Sunday, 5th of August, 1498
I have not written for some time. I was disheartened by the vast expanse of ocean, bare of any recognizable features. On Friday, the oldest member of the crew, Jake, died of pneumonia. He was a good man and a good sailor. My main regrets are that he could not be buried at home, but had to be commended to the endless waves. We reached Greenland yesterday but there was so little there that we had to continue. All of the men are freezing cold and everybody shivers during the night, when temperatures plunge. I hope we find land soon. We are running out of fresh fruit and all of the men are getting tired of fish and salt pork. We need more food.
Sunday, 12th of August, 1498
Still no land. The crew is getting restless. Twice this week I have broken up fights over religious differences. Damn that Martin Luther! I don’t need more excuses for quarrels, they turn up anyway. I don’t want anyone to get hurt for no reason but a lack of wind.
Sunday, 19th of August, 1498
At last, land! Too cold for us to land but there is a coastline! And the men have been noticing the ocean changing colour! I think we are nearly there. Some of the younger members of the crew are refusing to eat their lemons and aren’t faring too well. Everyone knows that fresh fruit detains scurvy. We had better find some decent plants soon, or the men will start to get ill.
Sunday, 26h of August, 1498
One of the men spotted an unknown sea creature today and I allowed him to shoot it. I wanted to see if it was colourful and record it in my scientific account of these travels. He swam out to retrieve it, dived and didn’t return. I have heard the crew muttering about mermaids and ill luck.
Sunday, 2nd of September, 1498
We have been sailing through dangerous rocky areas. All we can see is water, rock and ice. We are trying desperately not to hit anything. The consequences would be terrible.
Sunday, 30th of September, 1498
It has been too hazardous to write in this journal for some time. At every turn, we seemed to come across great mountains of ice, looming out of the fog. We are lucky we negotiated those passageways in only autumn. In winter, they would be almost impassable. Two of the men are bedridden with a combination of scurvy and pneumonia. If we do not find our way back to warmer climates soon, I fear another funeral.
Sunday, 7th of October, 1498
It is ever colder in this icy world and all of us long for the warmth of home. The men who were ill have since died, one on Tuesday and one on Thursday. The coastline heads ever westward and we are all amazed by the size of this land. To claim this for Char would be wonderful, but who would live in this frozen wasteland? The only encouraging thing is the colour of the ocean. It remains green-blue, which is a strange name, but according to Robert, who has shown me the colour palette he found, that is what the colour is called. The crew, not knowing the other aspect of this trip, believes it is an omen of terrible things to come.
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