Day Six Hundred Sixty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The ground we’ve been hiking has transformed from sandy soil to flat expanses of rock. We are thankful for rock cairns that have been raised every few hundred cubits to mark the correct passage. They kept us away from the sheer drops down to the river that parallels our path.

Of course there was not much water coursing through its channel at this time..

The Captain thinks that by month’s end it will be all dried up.

Elijah has been stopping more frequently. We stopped also, except for Tomas who would indulge his habit of wandering further afield after one curiosity or another.

On one such foray he discovered the perfect spot for us to hold up for the night.

Day Five Hundred Sixty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

This island is a lot bigger than we thought. It took nearly twenty four hours to come around to the other side. And we were slowed considerably by the necessity of avoiding debris bobbing on the waters.

We concluded that the tsunami must have hit this side, and this was confirmed by the master of the vessel in the channel, when he came over to warn us.

Our Captain explained to him our desire to lend any help we could. But he was reticent to our entering the port.

At this juncture Elijah declared that the danger of any more tsunamis was past. The ship master was nonplussed at his outburst, but raised no further objection.

The vision proved true.

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 Four Hundred Fifty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Tomas kept an eye on the pilot as he directed the ship out of the harbor. And for good reason as it turned out. Tomas countermanded his order to increase speed at a critical juncture, and relieved him. The Captain then sent him back to his tug.

Tomas finessed the ship out to the channel. He set a straight course for the northern end of the island, but Elijah convinced Tomas and the Captain that a better strategy would be to continue north out to sea and to come at the island port city from out of the north.

So it was a long but uneventful passage. And we arrived in time to see the departure of a robotic warship.

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 Three Hundred Thirty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I was in error.

The other ship was not moving at all. It was the motion of our ship, its momentum, that created the impression in my mind that the other vessel was approaching. The Captain saw it right off.

And he also slowed our approach to better evaluate what we were getting ourselves into.

The bloody morass still lay off in the distance on our right. And it now appeared that we had a similar phenomenon far to our left. Was the way ahead the only channel through to our destination?

The Captain decided to press on. Perhaps our answer lies with the becalmed ship.

The Captain has ordered all hands on the alert, both day and night crews.