John Muir


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by a party who came off to see us. Heavy surf except at landing. Walked over the grassy, [flowery], smooth meadow-like ground to the rookery to the [Northward]. Thousands on the black lava rocks, one big watchful, defiant male to 10 to 20 or 30 females. A rough place to lie on to say nothing of taking care of young. Males head erect, long necks, gray hair, fighting, roamy, rushing at photographers with surprising [Sketch: Pogumnoi [West] and Unimaik [Island]] speed in 2 or 3 jumps when they approached too near, shaking heads and snapping jaws, showing teeth, fierce long bristle whiskered. The general cry of the multitude like ba-a-ing of sheep. Females with love in every gesture and look of great beautiful eyes, heads bent down from arching smooth round neck, gazing at their newborn helpless jet-black babes, a beautiful sight. Also the play in the waves a wonderful sight. Old scarred veterans fanning themselves with flapper, sea lions’ pups, grave long-flappered like fur seals, cry like child and grunt, perhaps 75 lbs. tho’ still babes. Very fat. Male seals eat nothing for 3 months. The ground is covered with very rank grass and gaily decked with cream colored poppies and blue polemoniums, violets, claytonia, phlox-like white [flower], low, etc. Got aboard at 7:30 and started for St. Matthew’s, foggy, just after dinner. 8:15 ship grated heavily on boulder reef and set free

Date Original



Original journal dimensions: 9 x 15.5 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