I headed to the Red-Light District. It wasn’t hard to find this lodge the sailor told me about. A number of prostitutes and wayward individuals filled the tavern. The stench of liquor and cigar filled my nose. I cagily asked around for anyone who knew Captain William Lewis and his ship, The Marquite. A few were not willing to speak with me, but I was able to find a poor sot, sitting at the bar by himself.
“What’s it you?” the sailor slurred angrily.
“I need to board the The Marquite,” I said timidly.
“Board this ship?” he angrily said. “There is no boarding this ship. It has sailed.”
“Where did The Marquite sail to?”
“To Antarctica,” slurred the sailor as he took a slug from his mug. “The only place where humans don’t exist, but hell.”
He refused to say much more and without a delay, I ran back to the port and asked if anyone was sailing to Antarctica. I didn’t expect a response, but I found a sailor that was about to board another ship and it was heading south. There I could board another ship that might sail closer to The Marquite.
The Captain heard my plight and allowed me on his ship. For four days and nights we sailed incessantly on the sea. The horizon was blurred by the salty waves and no land was in sight for days. As I gazed out into the ocean, I wondered if he ever gazed out as I did. I wondered how often he had thought of me. I wondered what had caused him to change.
Soon after, we encountered another ship that was sailing closer to Antarctica. I boarded that ship and continued my journey. This time the sea was rough and ebbed and flowed in agitation, swinging the ship from side to side. I barely was able to balance myself on the deck. I held tight to the railing and closed my eyes. By morning the sea had subsided and we sailed on tranquil waters.
From there, I boarded another ship that took me as far as it could go. I boarded a few more vessels, on different routes. Some had heard of the The Marquite, and others, well they kept quiet about it. I did encounter a few Captains that refused to let me board and others that were steering far from my destination. The last ship I boarded was a small one named the SS Sirius. The Captain was Richard Roberts, an elderly Irish man who loved the sea.