Short Stories

Short Stories #8

Working further down the contents page of my collection, When I Am Not Writing Poetry, we come to the eighth story in the collection, ‘The Sailing Board’. One of the ships that I sailed on was the New Zealand Shipping Company cargo vessel, the Haparangi and chance sent me a photo of the wooden sailing board that was positioned at the top of the gangway with information about sailing time and destination. The story that came to mind is pure fiction but the characters were certainly based on men that I sailed with!

Leaving the love of your life behind to travel the world for three or four months is difficult at the best of times, even for experienced mariners, but for a young deck hand on his first or second trip to sea and a new girl friend…

The young deck hand was in a terrible mood. Firstly, his leave had been cut short as the damn ship was sailing two days earlier than expected and for some reason best known to the damn company that meant he had to be on board three days before she left the Royal Albert Docks. Despite the fact that he lived just down the road! His last weekend with Jennie had been ruined. She was something special, better than other, earlier girlfriends; she had said that she loved him, and she was pretty with her curly blond hair, and that figure! To die for! She admired him too, thought it was so romantic sailing the seas, and she was much more loving than Patsy had been. The thought stopped there. The black mood took over again.

‘The Sailing Board’ can be found in When I Am Not Writing Poetry – available here or on Amazon.

By Chris

Poet and writer: I have travelled the world in the Merchant Navy, worked on the farm where I now live, and re-invented myself as an information scientist. Born in Sussex, I moved to Swansea and have lived in the same farm cottage in mid-Wales for almost 50 years.

I have two collections of poems in print, Mostly Welsh and the recent Book of the Spirit. Although initially entirely focussed on poetry, my writing has branched into short stories and my first full length work of fiction, The Dark Trilogy and the collection of short stories - When I Am Not Writing Poetry - are also available.

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