Title: Sail Away, sail away, sail away – Nautical Ghost Stories
Author: William Macmillan Jones
Publisher: Red Kite Publishing Ltd
Publication Date: March 21, 2022
Genres: Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: 32 pages
Source: I received a free copy from the author.
Rating: 4 Stars
The sea has always fascinated me, and I grew up with a weakness for sea stories. I have always enjoyed ghost stories too, and the sea and the uncanny are wonderful bedfellows. Here are two stories about yachts that meet inclement weather where the Bristol Channel meets the Irish Sea and the Atlantic Ocean – with very different results.
Content Warning: Dysfunctional marriage, drowning, medical emergency (broken arm). I will briefly mention these topics in my review.
Never turn your back on the ocean.
Charles was a reluctant sailor in “Sail away, sail away, sail away.” Ellen, his wife, was passionate about the sport and insisted he go sailing with her regularly. What I found most rewarding about this tale was exploring their deeply dysfunctional and enmeshed relationship. Charles struggled with setting boundaries and saying no, while his wife had a difficult time accepting the word no, respecting boundaries, or listening to others. This all came to a head one day when they went sailing in the Bristol Channel and encountered much rougher waters than Charles had been expecting to find. The plot unfolded in a rather expected direction from there, but this wasn’t something that required zany plot twists to work well. Seeing how the characters dealt with conflict and the results of an accident was more than enough to keep me interested. I was simultaneously satisfied with how it ended and curious about what might happen next if the author ever decides to write a sequel.
In “Storm Front,” a sailor named Simon chose not to check the forecast and was unexpectedly caught in a violent storm while attempting to sail to Milford Sound alone. Due to how much time was spent explaining Simon’s knowledge of sailing and the precautions he took when packing for a voyage, I was surprised by the fact that he didn’t check the weather the morning of his trip. Were readers supposed to think he was less experienced than all other signs pointed to or that he made an honest mistake that day? I wish I’d been given an answer to this question as the rest of this story was delightful. I shuddered when Simon accidentally broke his arm in the first scene and wondered how he was going to survive such a dangerous storm now that he only had one arm that was capable of maneuvering the sails, steering his cutter, and performing other necessary tasks.
Sail Away, sail away, sail away – Nautical Ghost Stories was a memorable summer read.