John Meares, Voyages made in the years 1788 and 1789, from China to the north west coast of America : to which are prefixed, an introductory narrative of a voyage performed in 1786, from Bengal, in the ship Nootka; observations on the probable existence of a north west passage; and some account of the trade between the north west coast of America and China; and the latter country and Great Britain, London : Printed at the Logographic Press; and sold by J. Walter, 1790.
An excerpt from chapter VIII, pp.94-97.

[April 1788]
[Saturday 5]

On the 5th, the wind shifted to the South East, which enabled us to steer to the North East, when at two o'clock in the afternoon we thought land was visible to the East South East; but the weather was so extremely hazy; that it could not be ascertained whether it was land or a fog-bank. At three, however, land was seen in the North East right a-head, but the weather continued to be so thick and foggy, that the direction in which it extended could not be discerned. At half past four, we were abreast of it, at the distance of five or six miles, when it appeared to be an island, but of no great extent. It now rained very hard, and the atmosphere remained so hazy, that our observations of the land were rather imperfect. It however appeared to be one of those barren isles so frequently found in these seas. --- Its length might be fifteen or sixteen miles from North to South; the shore seemed to be inaccessible to boats, from a great surf beating against the rocks, which terminated abruptly in the sea. The interior parts of the country appeared to be high, and a few solitary trees were very sparingly scattered on their declivities. We sailed along the shores of this island till six o'clock, when another island opened to our view, which was separated from the former by a channel of three or four leagues. It now blew very strong, with rain, and so thick a fog, that we could see no distance a-head.

[095] Though the gale was favourable, yet, from the appearance of the weather, it was thought prudent to shorten sail, and remain under such as would enable us to haul to the wind on either tack. The utmost vigilance and attention was employed to guard as much as possible against any danger, and we sailed, as usual, all night with the courses hauled up in the brails. These isles, of which we could not discern the number, were named Grampus Isles, from seeing a large grampus spouting up water close to the shore, which is a very uncommon sight in those seas.

The night of the 5th, was very tempestuous, with constant rain; but to console us for these inconveniences, we had a fair gale, with which we made great way to the North East.

[Sunday 6]

On the 6th, the wind shifted to the North West, which brought us clear weather, and blew a steady gale. At noon the latitude was 27° 30´ North, and the longitude 148° 37´ East. At this time the variation of the compass was 3° 20´East.

Our progress to the North now became very rapid, and we experienced a very sudden transition from heat to cold. Having just left a climate where the heats had been intense and oppressive, it was very natural the active operations of cold should be very sensibly felt by the whole crew. This circumstance however, enabled us to reduce the allowance of water from a gallon to five pints per man, without any inconvenience whatever arising from such all alteration.

[Tuesday 8]

The favourable gale at North West continued till the eighth at noon. The latitude then was 28° 58´ North, and the longitude 154° 19´ East. --- Our principal object was to get to the North as fast as possible, in order to benefit by the strong Westerly winds, as well AS to run down our [096]longitude in an high latitude. This North West gale continued to us the sharp piercing cold which has been already mentioned.

[Wednesday 9]

The next day we passed by a considerable quantity of rock-weed, which we imagined to be but lately broken off, and for several days we had seen great numbers of birds. We were now considerably to the Northward of the several small islands scattered either within or about the tropic, in the Northern Pacific Ocean. We could not, therefore, form any probable conjecture from whence this weed came, and whither the birds retired at night, as they regularly left us about sunset, and took their flight to the East.

About nine o'clock in the morning, a sail was descried from the masthead, and, in about half an hour a large ship was seen from the deck. She appeared to be under an extraordinary croud of sail, and exhibited a very singular figure, for not one of us, even with the assistance of glasses, could make out which way she was standing. The sight of a ship in those seas was such an unusual circumstance, that for some time conjecture was at a loss concerning it. At length, however, it was determined to be a galleon, bound to China from New Spain, and by some casualty driven thus far to the Northward; though the track of those ships to Manilla, is generally between the parallels of 13° and 14° North latitude. In consequence of this opinion, several letters were written to inform our friends in China of our safety, and the progress we had made in the voyage. This extraordinary delusion, for it was no more, continued till we were within two leagues of the object; when, on viewing it with a glass, it was discovered to be an huge rock standing alone amid the waters. --- The first among us who became sensible of the deception remained silent, and diverted themselves with the strange conjectures and humorous observations of [097]the sailors, one of whom was so certain of its being a ship, that he was convinced he saw her colours. Its appearance did, indeed, very strongly resemble a first rate man of war, under a croud of sail; and such was its shape, that, at a certain distance, it held forth to the eye the form of every particular sail belonging to a ship. As we ranged up with this rock, our surprise was proportionably augmented, and the sailors were more than disposed to believe that some supernatural power had suddenly transformed it into its present shape. It obtained the name of Lot's Wife, and is one of the most wonderful objects, taken in all its circumstances, which I ever beheld.

By noon we were abreast of it; when it bore East North East four miles. The latitude was 29° 50´ North, and the longitude 142° 23´ East of Greenwich. The waves broke against its rugged front with a fury proportioned to the immense distance they had to roll before they were interrupted by it. It rose almost perpendicular to the height, according to the tables, of near three hundred and fifty feet. A small black rock appeared just above the water, at about forty or fifty yards from its Western edge. There was a cavern on its South Eastern side, into which the waters rolled with an awful and tremendous noise. In regarding this stupendous rock, which stood alone in an immense ocean, we could not but consider it as an object which had been able to resist one of those great convulsions of nature that change the very form of those parts of the globe which they are permitted to desolate.