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The Diary of James Brogden, August 1871 – December 1872

23 September 1871

23 September 1871

page 17

The whole of our passage was moderately calm, - and we arrived at the Sandwich Islands at Honolulu, on the 23rd Sept. We saw the flying fish in shoals. The island is volcanic and looks extremely rugged. The extinct craters are very easily made out. The view improves on approaching the island and firm barren hills, it seems gradually to develop into verdant loveliness;- and the interior is clothed with the most perfect vegetation we have yet seen. The shores are covered with cocoa-nut groves, - and we feel and see we are in the tropics. Our arrival at the Quay after passing the Coral Reefs was an event not to be overlooked. The scene is an entirely different from all yet experienced; - the natives assemble to welcome – (yes to welcome!) the visitors; – and the ladies are dressed in long loose gowns like night gowns, but they are in all the most gorgeous colors of the rainbow, come on board; they wear coronets of flowers and large necklaces of flowers. The town lies on a flat but the mountains rise behind rapidly. It is beyond the power of Pen to describe, and its freshness to us makes us long to get on shore. I got a lot of letters and some despatches. and have to give up all idea of landing. Moreover we expected to be free and leave at night; but Sunday being the next day, we were unable to get the coal in.