Another bird cries briskly at times, “Baby ain’t, Baby ain’t.” October 28th. Calm as mountain lake. Blue water, just enough ruffled to be blue. Sky white warmer. Only the thinnest clothing tolerable. Even officers going barefoot in the early morning. The least ray of sunshine on one’s head dreaded as deadly. Has been calm all day. Land at distance of 55 miles (?) in sight P.M. First seen of Araby the Blest. Saw swallow near sunset, and some sort of Water birds during P.M. Curious muddy green and orange sky after sunset 20 minutes. [Letter received in Nov. 1903, addressed to Wm. Keith by John Muir, while on his way around the world. It is dateless.]
Arabean Sea, 300 miles East of Straits of Babel-man deb. On board Steamer “Peninsula” Dear Willie: I’m having a grand time, tho’ lonely. I left the Sargents 6 or 7 [six or seven] weeks ago at Shanghai, they going to Pekin, and I to India to see the glorious Himalaya with its glaciers, Deodar forests, etc., and I have seen them from two main points, Darjeeling and Simla. Now I’m going to Egypt to Palestine. Then I mean to turn back homeward by way of Ceylon, Australia, N. [New] Zealand, the Islands, etc. Had a great time in Russia, too. The Causasus, Crimea, Siberia, Manchuria. Strange I have to make these long journeys alone. Can never get anybody to go with me even half the way. You would have enjoyed the Himalaya and Causasus, but not Siberia. I hope you see Wanda dn Helen often. I seem to have been away from them all years, instead of months. At Moscow I received a very kind letter from Harriman. Remember me to Charlie Keeler, and whoever caes for me. Ever sincerely yours, John Muir You would enjoy the strange sunsets on this sea. October 29th. The same absolutely cloudless sky, strangely white before sunrise and just after sunset when it is deeply hazily orange like an orange mist. The water today and most of yesterday is pale blue, something like nemophila blue. Very very beautiful. The hills or mountains along the Arabian Coast in abrupt angularity of parts of outline suggest volcanic origin. We are now 10:30 A.M. within 2 miles of a mountain mass which looks like very rough red lava partially bedded, perhaps an island 1500 or 2000 feet high and apparently plantless (Sketch: Sec. of Arabian Coast seen at sunset nearly [ ] of course. (Looking a little W of N))
Original journal dimensions: 11 x 16.5 cm.
Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library
To view additional information on copyright and related rights of this item, such as to purchase copies of images and/or obtain permission to publish them, click here to view the Holt-Atherton Special Collections policies.
John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist