This day is a second Monday in the ship’s log. May 17. Temperature 7:00 A.M. 68. Another fine calm, the swell subsiding which has been heavy several days. Water blue, reflections of clouds lead-colored. The flock of bird followers increasing, small flocks of white-bellied, slow-flapping birds like terns, common today. In the afternoon, a stop of two hours was made to correct the compasses by swinging the ship. Had long talk with intelligent Chinaman, Ah Fong, of Honolulu, who was in part educated in Hartford. In the evening, the start shining gloriously bright between the hazy cloud bars, and the young moon sickle is now clear, now bright while our big home bears us steadily on in noble hidden power. May 18. Temperature 71 7:00 A.M. Dull cloudy, a small whitecap here and there. Water blue and lead-colored. Saw a few flying fish. The small albatross still following the ship, alight on midst of scraps from table, forsaking all the sea fields, however great, for the scrap strewn wake of a ship. The temperature is steadily increasing about 2 degrees a day, and the passengers are gradually changing clothing, gray and black for tropic white. The Filipinos in particular seem glad to feel the soft breezes of their beautiful homes and flutter loose cotton and fluffy silk once more, with corresponding liveliness of smiles and chatter. The evening sky too is adorned with silky, filmy clouds through which the sun shines softly with white and rosy cumuli and sooty pillars along the horizon. Stars bright.
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