I decided I’d better go to shore while we stopped at Perduva Wek. I believe this is the smallest of Perduva’s islands, and with just the two buildings, a small tavern and a lighthouse, there isn’t much to do. However, one of the expectations and methods of helping pay for the navigation through these treacherous waters is the transportation of goods from one island to the next, and sometimes all the way across the entrance to the Bay of Ivil. With a large shipment of vala flowers taking up most of our deck space, I’m glad to get off the crowded ship, even if it’s for a crowded tavern. Unfortunately, with only three permanent residents in Perduva Wek, the tavern is crowded with everyone we’ve been sailing with for the past six months.
I did take a tour of the lighthouse to learn how they operated in the region. They have two purposes, and are actually why Perduva has them on every inhabited island. First, they assist with the navigation. If a ship is caught in an unexpected storm or sails too slow to arrive at the next island by day, the lighthouse will help the navigator find the next island in the dark. It still isn’t much help in these waters, but it’s better than inadvertently sailing off course and ending up lost with the ship dashed to pieces on unseen rocks. The second purpose for the lighthouse is communication between the islands. Each night, the lighthouses will signal if a ship departed or arrived, to make sure no one is missing.
I also heard that local gossip sometimes travels across the islands through the lighthouses. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to do that though. I can just imagine someone approaching the lighthouse operator and saying, “Please tell Doctor Jorlin three islands over that Aunt Keli’Kor had a bad time with her hemorrhoids today.” I would hate to be that woman after everyone on six islands in either direction was talking about her condition.