May 1. 8:00 A.M. Temperature 71°. At smooth sea, delightful weather. Land in sight seldom, only far off islands. Passed several steamers and many junks, mostly clear sky. Wonderful cloud over large island seen towards evening flat-topped like Table mountain, sooty black, homogeneous in structure. (Sketch on p. 152) Full moon, broad silvery wake, in which fishing junks are brought to light with startling distinctness. Ursa Major now high in heavens. The Southern Cross no longer seen. Temperature 8:00 P.M. 70°, delightful. The ship very comfortable no vibration, clean good food well served. But nevertheless, there is no lack of shabby, thoughtless grumbling given forth with accent on sound ignorance. May 2. Water very muddy from river, 300 miles. Cool, bracing bright. Temperature at 8:00 A.M. 62°. Sky half cloudy with white mackerel clouds. Land in sight, rocky hills or mountains. Sea just enough roughened with wavelets to spangle well in the wake of the sun. Fog last evening caused blowing of whistle at minute intervals for hour or two. Large numbers of isles in sight until about 4:00 P.M. On one of the islands which we passed within a mile or two, we saw a fine war vessel, her bow high in air, over a shore rock. An English vessel belonging to China, run ashore while pursuing smuggler. Has been very cool all day, 59° at 8:00 P.M. Anchored about 6:00 P.M., waiting rise of tide.
Original journal dimensions: 9 x 15.5 cm.
Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library
John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist