24th November, the current year. Winds Southerly, a Gentle breeze, and Clear weather, with which we coasted at about 60 meters elevation. Time from Clockhaven East Wall: 12 hours eighteen minutes, dead east, estimated 240 Leagues. At that time dead ahead we took sight of a small circular island or atoll, with a shallow anchorage. After comparing the View to the copy of DeHoutman’s Atlas, we surmised this to be the island named Panarea.
At 5, being about 2 or 3 Leagues from the land, we killed the impellers and drifted at an altitude of roughly sixty meters. Gas pressure nominal, fuel at 58%. At 6, we were abreast of a pretty high Mountain laying central to the island. The shore under the foot of the Mountain forms a point, over which is a peaked hillock. This Bay seem’d to be but very little Shelter’d from the Sea Winds, and yet it is the only likely Anchoring place I have yet seen. In the P.M. we saw the smoke of fire in several places; a Certain sign that the Country is inhabited, confirmed later by the identification of a strange White Vessel at anchor in the lagoon and a primitive Pier.
Personal note: I am suddenly very much aware of how little exploration we have done of the Lands in the immediate vicinity of the New Babbage. Tenk is right: we have taken high altitude airship travel between the Steamlands very much for granted and have forgotten the importance of Exploring for ourselves the Lands In Between. I for one believed that such discoveries belonged to a different Age and have been largely content to review the old Maps and Atlases safely chronicled in our Libraries, rather than find out for myself.
The old Maps tell of countless small islands and regions – more than I ever truly realized. And beyond those – whole continents of unimagined Wonders. What else lies in the lands beyond Steam?