Friday, March 26, 1651
With overcast skies and brisk temperatures, a light breeze and a prevailing wind.
For six days you beat your way east against the wind, always coming out of the southeast, a miserable, biting wind when its cold, and dry when its cool. Frelg, the half-orc pilot, shows a tendency to rub a sort of thickened sheep's wool grease into his lips and face to keep the skin from splitting, a concoction he claims to have created himself, and has no name. He is willing to share it out, and it works quite well.
It has been damn cold every day, and at night the wet chilliness of the wind seems to permeate the rafters of the ship so that you are all shivering in your bunks by morning, and slipping into the kitchen for a few minutes to warm yourselves near the cook's iron stove. He's chased you out several times. Wednesday morning began with heavy rain, that was swept away by a clear, cool wind from the northeast that cleared the skies ... but the evening of that day saw great black clouds gathering above the mountains of the coast, and then the Petrel was struck with a heavy, drenching rain, that included even thunder, despite the early time of year. The next morning, Thursday, began with steady, driving rain, again from the land, that seemed at times to come down like sleet.
You round the point at Sinope on Wednesday the 24th, turning south and into the wind, keeping the crew busier than ever tacking straight into the wind. On the Thursday you pass by a fat merchant ship bound northwest, and the party can faintly detect through the floorboards the tense angst of the crew, and smell the salivating that goes on and is yet restrained. The Captain has a flag waved at the ship and it responds with its destination, Constantinople.
Amisos is at the bottom of a great, wide half-moon bay, a city of about 3,000 buildings stretching for three miles along a beachy coast between a hooked right point and a forested left shore. Two spits extend into the Black Sea, the one from the left hand of your view being almost two miles long, to shelter the port from eastwardly originating storms. A city rises upon a gentle slope away from the sea, sitting like a saddle between a western hump (above the hooked point) and a gentle rise to your left hand view.
The Captain brings the ship within the harbour but makes no move to bring it to a quay; she wants to limit her crew's access to the shore. The party makes their goodbyes, the Captain promises to be back here on the 26th day of April, and to remain here until the 14th of May ... whereupon she will leave word at a well-known coffee & bathhouse called The Ataturk, that Frelg knows. This house is a three story, extensive building that can almost be seen from the Petrel as its pointed out to the party.
Now the party finds themselves at the head of Bihtim Road, which negotiates the saddle between the docks and warehouses along the shore road (Fuar) and the interior market, where goods are collected from the hinterland. Up this road into the mountains is the way to Melitene.
A bit of signage for Lukas's vardo: