Day Five Hundred Seventy #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The Captain has made another course correction. I was with him when he sent the order down. He was excited to show me the chart with his calculations on it.

There was a line representing our track, a bulge into the open sea, far from any indication of land. Now pointed like an arrow at an archipelago.

When I pointed to a column of figures scribbled beside the pencil track, the Captain summed it up with three words, “Two days away.”

And just like that pencil track amidst the empty space on the map, so has been the ocean surrounding us, devoid of any vessels.

And the Captain has decided to triple the lookouts. Only Elijah and I are excused.

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Day Five Hundred Sixty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah agreed with the Captain’s decision to avoid the next port of call.

We were surprised that these were the first words out of his mouth upon emerging from the special cabin. For he had held up in there for the past two days.

He then added cryptically that this port will be the end of the voyage. For everyone.

The Captain began to protest. And stated that the end was always supposed to be on the tropical islands at the center of this immense ocean.

To this Elijah answered that the people awaiting the shipments were no longer there. All the inhabitants had been removed forcibly on Stan’s orders. He now holds the islands as his personal possession and retreat.

Day Five Hundred Fifty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The Captain informs us that we have left one large ocean behind and are now entering the largest one on the globe.

All I see is a lot of islands, but he assures me that though there are many in this vicinity, a great vastness awaits beyond.

I think he can’t wait to surround us in the safety of that vastness.

Elijah has been busy today giving assurances himself. The Raj twin P came to him earlier to ask why Elijah had recommended him for the position on the other ship. I thought he was feeling slighted, but that was not the case. He was having doubts and wondering if he had missed his path.

Elijah put him at ease.

Day Five Hundred Fifty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Whereas we passed no vessels yesterday, today was markedly different.  I don’t think we had the ocean to ourselves a single minute. By the time we reach our next port of call, I will be surprised if we don’t have it all to ourselves.

Elijah commented upon my stated apprehensions of yesterday. He knew that that dark cloud on my visage would dissipate as soon as I entered the special place. And I admit the second the door closed behind me a great weight lifted.

So, why didn’t he recommend that course of action to begin with? The better to learn the lesson again?

He only smiles.

The Captain and Tomas were in better spirits today.

Was it just me?

Day Five Hundred Thirty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

A robotic warship lay off the port. Beyond it fortifications at the harbor mouth were smoking ruins.

A message came over the satellite radio from the warship – an order for us to come alongside. At its direction we delivered the second container over the side to them.

Thus our surmisal proved correct.

We were cleared to enter the harbor to drop off the first container, which we did in the quickest manner possible.

It was eerie being the only ship at the port. The local authorities were very differential.

I guess they wanted us gone as soon as possible.

When we returned to the ocean the warship disappeared in the direction towards the port we had quitted four days ago.

Day Four Hundred Thirty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

At long last we found a way up off of the beach.

It was during one of our down times. Elijah sat facing the ocean while communing with the One. I found a rivulet that sank into the sand before reaching the sea and followed it back in hopes that it would lead to an opening in the cliff wall. Or perhaps even a valley that could carry us into the interior.

Instead its source was a pool at the foot of the rock wall, fed by a waterfall down its face.

And running parallel to it was a rickety stairway structure. I clambered to the top and there, sitting abandoned was a lovely villa.

I ran to fetch Elijah.

Day Four Hundred Thirty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Well, we almost ruled out ever returning to the area south of the city.

It was the next logical step as we set out this morning. To our surprise we encountered no villages or even farms in that direction. At least until we realized there was no arable soil due to omnipresent rocks. A reality that increased as we went along.

That is until we made our way back along the rugged shoreline. There we ran into a tiny fishing village clinging to the sides of a perfect little cove. The fishing fleet was then out according to those left behind. And indeed we could make out small craft dotting the ocean between here and the city.

We shall return.

Day Three Hundred Seventy Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Staying in the open last night presented no problems. The heat of the day stayed with us, so it was comfortable.

Upon commencing our journey, we were surprised that the silence over the city was broken. Then we realized that the sounds were down in the dock area and most likely due to the offloading of containers from our ship.

The noise faded away as we increased our distance from the city.

We came across a stream which was flowing back towards the ocean. Elijah suggested that we follow it to its source, knowing that the home belonging to the Purser’s mother, is on a lake.

Before the setting of the sun, we had our first glimpse of the lake.

Day Three Hundred Thirty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

On deck the air radiated hot and oppressive, despite the fact of our swift forward motion. At the bow it was more akin to a blast furnace.

Elijah stayed in the sanctuary cabin over night and was missing from the vigil we were keeping on the bridge in the early dawn hours.  So I assumed he was still there.

Out of the grayness a wide expanse of ocean came into focus beyond the closing pincers of the enveloping morass.

The Captain despaired. In his judgment the welcome sight was still too far away.

But then it were as if we crossed a line into a polar region and a fierce wind blew from behind us forward, forcing the pincers apart.

Day Two Hundred Fifty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I saw the insides of a lot of basements in my morning rounds. For the most part they are the only things sure to be intact in those sectors I can set foot in.

Elijah has spent a lot of time with our host, answering his questions, and then asking some of his own.

Many, our host included, blame the former leader of this country for the devastation that has befallen it. They were glad to be rid of him, but now he has assumed control of the world government whose seat is far beyond the ocean. From there he promises to bring peace and safety, if all will only surrender to his power.

I sense the hand of Stan.