John Muir


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June 10. (Snow in morning.) Awakened this morning a little before 4 o’clock by a lieutenant coming into the cabin and telling the Captain that the weather was densely foggy and the ice in large masses [was] crowded against us. “The Philistines are upon the Samson.” He hurried on deck and in a few minutes later the first mass struck the ship and made her tremble in every joint from stern to stern, -- then another and another in quick succession, while the anchor was being hurriedly raised. The situation, notwithstanding we thought ourselves perfectly safe in the lee of a projecting point past which the ice all yesterday was leaving us free, became suddenly very serious, and the haste and hurriedly executed orders proclaimed its seriousness in no doubtful tones. I therefore dressed hurriedly and went on deck. The ice, had it been like that about the ship of the Ancient Mariner here and there and all around, would have raised but little apprehension, but it was only on one side of us, while a rocky coast was close by on the other, and the loss of the ship seemed sure. Whether backing or going ahead in so crowded a bit of water, the result was for some time merely so many shoves toward shore. At length a block of small size 15 or 20 ft. in diameter drifted between us and the shore, and by steaming against it and striking it on the landward bow she glinted round head toward the pack and an opening a few

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