Monday, August 25, 2008

Any Port after a Storm

For the next day and a half, the Pharaon beat trudgingly to windward against the refreshed Tramontane winds from the north. Having been blown completely off course by the scirocco squall, Captain Correteaux calculated his latitude at 43°10' immediately after the battle with the Barbary chebec, but, of course had no good way of determining his longitude without reference to a reliable pendulum clock. Calculating the ship's probable location as approximately halfway between the Côte d'Azur and the buccaneering island of Corseta, Correteaux elected to bear north by northwest, toward the Gallian or Genuouan coasts, depending on their actual current position. Either would be a friendly shore at which repairs could be made and crews refreshed.

During the dog watch of the second day after the gun battle, lookouts on the jury-rigged foremast's improvised crow's nest--a barrel lashed atop the mast--sighted land and shortly afterwards multiple masts of fishing feluccas headed out to sea which promised a nearby harbour. Running alongside the nearest felucca, the Pharaon hailed the vessel, and was answered by its captain in a gruff Provençau whose provenance even the Savoirard Captain Correteaux could not determine.

"E ben, monsur, are you in need of aid?"

"We are well enough; we need to put in to port to refit. Where is your harbourage?"

"Merda! You are turned about! Monte Cristo-la-Ville lies just around the headland to the west."

"Many thanks; good fishing!"

"Pah!" spat the waterman against the evil eye, and hove back towards the open water.

Tacking to port, the Pharaon made much better time; within an hour they had rounded the headland, and the peninsula of Monte Cristo came fully into view.

Captain Correteaux came below to address the ecclesiastics. Uncertain of their knowledge of the peculiarities of the tiny presipality, he began gingerly:

"My lords, we have reached harbour, but there are some particular regulations we will need to observe while in port. Are you familiar with any of the laws or customs of Monte Cristo?"


Martin said...

Oh Lord! Those Churchmen are going to have some eyeopening experiences! The culture shock alone may be enough to do them in.

A J Matthews said...

Oh, this should be interesting! =D

Fitz-Badger said...

ha ha :-)

MurdocK said...

hmmm...."when in ROME?..."


Bluebear Jeff said...

I hope that Jean-Louis can respond to this soon . . . I had heard that he was again going to be without internet connection for a bit.

Yes, it will be quite interesting to see what happens.

I await with bated breath.

-- Jeff of Saxe-Bearstein

Frankfurter said...

So what's with the customs of Monte Christo ... surely on the world power scene they don't Count?

Okay, it's a bad one, but it's late here ...

abdul666 said...

Churchmen would have to wear secular dress if they want to disembark.
Now, total nudity, while tolerated for the young and fair of both sexes (and traditional 'secular dress' for young natives, weather permitting), is NOT compulsory.

abdul666 said...

Monte-Cristo, as always, welcomes graciously any prestigious guest.