fluffy-edged cumuli with dark bars around the horizon. Not a whitecap in sight. Not a wing visible in the sky or fin in the ocean, as far as I can see, at 8:30 A.M. Noon: growing cloudier. Only a few blinks of sunshine. No birds about the ship, though the land is not far off. Heavy swells vanishing. Yellow sunset. Glorious view into the depths of the heavens, between nine and ten o’clock. Dec. 14. Rather dark, grayish morning. Wind moderate. Nearly ahead. Warm. Clouds watery-looking. Horizontal bars and wisp in front of ragged-edged cumuli. No birds, though opposite Rio de Janeiro. Ships steady. Scarce a whitecap. Slight shower at evening. Passed four or five steamers southbound. Dec. 15. Fine morning. Cooler. Wind moderate from the north. Clouds, dull strips and bars and ragged blotches, purple and yellow, look as if put on with a brush. No birds. Few whitecaps. No sounds much above a whisper, from small waves brushing the ship’s side, and the wind above, and the low beating of the engines; not heard unless listened for. Dec. 16. Sea this morning indigo. Large flock of flying fish, glittering silvery in the sunlight. No birds. Clouds filling half the sky or more. A few massive cumuli, with dark storm-belt sending down rain fringes here and there; light north-east breeze. Few small whitecap spots far apart. Last evening conversing with a young man in the second-class I found that he knows the writing of Darwin, Huxley, Tyndall and Heckel. None that I have met among the first-class passengers seem to have any definite notions on any branch of science. One old gentleman from North Argentina, a sugar planter, etc., with extensive farms
Original journal dimensions: 10 x 17 cm.
Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library
John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist