After the maiden voyage to put the SS Explorer in the water and air her out in the Sea of Fables, I put my mind to sailing through Winterfell. One day I decided to take her from my retreat in the woods at Ebonshire down to my seaside retreat on Cape Wrath.
I had anchored the Explorer on the river in front of my Ebonshire cottage and one fine morning we set out for Wrath, a sail through the heart of Winterfell.
But I began with a detour. Storisende is right there. It is my neighbor. I can see her waters from my window. So I turned the Explorer around and passed into Storisende even though I knew there would be trouble. To start a journey with almost a guarantee of difficulties is not my usual choice but I figured I’d always have an excuse not to tangle with Storisende so I might as well get it over with now.
There was trouble and right away. Storisende is a magical place tucked just inside a magical place. It sits, out of sight and therefore out of mind for most, in the northwestern corner of Winterfell. It is one of those places in which time stands still. It is always night there – a time of the mysterious, the unexpected, the unknown. A quiet place in a quiet time. The ship acted strangely in these waters as if haunted. There were moments when I thought the trip would be over before it had even started. But I persisted. It was all I could do to take her around for a quick look at the island and get out of there and back into Ebonshire.
I travelled west on the river to the edge of Ebonshire, turned ‘round and headed east. This was a week before the recent snowfall. The grass was green, the fall colors were full, Winterfell was beautiful.
Into Sanctuary, turning south to pass Ms. Macchi’s place and into Winterfell prime, past the Castle — wait, that is not Winterfell Castle! It is a different castle in the same spot! It is amazing with all the communications we have available in this modern age and with the way people do talk…it is amazing that major changes can take place in what is virtually one’s own backyard and yet an individual can go about their daily lives and not hear of it until he or she happens to pass by. What is going on? I will have to ask around about this. Whatever…
…On into Eventide where Admiral Beaumont’s ships stood majestically in the twilight breeze. This trip took place more than a week before the recent attack, all was quiet and peaceful.
I brought the Explorer ‘round Wolfwood Island so I could pass by my house which sits in Laudanum, just over the southern border of Eventide. When I reached the house I paused for a time to make a photograph, a momento of this maiden voyage through Winterfell.
We then proceeded into the waters of the channel, headed south. Such activity and changes in these southern towns! On my left, the new Abbey and Chapel in Anodyne, established by Mr. Weyland. Into Laudanum now with several new shops to my right and to my left across the way in Absinthe as well.
A small boat approached from the south and came quite close to my port side, too close for comfort as I was trying to stay clear of the Winterfell Ferry on the starboard. “Ahoy, Sir!” shouted the pilot, who was alone. “Ahoy!” I gave back. The gentleman stated it was his first visit to Winterfell and he asked for a recommendation on a course to set for taking in the fall colors. I directed him up through Winterfell prime and to the northern regions from whence I had just come and we parted.
Now it was south through the picturesque Nepenthe Gate and into the Caledonian waters of Cape Wrath. I had heard the fort had been dismantled but it was odd to see it gone. I also took note that the local Cape Wrath Ferry Line had ceased operation though I saw a Caledon Ferry, the national line, steam past in the distance.
I carefully navigated by the high rock island and straight for the dock at Whitfield Point. It was a bit of a trick to bring the Explorer to a good spot to rest here but I did so and we dropped anchor. I reached for my flask and sipped and watched the sun set for a bit.
I have decided to leave the Explorer beside my home in Wrath for now although you may see her by my home in Austral Wollemian as well.
I will not explain how I do this.