250 miles due east of Bermuda
Good Evening my Darling,
Tired as I am, I couldn’t go to bed without saying goodnight to you. I have been working since 3:30 this morning on charts, radar, and a slew of other things that you are not acquainted with as yet.
I’m suppose to be on watch 8 hrs. a day, only. So far I’ve averaged 17 hours today. It may sound funny to you, but the harder I work, and the less sleep I get now, the sooner I’ll get a crack at that Second’s berth and an increased bank account.
Darling, you were wonderful, when we were together this week. It seems that each time I take you in my arms, you find some tender new way of making me more aware of your love.
Honey, I just can’t keep my eyes open any longer, so I’ll have to continue tomorrow.
It’s a long way to the first of May,
But you are dearer
with each passing day.
Corny! But, oh how true! Maybe you’d better start wearing “Nighties” now so you’ll be used to them! See you in half an hour, in Technicolor. Gosh! I need you tonight! Goodnight Precious!
Sweetheart, I know you realize how anxious I am to keep you well supplied with letters from me. So, when I say that 5 days have gone by and I haven’t had a moment to sit down and say things I want to say, you may have an idea just how busy I have been.
Eventually, I’ll be able to write a letter each night and have two or three letters to mail at each port. But, right now Johnny and I are busy getting the deck department set for the peacetime schedule, and the navigation dep’t, set for Admiral Nichols inspection, at the end of each voyage.
Johnny has been wonderful. On duty, he is Ch. Officer all the way and works me harder than anyone else. He’s after me so much and giving me so many jobs to do that the other mates are beginning to think that Johnny has a grudge against me. When I say he works me, I mean I have practically no time to myself, except the 4 hrs. maximum sleep I get each night.
What the other mates don’t seem to notice is that Johnny works hard too, in fact, he works with me most of the time. But they still can’t see why he picks on me.
What they don’t realize is that Johnny drops into my room for a “night-cap” each night before we turn in. Johnny says he never had a mate before that he could work hard and long any time he needed to, and have that same fellow as his buddy when off duty. We are both very pleased at the arrangement. You’d be surprised at the amount of work and reports and surveys, etc.. that we turn out.
While we have our night-cap, he becomes my friend again, and we talk about how lucky I am and how much we are in love, and what a wonderful feeling it is to be so delighted with the woman who’ll share your life and bed forever.
Then, we try to straighten his love life out. He tells me all his troubles and, I don’t know why, but he seems to value my advice.
The captain on a liner like this rarely speaks to any of the mates, excepting to say, “Good Morning”, with the exception of Johnny and the Second. He’s too busy, and it tends to keep him a sort of legendary figure, so, that when he does give an order, in an emergency it’s obeyed immediately.
Well, my drafting has come in handy. I’m inking and plotting Route Courses on charts, and plotting the positions of wrecks etc… it’s a lot like drafting. There’s a good bit of lettering to be done too. The whole job will take over a month. Well, Johnny was so tickled with the job I did that he called the Captain and showed him. There were several other mates in the chartroom at the time, so, the Captain merely said it was a neat job.
But later, he came in to my cabin and congratulated me on my work since I came on board as well as my chart work. So help me, I was speechless! It was what Johnny and I were working for.
You see, the Second’s job will be open after this trip and Johnny wants me to get the job, (over the son of the Port Steward). That’s why Johnny and I both agreed that I was to work like “HELL” with the good chance of Second Officer after this trip and First Officer before the summer is out.
Captain Sadler has the privilege of picking his own officers and he’ll promote his own as high as he can before taking any from ashore. That’s what he did for Johnny, let him go First Officer on a Chief Mate’s ticket (almost all First Officers have to have Captain’s papers). That’s what Johnny is trying to get the Captain to do for me. So far it’s going fine. Say a few prayers darling!
Oh, speaking of prayers, when I go Second Officer, and get on the 12-4 watch, I’ll be able to receive Holy Communion every day at 8:00 am. Now, I can’t because I’m on watch. That’s Moore-McCormack for you.
Holy Mass in the cabin class library every morning, at sea, and in port. A priest makes every voyage with us, and usually about six or eight nuns also, (transfers). This is the first time I’ve ever been on a ship where Mass was said every day. I can’t wait until I’m Second, then I can go down two decks every morning, go to Mass, receive daily Communion, then go to the officer’s mess for breakfast, without even leaving my job. Isn’t that wonderful. You’ll have to go some to receive Communion as often as me during the next year.
My love forever,