In 1902 the late Mrs. Thornburgh-Cropper in company with a group of friends made the pilgrimage to Haifa. It was during a casual conversation with an acquaintance at a hotel that she first heard of 'Abdu'l-Baha. Some weeks later after making independent inquiries and carefully considering the real purport of the account of this remarkable Personage, she decided to take the journey with the intimate friends who had been fired by her enthusiasm.
They first went to Alexandria where they managed to secure accommodation on a steamer which would call at 'Akka, the ancient seaport of Syria. This was a notoriously rough sea passage at the best of times but on the day of their disembarkation it was necessary for the ship to lower boats as she could not make the port.
One can imagine the daring adventure for these ladies accoutred in the voluminous apparel of that day when they had to make the tricky descent into a rowing boat which had been brought alongside the ship on the crest of an accommodating wave! Except for a soaking wet trip to the pier the party were none the worse for their experiences.