Friday, June 23
Now a day’s sail from Honolulu. Ship’s expected to slow down. Berth at daybreak. Many formalities prior to landing – Customs, Immigration, Doctors etc.
Saturday, June 24
Up at 5am. Hawaiian Islands now sighted. Customs boats following astern, USA of course. On lookout for anything thrown overboard. Immediately speed on to anything of doubtful nature, tins, bottles etc. that may contain opium, dope etc. Now sailing down channel, clouds lifting off hills most marvelous scenery. Largest pineapple in world clearly seen now advertising one of the largest canneries in the world. Size of pineapple is 64’ high, 24’ diameter made of steel, used as water storage tank for cannery. The “Aloha” tower is a wonderful monument described as the Gateway to Hawaii. Now tying up 7.30am. The playing of the Hawaiian Silver Band and the Harmony singers is wonderful. Songs of welcome being sung in the native tongue is a really a thing never to be forgotten. The morning was spent viewing the wonderful town, its sights and wonderful people.
Situated on an ocean flat about two miles to foot of mountains. Very clean city. Scenery very beautiful. Not a horse or dog to be seen all day. Shops and buildings very fine. Same and garages all resemble huge summer houses. Ferns, palms are placed everywhere. Very fine flowers, the most outstanding being the famous “Bird of Paradise Flower”. Famous for its strange looking and elegant flowers, stem rises higher than leaves and bears a sheath 6” long and divided into about 6 parts and spreading square off. The sheath is purple at the base and the bird shaped flowers are orange and blue-purple growing about 3’ high. Its botanical name is “Strelitzia” named after the wife of King George III, Charlotte Sophia. An extinct volcano named “Punchbowl” is situated behind the main section of Honolulu. Included within its boundaries are many strange and delightful things. Streets lined with flowering shrubs. Temples and Churches of Occidental and Oriental religions and splendid Museum. Airdrome is wonderful, many clippers to be seen. The lei custom is one of beauty and charm, native women are to be seen almost anywhere making them. The flowers are mainly Frangipani, Carnations and flowers resembling Lupines. The Aquarium contains a remarkable collection of brightly colored fish. The Museum was once the home of Queen Emma of Hawaii – now containing the relics of Hawaiian monarchy. A wonderful native grass house is to be seen in the grounds. Waikiki Beach is very fine with one consistent roll of breakers. In the background looms Diamond Head known as the “Gibraltar of the Pacific”. According to the Weather Bureau it has never been colder than 56 degrees nor hotter than 88 degrees. Making back to the ship sailing at 4pm, the sight of the lei sellers and wearers made a wonderful sight. Everyone aboard and all bidding farewell wore many around their necks. To the strains of the world renowned Silver Band and singers the ship began to clear according to Hawaiian custom all leis were returned to the water to float back to shore – a glorious and memorable sight. So this is Honolulu, just a dream come true and could be aptly named the modern Garden of Eden. As the ship sailed away, native divers secured many coins thrown overboard by passengers giving that wonderful display that the whole world reads about.
Monday, June 26
Just a day of ordinary routine – far more life aboard now. Passengers joining at Honolulu numbered 280. American School Teachers and mainly women. Two hours of entertainment at night. Electric guitars and ukes etc songs and hula dances by Hawaiian natives crossing to the States was very enjoyable. Night concluded with dancing on deck. Conversed until early morning with Americans and was convinced that they definitely know their country. Bed 3am.
Tuesday, June 27
Up for lunch. Picture during the afternoon “Ali Baba goes to Town” featuring Eddie Cantor.
Wednesday, June 28
Ship right out now, plenty of vibration. Same old surroundings, water, water, water. 4.30pm listened to fight Louis v Galento, 5 hours earlier than New York time. Saloon nicely decorated for Dinner and Fancy Dress Ball. I dressed up as defeated Tony Galento looking sick and sad but secured the prize for most original make up. Used ship’s towel for bandages. Wore dressing gown with pillows back and front. Lip stick for the crimson matter. Boxing gloves around neck. Empty beer bottle in pocket and a cigar 8” long, 1½ inches diameter. Dancing on deck all illuminated with coloured lights.
Thursday, June 29
Great farewell dinner was given to the passengers by the Company. Souvenir menus were issued. Turkey was to the fore. Much time spent getting autographs etc. The night was mostly spent in small groups of friends – the day ending in great spirits.
To be continued
MEAL HOURS ABOARD THE S.S. NIAGARA
6.30am Tea, Biscuits, Fruit in Cabin
10.30am Tea or Coffee
1.45pm Tea or Coffee in Lounge
3.30pm Afternoon Tea
6.45pm Tea or Coffee in Lounge
10.00pm Late Supper