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 Forty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah had lots to sort out today, all on account of dreams. The dreams of crew members (including the Raj twin G) and the dreams of our guests.

Those experienced by the crew showed them joining the pilgrimage on land. And those of our guests revealed their continuing with the ship. Elijah has met with each one to hear their story. The fact that the number of individuals from each group is the same – six – strongly inclines him to accede to their leading. He wants to be sure.

And as I feared P is upset by all the talk of his brother parting from him. He talks about casting his lot in with him too.

That Elijah refuses to accept.

Day Five Hundred Forty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The Captain took the ship out in the forenoon. We are a little lighter again, for we had nothing but deliveries in this port. There were no new shipments.

Our progress was slow and cautious as Tomas navigated the other end of the inward passage. Delighted by the view of the bright green islands floating on the blue, blue sea, the Hamashiachites lingered long at the rail.

Once we reached the open ocean, Elijah collected them in the mess hall and introduced them to other believers from the crew. Some strong bonds were forged today. In fact, the Raj twin G may leave at the next port to accompany them.

Elijah approves, but I wonder what his twin brother thinks.

Day Five Hundred Twenty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The crew is scared witless. Elijah has been sharing with them portents of future events. He did temper his vision with reasons to hope, but they have only been able to focus on the downside. I took every opportunity to share with them out of our experience about how that hope is real and has the power to see us through anything.

I passed part of my time today with P to instruct him in the duties of a purser. (Yes, he has been approved for the position by all concerned). He has asked a lot of questions – always a good sign. I encourage him to ask more, as it gives me the best insight into what I should teach.

Day Five Hundred Nineteen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We were no sooner settled in than we were out again. Some barracks space has been made available to us, Elijah and myself, among the crew for as long as the ship is on the stocks. Or as Tomas has come to call her lovingly “the rust bucket.”

She may need more than a fresh coat of paint, however. All depends upon what they find upon a closer examination.

All hands will be called to help.

We have conferred at length with Tomas and the Captain. Time is not on our side. Just as we have witnessed the aggressive movement in our journeyings of the global faction, so too have they been dogged by similar actions upon their coastal cruise.

Day Five Hundred Eighteen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

A whirlwind of happenings since yesterday. I’ve hardly had the time to sit down and consider it all. And I’m not sure I will have the time to put it all down. So I’ll have to keep to those things of the most importance.

We had a magnificent reunion.

The crew is all hale and hearty and little changed since last we saw them.

And Tomas declared he was more glad to see me than I him. (I think he is counting on me to take up the Purser’s office again).

We’ll leave that for a future discussion.

We were no sooner settled than the ship was unmoored and taken into dry dock.

We may catch our breath by tomorrow.

Day Five Hundred Seventeen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The Raj twins, (for such they are), awakened us early and led us on a serpentine crawl across the face of the city. I would not like to make the trip any later.

Elijah reflected an unruffled demeanor upon entering the shipyard. I, by contrast, could not contain my excitement at the prospect of reuniting with the Captain and the crew of the ship.

Two vessels were on the stocks in the dry docks, but neither one was ours. The twins left us at the shipyard office to make our queries.

To our joy the Captain emerged from the office as we were climbing the stairs.

To our questions he gestured to the first in a line of waiting ships.

Day Four Hundred Eighty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The light of the sun now shines into the depths of the ship’s hold. All to reveal a hollow space in the midst of the other containers. Was there ever a container there at all?

Tomas surmises that someone or “someones” on the crew arranged it in order to have a private spot for illicit activity. I’m not so sure. There are no signs that the space was ever occupied. And if ever there was a container to go with the paper work it must have been removed long ago. All that remains is the mystery.

I left Tomas to supervise the reloading and sought Elijah.

I found him only to learn we will not be allowed to stay ashore.

Day Four Hundred Seventy Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah tells me I worry too much. I had been explaining to him my concern about the mysterious container, and the fact that it is buried so deep in the hold that we cannot get at it while we are underway, that he stopped me mid-explanation and told me to forget about it until such time that I can do something.

Sage advice. But how to put it into practice. I feel such responsibility to the Captain, to the crew, and to the ship.

After expressing this sentiment, Elijah gave me a sterner talking to, but in the end let me down gently. I felt more peaceful afterwards. And I realize now I can last til the next port.

Day Four Hundred Sixty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The crew has switched to lighter summer attire, and Tomas has allowed the heavier work details to put off  those chores until the cooler parts of the day. Meanwhile the only breeze stirred comes off the bow of the ship.

Elijah spends time with Tomas and those in the crew he has known from before: renewing acquaintance, strengthening and encouraging their walk in the Spirit.

I made my daily report to the Captain. Routine. No changes from yesterday.

For his part, he apprised me of a change in course. Tonight he will order the ship to a northerly tack (to confuse potential pursuers), before resuming our easterly course.

There are possible clients along coastal areas that could signal for services.