September 3, 1938

Writing on the P. & O. ss. “Stratheden”, 23, 500 tons. No of passenger’s berths 1063. Left Tilbury dock* 6pm yesterday. Position marked this morning (not certain whether 8 am or noon) as 49.25 N, 3.34 W, run being 288 miles. Distance to go 1007 miles. Passed Ushant, about 5-10 miles on port side, about 5pm. Now entering Bay of Biscay & traveling about due South. Should sight land again tomorrow night. Sea at present calm. Once or twice small shoal of fish, pilchards or sardines, leaping out of the water as though something were after them. Small land-bird, bunting or some such thing, came on board this morning when out of sight of land. Also pigeons perching on rigging.


*You can follow Orwell’s movements on the Orwell Diaries’ Google Map. To see a dinner menu from the Stratheden, click here.

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18 Responses to September 3, 1938

  1. NathanSt says:


    now we’re finally getting somewhere.

    odd that Mr. Blair didn’t mention an impending voyage in earlier journal entries

  2. Helpful says:

    Your link on the word “Ushant” is defective because it has http:// in it twice, so it doesn’t go anywhere.
    Now I’m wondering how on Earth it would have been possible (assuming a time machine and so on) to explain the preceding sentence to George Orwell!

  3. Gilles Mioni says:

    Georges Orwell wrote while ship vibrated.
    Is there somewhere vibrations between sky and sea what these moments left ?
    And If we could hear them?

  4. Chris Whiley says:

    Is this the difference between a private and a public document? Orwell knows where and when he is travelling, so why would he put it in his diary?

  5. James Russell says:

    Yes, but what was the weather like? I’m being driven to distraction here in just not knowing.
    Also Hop-watch looks like its over. I guess we will never know how it went, whether it was a good crop, and if the urbanites had a good time picking them. Ho-hum!

  6. It is amazing that when people wanted to travel far, they had to take a ship.

  7. Gilles~~


  8. Ken says:

    traveling????? Did Orwell write in American?

  9. art brennan says:

    Do you think Orwell will continue to note position, course and distance in the following days? And fish and birds? I’m trying to imagine that I don’t know who he is (or who we think he was).

  10. Yes. And I wonder if he will mention his chance encounter with Mr. Moto?

  11. Amir says:

    I’m actually left wondering how many more fish there were in the sea, when he traveled, than there are today. He mentions a bunch of fish jumping in the water, and though I’ve seen it while traveling by ship myself, it seems as though it was so common as he watched the water, whereas when I was on boats, seeing the fish jump was an excitment of a moment or two, not something happening on all sides.
    It is unclear if this was the case for him, but it sounds like a casual mention, rather than a significant incident.

    What are we doing to our oceans?

  12. sara r says:

    ah the oceans we be dumping toxic sludge into them thats what we be doing plus the over fishing of the sea lanes and the mass murder of whales and doloupens plus the sea turtles We kill more speicies in a single day than the nature does in a eon

  13. Pingback: aaaproxy » Blog Archive » september 3

  14. Blah. If we drive our food to extinction then we will die and the process will start over again, just without us dumb humans.

  15. Philip says:

    @Chris Whiley

    Whilst it would be likely that he would note that he had decided to go, or that he had bought his tickets, these events probably occured before he bagan his diary.

  16. Amir says:

    and without designer dogs too… :P

    I remeber watching this discovery channel show, “The World Without Us” and they said Designer dogs would be one of the first breeds to go…

    Yeaaaaa hoooooooo….. no more ugly dogs… only big dogs, fighting it out with the wolves and Sh@*… that’s the way the world ought to be… :)

  17. I don’t think we’d have domesticated dogs at all if it weren’t for humans being around.

  18. Hi,

    The island of Ouessant …. more … Pictures, infos…

    @ John USHANT de KELLER
    Guard of sheeps in Ushant Island

    48°28′; Nord
    5°06′; Ouest

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