This dark time always sends me back to this log page:
15 June 1608: All day and through the night there was sunshine,
with the wind out of the east; latitude at noon was 75 degrees 7 minutes. This morning crewman Thomas Hiles and Robert Rayner while looking overboard saw a mermaid, calling the rest of the crew to see her. One more came up; by that time she was close to the ship’s side and looking earnestly at the men; a little after, the sea came up and overturned her. As they saw her from the navel upward, her back and breasts were like a woman’s, her body as big as ours, her skin very white, and she had long, black hair hanging down behind. In her going down they saw her tail, which was like the tail of a porpoise, and speckled like a mackerel.
16 June 1608: Clear weather with an east wind.
Now in the obscurity of the advent or solstice, even the roaring fire in the hearth beside my desk fails to warm me, illuminate me, or block out recall of this event from six months back. Where our manly crewmen Hiles and Rayner saw a beauty, I feared the appearance of Sedna, reputed to be the ruler and regulator of the northern regions. What if she had claimed a life to spare ours?