We’ve arrived at the island. Well, not exactly at the island, but close to it. Captain’s dropped anchor about a mile away and he’s not going any closer. I don’t blame him. It’s more of a great rock than an island, a grim, dark shore, all rock and cliff and crag. Whirlpools the width of our boat, meander through the surrounding water like spinning tops whipping up clouds of spray that mask the island in a semi fog. It’s almost impossible to make out any features beyond this mist. No matter how I focus the binoculars, everything’s a blur.
There’s a tower there. I’m almost sure of that. It rises as tall and proud as a lighthouse. Yet, if it ever was a lighthouse, it’s light has long since faded. The sun is high behind us but not a single beam penetrates that mist.
Captain’s grown quiet and jumpy. He’s hardly sat still all morning and his unease is infectious. Even Armbranch is edgy and unenthusiastic about discussing our imminent departure. He likes the sea. He told me last night that if he ever got the chance he’d like to settle along the coast and become a fisherman. I feel bad about bringing him ashore to this place. But I know I’d never talk him out of it. No. He’d insist on coming and, to be honest, I don’t know if I’d ever have the courage to go there alone.
So what next? I don’t know. Wait I suppose. Captain wasn’t given any specific instructions on what to do when he reached here. They’ll see us, he said when I asked. Yes. I guess all we can do now is wait.