June 18th, 1683
Aboard the proud Galleon Sol de los Mares:
We sighted a sail just before sunset this evening, and it brought with it feelings of both trepidation and excitement. We are now back within the shipping lanes, though I am unsure exactly where we might be. Sato seems satisfied and neither Ferdinand nor I possess enough knowledge to second guess his navigation. God help us we are at the mercy of a heathen.
We buried Miguel at dawn. Ferdinand wrapped him tightly in some of the spare sail cloth we discovered below decks, and with a few words over his body, we cast him into the sea. Even Giuseppe attended the burial, his first sign of interest in anything the rest of us have been doing. There were no tears for this man that none of us knew. We simply watched his body slide beneath the waves and disappear. I will draft a letter to his wife and child to be sent once we reach our destination.
Fate has caused us to alter our decisions yet again. Around midday we began hearing noises from the cargo hold. Unsure what they were, we had no choice but to break the seals placed there only a day ago by Ferdinand and investigate.
The smell, we quickly learned, was coming from several stowaways. Three had been crushed by shifting cargo within the hold, and the fourth had opened his wrists. I can only assume they were all friends or relatives to cause the survivor such pain that he would take his own life. A sad turn to be sure.
After searching the hold completely, we discovered several crates filled with cannon balls that were not completely full, causing the noises as the ship rolled. I find it odd that we never heard this noise before in all the rolling the ship has done, but when we placed some scrap wood within the crates the noise stopped, so I can only assume we were otherwise occupied and had our minds on other things.
Giuseppe made it a point to announce that tomorrow will be our last solid food while we were trying to force the gruel he served us down at dinner this evening. Ferdinand lost his temper and informed our cook that he would rise early in the morning to take personal charge of fishing duties until we could put in stores. I thought Giuseppe would argue until Sato grunted his agreement with Ferdinand and the matter was settled. Fresh fish will be a welcome change, and just thinking about it seemed to lift our spirits. Except for Giuseppe, who can only sulk.
It seems like we have been beyond the storm for months now, though I know it has only been a few days. I wonder if all seamen feel this way. Do they all have the days blur into one long unending time, losing track of everything except the here and now? I would have never made a good sailor. I love the water, but I was not made to be far from land I think. I look forward to reaching a sandy beach with fertile soil and plenty of water soon. These hopes seem minor, but they keep me alive, and allow me to retain what little is left of my sanity.