Aug 10. Rainy, foggy, heavy swell all day. Lying to impatiently waiting clear sky. Swell subsiding about 6 P.M. Sun nearly clear about 4 P.M. Closed down again denser than ever at 7 P.M. About 25 miles from Wrangel Land. Aug 11. Fog lifted this morning at 1 o’clock. Got under way at 1:30. Found ourselves within a mile or so of the pack, the land showing clearly and seeming hopefully near. We found a lead that enables us to approach within perhaps 15 miles of the nearest portion of the coast. At times we thought ourselves much nearer when the light falling favorably would bring out the features such as ridges on the faces of the mountains, hollows made by small glaciers, vertical cliffs, the colors of the rocks, etc. Then eagerly pushing toward the nearest cape it would suddenly seem to retreat again into the blue indefinite distance and some other point catching the sunlight would rise grandly over the crags of ice with the blue shady portions to right and left as a background. It was not many hours, however, when after tracing several openings and coming always to a standstill with the ship’s prow against
Original journal dimensions: 11.5 x 21 cm.
Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library
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John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist