The first draft of Coasting is finished (I suppose I should call it the eleventh draft, because that's how many times it's been written from beginning to end) It ran to a little over ninety thousand words this time.
I've added photographs of the two ships that inspired the tale. I'd sailed on both of them by the time I wrote the first draft and used them as the skeletons of the Kooyonga and Dargo, just as I used some of the people I'd met over the years of seagoing as skeletons for my characters.
Those shipmates, who read the early versions of the tale, were certain they recognized individual characters and invariably named them. They were always wrong, but it did show how well I'd captured the archetypal characters that populated the coastal shipping industry in the mid-seventies.
I've printed out a hard copy and it sits on the upper shelf of my bookcase. In a month, I'll take it down and read it from beginning to end and then the hard work of crafting it into a finished story will begin.
Wish me luck.