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. . . to the Grand Pacific, where we were joined by other officers of the Shaw and McKean and a New Zealand Army nurse, Betty Marvin of Hawks Bay, NZ. We remained until the hotel ran out of Scotch.
The orders Biggs received the day before were cancelled this day. Typically Navy.
Feb. 12. I'll never make a sailor. I can't drink coffee twenty-four hours a day, as they do in the Navy, and sleep nights. I've tried it. Woke up at 1:30 AM and went down to the wardroom, where I drank two cups of coffee and read until 3:00. Woke up again at 6:30 and showered. I'd been doing this now for some time, until I had to hold a coffee cup in both hands to get it up to my mouth. It was almost impossible for me to get a spoonful of soup to my lips before it all jiggled out.
Biggs received some more orders. It now seemed that we were to leave on Monday the 15th and arrive at Pearl Harbor around the 1st of March. Croft and I lost three rubbers to Dr. Shoor and Ensign Houston. The Chiefs invited me to play poker with them some evening. Croft didn't seem to think much of the idea; so I decided not to go.
Feb. 13. The Minneapolis, we heard, was again on her way, and we would probably go out Monday and pick her up. Dr. Shoor and I won to out of three rubbers from Croft and Gunner Tayler, after Shoor suggested that the Croft-Burroughs combination be broken up.
Went ashore about 4:30 with Capt. Biggs, Lt. Croft, Lt. Lienhard, and Taylor. The hotel, which had been gradually reducing the time during which they would serve Scotch since we arrived, now wouldn't serve it at all. I think they will be glad when the two destroyers sail away. Unhappily, we drank five very poor Rum Collinses.
Feb. 14. Up at 1:30. Drank two cups of black coffee in wardroom and chinned Ensign Sweatt, a lieable chap with a well developed sense of humour. He spent two years at Annapolis and then resigned. Decided he wouldn't like the Navy. He was selling insurance when he was called back to active duty. Now he is in the Navy whether he likes it or not. I finally got to sleep after five.
After General Quarters, both small boats were taken aboard. We were preparing to sail. I thought we were going to shove off that day,, but we didn't. Watched a shark cruising around near us. More bridge. Taylor and I split six rubbers with Croft and Shoor. After supper, seven of us played poker. 3 cent limit! That ain't poker. I sold out to Lienhard about nine and went to bed. But as I couldn't sleep, I came down again around elven and watched.
Feb. 15. We got under way about 5:39 AM. A New Zealand patrol plane accompanied us until about 8:00. About eleven, we passed close to Kadavu Island, one of the most interesting and picturesque islands I have seen. It is much more primitive than Viti Levu, and is said to be the home of the fire dancers, who dance barefooted on red hot rocks. We passed close under Mount Washington, a jungle clad mountain that rises 3700 feet precipitately from the shore line. I should like to cruise among the Fiji Islands after the war is over. There are two hundred fifty of them They were first seen by a white man, Abel Tasman, just three hundred years ago.
Spent most of the morning on the bridge, and came up again around 1:45. The battleship Mississippi and the destroyer McCallaw (one of the new . . .
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