Sunday night, May 16th, 1651
With overcast skies and pleasant temperatures, but with a strong west wind and a light rain falling
Moon: one day after the first quarter
The Petrel leaves Amisos late in the day, following the loading and arranging of cargo. The party becomes aware that the ship is carrying ten tons of lumber in it's hold, cut in various pieces, suggesting that it is intended for creating some kind of structure. The serfs and slaves are put in the forward cargo hold, and the party's goods and provisions, along with animals, stored in the center cargo deck. Here's the image reproduced of the upper and lower cargo decks on the ship:
I haven't made it clear before, so I'd like to list off the crew at this time. Forgive me if I get a name or two wrong, or miss someone ... I've been working from memory for two years and now I'm somewhat disconnected. Anders has been made the Bos'n, and Jacobo the First Mate. The Second Mate is a Frenchman named Henri, and the Master-at-Arms is a Dutchman by the name of Jesper. The cook's name is Maurice. The pilot's name is Frelg.
Apart from these, there are nine sailors: two Danes named Gerdt and Helvig; a Walloon by the name of Dumont; three Frenchmen named Georges, Dominic and Sevrin; an Irishman named McCann; and two Spaniards by the names of Milagros and Teodor. IF it should happen that the party remembers another name, that I haven't included, I should swap it out for one of the above ... otherwise, I'm content to go forward with these sailors as described (with an apology for not having done so ages ago - pure laziness).
The Petrel will not strike out north, across the Black Sea, but east with the wind following her. The delta of the Yesilirmak River shows on the shore, 20 miles east of Amisos, just as the sun is setting, thick with wand-like trees that grow from under the waterline into a low, rich canopy. The ship hugs quite close to the coast, so that the swamp is only a mile and a bit away as the Petrel skids past it, alive with the screams of monkeys and bird calls. The party settles in for the five-day voyage as the sun goes down.
They awake again to find the ship isn't moving. Every sailor aboard sounds as though they're awake, and the ship is lit up with some twenty lanterns, as though it were in port. Curious, roused from their bunks by the noise, the party climbs onto the deck to find Anders giving orders to clear the deck away and lay out netting. Attempts to query what's going on provides no answers except sharp, dismissive orders to back down and stay out of the way. The Captain is nowhere to be seen.
The party can see two longboats approaching the Petrel from the shore with lanterns on their prows, and as they get closer the party can first see that there are fifteen figures on the boats, and that two other boats, without lights or persons, are being towed along behind. Eventually all these boats reach the ship, and the party can see that the towed boats are loaded with pieces of heavy metal. The crew aboard the Petrel begin to throw down grapples to snag up heavy, half-empty sacks from the ships, braces, brackets and angles, and to use nets to pull up iron balls the size of grapefruits.