William S. Schaill - Sea Stories

Square Sails, Cannons, Pirates, Terrorists, Deep Sea Diving, Murder, Intrigue

Historical Fiction
A decaying undersea station is caught in the middle of a catastrophic Cold War incident.
Retired naval diver Al Madeira is hired to salvage a highly radioactive Soviet submarine.
Al Madeira is hired to salvage a treasure galleon. The Cubans try to stop him.
The Trident Force must identify and disable an insane terrorist before he can destroy an Antarctic cruise ship.
The Trident Force fights murderous Somali pirates and a Saudi plot to import their own nuclear arsenal.
The Trident Force must neutralize a PLO master terrorist before he turns the Mediterranean red with blood.

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The Elegant Magic of the Roach

June 7, 2017

Tags: Magic, Sailing

Life is filled with the magical - the incredible flight of the skilled gymnast, the mystical transformations that occur within double entry bookkeeping, the wondrous power of the roach.
Thanks to the roach, a flat sheet of fabric morphs into an airfoil which not only harnesses the wind but enables the boat to advance into that same wind. And all without a single pass of a magic wand.

Master of the Universe - A Sea Story

May 6, 2016

Tags: sea story, sailing, fear

It was another magical day. The sky and sea were a deep blue, the wave crests a crisp white. So perfect was it that he unthinkingly volunteered to furl the topgallant.
He leaped onto the main ratlines and headed up. At the foretop he pulled himself onto the topmast ratlines and in no time was at the crosstrees, where the topgallant ratlines started. These, the uppermost ratlines, were truly the stuff of nightmares. Narrow and far from taught, they twisted and swayed in a very alarming fashion. Fortunately, he had only a step or two before he could get his foot on the lowered yard’s foot ropes and his arm around the yard itself.
With the foot rope securely trapped under his arches and his hips pressed against the yard, he paused to admire the world around him. The ship so far below, slicing through the blue sea. The sails billowing white. The islands, green and brown. The wind. The sun. His mouth was dry and his breathing a little ragged but for that moment he truly felt himself a Master of the Universe.
He leaned forward, his legs rising toward the horizontal, and reached way out to grab canvas. He felt the sail fill beneath him and in less than a second he was lying on the billowing sail, head and face down, and sliding forward.There was nothing he could grab but the sail itself. Nobody on deck could see his predicament. His stomach felt as if someone were jamming a broom handle into it. He wondered if he might possibly bounce off the lower sails as he fell and land in the water. He wondered just how much it was going to hurt when he hit the deck.
The sail collapsed as suddenly as it had filled. His stomach landed on the yard and his frantic feet found the foot rope. Following several shuddering breaths, he reached forward to grab canvas. Even Masters of the Universe have bad moments.

The Beat of the Algorithms

November 13, 2013

Tags: technology, change, new world

I used to dance to the music of the spheres;
I now cringe at the beat of the algorithms.

The Big Bang

March 14, 2013

Tags: speculative poetry, the poetry of physics, the creation, the big bang

A point.
A point has no width and no length,
A point has no taste or smell or color,
A point has no mass and contains no energy,
A point is a mathematical abstraction.
Yet, it is said that the Universe,
All that is, has been or could be,
Was created when a point exploded into life
And created reality.