May 19, 1917

Saturday, May 19, 1917
May 19 Forgot to write yesterday. We were breakfasted at the terminal on Hoboken Docks yesterday by the Red Cross and it surely was a failure as a breakfast. Then we went to the Red Cross quarters in the Waldorf. There were fitted out c hats soft, velour and other navy blue serge dresses, red cross capes, brassards & caps. I like the brassards caps & capes very much. The latter are navy blue & lined c bright red flannel & a red cross on the front--nifty. We had lunch at the Waldorf & finally escaped & took a bus ride up town. Saw Central Park, Riverside Drive, etc. Was able to recognize a few points from pictures, etc. We went to dinner on the St. Louis. That is another boat that is taking Unit 10 from Philadelphia. Then we were assigned our rooms on the Mongolia. I am with Miss Hostman and Miss Hoffman--neither is very interesting, but I can stand them a while at any rate. Frances is in the next state room and Bess in the next. Emma and Mac are the only two of our bunch together. This morning we were not allowed to go off the boat at all except over to breakfast on the St. Louis. The meal was fair but the service was rotten as most of the waiters were suffering from channell fever. This boat is an old one and has been used as a freight but is fixed up now as a transport. They’re afraid to risk the good boats. This is the boat that sunk a submarine not long ago. I understand that we are to be convoyed across but of course do not know. We don’t even know where we’ll land but our destination is supposed to be France. Later We left the docks at 3 o’clock were towed down the channel & stopped just inside the harbor. The gunners were practicing loading their guns & overheard them say that it was $600 to the man that got a submarine. Also that the Germans were offering 1500 to the man that got us. The boys who had signed in as privates were all shooed off the upper decks & we all so hated to see them go. They are such nice boys & so willing to do anything. While we were at dinner the boat started again and at 8:30 passed the Ambrose Channel Light out into open sea. All the port holes are closed and no lights are allowed anyplace, even in the saloon nor corridors later. We walked in the wind & listened to the boys playing their ukuleles & singing. They are much gayer down below than we are above. The two meals we have had on board have been very good.