending this letter care of Mr. Robert, the publisher of the San Francisco Examiner, as I do not know any other address. He will cash the check for you, I am sure, if you wish him to. The photographs also, I will send to you in Mr. Robert’s care.

I should be glad to hear from you at any time.

        Very truly yours,   

        (Letter signed by Mr. Bradford Merrill.)

In my mind, Mr. Merrill’s explanation was a cheap trick and not true.

I felt nothing had been added to what I personally told. This is born out by the following paragraph, published in New York on September 4, 1915, by the New York American. It is in the introductory "By Line" of Mr. Reuterdahl, preceding the first installment of my story as published in their own paper. The paragraph reads:

"The narrative accompanying this is Carl List’s own story, every detail of it. He lived with me for over a week and there was ample time to check up his statements."

I was quite disappointed as I looked at that check. Nevertheless, a hundred dollars was a lot of money to me, so I accepted it. I wrote a letter to Mr. Merrill requesting the remainder of the money I felt was due.

Even though he said he would be glad to hear from me at any time, I never received a reply. Later in Portland, a young shyster attorney said he could obtain the money for me. I never heard from him either. I finally brushed the matter off with a sour feeling that the New York American needed the (#357) one hundred and fifty dollars more than I. But, I still feel it was a small amount to quibble over for a story that was one of the biggest scoops of the entire First World war as far as the New York American was concerned. The letter from ambassador Gerard was the basis for that! I received invitations to speak before various organizations and was contacted by theatrical circuits who were interested in booking me for a lecture tour. For three months after my story was published, according to my contract, I was prohibited to divulge my experience to other sources, so the invitations had to be refused.

My thoughts went back to the remarks made in Europe concerning advantages I might receive after returning to the States. Other than a week’s free meals at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, nothing advantageous occurred. The publication of my experience did not leave me rich, and I even had trouble getting a job on a homeward-bound ship. I was acquainted with no one in New York in whom I could confide and would perhaps have locked out for my interests. I had to get along with what little knowledge I possessed, and in my case at seventeen years of age, this was not a great deal. However, I managed to keep out of trouble.

I stayed in the Bay area about two weeks, spending a few days at the World’s Fair. I visited the Cliff House, Golden Gate Park, Chinatown, the zoo and what was left of the Barbary Coast. I swam in the old Sutro Baths, visited Muir Woods, Mt. Tamalpais and walked around the beautiful campus of the University of California at Berkeley. Seeing things of interest was one of my favorite types of amusement and quite enjoyable to me.

This little interlude of acting the part of a tourist had to come to an end. I was still over seven hundred miles from home. I toyed with the idea of making this final lap on foot but finally decided to stay with the (#358) sea. I had a plan in mind that might enable me to be a stowaway on a shin for the rest of my trip. A good friend of mine was a sailor aboard the passenger steamer Beaver on the run between Los Angeles, San Francisco and Portland. I met this ship and learned that Gibbons was now aboard another coastwise vessel. This was the Northern Pacific, one of two crack passenger liners in service but a few months. They were triple-screw, turbine-driven vessels with a speed of twenty-four knots. They made the run from San Francisco to Flavel, just below Astoria, in less than twenty-six hours. I contacted Gibbons at the pier where the Northern Pacific docked. He was off watch and we celebrated our reunion with a few beers in a nearby waterfront bar.

"Say, Gibbons, how's chances of sneaking up to Flavel aboard ship with you," I asked.

"Sure, that shouldn't be difficult. I'll watch for a chance to sneak you into the fo'c'stle. We're sailing tomorrow, so bring your gear and hang around the pier. I'll keep an eye open for you," he answered.

The following forenoon Gibbons spied me and came down on the pier. Grabbing my suitcase, he said he would take that aboard alone as if it was his own, and he would get me aboard during the noon hour, a few minutes after twelve we sneaked aboard. A wink from my elderly seaman friend was the password that got us by the gangway watch. Going forward, we entered a big roomy fo'c'stle. After being shown an empty bunk, I sat down to my first meal aboard the Northern Pacific. They sure fed good aboard that passenger liner. A tin bucket full of ice cream was even included in the bill-of-fare. I never left that fo'c'stle until ready to go ashore the next day. At Flavel, we came alongside a big new pier, built especially (#359) for the liner’s use. Gibbons and I walked off the ship among the last passengers that disembarked. A train stood nearby to carry the passengers on to Portland, a little over one hundred miles. I shook Gibbon's hand and ducked inside a coach. Not being a bona-fide passenger, I had to pay my fare, amounting to a little over two dollars. This was all the money I spent for transportation home, since leaving Leipzig, Germany, over two months previously.

At Portland the train pulled in at the old North Bank Depot at Tenth and Hoyt Streets. Afraid that some sharp reporter, aware somehow that I was aboard the train, would be waiting on the depot platform for an interview, I took no chances for I did not want to be interviewed by anyone when so close to home. I walked through the coaches to the rear end of the train and sneaked up a side street. My uncle's home was but eight blocks away so I set a course for his house, knowing that my arrival would be a complete surprise. My heart beat a bit faster as I turned a corner and saw the house a block away. I sneaked quietly up the steps and rang the bell. I heard the rapid click of a woman's shoes and then my aunt's voice, "Yes, yes, I'm coming." She opened the door and her mouth flew open in astonishment.

"Well, here I am, Tante Eda," I blurted with a wide grin on my face.

"Carl!" she screamed, Throwing her arms around me she hustled me through the doorway. "Oh, you’re back, you're back at last] We have all worried about you. Does your mother know you're here?" she continued still all excited.

"No, I just got off the train ten minutes ago. I stopped by to say hello and I'm going home at once," I told my flustered aunt.

"Give me time to get my coat and hat and I'll go with you," she said. (#360)

A streetcar took us across the river, and my aunt, never at a loss for words, kept up. a continuous chatter all the way. I was kept quite busy because another question would come before I had an opportunity to answer the previous one she asked. We walked two blocks after leaving the streetcar, turned a corner, and there half a block farther, was my home! I started running, leading my still-talking aunt behind. From the sidewalk I spied my mother puttering about in the back yard. I ran through the flower beds, shouting, "Hey, Ma! I’m back!"

Che was completely taken by surprise. I dropped my suitcase, and we threw our arms around one another in a joyous greeting. She looked at me with a happy smile, and seemed a bit proud as she remarked, "Yes, Carl, ever since receiving your letter from Altenburg, I knew you would manage to come back home."

Quite a celebration took place that night, and it was late before the guests departed. There was much to relate and many questions to answer.

I had been over eight months on a trip that would be hard to equal, when the various types of adventure in such a period of time are considered.

They were months filled with experiences I shall never forget.

My seafaring days of that trip remain a priceless memory and my story of a true adventure is ended. (#361)

24. Sequels astern

Several surprising and interesting sequels, well worth mentioning, have taken place during the intervening years since my adventurous trip occurred. Some took place shortly after my return, but the most remarkable of all occurred about forty years later.

A few months after I returned home, an opportunity presented itself whereby, in a small measure, I payed my own respects to Captain Anderson of the Honolulan. On a blustering, rainy night I was walking across the Broadway Bridge. Near the western end a stairway led down to the street running along the waterfront. As I approached the head of the stairway, a large heavy-set person, wearing a raincoat, had just ascended from the street below. I recognized him to be Captain Anderson!

"Good evening, Captain," I greeted the monarch of my last ship.

"Eh, oh, it’s you again," he answered when he recognized who I was. "Say, young fellow, can you direct me where to get this streetcar?" asked the captain naming a certain line.

"Sure, Captain, sure. I’ll be glad to," I answered as a thought flashed through my mind.

By direct sailing it was but a short distance, but that would be too simple. I plotted a great circle route over twice as far, and gave him several bearings. Let him steer that course, and if he did not turn the wheel the wrong way, or go yawing around in the rain, he would eventually arrive at his destination, was my thought as I bade him good-bye. Under the conditions existing I also wondered why he didn’t call a cab.

About a year to the day after my ship was sunk, I received my wages for the time spent aboard the sailing ship. The owners were Akties Cambuskenneth, E. Monsen & Co., Tvedestrande, Norway. I learned from the (#362) Norwegian Consul in Portland that Mr. Erling Monsen's office was in London, England. I wrote to him requesting my wages. With little hope that it would be granted, I included a claim for personal property lost, including one dollar cash, my entire funds. I was right; this claim was not allowed. Our ship was sunk on June 29, 1915 and on June 26, 1916, I received a letter from the Norwegian Consul asking me to call at his office for my wages. A check for $107.75 was my pay for five month’s work aboard a square-rigged ship on a Cape Horn voyage to Europe.

A very enjoyable sequel occurred during the late summer of 1916. I was walking along Third Street near Burnside when I heard a voice shouting, "Hey, Carl, that’s you, isn’t it?"

I looked around and there was Anderson, my old shipmate from the Cambuskenneth!

"Cripes sake, Anderson!" I yelled. "It’s great to see you! How come you’re back in Portland?"

"Carl, don’t call me Anderson, my name is now Mattson. Not being sure the war would be over by the time we’d get to Queenstown, I signed aboard the ship as a Swede under the name of Anderson. I’m a Finn, but I didn’t want to be sent home where I might have to serve under Russian colors." Finland at that time was part of Russia.

"Well, what happened after you got ashore," I asked.

"We were hauled up for questioning by British authorities and I could not get away with it. They tripped me up and discovered I was Finnish. Having use for all seamen, they told me I would not be deported to Finland provided I ship out on a British ship. That suited me, I would have shipped on any ship, provided it was not bound for Finland. I signed on the little British bark Invergarry for a trip back to Portland." (#363)

"How did you manage to leave her here?" I asked, knowing that this vessel had already left port.

"Some of us were down with scurvy near the end of the trip and have been in a hospital the past three weeks. She didn’t feed like the Cambuskenneth, I can tell you that. Carl, come to my room, I’ve something for you."

We went to a typical rooming house patronized by sailors and loggers who congregated in that section of the city near the waterfront. It was the California Rooms on Third Street near Burnside. Arriving there, he rummaged through his sea bag and hauled out a lime juice bottle. Inside was a beautiful model of the Cambuskenneth! He gave it to me saying, "Here, Carl, while on the Invergarry I made this especially for you. I intended to look you up when I arrived in Portland."

I still cherish the model of my former ship that he made for me. Under the blue-white putty forming the sea in which the ship is embedded, he inserted a slip of paper on which is written:

        Ship *Cambuskenneth*.   

Torpedoed by German submarine in the North Atlantic.   

June 1915.              John    Albert  Mattson.   

        Jacobstad, Finland.

Mattson was at my home several times and finally he shipped to sea on another sailing vessel. He told me that Joe, the Brazilian sailor who became critically ill near the end of our voyage, was taken immediately to a hospital, but he did not know the outcome of Joe’s illness.

About 1922, I met another shipmate from my sailing ship. Imagine my surprise when I received a phone call from Hermann Nilson, the carpenter of the Cambuskenneth. After the war, Hermann again went to sea. Somehow in the Orient he managed to sign on the American steamer West Niger of the (#364) Columbia-Pacific S.S. Co., engaged on scheduled runs in the Portland-Orient trade. Hermann became bosun on the West Niger, a post he held for several years. Each trio he made my home his headquarters. He later returned to Germany. We corresponded for quite some time and then our writing fell by the wayside.

The years slipped by and in the interim I have become somewhat of an old man. One might wonder how then the decision to set my experience in book form was finally made.

At this point I wish to digress a bit to relate a most surprising episode that occurred since I first met Mr. Joseph C. Grew in 1915 during his tour of duty as First Secretary to the American Embassy in Berlin. Mr. Grew, a career diplomat, before retiring in 1945, had spent ever forty years in the Diplomatic Service and the State Department of the American Government. Subsequent to the time I met him in 1915, Mr. Grew was for five years the American Ambassador to Turkey and, for ten years just prior to our war with Japan, he was the American Ambassador to that country. In 1952, he published his very interesting autobiography ’Turbulent Era’, covering in detail his forty years in the Diplomatic Service. On pages 209 to 211 of Volume 1 of his autobiography, the episode of my appearance at the Embassy in Berlin is mentioned.

In March, 1953, a brother of mine received a letter from a person in New York who was endeavoring to locate my whereabouts. Unknowingly it was my brother this person contacted, perhaps by referring to a Portland telephone directory. My brother sent him my address and then I received a letter from New York. This person, an established author and book editor of a national known magazine, reviewed Mr. Grew’s autobiography. He noted the reference to my appearance at the Embassy in Berlin with my story of having been on a German submarine. Thinking a book could be written from such a (#365) source of material he contacted Mr. Grew on the matter, who thought it an excellent idea and who also became interested. The person I received the letter from got me interested in such a venture and urged me to write my story. I am sure that without the considerable and wonderful cooperation, help and encouragement I received from both this author and Mr. Grew, I would never have brought my narrative to a conclusion.

In a letter I received from Mr. Grew, he most graciously and voluntarily offered to write a foreword to the book. However, at that stage, not knowing that my book would ever be published, I did not think it proper to impose upon him for such an offer. I wish now I had. He has since passed away and such a wonderful gesture on his part is therefor no longer available.

During the ensuing correspondence connected with my book-writing venture, Mr. Grew was also most kind and generous to send me gratis both volumes of his autobiography ’Turbulent Era’. On a fly-leaf of Volume 1, he added this inscription:


    Carl F. List, in memory of our meeting in Berlin on July 30,   

        1915 (page 209) and with every good wish from  

                                        (signed) Joseph C. Grew. 1953

During my research, after the writing began, the contacts and material assistance I have received can be interpreted as bordering on the miraculous, especially after so many intervening years.

An extremely interesting sequel involves my attempts for many years to obtain a picture of my former ship. Then my book-writing venture commenced I renewed my efforts. Through correspondence with Captain Alan (#366) Villiers, a noted author of sea stories, I was advised that a picture might be obtained from the Nautical Photo Agency in Beccles, Suffolk, England.

I wrote to Captain Fred C. Poyser, the proprietor, asking if they could furnish a picture of the Cambuskenneth. Imagine my surprise where I received a beautiful picture of the ship under sail on the high sea. What a picture it turned out to be! My mouth hung open as I glanced at the photo! It showed the missing fore royal yard! "Cripes," was my instantaneous impression, That picture must have been taken during the trip I was aboard!” Sure, enough, on the back side was written:


Photo taken June 23 – 1915

Vessel sunk by submarine off Galley Head

(26 Miles SW x S of Galley Hd.)

on June 29 – 1915

Only six days after photo was taken.

Could I have received a more appropriate and authentic picture? Captain Poyser was at that time the Third Officer aboard the Statesman, the British steamer we spoke, asking if peace had been proclaimed. He, himself, took the picture on the day we spoke her! Little did I dream that someone over on that steamer was taking a picture of our ship, and that I was to receive it from him almost forty years later! It verifies the missing sail and shows our signal flags flying. I will include quotes from letters I received from Captain Poyser relating to this photo of the Cambuskenneth.

Beccles, Suffolk,

Sept. 21st, 1953.

"Very many thanks for your letter of the 14th with regard to a photo of the Cambuskenneth.”

"This is very interesting to me as I probably took the last photo of this ship as I passed her in the North Atlantic only six days before a submarine sank her off Galley Hd. I was fortunate in getting a nice photo of her.”

”I have always been very keen on getting photos of sailing ships and (#367) that day in June 1915 was a great day as I got three vessels one after the other, and fortunately I was with a captain who was good enough to pass close to them so I could get the photos.

Yours sincerely,

Fred C. Poyser.

When Captain Poyser wrote the above letter he was not aware I was on the Cambuskenneth when the photo was taken. I informed him of this, and his second letter follows.

Beccles, Suffolk,

Nov. 9th - 1953

"I was delighted to think you were aboard the Cambuskenneth on that memorable afternoon when we passed her, I shall always remember it."

"I think the coincidence of that photo is quite a story in itself, not that it is odd I should take it but that we should get in touch after all these years. If I am looking for anything so important as that picture is to you, I usually find that it has been destroyed ages before I get to the final point. If this came in a novel it would be called far-fetched."

Yours very sincerely

Fred C. Poyser.

A most remarkable coincidence that Captain Poyser, as the years passed by, became the owner of that Photo Agency. Receiving this picture of my ship taken six days before we were sunk was my first great surprise, but I received several others as my research continued.

In efforts to learn the whereabouts of former shipmates, I was fortunate that the names of those who signed on with me in Portland was still available to me in a file at the office of the Norwegian Vice-Consul. I wrote letters to the postmasters of cities listed as the homes of former shipmates. My inquiries were made in regard to the younger members only, for I held no hope that others were still alive.

I was especially interested in learning the whereabouts of the young Norwegian A.B. of the starboard watch with whom I spoke at the time we (#368) sighted the big whale. No longer certain of his name, I scanned the list and noted a Carl Johannessen hailing from Fredrickshald, Norway. Thinking this was he, I wrote a letter to the postmaster of Fredrickshald, asking his assistance in locating my former shipmate. Unknown to me the name of the city had even been changed for a good many years to Halden. Mr. E. Kristofersen, the postmaster, went to great lengths in contributing his time and efforts. He published my request as a news item in a local paper. It stirred up quite a discussion in several papers, and three different people wrote to him. One was a Johan Fjeld from the nearby city of Frederikstad. Lo and behold, even though I submitted a fictitious name, I contacted the party I was actually seeking, Johan Fjeld! I was fortunate that he resided not far from Halden and had noticed my request in a newspaper.

I have had a very enjoyable correspondence with him for quite some time. He informed me that he was one of the four men who arrived with the ship on her voyage from Cape Town to Portland. Therefor, his name was not included in the list of those who signed on at Portland. This contributed to my confusion over the name of Carl Johannessen.

Fjeld informed me that he, with the remainder of our crew, spent fourteen hours in the life-boat and landed without mishap at Galley Head the next morning. The entire group was taken by way of Cork and Dublin to Liverpool where they were officially discharged.

That Judy, the dog on the Cambuskenneth, considered herself a member of the after guard was fully confirmed by Fjeld. He told me several boys tried their best to get her in the life-boat, but Judy absolutely would not leave the cabin.

The affair of Carl Johannessen warrants an explanation. A Johan M. Johannesen, another Norwegian sailor who answered the postmaster’s notice, (#369) wrote to me saying he made an attempt to ship out on the Cambuskenneth as she lay at Portland. He arrived there from South America aboard the Italian full-rigger Loc Garve. That rang a bell! I recalled that Erich Löffler, my working partner, also arrived on that ship. Erich could speak perfect Norwegian which was verified by both Fjeld and Johannesen. There is only one answer. As Erich’s name was not on the list of those who signed on at Portland, it was he, who assuming the name of Johannessen, signed on as a Norwegian from Fredrikshald!

A letter from the postmaster of Bergen, Norway, regarding Magnus Hagen the young Norwegian ordinary seaman, brought the unwelcome news that he has been dead for twenty years.

Peedul, very reluctantly, was inducted into the German Navy. Perhaps he saw into the future for shortly after his induction he lost his life in the sinking of the small cruiser Frauenlob during the First World War.

Though positive that Werner Lurchner (Bismark) was German, I nevertheless wrote to the postmaster of Lausanne, Switzerland, for under such a name, he gave that city as his home. I was informed that after diligent search, they were unable to find any record of him or that he had ever resided there. It is little wonder, for I learned later his actual name was Bruno Konze, and that he hailed from near Hamburg. I was unable to make contact with Bismarck.

I greatly desired to contact Erich Völker, or Moses, my shipmate. His home, on the island of Rügen in the Russian Zone of Germany, made me skeptical of receiving any information. Regardless, I wrote to the postmaster at Binz on Rügen. I did not receive a reply from him direct, but an answer was submitted to the United States Postal authorities, and I received a reply through the Seattle Office of the United States Postal Inspection Service. (#370) It merely stated that Moses died at Kiel in January, 1919, and was buried in the Naval Cemetery there. The letter did include the address of Moses’ sister living in another zone. I wrote to her. She informed me that Erich was inducted into the navy. Near the end of the war he was caught in an ambush during the sporadic revolutions that broke out in many of the harbor cities, and there lost his life. He was buried with military honors.

His sister also told me that Moses’ greatest desire was to return to Portland at the first opportunity after the war was over. She said that Moses was harshly scolded by his parents for not bringing me to his home after we had landed in Germany and that he spoke of me quite frequently. I sent her an enlarged picture of Moses and I taken in Portland just after we had signed aboard the ship. She was greatly pleased and said it would have a place of honor in her living room. She was now married to a judge and we exchanged several letters.

A letter to the postmaster of Malmö, Sweden, regarding the whereabouts of Alex Johnson, or Adolph, our nineteen-year-old cook, brought the information that no one by that name could be found. I finally located him through an organization known as Pastor’s Abetet. The cook’s real name was Axel Jönsson. He appeared at the office of the City Secretary, from whom I received a reply stating that the cook said he would write to me. I sent him two letters but have never heard from him.

My efforts to contact Jimmy, or John Brale, the young English seaman with whom I traded jobs, brought only negative results. I received most excellent cooperation from the authorities I contacted.

It may well be that Fjeld, the cook and I are the lone survivors cf the twenty-two men who sailed on the last cruise of the Cambuskenneth.

From a mutual friend I learned that Mr. Haskins, the second Officer of (#371) the Honolulan was still living. I wrote to several Captains, Mates and Pilots Organizations in an effort to learn his whereabouts. His address was not available to then but through a few leads they gave me I did uncover his address in Petersburg, Virginia. I wrote and received a prompt reply. He said he was most happy to hear from me and that he remembered me well as the mate’s schoolboy quartermaster. He told me that he was retired from the sea and that he and an old crony friend, a Norwegian born American captain, were leaving by car for the West Coast. I was a widower at the time and invited then to my home at Bonneville Dam. All this occurred forty years since we last met! They came and were my guests for over a month. We had a glorious time reminiscing about the past. We were never in any doldrums and sometimes encountered heavy weather when we played cribbage as long as we could see the cards. Captain Haskins done the cocking and the Norwegian captain and I acted as flunkies. Tears were in Captain Maskin's eyes when he left, saying it was one of the most enjoyable times he had ever spent. Later I called upon him in San Francisco and we kept up an active correspondence until he passed away in 1960. Captain William Z. Haskins was a wonderful person and I shall always remember him as a good friend.

To clear up a few matters regarding the two naval officers who met me on the liner Rotterdam on her arrival at New York, I contacted the late Vice-Admiral Thomas L. Catch, living in Portland. He informed me that Rear admiral Albert W. Grant was dead, but that a retired Naval Commander named Stirling was living in Rhode Island. I wrote to Commander Stirling who replied that it was not he who met me but most likely it was his brother the late Admiral Yates Stirling, He told me that at that time Rear Admiral Grant was Chief of the submarine squadrons of the United States Navy and that Yates Stirling, then a captain, was Rear Admiral Grant's Chief of Staff. (#372)

In January of 1955, I addressed a letter to the postmaster of Hamburg, Germany. I requested information regarding my German shipmates of the Cambuskenneth, and included that I would also be interested to hear from any crew member of the U 39, who recollected the occasion when I was taken on the submarine. The postmaster published my request in the newspaper Hamburger Abendblatt and brought it to the attention of the German Red Cross.

The Red Cross sent me the information that my friend and former shipmate, Hermann Nilson, was living at Kiel and gave me his address. I wrote at once and we exchanged many interesting letters until he passed away in August, 1956. He had been ill for quite some time and he said hearing from me again made his plight more bearable.

An answer to my request published by the postmaster of Hamburg brought a very astonishing result! I received a letter from a retired Kapitänleutnant (Captain-Lieutenant) of the German Navy. It was sent by Franz Schwarz, the navigating officer of the U 39! It was a great surprise, especially so since the navigating officer at thirty-six years, was the oldest member of the crew when I was aboard the submarine. He served on the U 39 over two years more, and then because of age limit, received a command post in Kiel.

He had been in submarine service continuously for six years and made his first dive in 1911. Now in 1968, approaching ninety years of age, he is living in Hamburg. I have received many fine letters from him. He contributed much material and information and cleared up several details mentioned in my narrative, a few of which I would like to enumerate.

He distinctly remembered my name, and that after our life-boat came alongside the submarine, it was I who tossed out the provisions. The navigating officer was the one who read the carpenter’s semaphore message from the Cambuskenneth and interpreted it to the commander, who was quite (#373) astounded seeing someone on our sailing ship signaling in regular German Navy fashion. Herr Schwarz recalled the occasion when a member from our ship played an accordion while sitting on the conning tower during the incident of meeting the U-20 on the return trio to Helgoland. He said the engineer, officially known as Marine-Oberingenieur (Chief Marine Engineer), was not an elderly person as I have stated, but because of his extremely light-colored hair, gave many that impression. Herr Schwarz confirmed that Commander Forstmann was thirty-two years of age at the time I was aboard the U 39. He stated that Praedels, the cook, was a former cook to first-class passengers on Trans-Atlantic liners of the Hamburg-Amerika Line. A very good reason he was such a good cook. His other duty with the deck gun crew was as ammunition passer. He told me that the large wooden building in which I spent the night at Hamburg was known as the Auswanderungshalle, or Emigrationist Hall. It still exists and is owned by the Hamburg-Amerika Line, and used as a lodging place for people emigrating from the port cf Hamburg. During 1915 it was turned over to military and naval use as a housing project for personnel.

Having for years been curious about the subsequent career of the U 39, the matter was cleared up through correspondence with Schwarz. He told me that the affair with the Anglo-Californian, when the patrol yacht began using the U 39 for a target, was by no means as dangerous a situation as were others experienced. Months later as the U 39 cruised underwater, she was rammed by a steamer. The deck gun was knocked completely over and everything on top of the conning tower was smashed to pieces. The periscopes were bent almost ninety degrees to one side, and the U 39 plummeted to a depth of one hundred and twenty meters, approximately three hundred and ninety feet, which was far below her normal safe depth. They managed to (#374) weather the situation and brought her safely to port for repairs. Commander Forstmann held command of the U 39 from the time she was put in service until December of 1917, when he was relieved to become chief of a submarine flotilla. He and Schwarz both left the U 39 while she was on duty in the Mediterranean Sea. There, under her new commander, she came under attack and sustained heavy damage and was no longer able to submerge. Under extreme difficulty she managed to limp into the harbor of Cartagena, Spain, where the vessel and her crew were interned for the remainder of the conflict. After the war, the British made her temporarily sea-worthy, and dispatched a tug to tow her to England. The U 39 was not even then ready to give up. Shortly after passing through the Straits of Gibraltar, she and the tug ran into heavy weather. The tow-line parted and the U 39 sank in the deep water of the sea. She made her last dive alone, without the help of her crew, never to surface again. At the time she was interned, the U 39 possessed the second highest record among all German submarines, based on tonnage sunk. She was credited with the sinking of 420,000 tons. Well over a hundred vessels were sunk by this particular submarine before her career ended, for in 1915, a 4,000 ton vessel was considered an average large ship and many were much smaller.

By far the most wonderful assistance I received from Herr Schwarz was the efforts he made in securing and sending me authentic photographs pertains to the submarine including some of the events that occurred while I was aboard. Securing such pictures, after a lapse of forty years, is a bit miraculous when one considers that two World Wars have taken place since the pictures were taken. He definitely went out of his way to secure them for me. During the last war his home was bombed out during an air attack on Hamburg. He lost almost all his possessions including his photographs (#375) and records. He was evacuated northward into the province of Holstein near the Danish border. Captain-Lieutenant Schwarz wrote to other surveying members of the U 39 in an endeavor to obtain authentic pictures for me. He advised me, that should all inquiries fail, there yet remained a possible source for pictures to be obtained. On this he finally had to rely. Herr Schwarz managed to salvage over two hundred glass slides made from his pictures, and these were taken along when he was evacuated to Holstein. There, at the termination of the last war, he felt he had no further use for then so he gave the slides to a neighbor's son as a present. His other efforts having failed, he made a special trip back to Holstein and had the good fortune to obtain the slides so that negatives could be made. The finished pictures he sent to me with best wishes, stating that never before have they been offered for publication. I reimbursed him for the cost of the pictures and for his train fare to secure them. He also drew and included a chart on which he plotted the entire return trip of the U 39 to Helgoland.

Months prior to the time I made contact with this former navigating officer of the U 39, I made efforts to obtain information regarding the former commander of the submarine. Through very reliable sources in Washington D.C., I received information that former Commander Walter Forstmann had received the highest decoration, Pour le Merite, that was bestowed by the German Government of that time, and that he was presumably dead.

Lo and behold! Now for a most astonishing and grand finale. Herr Schwarz informed me that the former commander was alive and living in Germany! He sent me his address and stated that he had written the commander and informed him about my book-writing venture. He received a prompt reply and added that the commander would like to hear from me. I wrote immediately and in his reply the commander said he would be most willing and happy (#376) to render any assistance he could. We still enjoy a correspondence with one another. Commander Forstmann stated that he remembered me well and still has my pictures and story as published in the American papers. He corrected my listing of vessels sunk and the days they were intercepted by the submarine. He listed their cargoes and the manner in which they were sunk. My statements regarding the three neutral vessels that were intercepted and allowed to proceed were confirmed by the former commander of the submarine. He was certainly most cooperative throughout and in one letter enclosed a picture of himself taken in 1915, also a picture of the U 39 after our arrival at Helgoland, showing the deck gun mounted aft of the conning tower. He verified this location of the gun during the trip I was aboard, but later, a larger gun was mounted forward.

The most astounding surprise I received from Commander Forstmann was a picture showing my former shipmates of the sailing ship, including myself, taken on the deck of the U 39 upon our arrival at Helgoland on July 10, 1915!

The former commander of the U 39 attained the rank of Kapitän zur See, (Full Captain) before retiring from naval duty. In the September, 1961, issue of United States Laval Institute Proceedings, Commander Forstmann is rated as the second highest most successful submarine commander in the world. This includes all nationalities and both World Wars. The rating is based on tonnage sunk.

Among other honors he now has three Doctorate degrees bestowed upon him and is greatly respected for a long career dedicated to the welfare and betterment of his fellow man. At one time I contemplated making a trip back to Europe and retrace my former steps. Doctor Forstmann then invited me to be a guest at his home. For the way he treated me while on the submarine, and for the cooperation, advice and encouragement I have received since I (#377) have contacted him, I shall always hold him in the most highest regard and respect. In March, 1968, I had the pleasure of calling him by telephone to congratulate him on his eighty-fifth birthday. It was the first time we again spoke to each other for fifty-three years.

Doctor Forstmann and Herr Schwarz were astounded to hear from me after a lapse of ever forty years, and in turn, never dreamt that such contacts could be made.

A final surprising contact was made in 1969. Fifty-four years since we were together aboard the Cambuskenneth, I heard from another shipmate! It was from Heinrich Löding, the A.B. mentioned as Hein in my story. It happened through the following circumstances. Early in 1969, the West German Government placed a new submarine, the U-12 into service. Commander Forstmann commanded the original U-12 in World War 1 before taking over command of the U 39. This, together with the high esteem in which he is held in Germany, due to his peace-time activities for the welfare of his country and fellow citizens, Commander Forstmann was invited to take a prominent part in the ceremony of placing the new U-12 into service. The event was telecast and, Hein observing the program in his home, obtained Commander Forstmann’s address and wrote to him recalling the occasion when he was taken aboard the U 39 after our ship was intercepted. Commander Forstmann informed Hein about the correspondence he was carrying on with me and gave Hein my address. Commander Forstmann also made a copy of the letter he received from Hein and sent it on to me. Almost simultaneously I received a letter from Hein and we are now enjoying a happy correspondence reminiscing over old times. I also called him by telephone, and after fifty-four years, had the pleasure of hearing his voice again. (#378)

Sailing backwards a bit, in reference to the shipping masters and sailor's boarding houses they operated that I referred to earlier in the book, I would like to quote a few lines of a letter I received from Hein.

"Do you remember the shipping master fitted us out real fancy? For two month’s wages we got oil clothes, underwear (one suit), a little bit tobacco, rubber boots, knife, fork, spoon and some dishes. I, myself, was fitted out very fancy. I found out I had been fitted out with two left boots and two oil pants but no jacket! It was something alright."

The above is a good example of how the crimps operated. For two month's wages, or fifty dollars, Hein received the articles mentioned, the total value of which could not have exceeded fifteen dollars at that time. Hein, having never resided at the shipping master's boarding house had no charges against him on that score.

My voyage is now ended but, I doubt if anyone writing a book ever received such amazing, surprising and such wonderful cooperation, both foreign and domestic, from sources that I received, especially after a lapse of so many years. I deeply appreciate their interest and the efforts they made, and I wish to thank them all from the bottom of my heart. Without their wonderful help and words of encouragement, the story of my adventurous trip might never have been written.

It would be a great pleasure to me, to have an opportunity to SPLICE THE MAIN BRACE with each and everyone of them!

Carl Frank List

8316 S.W;. 8th Ave.,

Portland, Oregon. U.S.A.


A Note.

I have inserted the line "There, under her new commander, she came under attack and sustained heavy damage and was no longer able to submerge.", in place of what Schwarz told me ended the career of the U 39. His version was:

"There, under her new commander, she was attacked by an aircraft coming at her out of the sun, which was not detected in time to submerge. The attack is extremely interesting enough to warrant a little elaboration. It was successfully accomplished by a French glider, not by a conventional motor-driven aeroplane. Surely, a most rare and remarkable offensive action by such type of aircraft! She was severely damaged and no longer able to submerge."

This is the way I first wrote about the affair and followed the line:

"Me and Schwarz both left the U 39 while she was on duty in the Mediterranean Sea."

However, I have read other articles relating to this phase in the career of the U 39 that differ greatly from the account given by Schwarz. His account may be correct, but then again, his information may have come from a flimsy or unreliable source. I do not know where a truly reliable account could be obtained.

The other accounts that I have read may also have been written strongly for dramatic effect or to write a story for publication that would make a good yarn.

To eliminate any possible repercussions I thought it best to substitute the top line on this page and let it go at that.

That she did arrive damaged at Cartagena, and was interned for the remainder of the war is factual.


It may well be that the other accounts I have read are also based on flimsy reports.