Day Five Hundred Ninety #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

No one liked the look of the sky today as we set sail.  It was dark and menacing.

Mr. Kagi haunted the bridge, hovering over each and every decision made by either the Captain or Tomas. And almost precipitated an incident by his insistence that we ignore a directive from the warship to halt.

The Captain sensibly put him in his place.

Thus, we received aboard three more passengers- two guards and their charge, the Raj twin P. We are to deliver them with our cargo.

Thankfully P is not being held under close arrest. So Elijah and I will be allowed to meet with him as long as at least one guard is present.

We will take every opportunity.

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Day Five Hundred Seventy Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I was reluctant to rejoin life outside the special cabin.  Not because of a foreseen consequence to my person, but because of what the day held for our people and for one in particular.

And it was not out of a sense of duty that I went to the Raj twin P, but out of true concern and love to prepare him for coming events.

First I sought out the Captain on the bridge to tell him about the imminent arrival of a manned warship. Elijah was also on the bridge conversing with P. So I called them over.

And as predicted a warship entered the harbor before nightfall, carrying personnel to man the ships and with demands on us.

Day Five Hundred Sixty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Tomas broke into the ward room mid-breakfast to alert the Captain to the presence of a lone ship on the horizon. At once the Captain left for the bridge. Elijah and I followed behind.

The speck was a ship, but whether merchant or a tanker it was impossible to make out for certain, even with binoculars. But by all appearances it was blocking the channel to our next port.

Pirates are not unheard of in this region, so the Captain made a snap decision to change course and make for a port on the opposite side of the island we had been heading for.

Much to everyone’s relief, the speck did not pursue us. It remained steadfast on station.

Day Five Hundred Fifty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I cannot help thinking about our recent guests and their enchantment with those green clad islands, as we pass by visions of surpassing beauty found only in the islands of these climes. They would have asked to move in for a closer look, maybe even have begged to land.

I know I have had such longings. But I realize that we have a schedule to keep and more pressing matters to see to.

Elijah remained in the special cabin all day. I alternated between the bridge and the Purser’s office, lending a hand to Tomas or P as the need arose.

Again a whole day has passed and no ship sightings. It would be disconcerting if we didn’t know why.

Day Five Hundred Fifty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Strangely uneasy all day.  But no one else aboard shares my apprehension.

It started this morning over breakfast. The dawn was slow arriving. The darkness clung everywhere, refusing to lift and give place to the light.

I mentioned this to Elijah. He only shrugged his shoulders and kept eating.

I planned to take some exercise on the deck, stopping first to check in on the bridge. Both the Captain and Tomas were present. But each was irritated about something, so I took the cue and launched into my walk down below.

It seemed to me that the storm of a couple of days ago had returned, only this time it was internal instead of external.

Time for the special cabin.

Day Five Hundred Forty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

A storm lashed the ship all day. Our guests remained in their quarters except the five of their number who are joining the crew. G oversaw their baptism as it were into this lot of a sailor’s life.

Elijah remained in the special cabin for the duration of the storm.  I could sense him wrestling for our safe passage.

I kept to the bridge and to the company of Tomas and P. Between the times of intense activity we talked about our lives, our past, and what it was that led us to this point in our life journeys.

Come my turn, their jaws dropped at the revelation of my great age. And marveled at my memories of my youth.

Day Five Hundred Twenty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

At the end of my time in the special cabin today, I was comforted by the realization that it still looked and felt the same, but then I wondered for a moment was I still the same or have I changed. However I shook the notion off when I realized that I was falling to the temptation to judge myself and not placing my reliance where it should be.

A lesson learned long ago, but needing to be relearned. I am such a leaky vessel.

Tomas was coming in as I was going out. We had a brief exchange – momentous news from the bridge – the radio has sprung to life – a sign that the global authorities are extending their reach.

Day Four Hundred Seventy Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The Captain called me to the bridge in the forenoon. I’d been busy crunching numbers so I welcomed the interruption to get away from my desk and office.

I was surprised however to learn the reason for my summons. The Captain handed me his binoculars and pointed to the shore. He said our next port used to be there.

I looked, but beyond a screen of naval ships it was hard to make out what I was seeing.

It helped when he added that skyscrapers used to stand where an inlet of water lay.

I wondered out loud why the Commodore had not forewarned us.

The Captain shrugged and asked  me to prepare things for the port next in line.

Day Four Hundred Forty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Heavy rains moved in today. The Captain’s concern grew when the wind picked up. He ordered the ship underway after a thorough checking of the lashings. In charge of that detail, Tomas had some of them doubled.

I watched from the bridge as the shoreline slid by. Elijah pointed out the rickety staircase by which we climbed up off the beach. The wind then died and a mist settled in along the coast of the island.

We were no sooner into the channel between the island and the mainland when the wind freshened. And within seconds day turned to blackened night and the wind mounted in ferocity.

The Captain commanded the ship about and we sailed away from our destination.

Day Four Hundred Forty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The Captain has signed off on transporting Emil’s special container. It has been maneuvered out to the dockside.

There it is undergoing its last review. Emil himself is running through the checklist prior to its placement atop the pyramid of containers secured to the deck. After all, last on, first off.

Elijah looks on. Approving and very satisfied with himself.

As part of the deal, we will be returning to this port with two or three containers in an agreed upon trade.

The Captain watches our endeavors from his perch on the bridge high above us. He is too distant to make out his feelings at this moment.

I look forward to the end of this day. And time alone.