Then it came into view, cresting one of the massive waves like a 336 bus leaving High Wycombe, and his faint hopes were dashed.
The ghost ship glowed with a ragged phosphorescence. It was an old square-rigged sailing ship, and its sails hung like mildewed shower curtains from rotting spars. The hull was slimy, the timbers warped and warty with barnacles. There were things moving on its decks, things that might once have been the ship’s crew, each one surrounded by its own fitful greenish glow, as if spotlighted by an inept lighting technician. They seemed unaffected by the cold; indeed, the whole vessel seemed unaffected by the turmoil around her, as if she was sailing in other seas, driven by other winds and currents, from those around the Waylander. Maitland stared aghast as the thing swept past them like a misshapen but still regal Queen Victoria. As it reached its closest point, he thought he could hear, even above the roaring of wind and sea, a shrieking triumphant manic laugh carried on the gales. Then the thing passed them by, moving at what seemed to be an impossible clip, its damned crew of undead dancing on the deck, like a very unsexy version of Pan's People.