National Geographic : 1901 Dec
A VOYAGE FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TAHITI 429 July r8.-We left at 10.30 a. m., the ship's upper deck being hung with bunches of bananas. As we went out of the harbor we passed wonderful green yellow water inside the barrier reef, and we went over to the Island of Mourea (described in Melville's Omoo) to give the passengers a chance to visit it on the side not distinctly seen from Tahiti. It is very irregular in outline, with much finer cliffs than on Otaheite, and has one or two beautiful bays said to be good harbors.- I understand that it would not be difficult to secure the whole island for a small sum. We turned and went northward, bid ding a good-bye to Tahiti and its " Diadem," which we are never likely to see again. July p9. - The vessel rolls a good deal. The temperature is pleasant. After lunch, weighed the stone which I got from those used in the fire-walk. It weighs 65 pounds, is about 15 inches in its longer diameter, and displaces 3 imperial gallons of water. After weigh ing, it was thrown overboard, a piece having been broken off to take home with me.* * When I reached Washington I found it to be so porous that its specific gravity was but 2.39 and so non-conductible that a small frag ment could be held in the fingers like a stick of July 20-24.-On the 23 d the sea al most glassy, reflecting the clouds. On the 24 th the smoke ceases to blow southwest from the funnel, and blows nearly south. The weather is still warm, but shows signs of getting cooler. On the 2 5th, I think, or some later day which I did not note in my diary at the time, the whole sea around the ship seemed to be animated with spout ing whales. We could see them at a distance as they rolled or played; and once a great shining black back, 20 to 30 feet of which was out of water, came directly toward the quarter of the ship, and was so near that we could have thrown a stone on it, when, apparently catching sight of the vessel, Leviathan dove, and made " the deep to boil like a pot," leaving a quarter of an acre of foaming ocean where he had gone down. The diary does not appear to have been kept up for the next few days, which were pleasant, but uneventful. In the early morning of the thirtieth of July we waited in a dense fog, and then moved slowly in through the Golden Gate, and reached the dock at San Fran cisco at about one o'clock. sealing wax while the other end was made red hot in a blow-pipe. This non-conductibility is evidently the principal cause of the success of the fire-walk " miracle."