Here is my offering, if you think it's worth a vote I'd appreciate you doing so, voting ends 5pm Thursday 9th Feb, thanks :)
‘Captain, we approach Whitby, would you prefer to pilot us into harbour yourself or shall I?’ asked the ship’s first mate.
Briggs looked up from the parchment on his desk. ‘I will take us in. Prepare the cabin for our passenger and make sure his instructions for the stowage of the cargo is adhered to. He was very specific about that; do it well.’
‘Strange instructions, Captain. I mean, our hold is water-tight why would we have to make sure it is sealed from all light too?’
‘The reasoning behind Mr Stoker’s instructions does not concern me. The man’s paid well to transport him and his cargo to Gibraltar,’ Briggs replied. ‘Come let me see what you’ve done in preparation.’
The inside of the hold was draped in heavy black cloth secured to the wooden walls by large flat-headed nails. Even the tar-sealed hatch had cloth waiting to be nailed over, for when it would be put in place.
‘A waste of hold space, Captain. All that room for what? A wooden packing case?’
‘Ours is not to question Stoker’s motives. Satisfy your curiosity with the knowledge that when we deliver our guest and his strange cargo to Gibraltar safe and sound we will receive a bonus large enough to slake any query or doubt you have in mind,’ Briggs said placing a hand on his first mate’s shoulder. ‘Now, let us take the Marie Celeste into Whitby with skill and care and show this port how it is done.’