The wind blew fresh from Northeast and cooled the temperature down a bit. A large number of flying fish swarmed around our fore, often covering considerable distances to do so. Multiple gannets flew by quickly.
To the New Year’s Eve party, I had invited all staff of the ship. Again, an improvised game of luck on the aft had to be at the center of the party in which the most incredible objects served as prizes. Hilarity and humor covered a lot of defects, especially the tropical warmth of the champagne. The ice reserve on board was totally depleted and replenishment had not been possible, as on the one hand our ship’s cook found that all reserves of ice in Aden were sold out and on the other hand our ice making machine had broken down in Steamer Point and had not been repaired yet. So instead of cool drinks, a warmed up brew had to be served, namely punch made for us by our chief medical officer.
After the ship’s clock had announced the twelfth hour and the New Year shot fired, we welcomed the new year first with the people’s hymn and then to the sound of the Radetzky march with a shout of three times Hipp Hipp Hurra, which all men joined in too.
The good old moon and the nearly cloudless starry sky illuminated the scene on deck. All congratulated one another most cordially, and again many new year greetings filled the air while many intense thoughts were sent through the silent night towards home.