Day Five Hundred Thirty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The Captain has ordered the ship to full speed, day and night. The engineer has been up a couple of times to express his concern about the impact on the engines. Only the most crucial repairs had been undertaken at the time the ship was in the dry dock. There were some minor issues that were glossed over due to their haste back then. The engineer is fearful that pressing them to the limits of their endurance may eventuate in more serious problems.

The Captain listened politely, asked if there was any more speed to be had, and when the engineer replied in the negative, dismissed him back to the engine room.

Elijah keeps himself occupied in the special cabin.

Day Five Hundred Thirty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

As predicted we arrived just off our destination in the early afternoon. There was a lot of traffic – more coming out than going in. We took our place in line, and waited our turn.

The Captain came to me to ask after Elijah. The last I knew he was going to the special cabin, so I replied that he was more than likely still there. The Captain then inquired if Elijah had any plans to go ashore.

I had to plead ignorance.

Not wanting to disturb him, we waited.

Elijah emerged around the time our turn to enter port came up. Unbidden he declared we were not going ashore, saying this city is completely given over to the dark one.

Day Five Hundred Twenty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

At the end of my time in the special cabin today, I was comforted by the realization that it still looked and felt the same, but then I wondered for a moment was I still the same or have I changed. However I shook the notion off when I realized that I was falling to the temptation to judge myself and not placing my reliance where it should be.

A lesson learned long ago, but needing to be relearned. I am such a leaky vessel.

Tomas was coming in as I was going out. We had a brief exchange – momentous news from the bridge – the radio has sprung to life – a sign that the global authorities are extending their reach.

Day Four Hundred Seventy Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We should arrive at the next port of call sometime in the early morning. Plenty of time to prepare my lists. Or add to the one I had put together already.

In any case, I’ve been instructed to offload the containers due at the port we could not enter. The Captain reasons that someone who can claim them, may be at this “neighboring” port.

I’ve not seen Elijah all day. And Tomas repeated the same observation to me when he dropped in after dinner. He helped me plot a way to bring up the mystery container before making a search for our elusive friend.

Afterwards I swung by the special cabin. No Elijah.

I refreshed my soul before turning in.

Day Four Hundred Seventy Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Patrol boats have stopped us twice and sent us on our way. Both were satisfied with our paper work and seemed even less curious when they learned our port of call was not to be the capital, but a port hundreds of miles from here.

I suppose if we were headed to the capital we would have come under closer scrutiny.
One of the officers was curious about the shortage of people bearing the mark among us. They boasted that this definitely will be the last voyage for the ship under those circumstances. Elijah kept to the special cabin whenever officials were aboard. Each time the Captain was relieved when he did so without being asked.

And so it goes.

Day Four Hundred Sixty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Standing watch takes more than just staying awake. You have to stay alert. In the moment and concentrated on mission.

Too easily do my thoughts wander. What I just ate, or what will be for dinner. What was it that Elijah told me. And did I understand him aright.

It’s a constant combat. I have to confront it the second it starts, or I will succumb.
I have to be alert to being alert.

I have completed two watches successfully, but I have one coming up late tonight. So, I have decided to fast dinner and spend the time in our special cabin instead. I feel it to be the only way to maintain my concentration in this long day.

Day Four Hundred Fifty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The sea has flattened and the sky ahead has cleared. We have outrun the storm. We saw its track behind us where it had vectored off to the east. We also saw three other merchant vessels, also refugees of the weather.

Elijah wanted us to turn around then, but the Captain cautioned patience. In response Elijah drew apart to our special cabin.

Tomas wanted to turn around too, but for different reasons. He had heard rumors of pirates in the waters ahead.

Not until the other ships behind us turned about, did the Captain order the same.

When we were on our new course, Elijah emerged. He advised the Captain to make every attempt to enter port with the others.