The encounter with the pirates constituted the only break in routine for quite some time. Once out on the open ocean, one day tended to blend into another. Although the weather grew steadily colder as they progressed north.
Still, the trip wasn't entirely without interest. Various sea creatures could be seen from the deck from time to time. For those with the inclination, there were various games of chance, and old hands could generally be relied upon to tell tall tales to new audiences.
Rumour and hearsay were sports in and of themselves. Nervous 'Arry, for instance, was supposed to have ticked off the Baronian royal family, the Dread Pirate Flatbeard, General Silvar, a good portion of the Fifth Circle of Hell, the Secret Rulers of Valth, the Black Soul Knights, or the High Priest of Numian, depending on who you asked. 'Arry had a tendency to twitch, and didn't leave the ship much. Apparently, there was a long-running pool on just who would eventually turn up to demand he be delivered in chains.
Then there was the storm. It blew them off course for two days in the second week of the voyage, and anyone not directly involved in the running of the ship was stuck below decks. Thankfully, no major damage was sustained, and Starling was soon back on course. It was generally agreed that this was the sort of excitement people could do without.
Despite the pronouncements of Old Matt on the Horrors of the Briny Deeps, no giant turtles, squid, sea serpents, kraken or the like emerged to threaten the ship. Matt was philosophical about this, saying that if they were seen on every trip, pretty soon there'd be no ships left to sail the seas.
Early in the third week, the first iceberg was sighted. It was given a suitably wide berth.
Midway through the fourth week of the voyage, Oswald announced a meeting in the captain's cabin for the members of the expedition. The days had grown long and cold, and rumour had it they'd sight the coast of Hastel any day now. The meeting was scheduled for after the evening meal.