Boating accidents happen. If someone falls into the water, they can go missing and leave no trace behind. Sometimes, there are no witnesses. Currents and sharks will make a body disappear into the vast nothingness within days.
Suspicion often surrounds man-overboard situations. But who can prove foul play existed if there’s no evidence to support it? A rolling ocean, water across the gunwales and slippery decks are the right combinations of circumstances that can cause such an outcome to occur. The ocean is a dangerous place. Everyone knows it.
Once a month, somewhere around the world, a person falls over the side of a cruise ship and is never found.
In almost all cases, the body disappears by the time a search party reaches the fall site. There’s no one to save therefore no one to answer questions about how they entered the water in the first place. Was it a suicide attempt, a drunken misadventure, or a deliberate push?
Someone’s holiday ended abruptly. That’s all we really know. That’s all.
Cruise ships are considered to be safe places. They are large and have stable platforms. There are also many fail-safes around their sides to stop guests from falling overboard, especially during times of rough weather. Despite all of these factors, twelve passengers manage to find the surface of the water every year and never get to go home.
Downscaling the boating experience to something the size of a sailing yacht only increases the chances of mishaps occurring.
A yacht’s deck is closer to the water. They are much narrower. The boat has ropes, wires, sails and lots of moving parts. If the weather turns foul, it affects the boat in violent ways. A wave can easily crawl over its side, twist and tip the boat over, drench every surface and then cause a boom to swing swiftly from one side of the yacht to the opposite side. An unaware person can be hit by it, catapulted right across the cockpit, and then sent directly into the sea.
Sometimes, just an encouraging push is enough to do the same.
Landlubbers are aware of those perils-at-sea stories. Sailor biographies give lots of insight into the lifestyle, but there’s still a great chasm between reading a book on a safe shore and what happens between the white caps out there. Endless days of turbulent seas, frayed nerves, and lack of sleep, can cause a tetchyness within a crew not seen or felt anywhere else. They are unable to take a break from or escape its relentlessness. Some snap without warning.
There’s also the warm version of the same story.
It’s where golden sunsets, blue waters, salt-kissed skin and tropical paradises meet. Yachts always manage to drop anchor in idyllic coves where the sand is white and freshwater waterfalls are in abundance. This fairy tale is what lures many people to try out sailing for the first time. It’s the kind of character I like to write into my dark fiction.
My single life in my late 30s gave me a unique insight into the kinds of people who gravitated to yachting later on in life. Recently detached women weren’t afraid to come to the marina so they could invite themselves onto some gentlemen’s yacht for a small sailing experience. They were prepared to initiate the discussion and then take a chance with a stranger in order to feel alive again.
Blending the sailing world with the second-life dating scene makes for an interesting study of aquatic romances. Love on a yacht moves quickly and is deeply passionate. Unfortunately, some second-lifers haven’t ended their first-life marriages before they start one. They’ll keep secrets from everyone to live in the moment like they once did (or should’ve done) before they got married. This secretive female is my protagonist’s perfect victim.
The dream starts with a cliche sunset sailing cruise but ends with someone falling overboard and being lost to the sea.
There’s irony thrown into the deal.
There’s no need for a search party to look for a missing person who fell from a yacht if one was never there in the beginning.
Wild sex and chardonnay are only half of the sailing story. The other half is about secrets and being surrounded by an abyss, unable to reach land when it’s needed most. This is the muse I used when writing the sequel to SEETHINGS, SEETHINGS 2.
You can pick up an eBook from Smashwords to start reading it right away. Just click on the book below!
A Sailing Affair
Two Random Victims
‘Forman’s writing style is artful, with the protagonist Mitchell’s warped thought processes masterfully exposed. The author has a powerful and vivid command of language and his word pictures are stark and disturbingly real.’Linda J Bettenay, author of ‘Secrets Mothers Keep’ and ‘Wishes For Starlight’