Day Five Hundred Ninety Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

A day for goodbyes.

Most of the crew will be staying with the ship, if only to return to their homes whose ports were announced in the future itinerary. Others with no attachments want to spend their money and look about before shipping out again. Elijah met with them all after the transport service official’s time with them. It was a time to encourage and wish one another God speed.

We debarked with the Captain and Tomas in the heat of the afternoon. Mr. Kagi accompanied us to the gangplank in his first duty as captain. Before parting he gave us the name of a fellow exile from the islands.

Through his compatriot we found this place in the country.

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Day Five Hundred Ninety Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The sun gave promise of burning through the fog by the late hours of the morning.  And indeed were dispelled the minute that the transport service official stepped onto the deck.

Much to the relief it seemed to the local denizens, whom we at last saw milling about in the sun.

Elijah and I took it as our cue to stay out of sight.

The official asked the Captain if he would continue with the ship. As this would require taking the mark, he declined. So did Tomas.

Mr. Kagi spoke up and volunteered himself for consideration. The official was noncommittal and went off to canvass the crew.

He left word that those not staying needed to depart by tomorrow.

Day Five Hundred Ninety One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The darkness barely lifted yesterday, and has returned with a vengeance today. It appears darkest at the point of the compass that marks our heading.

The Captain remarked to me that if he did not have Elijah’s strong word of confirmation, he would have turned aside.

Elijah and I took turns in the special cabin. Time spent here in our estimation is an indispensable preparation for the ordeal ahead. I know for my part I emerged energized and confident.

We divided our remaining time between the crew and P.

P informed us that he has been treated well. (This, under the guard’s watchful eye). I did note a few facial bruises, but said nothing. His devotion to Hamashiach is unwavering.

Day Five Hundred Eighty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The crew is restive, in part due to idleness, as all the cargo has been unloaded and for the other part, dwelling on the uncertainty of their future.

Two men from the engine room were listed as overdue from their shore leave. But they should be back for the Captain has decided not to pay off the crew until he knows our final disposition. There is the possibility that we will be sent somewhere else for the handover.

Elijah and I helped Mr. Kagi settle his affairs and set up in a nearby residence. He is unsure what he wants to do next. He has let it be known that he would be willing to ship out with us again.

Day Five Hundred Eighty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The Captain did not entertain for a moment Mr. Kagi’s proposal. He politely turned him down.

Elijah and I were present and afterwards congratulated him upon his principled stance. To have decided otherwise in my estimation would have been a serious misstep. Elijah added that it is imperative we wait for the path the Spirit would open for us.

This morning the Captain tasked Tomas and myself with keeping tabs on our passenger with an eye to stave off any provocation.  He sees the distinct possibility of his gaining a sympathetic ear among certain elements of the crew.

This shouldn’t be a concern for long, as we should arrive at our destination tomorrow.

Will the robotic warship greet us there?

Day Five Hundred Seventy Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The Captain was not dismissed from the warship until this morning.  We are still sifting through all the consequent changes.

They have P under arrest. His entire family is on a wanted list for departing their town without permission. He will be transported back.

The fate of the ship has been decided. She will be added to the global transport service. But the Captain successfully argued our right to complete our voyage. So we will be sailing soon to the port we passed over to get to this one.

Everyone is concerned about what to do next. Tomas wants to return home. The Captain won’t remain with the ship. The crew talks desertion.

Elijah and I await the Spirit’s movement.

Day Five Hundred Seventy Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Upon entering the harbor yesterday the Captain sounded the ship’s whistle. And Tomas again led an expedition ashore to find a mooring and to help in the process.

The new day found us settled in. And there were signs of life returning to the city.

Just the curious at first, but soon after some dock workers who went to fetch their bosses.

The main port official made ready to receive our cargo. He also informed us that refugees from the original terminus of our voyage have immigrated here, and are elated at the prospect of claiming their property.

Late in the day, Hans returned to his ship. Scared off, it is said, by stories about Elijah told by the crew.

Day Five Hundred Sixty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We were a long time getting into the harbor. And even a longer time finding a berth. Debris packed the waters beside the docks, human bodies making up a good proportion of said debris.

And just like the ship master it took some convincing to change the minds of the remaining port authorities to allow us entry. Then it seemed like an eon for them to assemble some dock workers to help. (Many had fled to high ground).

Our crew set about clearing a way in, and by the time the shore crew was ready, we had already accomplished that task.

I helped Tomas and P identify containers with medical supplies and offloaded those first.

Even some listed for elsewhere.

Day Five Hundred Forty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The crew was busier than usual putting to rights problems left in the aftermath of yesterday’s storm. I joined G’s team as they investigated a higher than usual level of water in the bilges. It wouldn’t do to have a leak.

All the hatches topside proved to be functioning properly. So we moved below. We soon discovered the problem.

A sliver of daylight was showing between two hull plates high up in the forward section. With a calm sea no water was coming in.

The Captain put a welding crew on it. And we completed our search. G wanted to be thorough.

Elijah came out of the special cabin and passed the remainder of the day building up our guests.

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.