3 October Our preparations for the Expedition are nearing completion. We will soon be on our way to Cathay. Father tells me that it will be a long journey. And leaving in the autumn of the yearwill make traveling through the mountainous regions dangerous for us. We are in good fortune to have wise young men and women traveling with us to help solve any problem we encounter. Thankfully, we also have the Venetian ship builders working for us. They can put out sea-worthy vessels in faster time than any others. Uncle says that we will put to sailing the Mare Nostrum in two to three days. Our destination will be Akkur on the coast of the Holy Land.
11 October Time presses us now to leave Venice. Some ships have not proven sea-worthy That means fewer ships to bring goods and wares back to Italy. The Doge was not very happy on hearing the news. T hose on our Expedition without a ship will travel on board vessels that have been completed on schedule. Of course, we could travel the land route to the Holy Land. I have heard talk of those who have traveled 'Constantine's Way'. But it would take us much time and effort to cross the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers as well as the Zagros Mountains of Persia. Our Teams of Advisers have been busy practicing what they call 'Science'. I find it to be an interesting yet disturbing vocation. My eyes have never seen boys and girls my age do such things. Father says that no one has. It is as if these Advisers come from a different time and place. But Uncle says not to worry. No band of thieves on the Silk Road will dare attack us so long as we have them. We should arrive at Akkur in just a few days as long as the weather and sea favors us.