It is the 14th century when dark spells, magic and sorcery were common and rife across the land. King Avalon is on a quest to find the immortal Sorcerer who long ago put a curse on his ancestors that has been passed down to the first-born son for generation after generation. The curse now affects Avalon, and whenever he sees the last flash of light from the setting sun the metamorphosis takes affect turning him into a black jaguar. He can only change back into human form the next morning if he sees the first flash of dawn's light. Three beautiful women join Avalon on his quest, and they are totally committed to helping him rid himself of the dark spell he is afflicted with. A ninety-foot schooner named 'Ghost Runner' comes into their possession and they set off across the ocean following the next clue to the Sorcerers whereabouts. Extract from novel.....Quick, shouted Avalon, we havent a moment to lose. If we can get the sail sheeted in, it will help drive the ship forward over the anchor. If you take the helm, Ill signal from the bow which way for you to steer. By following the two ropes attached to the clew on the end of the small flogging sail, they found the ends amongst a confusion of ropes. Between them they hauled in the sheet rope until the stiff canvas filled with wind, and once the rope was secured firmly the ship slowly started moving forward across the wind. Genevieve turned and hurried down the heaving deck handhold by handhold until she reached the large wooden steering wheel. She gripped two of the ornate spoked grips tightly and waited for Avalon to direct her from the bow. Avalon studied the familiar anchor-windlass, and when he was sure he remembered which lever to release and how to winch in the chain and anchor, he pointed ahead to show Genevieve which way to steer toward the anchor. The ship had sailed forward and the chain was now slack. He started winding in the chain with the capstan and was glad it was geared with many well-greased cogs to take the strain, as it would have been a hopeless task by himself. The wind was by now gusting up to fifty-knots and Ghost Runner surged up and over the waves as she slowly nosed up to the deeply embedded anchor. By the time the anchor broke free of the seabed, Avalon was a lather of sweat and exhausted. Trying to catch his breath, he was about to shout to Genevieve that the anchor was free, but realised she wouldn't hear him above the roar of the gale force winds and storm tossed seas, so once again he used arm signals for her to change course. Avalon continued straining on the capstan, but this time he had a heavy anchor dangling on the end of the heavy ships chain, and with the ship picking up speed it was an impossible strain for him. He again signalled for Genevieve to round up more into the wind to slow the ship, and he then changed to a different gear on the capstan. He now found there was much less strain as he hauled in the dead weight. By sheer effort and stubborn determination he finally winched the anchor clear of the water and with the last of his remaining strength snugged the anchor into its opening in the bow beside the bowsprit and lashed it with the stout rope provided to prevent it working free. He quickly signalled to Genevieve to fall off the wind and steer a course parallel to the coast. As he rested and regained his strength and breath, he saw that the storm was now upon them with a vengeance and there were flashes of lightning stabbing the sky all around. Luckily the rain hadn't started yet but he knew it wasn't far off. It will be a close run race my boy, he thought. But with luck and God on our side we just might be able to make the safety of the cove. Suddenly remembering Sarina was still on the beach, he looked towards shore and saw her standing at the waters edge looking out at them. He signalled what their intentions were with his one free arm as he hung on to the bulwark with the other, and saw her wave in acknowledgment. He watched for a few moments longer until he saw her turn and run back towards the track that led to the top of the cliff. Good girl, he thought. By now Ghost Runner was riding up and over the enormous waves that had the top three feet breaking, but she took them in her stride. Avalon carefully made his way aft to Genevieve who was gripping the large wheel pale faced, but smiling excitedly. The rain, which had been holding off until now began to lash at them horizontally, stinging his exposed skin and blinding him so that he had to avert his eyes. As Avalon entered the cockpit he shouted above the roar of the gale, ''Fall off the wind five degrees my love'' As the ship came onto her new course he eased the sheet rope attached to the straining storm sail until it was set just right for the angle of the gale-force gusting winds. Leaning closer to Genevieve he shouted, Do you want me to steer for you? She shook her head and shouted with a glitter in her eyes, No way my love. Im enjoying myself too much. Its the first time Ive ever steered a ship. This is so exciting. With the gale-force wind now aft of their beam they were sailing along with the huge breaking swells, and when one particularly nasty rogue wave rose up behind them threatening to break over them, Ghost Runner lifted her stern and shot forward down the face of the curling monster just before the wave broke with a roar of foaming white water. They were very impressed with Ghost Runners performance, for she handled the atrocious conditions like the thoroughbred she was and seemed in her true element. The steering was also light and responsive to Genevieve's course changes. All too soon the entrance to the cove came into view through the lashing rain, and they almost lost heart at the site of the narrow opening frothing and broiling with crashing waves. Avalon climbed up into the rigging a short way, and hanging on grimly as the ship pitched and rolled he had a better vantage point to see the pass. Keeping a wary eye on the waves rising up behind them, he tried to judge exactly when to direct Genevieve to alter course to port and line the bow of their valiant ship on the narrow opening between the tall black cliffs. With Genevieve obeying his every hand signal explicitly, they held their breath's as they made their turn. If the ship broached now all would be lost, but Ghost Runner held her course and ran true and sweet towards the extremely narrow opening. With a gut swooping rush they were off, surfing down a fifteen-foot wave front, and with white water boiling all about them they entered the narrow passage at break neck speed, deafened by the roar of the breaking wave upon the outer cliff face on either side of the passage. The narrow pass then seemed to close in around them and the top of the cliffs appeared to meet high overhead, but these impressions were only fleeting as they concentrated on keeping to the centre of the narrow, fifty-foot wide channel. The roar of the waves and the gale were suddenly muted and with just the sound of rushing, foaming water all around them, it was unnerving in the half-light as they waited for the crash and crunch of the enormous keel grinding into the sharp, ungiving, submerged rocks beneath them. Suddenly they were clear of the cliffs and sailed into the enclosed, calm bay. As the wave lost its impetus, they also lost the wind which had driven them through the pass. With Avalon still in the rigging, he directed Genevieve to steer toward the sandy beach no more than a thousand yards off to their starboard. Ghost Runner slowly lost way, and quickly climbing down from the rigging Avalon ran forward to the anchor winch calling out to Genevieve as he went, Hold steady on your course.