Thursday, November 1, 2012

August 23-28, 1953 A Day in Seattle, Errands and The First Few Days On Board Ship

Diary entry:  August 23, 1953

"Slept late, had baths and went to breakfast.
Interesting walk thru campus. Bob and Ann gathered leaves, etc. as usual.  Rented a Hertz car.  Drove miles.  Such mountains!  Children loved the steep climb in the car.  Spent a long time at zoo and kiddie land.  Drove out to see the pontoon bridge across Lake Washington.  Located the express office to save time tomorrow when we get our lockers."

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Diary Entry:  August 24, 1953

"Awake early.  Breakfast and then got in our little green rental car to do our many errands.  Picked up lockers, went to a Safeway and filled our duffel bag with T paper, Kleenex and Spam.  Back to hotel and checked out with other baggage. Everything to the pier.  Met another Fulbright family (Griffiths from Miss.)at the hotel and Ballengers at the dock.  On board at 1:00 p.m. Good cabin--4 bunks, wash basin, table, chair, 2 closets.  Sailed at 3:20 with paper ribbons flying--Beautiful!  Found red roses from Edna & Woody in our cabin.  Dinner at 6:00 in courses.  Never saw so much silver on a table.  Ann loved the finger bowl.  I fixed our beds. Steward came in & fixed them over."

Diary Entry: August 25, 1953

"Our first taste of seasickness--Ugh!  When we started to roll so did our heads.  Ann lost everything twice.  Bob's the best sailor of all--still going strong.  Dramamine helped and so does eating crackers.  Days are filled with dressing, eating, sleeping.  3 P.M. tea helped.  Had our first ship-board bath--deep tub of hot salt water to wash in & a foot tub of distilled water for rinsing.  Afternoon on deck was wonderful.  Evening winds blew cold.  Stewards are wonderful--do anything for you when you repeat enough.  Our steward is Endo."

Diary Entry: August 26, 1953

"A quiet sea.  Everyone happy.  Our first taste of real Japanese food--chicken, rice & egg dish served with chopsticks.  Had to use a fork, but tried.  Bob claimed the shells from the accompanying soup which I did not try.  Rice dish very good but so rich.  First movie--excellent travelogue on Japan plus goofy Abbot & Costello picture.  Ship seems to be full of Fulbright people--few others.  Full run of ship.  Bob found a new girl friend--little French girl, Kathleen."

Diary Entry:  August 27, 1953

"Rough again. Coffee & toast in our cabin before breakfast really helps.  Children won't sit thru orientation meetings.  They love the playroom.  Elderly Japanese man played quoits with Bob & he loved it.  Beginning my first Japanese language lesson.  Later--lesson was difficult and exhausting.  Japanese Boy Scout very helpful and patient with pronunciations.  He has been to the International Scout Jamboree in Calif."

Diary Entry:  August 28, 1953

"Rough sea.  Managed to sit thru language lesson but was so sick.  Went to bed until dinner time."  


NOTE:  For a brief and interesting history of the Hikawa Maru:


  1. I realize that I run the risk of veering into broken record territory, but I really must say again how incredibly impressed (and inspired) I am by what your family has held onto over the years. Passports, ship's passenger lists, photos taken while en route - there are all priceless treasures that so easily could have been lost to the sands of time, yet were loving preserved. I adore that about your family so very, very much.

    Happiest start of November, dear Ann,
    ♥ Jessica

  2. Hi Jessica! Your comment means so much to me, especially as I struggle to figure out how to blend all of this into something meaningful for readers. Thank you so very, very much.

  3. Never fear Ann your posts are definitely interesting and meaningful. I look forward to reading and re-reading all your marvellous instalments.


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