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In Which the Argonauts Brave the Cape of Storms

Jan 19, 2010

Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Author: Gabriel R.R. Cohen
I awoke at 06h15 to discover a thick pall of fog blanketing our vessel and surrounding the harbor. The air was damp with both the precipitation of the mischievous elements and the anticipation of the crew. Though it was my charge this day to rouse my fellows from their dream filled sleep, I found the effort to be entirely unnecessary; everyone was promptly out of bed by 06h45. We broke our fast upon puffed grain and sweet tree fruits, after which I briefed my comrades on the course the day would take. We filed into the horseless coach that had been hired, and set off for the Cape of Good Hope. We were met early on with a troublesome obstacle: the dense fog of the morning had yet to subside. Deciding to forgo the scenic coastal route, our driver blazed a trail through the savage mainland, where frolicking simians and mysteriously patterned horses roam about as you or I would traverse a city street. At last we reached our goal. There it stood, in the moist, gray haze, the magnificent promontory that had claimed so many lives and even more minds. I could not help but reflect upon the bravery and confusion of the many sailors before us who had been dashed against the jagged rocks below. This was the cape that innumerable explorers and romantics had dreamt of for hundreds of years. I felt humbled. We hiked across the strangely-vegetated cliff-sides, and stood a while in contemplation atop the Southwestern-most point of the African continent. Upon returning to our coach we discovered, to much consternation, that we had completely and unwittingly bypassed a meeting with a renowned troubadour of the Realm of Internet. He was to film himself in joyous dance upon the rocky outcrop we had not so long ago been standing. With our high spirits slightly disappointed, we set out for a place called Simon’s Towne. Upon arriving, our merry company enjoyed a peaceful lunch followed by the perusal of some local street bazaars for exotic trinkets. After we satisfied the desire to meander, we encountered a colony of the most curious birds I have ever seen. They are shaped like the result of a fish, a cormorant, and a cannon shell bumping into one other in a crowded hallway. Their feathers are more like the slick fur of an otter, and are arranged in a pattern of darkest black and pearliest white. The locals call them “pingwens”, or some such odd name. Several of our crew noted a mating pair in the midst of a lover’s quarrel. We returned to the vessel at roughly 16h30. At 1800, we speculated over the more unsavory sorts of magical powers, and supped upon the juicy meats and savory vegetables of the orient. We also celebrated the passage of one shipmate, Dwight, into the glorious double digits of age twenty. Following a straightforward and efficient clean-up, the shipmates and I were instructed in the study of the magnificent fishes and beasts of the seven seas by our scholarly naturalist, Mrs. Beaker. I then sat down to write this log.