John Muir


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Not only was the hold full of them, but the deck also to a level of the bulwarks, and being boarded over we had poor walking, with many chances of falling overboard. The flying fishes off Cape Hatteras appeared to take pleasure in shooting across the valleys from wave-top to wave-top. They avoided the ship during the day, but frequently fell on the deck at night. The sailors caught them for curiosities to give their land friends, or to eat. But our big Newfoundland dog was also fond of them and remained watching on deck. When he heard the rustle of their wings he jumped for them faster than the sailors, and so almost monopolized the game. When dark night came down on the stormy sea, it was a glorious sight to watch the breaking waves in phosphorescent light, and I stood on the bowsprit for hours enjoying it. How wonderful is this light developed in the waves by myriads of organized beings. Every fish’s pathway, every crested wave, was most gloriously illumined. We sailed through large fields of seaweed, of which I procured specimens. Life in this tar and oakumed world was novel in its social and domestic arrangements, as well as in its

Date Original

July 1867


Original journal dimensions: 10 x 16.5 cm.

Resource Identifier



Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist