The following PM ((24th Dec, 1942)) we again assembled and after being checked off we were marched down to the old wharf at the beach and boarded a tug which took us out to an old rusted coastal freighter which we boarded and were told to go down into the forward hold.
Much to our surprise the hold was quite clean and the whole area was covered in Japanese tatami mats. The vessel obviously had been used to ferry Japanese troops prior to our boarding the ship.
All of us could only take with us whatever we could carry which created sme problems for the elderly.
The hold had 2 lights for illumination, one entry which was locked at night and unlocked at approx. 7:00am.
Toilet facities were a trough on one side of the hold which emptied directly to the sea. As troops used the hold previously no dividers were used which was embarassing for thewomen in our group. As the lights were doused at app. 7:00 pm access to the trough was very difficult in the pitch darkness.
When we got settled in the hold the crew sent down some food. It was great compared to the Stanley food, also a lot more too.
Some of the younger prisoners bribed the Chinese crew to bring down some booze which they consumed by candle light and not being used to drinking proceeded to argue and a few blows were exchanged but saner heads quietened things down. No one was too concerned as it was Xmas Eve and we were out of Stanley.