A novella in 30 chapters

Stingaree Bay: Chapter 23

Man Overboard

Steve Fendt
Serial Stories
Published in
3 min readJun 7, 2024

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Cartoon: hands throwing a lifebuoy ring with a kiss logo on it into choppy water
‘M.O.B.’ by Steve Fendt

‘That’s the thing about starting ’em young,’ asserted Jim ‘Shorty’ Bowen. ‘They’re fearless.’

‘Not always a good thing, though, is it?’ Brad observed, lowering the binoculars and glancing up at his coxwain, whose towering bulk made a convenient sunshade in the exposed confines of a small, open boat. ‘Take your eyes off ’em for a minute and they’ll turn turtle and drown themselves, or have a bloody good try, any rate.’

‘You’re not wrong … ROCKY!’ Jim suddenly bellowed, making Brad jump. ‘ROCKY THERE! YOU’RE LUFFING! BEAR AWAY! NO, TO PORT, TO PORT! … Oh, bollocks.’ The last words at normal volume to his crewman.

‘Too late, they’re in irons’ said Brad unnecessarily, as the little dinghy, Rocky, came to a halt head-to-wind. Helpless, it drifted astern in the light breeze as the young helmsman waggled the tiller back and forth in a vain attempt to regain control of his vessel.

Gathering speed, the hapless Rocky cannoned stern-first into the leeward boat, hitting it squarely amidships with a hollow thump. The crew of Pirate fended off their accidental assailants, offering a few choice words that grade-three pupils really had no business knowing.

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Steve Fendt
Serial Stories

https://stevefendt.substack.com Short stories, serial fiction, memoirs of a possibly quasi-true nature. Stories of the Australian beach and bush.