Travel Letters: On The Steamship City Of Sidney (1889)

MY DEAR GERTIE, YOU shall have the first letter from the other side of the world. We have crossed the Pacific and are within a hundred miles of Yokohama. We shall arrive at midnight, and tomorrow a steamer leaves there for San Francisco, which will carry homewards this letter. It is our eighteenth day at sea, and we are more than seven thousand miles from North Andover, — think of that !

It has been a good voyage, though the weather has not been bright. It has been cold and rainy till yesterday, but there has been no storm and not much rough weather. To-day is loveliness itself, but we are still wearing thick clothes, and the big ulster has done service most of the voyage. There has been almost no sitting on deck. We have read a great many novels, and looked for the sunlight, which we have hardly seen.

Besides Dr. McVickar and me, there have been two passengers and a half. First, a queer old Russian gentleman, bound for Kamchatka and the islands where the seals are found; a strange old creature, who has been all over creation, and seen everything and everybody, and is quite interesting. Besides him, there is a missionary lady and her baby, going back to Japan, but she has kept her stateroom most all the way, and we have hardly seen her. So we three men, with the ship’s officers, have had the great steamer to ourselves. She is not like the Adriatic or Germanic, but she is a fine large ship and very comfortable. Plenty of room, plenty to eat, and everybody well all the time.

The Kodak came out this morning for the first time, and took the ship and the captain. There has been no sun for it before.

Think of us seeing Fujiyama tomorrow.

Your affectionate uncle, P.