February 20, 1704 “Are you sure there isn’t any better way?” If there was one thing in my life my wife didn’t want me to do, it was for me to travel across the ocean on a poorly armed merchant vessel. I didn’t want to go as much as the next man, but there were no profitable job prospects in our town. A rural farm town a few miles outside of London is not where men solidify their names in history. I kissed my wife goodbye and found a villager who was traveling to London to sell some of his crop, and so began my journey to find a captain who would take me on. February 22, 1704 Upon arrival in London, I made my way to the docks looking for merchant vessels. I had no intention of joining the Navy, such work was too dangerous and I still needed to return to my family. I managed to track down a young captain, who’s name sounded familiar but for what reason eluded me. He seemed astonished that I wanted to join his crew after hearing his name. I considered questioning why, but the wage he offered was much better than I had ever made and I chose to keep my concern to myself. We would be leaving in a dawn in a couple days, a member of the crew escorted me to the vessel and showed me my quarters. February 23, 1704 I’ll keep this entry short, my hands hurt too much to elaborate. The crew seems to be a good enough bunch, many men are like me, seeking a more profitable source of income, however I am by far the most inexperienced of the crew. One of the men, Big-Al, who was named for the fact that he was quite short for a sailor, offered to help me learn the skills I’ll need to get through this without looking like a compete idiot. I’ll admit, I am quite exhausted after learning how to climb the rigging. My hands are covered in blisters, and where there aren’t blisters, there are various cuts and splinters that slowly ooze blood. February 23+8, 1704 We have been under way for a few days now and I am settling into a routine. My hands are beginning to heal and callous over. The sailing thus far has been smooth from what I have seen. We have yet to hit any storms and the wind has been fairly consistent. The hardest part about working in the rigging is the sun. Without clouds, the sun is merciless and the burns on my neck and exposed arms can attest to this. February 23+10, 1704 Today was the first storm of our travels. The captain attempted to play it off as a bad stroke of luck, but something about his demeanor and look on his face told us that he was hiding some sort of concern. February 23+12, 1704 “Sail!” the aft lookout declared, breaking my daydream from my perch on the foremast. By the time the watchman made it to the lookout, the sail was gone. The lookout appeared as though he had seen a ghost. He couldn’t be calmed. The Captain was roused to look at the man. He declared that the man had gone mad and ordered he be confined to his bunk for the remainder of the voyage. Again, the Captain had a look of fear on him that hid some sort of deeper concern than then mental health of his sailors. February 23+12, 1704 I am writing this second entry as well as I can from the bunk of my bed. There is a great storm outside, rocking the ship from side-to-side endlessly. My bunk is swinging like a pendulum and I am unable to sleep. Some of the men have been dispatched to control flooding and I was ordered to standby should anything happen to the masts or the rigging. As time passes, the storm rages on but I progressively fall to sleep. February 23+13, 1704 Cannon fire has awoken me. I ran to the deck as a mighty warship approached us from the stern, but it was not Royal Navy. This ship was coated from bow to stern in various forms of plant matter. Almost as if it had been risen after an extended stay in the deep. The ship has massive sails which are heavily tattered and dripping water. Oh god, I’m hiding in a barrel in the hold. Their crew was so gruesome and horrid, it is nothing like I have seen or heard in stories. They appear to be some sort of half-man, half-fish. The one who appeared to be captain had hair that looked like the limbs of a squid, but I only got a glimpse as I ran down into the hold. I hear a great deal of footsteps above, and the clashing of metal, gunfire. I do not think I will be coming out of this barrel alive. I hear footsteps in the hold. Oh god, to my wife and kids I lov An excerpt from an unknown crewmember from an unknown merchant vessel. Discovered on a Caribbean island by a Royal Navy crewman while searching for food, tattered and smudged.