amazon river photo from wikipedia

To The New World

After the kraken hunt, diUmbria returns to London. He soon receives post from Juan Garrion to meet at Seville, as he is finally ready to sail for the New World. The older captain is anxious to find a place to begin an approved colony, the company having already grown to include 12 other fine captain’s and their exploits. He began to feel he was part of something greater than himself.

Still, he was beginning to wonder about the kraken. Was it only a myth? He’d been at sea A LOT. No kraken. The only person ever, so far as he knew, to actually see one was Keplin, and his disappearance was as much a mystery as ever.

So it was that he made great haste to execute arrangements to depart for Spain, hiring out a local navigator to make the voyage while he himself prepared by going over supplies and charts. He was convinced that the very best, and fastest way across the Atlantic was to sail south, to stop in at Las Palmas and Cabo Verde as necessary for supplies, and strike out east-southeast from this last port with a ship rigged for tailwinds. By his calculations, with his current ship, the crossing could be made in as few as 10 days.

He knew the sea was at times beyond calculations, however, and so he prepared for everything he knew how, from stores of lime juice to crates of excellent tools and lumber; from musical instruments to sixty-two days of food and water.

The journey soon began, and just south of Seville, Phillip Laurent, the First Mate of diUmbria, earned the distinction of having served long enough to pilot his own vessel under the flag of Venice. This moment had been long awaited, but there was no time to make good on it as the two ships of diUmbria and Juan Garrion streaked southward across the Atlantic. So he would have to wait yet further for his own vessel.

They reached Las Palmas after a scuffle with local pirates. The engagement resulted in damaged sails for Garrion, and diUmbria towed him into port for repairs. The Spaniard’s ship was much larger and more powerful, but lucky shots from the enemy had done the damage. The ship was already slower than the Venetian’s, and this made it unbearable till the local shipwright was able to get to work.
Soon after, they struck out directly south for their next stop. Through this stretch they had few problems.

Out of Cabo Verde, diUmbria really took over the navigation, with Juan following close behind. Juan had bought the galleon diUmbria sailed from a shipyard in Manchester, but under the older man’s hands the vessel became a whole new creature. From sails dyed in paint he’d bought himself in India, to making room for more cannon, to outfitting her with an extra sprit and custom modified royal staysail and mizzen gallant bonnet, she had yard upon yard of canvas and though she wasn’t diUmbria’s fastest ship yet, she was surely close.

So fast, in fact, that after just 14 days they were in sight of the coast of South America. diUmbria quickly recognized the mouth of the Amazon river, and against Juan Garrion’s judgment decided to venture up the massive waterway for a quick look. He’d been here before, in fact, long ago, but had passed the river by, thinking to one day return.

Sometime in through exploring the mouth of the great river, diumbria was taken ill. The illness left him with terrible coughing fits, unable to leave his bed. Try as he may, he couldn’t control his ship, and was soon under the control of Juan Garrion, with orders to leave him at the soonest port or landfall.

This the Spaniard did, though not without mishap. diUmbria woke, some time later, feeling refreshed but disoriented, to find his ship moored at a port called Cayenne. Nearly half his crew was missing, his ship was massively damaged and the rudder beyond repair, and all that was left of his companion was a letter stating that Juan Garrion had sailed back to Europe.

Well; no matter. The vVenetian would soon orient himself and be on his way. The only question was whether to remain and further explore the Amazon, or press on north and leave this land of fever behind.

To begin, he was able to fill out his crew with fourteen willing locals, and resupply with food and water. Taking bearings, he found he was just northwest of the river’s mouth, and so decided to return, to try his luck at again at exploring the fabled waters. Fish and nuts that had been given to him by a Captain Agnes before leaving Europe and they were quite refreshing, and renewed his vigor tremendously. Under a combination of his own labor and direction, he was able to repair the ship’s damaged rudder with special tools and spare wood.

For fifteen days they sailed; it took about five to reach the river, then another ten upstream. The waterway was massive, like a small flowing sea. At about the twelfth day a storm came upon them that was fierce like an ocean storm, with heaving waves and vengeful winds that made navigation hopeless. diUmbria had dropped anchor in the river to prevent being flung helpless upon the banks. At about evening of the fifteenth day they came to a place where the river forked, and a landing could be made, which they did.

The forest reminded the Venetian of the wilderness of India, the thoroughly drenched forest of leaves, vines, flowers, and rain. He decided to venture inland just a bit, to see if he could find some animals or evidence of people.

He found nothing but endless jungle and a small band of very rough looking Europeans. Why they were here, he couldn’t guess, but they looked like the sort best left undisturbed, so he quietly snuck away before he was noticed.

By eighteen days he had sailed as far as he could, till the waters grew shallow and unpredictable for an ocean ship, and turned back downstream. The water was a strange gold-brown-icky-pretty depending on light, shifting from liquid metal to silty mud at the whims of the sun and clouds. The wind here, also, was not like the sea wind, but was instead a series of unexpected gusts pushing them along in unforeseen ways. It was a challenge just to keep them center in the river, away from the many half-sunken logs that littered the banks.
many gusts of wind.

While sailing the great waterway, they caught Redtail Catfish, piranhas, and arowana.

Twenty six days of sailing, and the crew was growing uneasy, so captain goes to get the instruments for a diversion. Instead, he finds them gone, even his own beloved vihuela. With this news, captain and crew are even more distressed, and though they try a sing a song together the attempt soon falls short and the crew disperse.

Around thirty-one days of sailing on the Amazon, nearing the yawning mouth, beset by a trio of Carib pirates. They narrowly escape, but four men are thrown overboard in the scuffle. These four are saved personally by diUmbria, and the act so inspires the crew that despite all they’ve been through everyone feels renewed after this.

By thirty six days they were in sight of Cayenne again. Seven days later, they reached San Juan and had a meal of of rum and stuffed papaya, and felt even more refreshed. Taking a few days to rest, they find the village is made up of thatched huts, with the native peoples dressed in flowery tunic-like garments.

Next, they were to sail north to the coast of North America to find a promising spot to found their colony. Fourteen days out of San Juan, north of the Carribean, find a landing spot, but found it unfit for the settlement. They then sailed back south a bit down the coast for other spots, taking careful observations of the natural features along the way.

A few days later, a bit south of a long, large island close to the coast, they locate a spot diUmbria feels good about and found the colony.
As the supplies were being unloaded to establish the basic dock and shore shacks for the initial residents, someone found diUmbria’s viheula tucked into a forgotten chest. This really lifted the Venetian’s spirits, and he instantly set to work strumming out a series of chords based around an tune he’d heard in a tavern in Dublin.

Sailing in pilot boats as the building began, fishermen set to work catching food for the budding colony. They quickly turned up fine catches of porgie and damselfish. They were thin, small fish relative to what they were used to, but it was enough to eat.

Eventually they have to return to the Carribean for money and supplies to expand the settlement, but the area is now established and the Kraken Hunter’s Society is now officially in charge of its own colony in the New World. To be absolutely sure of his ability to find the location again, he took a twice-checked navigation bearing and found his position to be 13020, 3200.

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