Magdalene's blog

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Journal Entry: August Tenth

Cadiz--my new home.

Journal Entry: August Eighth

Naturally there had to be one more adventure before reaching port. I was visiting with Captain Lot--we were discussing my desire to be back on land, and possibilities at the villa--when one of the interchangeable sailors knocked at the door. “You’d better come see this, Captain.”
Up on deck, Quintin handed over the spyglass. He explained, “She’s been with us all day, and has just turned to intercept. Can’t see her flags, but the wind’s in her favor, so she’ll be upon us soon enough. Should we prepare the cannons?”

Journal Entry: August Sixth

Have now been lectured on the difference between pirates and privateers.
I don’t think I’m cut out for a life at sea. Privateering aside, I can hardly grow plants on the deck, no matter how often we send the powder monkeys to fetch dirt. I yearn to be amongst the trees, climbing rocks, even following sheep about a hillside. I want a roof over my head, a place to paint, musical instruments, dancing in the evenings, a room to hold drying herbs and pots of dye, a comfortable seat on which to read all day long.

Journal Entry: August Fifth

My goodness--they’re pirates!

Journal Entry: August Fourth

Such an exciting night! Exciting and unfortunate, rather, for me and for a number of poor sailors; they, naturally, worse off than me, being dead instead of merely disappointed.

Journal Entry: August Second

We are nearing the home port in Cadiz--another six or seven days, if the wind holds. I think I shall be glad to be back on dry land. My legs desire greater exercise than walking to and fro on deck and the occasional climb into the rigging. I am kept occupied, on occasion, by what is brought in from the sea to supplement the dry rations kept on board. I am keeping a catalogue of fish and sea vegetables, and their edibility, as some things are thrown back, either because they are not palatable, or as they are deadly.

Journal Entry: The Cloven Heart

(An excerpt from Mina’s journal during her first voyage at sea.)

I was awake late last night. The ship was so very still--only a slight breeze came across the sea--and we were surrounded by a thick fog. On deck, perched at the rail, I could hear nothing but the lap of waves against the hull, sometimes mistaken for the beats of my own heart. A rustle of cloth announced the approach of someone--Mordechai, it turned out.
I asked, was it not strange, how one could imagine shapes out from the fog, like the neck of a sea-serpent, or the prow of a ghostly ship like in the stories?

Journal Entry: July First

Sigh. How nice to lay here, just on the edge of sleep, resisting the need to open my eyes for just a few more minutes. How lumpy this bed feels this morning. And how did my room get so drafty?
What is that noise--a squeak of wood, the snap of cloth? Must be the floor creaking outside my room, and some sheets hung to dry outside. I can smell the sea particularly well today--a strong wind from the north.
Oh, it’s useless to pretend that I can dwell in bed any longer. I’ll get up.

Journal Entry: June Twenty-Second

June Twenty-second
Can it be nearly dawn? I have been awake all night, yet excitement still keeps sleep from me. Rarely have I stayed up an entire night, and never has it seemed to pass so quickly. Sleep must be brief for me, as my patient may wake at any time.

Journal Entry: June Fourteenth

I have arrived safely at Uncle’s townhouse in Antwerp. Each year it seems the town doubles in size, with three times as many ships in port. Aunt has already begun to speak of the young men of the town suitable to make a match with a lord’s youngest daughter. I will have none of them, as long as my family support my intellectual endeavors. Really, it is only Aunt who wishes to see me soon married.

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