view of the North Sea

A Migration of Thoughts

A bit after returning from India, diUmbria set forth in the Emerald Hunter, paid for by profits from his first India run. The ship put out from London with fifty one days of food on board, as well as an assemblage of supplies from lumber to sail cloth. While in London he had visited the archives in the city as well as done research at the University of Oxford before departure.

The Venetian’s new goal was to survey the sea north of Britain, and to hunt the elusive kraken there.

Ten days out of London they were ambushed by two caravels, smaller than diUmrbia’s ships but still it was a tough fight. The engagement occurred in sight of Edinburgh, and at one point diUmbria nearly fled till a great shot was struck against the enemy captain. The old Venetian’s own ship was half destroyed, his sails damaged beyond utility. At Edinburgh he had the necessary repairs accomplished, and then it was off to Manchester and then past the Isle of Man to Dublin. In all, they sailed about twenty five total days around the north coast of Britain, their survey was complete, but not a trace of of the sea beast was found.

They sailed to Amsterdam to resupply, a sixteen day sail, and during it there was ample evidence that the sailors were very frustrated to have not found their quarry. So they turned north again, with more supplies and yet more motivation. This time they moved out into the open North Atlantic, and spent at least seventy two days at sea; twenty five just to get out to the Azores, and then a good fifty six days after.

When this great adventure was behind them, and still no kraken, diUmbria knew his crew needed a change or he’d be soon facing a mutiny. So he headed south, and charted the Grain Coast and Gold Coast of Africa, and the Gulf of Guinea.

At one point diUmbria was standing on one of the narrow docks of Sao Tome, dressed in clothes from Arabia he’d dyed himself, green and brown. With his tanned skin and full gray beard, he could have passed for a Moor, an Indian, or an Ethiopian. He considered how in traveling the world, he brought the world into himself, pieces from here and there. They came to form a new whole in himself, which in turn through his passing brought the exotic local and helped weave a global tapestry of ideas. One could nearly choose a color and fiber for each style and technology and make a real pattern of the migrations of thoughts.

Venturing onward, they soon caught a monstrous great white shark and brought it on deck. Everyone was excited to see what the meat would taste like, but in the midst of preparing the mound of flesh a band of hither-to unknown rats presented themselves and set to work. It didn’t take long to decide to throw the lot overboard.

Forty three men crewed the Emerald Hunter, a heavy version of the large carrack. Under Captain diUmbria, she was running thirty six cannons; two rows of fourteen carronades and eight high perriers.

They decided to attack several pirates north of Luanda, and found that the Emerald Hunter was a fine ship in battle. The crew found the ship easy to maneuver on the open sea, and the cannons worked well as they had a mix of effective ranges. Emboldened by their easy victory, they then set about to engage a trio of rather larger ships and were quickly trounced and boarded. A dose of hard humility then, and a reminder of why diUmbria lives as in adventurer, and not a pirate. Not much is lost in the encounter though and diUmbria is soon able to get the ship going again.

Tragically, just twenty eight of his crew remained on board. Some had been killed, some captured by the pirates. In contrast, most of trade goods were left in the hold. From here they sail north and are caught in storms outside of Sao Tome. Forced to return to that port, they abandon plans of attempting to trade at the market in Benin.

It costs nearly seven thousand in repairs to fix the hull at Sao Tome, not including repairs already done with ten crates of trade lumber during and after the battle to keep the Emerald Hunter afloat. Once the ship was repaired, he took on twelve crew and set sail again.

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