With his old skiff he uses the current to drift south to a town. He rides a bus to Charleston, has a shootout with a black dope peddler that leaves him with drugs and a lot of cash.
He buys a boat that he can maneuver by himself, yet big enough to live comfortable aboard. With a new young boat bum and her little boy, he is again having boating enjoyment. Terry tells him of a catamaran sail boat that is peddling drugs, and is about to come into port to unload.
Fred boards the drug boat, to get rid of the drugs he had on his boat. The deal misfires and Fred ends up with more drugs and cash aboard his boat.
He finds that he has incurred the wrath of a crooked Custom Officer and his partner. They had planned a drug bust of their own. Fred and his new boat the MOLLY TWO escapes to go north to find his old hidden dope burial ground, to hide this dope. He had plans to clear his boat of any incriminating evidence.
Fred is almost buried alive in the new sand silt that has been pumped to over fill his islands hiding place. His stubborn insistence not to quit, sustained him. He lived to find his stash and offloads the dope. With only the money aboard, he resumes his searching for the MOLLY BROWN.
Stopped by the crooked Custom Officers he is physically abused in their anger. To save his own life he has another shoot out, and is victorious.
This is the story of Freds new adventures.
Sailing south, he confronts haunted memories from a time he spent on another water, in another part of the world. Even as the violence of the sea tests his courage and skill as a sailor, he finds himself both drawn back into the turbulence of the Vietnam War and pulled forward into a struggle for survival.
Light on Dark Water tells the story not only of a battle for survival at sea, but of one mans fight with his own sense of incompleteness, anger, and remorse, as he attempts to come to terms with the raw interplay of loss and grace that is the essence of life itself.