Day Five Hundred Eighty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah and I wandered around the port today trying to converse with people. I noted a higher than usual distrust toward strangers.

In a couple of instances Elijah was able to penetrate their defenses and gain an understanding of their predicament.

After the time of the Glorious Appearing a great many people  on this island disappeared. (We know what happened. They don’t.) Those left moved into the vacant properties and businesses, and are plagued by the notion that the rightful owners could return at any time.

We tried to explain the truth, but that made them all the more fearful.

All this was forgotten upon our return to ship at the sight of a warship tied up next to us.

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Day Five Hundred Seventy Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Hans, our new sailor guest, wanted the Captain to take the ship out immediately. He believed the port, and the entire island to be surrounded by warships. For emphasis he pointed to the glowing fires in the distance.

But we knew his fears in that regard to be unfounded. Yes there were fires, but they were not due to any ships offshore. Besides I felt there would be little incentive to destroy such a magnificent facility if it could be had by other means.

He settled down with the advent of a new day, when all was revealed to be as before.

Elijah met with the Captain and told him it was safe to enter.

The anchor was ordered up.

Day Five Hundred Sixty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The atmosphere on this island is distinctly unfriendly. The Captain is puzzled by this and he admits to a battle within himself to not be hostile in return.

The cleanup on shore goes on around the clock. So perhaps the attitude could be ascribed to exhaustion and a seemingly unending undertaking.

But Elijah and I made a couple more forays and brought back another explanation.

The prevailing talk points to their deep sense of guilt over their lukewarmness towards the cult of Stan. (Some attribute it to their abandonment of the past, but they are a minuscule minority).

Because they will do anything to appease Stan, we predict things will get uglier.

The Captain concurs. We need to leave – soon.

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 Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We arrived in port in the heat of the day, the harbor completely empty. Before we tied up, however, we were sent packing. And warned to remain at sea until the danger of a tsunami had passed.

An earthquake had struck the island yesterday, centered on their opposite coast. The lone ship we had seen was out there to warn other ships.

When we attained a safe distance, the Captain called us together for a conference.

The Captain felt it necessary that we switch back to the other port, arguing that some of the cargo consigned there may well meet some crucial needs. We all concurred.

And Elijah advised that we remain off the other coast yet one more day.

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 Four Hundred Forty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The only illumination during the night (besides our bonfire) were from the ships in harbor. The city itself lay dark and eerily silent.

The ship we identified as ours appeared to be docked towards the opposite side of the port. So, rising early we set out to march to that end. Our first sight of the landward side was disheartening. The city is so huge we despaired of reaching our goal before nightfall. In the distance a low causeway ran from the interior of the island up to the city. This proved to be a highway leading to the main gate of the city.

I wanted to attempt entry there, but Elijah decided we needed to stick to our plan.

Day Four Hundred Thirty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We have arrived on the island after a very long day. Elijah did not want to risk missing the departure of the fishing fleet so we set out well before sunrise. In fact it was dark when we came into the fishing village and seemingly darker still as we cast off.  

I was sick almost immediately. These small craft are nothing like our big ship. They bounce about too much. Elijah was stoic throughout.

As we passed the midpoint, another cloud bank descended obscuring the island. The fishermen hesitated and wanted to put about, but Elijah insisted we continue.

We rounded a point on the northern end and there the fog lifted, leaving a clear path into a lonely beach.