The story of the people who sailed the Pacific Ocean from San Francisco to Hawai‘i, Samoa, and points beyond is well documented, yet historians have neglected the voyages themselves and what the travelers encountered on the five-day to five-week journeys to their destinations. Those who crossed the Pacific recorded their thoughts about the sea creatures they discovered, the birds that followed the ships, and the potential of American expansion to the islands. They gossiped about their shipmates, celebrated the change in time zones, and feared the sharks that swam near the vessels. The voyagers had little else to distract them from the many miles of endless water, so they paid attention to their surroundings: nature, people, and shipboard activities. The adventures on the ships enlivened their travels to the islands of the Pacific and proved to be an opportunity to expand their personal horizons, as well as their hopes for the United States.

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