April 7. Anchored last evening from 9:00 till 5:00 this morning on account of intricacy of passage through innumerable coral islands and others of granite, slate, etc. The spaces between the outer Barrier Reef and the inner fringing reefs, atolls, etc., are all shallow and navigation dangerous, though lighted and marked by steel trees. Most of atolls very low and lack here the cocoa palms which so charmingly adorn and enliven those of many other tropic shores. Few birds mostly white gulls, occasionally a land bird visits, is seldom more than 5 or 6 miles distant. Heavy showers in morning. Sky dull leaden, showery all day. Very thin clothing seems heavy. All sorts of games are being played, even cricket, novels, the lightest, appear to have lost their charm. April 8.Temperature at 7:00 A.M. 81°50. Cloudy, dark muddy, muggy sky as usual. Heavy showers about 5:00 this morning. Anchored last evening at dusk, the passage being extremely difficult in dark. Started again at daylight. Were close to shore of isles which seemed to drowse and melt in the soft bland moistur-laden air. At 9:00 A.M. heavy shower. Thermometer dropped to 77° Good island, resisting rock - granite (?) shows glacial sculpture clearly and on rather large scale. Highest points all rounded, 1000 feet high (?). A fine glacial amphitheatre wide, eroded without reference to rock-structure, etc. Islands hereabouts named for days of week. Temperature at 9:30 P.M. 81 ½°. Clear in the afternoon, starry sky glorious. Ursa Major on horizon clear, Polaris below horizon.
Original journal dimensions: 9 x 15.5 cm.
Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library
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John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist