At the time of departure from Hongkong we enjoyed the splendid weather, so that we could hope for a good journey through the Chinese Sea, which is feared for its frequent and very intense typhoons, even though the air pressure had a falling tendency for two days. But we had barely reached the open sea when all the signs of approaching bad weather appeared. The horizon turned, in sailor speech, „ugly“. Light cirrus clouds ran from North to South. From the East came an increasing groundswell the closer we approached the Strait of Formosa.
The sunset was nothing less than beautiful. In the evening the air pressure dropped rapidly and the groundswell began to run crossed from East-North-east and East-South-east. The sea grew stronger and „Elisabeth“ pitched mightily. There was no doubt that a cyclone was approaching. The commander first ordered the speed of the journey slowed down in order to observe the further developments but then decided, when the barometer again had fallen and the groundswell increased again, to evade the approaching cyclone. We thus turned, having reached Shantou, a region often visited by typhoons, at a quarter past 9 o’clock in the evening and steered back towards Hongkong. The more we drove towards the West the more the drop of the air pressure stopped, a fresh Western wind turned up and the ship was still for a short time pitching in the groundswell coming from the aft but this calmed down soon.