THE PIRATE IS COMING HOME!!!! Normal communications have been resumed, all is well, and the original scheduled return date of 22 November has been restored, with the footnote that there's a 50/50 chance that he could be home as early as NEXT MONDAY!!! 6 DAYS!!! But if he's not home next monday, it will be 22 November at the latest, and that's only 2 weeks. I can live with that.
The drawback to all this is that I'll probably have to shave my armpits. Havn't bothered since he left. I look like I'm smuggling hamsters.