Day Five Hundred Thirty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I had a dream in the early morning. I was jolted out of a deep sleep by a rhythmic pounding reverberating throughout the ship.

I left our cabin. There the pounding became muffled, but I could see a globe of light glowing as though through the bulkheads, emanating from somewhere below.

My footsteps took me to its source – the first container strapped to the deck.

The minute I touched its door, I awoke for real.

I looked to Elijah’s bunk. He was not there.

I encountered Tomas in the passageway. He had been on watch and saw a light down on the deck.

We found Elijah peering in through its open door.

We passed the day combing through its contents.

Day Five Hundred Twenty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

It feels good to be underway again – out in calm seas under sunny skies, especially as the Captain has decided to take the risk and put in at the next port up the coast.

Elijah has invested all his waking hours with the Raj family, which he gathered into our cabin to go over the slightly different route they will be taking.

At one point he sent for me. I was with Tomas in the Purser’s cabin, listening to his arguments for taking on the job again. It seems some of the older members of the Raj family were battling sea sickness.

I rejoined Elijah in our cabin and did what I could to help them cope with the malady.

Day Four Hundred Sixty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Before the course change last night Tomas went to the Captain’s cabin and woke him up. The Captain had guessed already the motivating concern of his First Mate’s visit. And told him that it was more likely that the robotic warship was a bigger threat to them than the rumored pirates. The Captain reiterated the order. On leaving Tomas successfully begged him to double the watch.

Or so Elijah related to me this morning.

Having little to do myself I sought Tomas and volunteered to stand additional watches. He accepted my offer and took a few moments to run down what I should be alert for – small, fast-moving boats with a few armed men.

I hope they stay away.

Day Four Hundred Forty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

A lot of prep today to receive the new containers for shipment. I dealt with the challenging puzzle of arranging the stowage so that those shipments last off will go under those off first.

Emil was very helpful in this matter. He has everything arranged on shore to that end. What may hold up things is waiting on the Captain’s final approvals as to what will go.

By end of day we had the ship ready to receive the new cargo. In our cabin after dinner, Elijah and I talked over our days. He had wandered off into the city to look around. He senses a great loneliness and dispiritedness in all whose path he crossed.

I shared about Emil.

Day Three Hundred Sixty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

A tragedy transpired over night. We only know the aftermath at present. Who knows if anyone aboard knows the whole story. For certain, no one knows the reason for it except the victim, if indeed he is a victim. Whichever is the case, he is beyond our reach.

In the first watch of the new day, the guard who kept to their cabin, left it, ran to the rail and leapt over it. There were three witnesses to his action – the officer of the deck and a hand from the engine room up on a break.

And Elijah. He saw the guard’s action. And confirms that the other witnesses were present to see it too.

Elijah thinks he lost hope.

Day Three Hundred Fifty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The glow of a conflagration radiates from the area of the port out of sight behind us. Much speculation about the meaning of it all has set the lower decks abuzz.

I think most telling has been the reaction of the two armed guards assigned to the government shipment. One has given up on his duty and sticks solely to their cabin. The other one won’t leave their charge. I believe there exists tension between them.

Elijah has noticed this too, and he has made overtures to each in turn. So far, neither has responded. But if I know Elijah he will persist.

The rest of the crew remains open and in their down time ask a lot of questions.

Day Three Hundred Thirty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Stan’s former cabin is now swabbed out. The crew to a man refused to do it. The Captain was at the point of rolling up his sleeves and pitching in himself, when the Purser and the First Mate volunteered for the chore.

However, the Captain ordered the entire crew forward to view the cabin before the two volunteers tackled the task. And he had them all go through it after it was cleaned. His goal, I am sure, was to cure them of their fear.

I was standing at the rail near the bow, wondering if he had been successful in his intent, when the view changed my focus.

I climbed back to the bridge to report an approaching ship.

Day Three Hundred Twenty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

A messenger from the Captain came for Elijah early today. But he was already out and about and I did not know where.

This crewman was downcast at the news. They had been all night trying to cut their way into Stan’s cabin – unsuccessfully.

I told him to check the superstructure from this level down, and I would cover the upper levels.

I learned his whereabouts when I questioned the Purser in his office.  That gentleman told me that Elijah was in the sanctuary cabin.

I turned to go, but he held me up. Elijah had left word that he was not to be disturbed.

There was nothing to do but go tell the Captain that we have to wait.

Day Three Hundred Twenty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

It took the better part of this day to clear the wide-ranging obstacle and we are now back on a southerly course.

Elijah tells me that the crew is quite upset over the recent developments. They have taken to blaming the missing government official (Stan) for everything. And avoid his former cabin like the plague.

The Purser caught an earful and passed their objections on to the Captain. I accompanied him when he went forward to see things for himself and to calm his men. He became alarmed when he could not open the cabin in question. He sent for his machinist mate to evaluate the problem.

At that point I felt I was in the way and left.

Day Three Hundred Eighteen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The sun shining and the sea mild today. It made it easy for walking about. To that end, we climbed down from the bridge to the deck and skirted the containers to the bow.

Almost too much fresh air in our faces there.  Before we ducked out we did see islands ahead, but not ours. And we saw a porpoise alongside racing the ship, leading several others. We kept them in view on our walk back to the superstructure and the bridge. It was a magnificent sight.

The Captain was present so Elijah stayed to converse with him. I continued to the cabin set apart for quiet contemplation.

I must be getting old. For I had a series of dreams.