Cape Brett [NZ] light was sighted before dawn & during the forenoon we steamed down the coast of the “Winterless North”. It didn’t look very appealing even to me, even with the sun shining. Picked up the pilot about 1000 & proceeded thru the channel, entering the gate & berthing alongside the cruiser wharf at 1030 (-111/2). It was found that time kept in Auckland was (-12) so clocks were advanced 1/2 hour immediately. I’ve never known it more than -111/2 before myself.
Apart from a certain amount of inclement weather on about the 3rd day out & a breakdown of the port inner main circulator, which delayed us and rather made things awkward for a couple of days, the trip passed without incident. Midshipmen have carried out engineroom watchkeeping & had several lectures on various aspects of engineering in the Navy. I generally find it interesting but the time spent in the engineroom is not at all pleasant.
The ordinary cruising watch organisation was broken down & a special one brought into force, where only the two forward pompoms were manned. Normal cruising watches carried out 6″, 4″ & Close Range shoots at smoke bursts Tuesday forenoon.
Left Gibraltar during Last Dog [watch] on Boxing Day [26th], bound for Alexandria. “Action Stations” was exercised while leaving the Bay. A speed of 22 kn [knots] was maintained for the first day, apart from a short period when PVs [paravanes] were being streamed. Numerous water spouts were seen during the Forenoon on Wednesday, one very good effort appearing only 5 miles to port. Early in the Afternoon, a depth charge was dropped for exercise. At 2330, clocks were advanced an hour. Now keeping zone (-2). During Thursday, the weather deteriorated & by midnight had reached a force of 10 (Beaufort Scale). The island of Pantelleria, which we gather this ship has visited on previous occasions, was visible to port early in the afternoon. We expected to pass Malta during the First Dog [watch] but with the advent of the gale, visibility decreased and the island was not sighted at all. By the morning of Friday, the gale had abated considerably and the low, almost flat coastline of the Libyan desert our starboard hand. Derna was the only town of note passed and that did not look particularly exciting.
The remainder of the journey to Alexandria passed without anything of particular note happening. We arrived during the morning watch amid a slight haze & a certain amount of rain securing to buoy F.
For this trip, usual defence watches were not maintained, only the pom poms [guns] being closed up. Lookout groups were maintained as usual. Shipping was met with frequently and Navigation lights were burnt during the hours of darkness.