Our journey to the distant and inhabited land of Patagonia didn’t bring much treasures. Sailors rarely used this route unless it proved to be absolute necessary. Instead the ships were often dragged across land further North, but Captain Bloodspatter was fully motivated to take us the long way around. Me, personally was happy to make the journey. The landscape was amazing and there was no abundance of food. Plenty of fish held the Goddess and the rest of us working the galley quite busy and well fed. For the longest time we had been plundering, robbing and living the good life. This quiet part of the world offered us some time to get the Black Rock back into ship shape. New ropes were fixed and wooden damage repaired. The sails were mended and every part of the ship was washed to squeaky be clean.
By the time we were supposed to navigate around the fearful Cape Horn Bloodspatter made another decision. We were not about the head North as planned but rather keep sailing South. No ship had ever dared this journey. The seas this far South was known to be a killing one. No ship had ever returned from their try to keep navigating passed these latitudes. Some of the men were understandable concerned about our Captains plans, but none dared to speak against Bloodspatter. Blæik had the crew prepare the ship, everything was tied down and our ever growing treasure was secured in place. Over all the men was excited, for all we knew there would be gold growing on trees on the other side of this journey.
Our expectations were short lived. It took us at least two weeks to overcome the vast ocean between Cape Horn and land on the other side. As we went on the temperature plummeted to far beyond freezing and the waves stood taller than our ship. They were so huge that we disappeared in the valleys between then, lost all wind before slowly raising to the top of the next mountainous swell. Eventually the waters calmed a bit, only to be replaced by floating chunks of ice almost running us down at all times. The nights were the worst. We had half the crew working shift just to keep an eye out for the dangers ahead. But turning around was not an option. Captain Bloodspatter had put his mind on the possibility of land on the other side and it turned out he was right.
One morning we finally arrived at what we figured must’ve been land-fast ice. The disappointment among the crew to this vast landscape of only ice and nothing else but some strange walking birds we’d never seen before was given. The land we encountered had no vegetation. No nothing but ice and snow. Blæik was set to organize an expedition inland to search out any secrets this mysterious land may have to offer. I was picked to be the one managing the food for this expedition. The Goddess had to stay back along with Captain Bloodspatter to ensure that some crew and our treasure survived our arctic visit and search for larger treasures. But it was pretty clear that we were the first humans to ever see this land. There was no way anyone could survive the climate we were entering. Dressed in clothes sown from polar bear fur we started the long walk inland, only following our compass needle in a strict Southward position.
It was 1608, I had already been sailing with the Black Rock and Captain Bloodspatter for four years. Despite what you might have heard our crew were, unless there was someone before us, the first to ever visit the South Pole. We didn’t know this at the time of course but it would take another 300 years before Roald Amundsen made the journey in the year 1911. I have always been puzzled to how they didn’t find our flag on this expedition, they must have ignored it and taken the honor or it could of course have been overcome by the extreme weather this landscape at times will offer. And we didn’t find any treasures. At the point were the needle abruptly turned the other way and we was startled by what had just happened we had walked for many days without seeing anything but ice, snow and nothing else. We didn’t dare to continue and was sure the crew back at the ship had been waiting long enough, and with this our flag was planted, a solid Jolly Roger was firmly placed and we started to backtrack along our own tracks.
We reported back to Captain Bloodspatter after having been stuck in a storm for many days. Our makeshift tents barely kept us alive and one of our men walked into the white to never return. Bloodspatter didn’t seem to take to hard on us not finding any treasures. Strangely enough he seemed happy just to be the first one to cross over to this strange land of only ice and snow. While we were gone the rest of the crew had caught a whale and was busy boiling down the fat to oil we would use to strengthen the wood in our ship later. It also offered a huge feast onboard. And not having eaten for days upon our return we all indulged in the meal offered to celebrate our safe return.
The very next day we started our journey heading North. None of us were looking forward to the journey, but it seemed like the Gods had decided to be nicer to us on our return. Only some minor storms slowed us down a little otherwise it was a pretty calm journey until we finally saw land ahead to starboard and was on course toward Santiago de Chile. It was only days before we started to see other ships again, which we hunted down and plundered for all their precious silver and gold.