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August 9, 1899

When we came on deck this morning (6 A.M.) the Philippines were all about us. Shortly we made out Luzon itself, for we round the northern end. The islands are quite different from Hawaii. They seem as mountainous and rise as directly out of the sea, but the mountain tops of Honolulu or Oahu, to be correct, rise up brown and barren while these are covered with dense vegetation to the very summit. A square-rigged vessel in shore excited some notice among the men as rumor had been rife about a gun-boat of Aguinaldo’s which was going to take or sink us. All the morning we cruised the shore at a distance of about two miles. It was the first hostile shore I have ever seen, but I did not seem to feel any emotion except curiosity. The circumstances were not particularly calculated to produce emotions as it was showery, in fact our breakfast taken under the awnings which are pretty well searched by the rain was not enlivening, would have been a bit discouraging, but all know that there is worse to come and were uncomplaining. A rumor yesterday to the effect that the refrigerated beef had spoiled had a tendency to reduce my appetite slightly for one meal. I can find nothing wrong with any I have had, so today ate it again with a relish. The color of the water has changed to-day from that deep blue to a dirty green, so I imagine the water is not so deep as off Oahu, where the deep blue runs up to the coral reefs, a few hundred yards from the shore. Passed (I P.M.) a lighthouse, the first sign of civilization. I don’t of course know who holds the shore.