Historical setting: Said to be 6th Century on the channel near Gaul
This night’s port is one of the wilderness places added to the Gaul side of the patrol after the Saxons parted from Rome. The officer gives me no favors now so I’m assigned the forth watch from darkness to dawn. He reminds me we are shorthanded so my watch is alone. A fire is essential here, to mark a place of warmth and light, letting any night prowlers see that this beach is already occupied by thirty sleeping soldiers. The fog numbs the dawning light but my watch ends as the others rise and we prepare for the day at sea.
I hope Constantia is soon at hand.
The deep fog still muffs the day so we have a slow start and no wind. This promises to be a long row into the hollow of mist.
No more is the officer watchful of my needs; and my lack of preparation for this voyage leaves me with no personal supply of foodstuffs. Now I must beg bread crusts and apple cores from those better prepared for this expected scarcity.
The fog continues so nothing is visible in any direction now that the shore is obscured. We have no way to know where we are. Without our bearings the officer chooses to anchor out here in the middle of the mist. A torch is posted so we can be seen were another ship passing by. But what ship would be passing us in this fog? I would think if a port like, say maybe, Constantia were near and the rest of the fleet was also landing at that port we would’ve seen the other ships going by us; or at least we would hear the sounds of them breaking through this stillness. It sets me to wonder if I will have my twenty-six years of this obligation filled before I meet Nic again.
By midday the mist dissolves into light. Now visible is the shadow of shoreline so we set into a hard-row for the long hours of the lengthening day until the rocky shores we follow are nearly lost in the dark of night.
This night we are at anchor as there seems to be no harbor or even a beach. Sleep is a crowd of snores from the benches. I would suppose the seabirds are fluffed by the noisy intrusion of our awkward human stir.
Dear God, thank you for letting me keep hopes whispered on my imagination for finding again, my brother in Christ. Amen.
(Come again tomorrow)