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May 10, 1899 150 miles from Manila.

The diary, or anything else an unhappy reader may name it, has been sadly neglected lately. We are so close to Manila that it is hot, and almost too uncomfortable to write. I would be very uncomfortable, but the third officer has very kindly lent me the use of his stateroom and an electric fan, which makes life worth living. From where I am sitting I can see the engine room cover and hear the continuous click, thump, and clatter of the engines. These engines have broken four times since we started and made the time much longer on the water. The weather has been glorious and the eastern sunsets are indescribable. Last night we sighted the Philippines about five o’clock and passed through a channel between Luzon and a smaller island (there are twelve hundred of them in the group and most of them are inhabited). The sun set behind some of the islands, and it seemed as though the paint pot of the gods had been upset. We were in sight of land this morning and are coasting along to Manila perhaps two hundred miles away.

The band plays every morning for an hour or two and then in the evening it always comes out — weather permitting —to play “The Star-Spangled Banner,” “Just as the Sun went Down,” etc. The effect of the band and the sun was very artistic, but I felt too lazy to write any poetry. I guess it did me no harm to feel it.

To-day, another Wednesday, and just a month from Plattsburg, N.Y., is rather warm. The water is smooth and 87° in temperature. By the feeling I should imagine that the sun was 90°. We passed a large steamer bound for Japan this morning. She did not stop, but the ship’s captain said she was a troopship on her way back to the United States. We are going into Manila Bay to-morrow morning
and will be landed very shortly. I am going on guard to-morrow, and so I will not get a chance to work off my small stock of Spanish on any fair señoritas.