John Muir


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swept out to sea. June 6th, 5 P.M. The gale increased in violence up to noon, when it began to abate slightly, though it is still blowing hard. The Corwin began dragging her anchor after midnight, when another which was held in readiness was let go with plenty of chain, which held so that we rode it out in safety. Another whaler came into the bay about midnight and dropped anchor, but she vanished during the night, or rather what used to be night. Probably she dragged her anchor or parted her cable. About 11 P.M. yesterday another canoe-load of Indians came aboard, having made their way somehow around from the other side of the bay. The others stayed aboard all night, not being able to reach the shore against the wind. I was curious to see how they would endure the cold on deck. They seemed scarcely to feel it, lying down on the wet deck and sleeping soundly. I noticed three of them asleep on the broken rudder swept by the icy wind, bits of ice falling from the rigging. We inquired why their parkas were made without hoods, while those of St. Lawrence had them. They replied that they had to work hard and hunt hard and therefore required to have their heads free, while the St. Lawrence natives were lazy and could indulge in such effeminacy. This was the reason also they gave for cutting off their hair, while woman do not hunt wear the hair long. One of their number was very dirty, and the Captain enquired why he did not wash himself. “Because he is an old man,” said our interpreter, “and it’s too much work for him.” This given with an air of having explained the matter beyond farther question. “He has a terminal moraine in his ear,” said the Captain to me. The old orator spoke incessantly, with extravagant gestures, in deep chest tones that seemed at times to be from the depths of his stomach. Sounds like the roaring of a

Date Original



Original journal dimensions: 11.5 x 21 cm.

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Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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