On May 1, 1961 the brigantine rigged schooner Albatross went down in the middle of a white squall roughly 125 miles west of the Dry Tortugas, taking with her Alice Sheldon, George Ptacnik, Rick Marsellus, Robin Wetherall, John Goodlett, and Chris Coristine. The events of what happened that day in the middle of the ocean were recorded by Richard Langford in a book. White Squall: The Last Voyage of the Albatross. It was later made into a movie also titled White Squall and distributed in 1996. The Albatross was a school ship operated by Ocean Academy, Ltd. out of Darien, Connecticut.
For the record, in this one place so that there is no misunderstanding, I have no affiliation with anyone involved with the Ocean Academy, nor is any of the information I've included about it in here true to my knowledge. I could not find anything more than what is here in this preface during my research, and so I have redesigned the Ocean Academy in an updated and fictional account.
I'm not going to pretend to know anything at all about sailing either, other than the bits and pieces of things I've patched together using the internet and the library. For all that I live along the coastline of Florida, I've never had the pleasure of sailing. If there is any information that is incorrect abut the technicalities of sailing, terminology, ship design, anything I fully take the blame for writing this in utter ignorance. But it needed to be written, and it could take years to learn the in's and out's of sailing.
My last concern is my lack of a foreign language and local. For anyone who happens to speak or read Spanish fluently and I have made glaring errors, feel free to contact me and I will most certainly correct the error(s). if I have made errors concerning the geography herein, I again tender my most sincere apologies. I've never been outside of the States in person—I can only assume that my imagination isn't a valid travel agency.
I have done my best to ensure that this is as accurate as I can make it without spending the next year bogged down in research. If you find errors, please PM me and let me know where and what they are, and I'll fix them as quickly as I can. (Incidentally, if any readers happen to be fluent in sailing, Spanish or South America, PM me so that I may pick your brain. I'll give you advance readings of the fic and a heads up on plot if that's a worthwhile trade.)
My final thought is that White Squall was a brilliant, brilliant movie, though it is, admittedly, not a completely accurate depiction when compared to the book. The book was written by a man who was there when the Albatross sank, and I can safely assume that he was painfully accurate in it. I have plans to read the book myself, but I recommend whole heartedly that anyone who enjoys this fic rent it or buy it.
I know I'm adding it to my collection.
I hope that everyone enjoys this story and bears with me as I pick my way through uncharted waters, both literally and figuratively speaking. And please keep in mind that this fic, while being able to stand on its own in the long run, is only a precursor to the events when Danny returns to Amity Park.