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quokka

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About quokka

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  • Age in Years
    55
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    Male
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    Gay
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    Adventure
    Drama
    Romance
    Sci-Fi
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    Australia
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  1. quokka

    Alo Chapter 35

    Hmmm, maybe a second book, I need to finish the current ones and a few others that are in line...
  2. quokka

    Looking for...

    Hi, I am trying to find a story I read a while back, about a guy who is employed by an old school mate, to be a minder for his difficult younger brother. does anyone know the name of the story? Quokka
  3. quokka

    Oce Chapter 13

    The four of us met up for dinner in the hotel restaurant a few hours later, and I could see right away, as we approached them, that Nigel and Mitchell are getting along a lot better than we expected, with Travis turning to me and raising an eyebrow, which made me laugh, as we approached the table were they were already seated. During dinner, we discussed plans for the next few days. Mitchell said that he had already checked out the boat, which has the name ‘Baby Aquaria’ on it, which was a real surprise, and made me laugh at my father’s little joke. Mitchell mentioned that he had seen the original layout plans of the boat and that there have been a few small modifications made, with the crew mess area made into additional seating for 6 more people, meaning that a total of 18 passengers can be carried, plus one of the crew cabins was made into a second bathroom. I announced that in the morning, we should drive down to Newcastle and make the journey back up the coast, but Mitchell said there was no need, as he had arrived a few days earlier than planned, and he had already brought the boat up to Port Stephens, and that the boat is moored in its bay at Nelson Bay Yacht Club. Pleased that we would not have to spend the whole day on a small boat in open waters, I said that we would instead make a trip to the island, to see what it looks like from the ocean, then later in the day I would arrange for a charter helicopter to collect us and take us onto the island. Mitchell informed us that the boat trip would take us approximately 45 minutes for the one-way journey, and that he had already checked the weather for tomorrow, and that there would be fairly calm seas for most of the day, which I was pleased to hear, having experienced some extremely rough conditions while serving in the Navy. After dinner, Travis and I retired to our suite, and I asked my husband what he wanted to do as part of the project. “I am not sure exactly, I have been a personal assistant for most of my working life, so there is not much more that I could do apart from that,” Travis responded. “How would you like to be my administration manager, you would be coordinating things between us and head office on Wake island, and also with Jocelyn on the Aquaria,” I suggested, knowing that it would be the ideal jo for Travis. After a little bit of time to think it over, Travis agreed and we spent the next two hours discussing the project before having a shower together and retiring to bed. The next morning after breakfast, the four of us headed over to the yacht club, with Mitchell driving, and Nigel in the front passenger seat, leaving Travis and me to travel in the back, which I didn’t mind at all. On arrival at the club, we checked ion with the manager, and we were each issued access cards to get onto the jetty, where the boat is moored. At just twenty-seven metres long, I was not really sure what to expect, but when I saw the boat for the first time, I was a little surprised, as it looked like the size of a tug boat, but was a lot wider with the triple hull, as we approached, and Mitchell opened up the side access door to the main deck, and unfolded a small set of steps, before stepping on board, with the rest of us following. “The main aft deck here is 9 metres wide and 6 metres lengthways, so approximately 54 m2 of deck area, which should be plenty sufficient for supplies, when we need to transport stuff to the island. As I said yesterday it will take about 45 minutes to get there,” Mitchell informed us. We looked around the back deck, before following Mitchell through the airtight door to inside on the main deck. When we entered, we stood in a short passageway, with a door on either side of us as soon as we were inside, and Mitchell pointed out that one is a crew cabin, while the other is one of two bathrooms. Further forward, there are some storage lockers, and on the right another door, that is marked bathroom, and two doors on the left, both marked as ‘Restricted Access, Crew Only’ on both doors. Mitchel explained that the first one leads to the bridge, while the other leads down to the centre hull, where the tanks, generator and engine are located. Going up two steps, we pass through another door, which is the passenger seating area for 18, that looks very comfortable, and a kiosk kitchen, with a coffee maker, microwave, kettle, fridge and pantry. Following Mitchell out of the passenger area, we headed upstairs to the bridge, which a chart table, internal controls for the crane, and three chairs, with two side tables between them, that has most of the controls on them, and large screens and other instruments in front of them. “Right, that is the full tour, if you would like to make your own way back down to the seating area, we will be on our way. Boss, would you mind casting us off please,” Mitchell said after we had a good look around, and Travis, Nigel and I headed downstairs, with the lads heading forward, while I went out on the deck, to release and pull in the mooring lines. Once we were on our way, and out of the marina, I headed back upstairs to the bridge and sat down next to Mitchell. “So skipper, how long have you been qualified?” I asked Mitchell, who smiled, “About a year, I thought maybe extra qualifications might come in handy one of these days, and here I am skippering a small boat in Port Stephens and heading out into the Tasman Sea,” he responded, which made me chuckle. “Anything else I should know, about what you have been up to since we last saw each other?” I asked, “Well, I have open water scuba diving qualifications, and I’m a trained paramedic also,” Mitchell replied. “That is good to know. My father has organised for housing to be transported by helicopter crane, once we have the jetty and stairs built, for easier access to the island. The bigger house, which is in two sections will be my home with Travis, and the second section will be the administration centre, which Travis will manage for me, next door to the admin area will be the second house, which is two bedrooms, which you and Nigel will share. Once they are in place, along with two sheds, and the tanks, and we are ready to start work on the rehabilitation work, we will install 8 additional cabins to accommodate a further 12 people. Four cabins will be two-bedrooms each and four will be one-bedroom each, and I am guessing that my father plans to keep them on the smaller island as accommodation for tourists,” I said to Mitch. “Sounds interesting, I look forward to when it all gets started, do you know how long it will be before we can get access to the island by boat, as I am guessing that a lot of the island’s coastline is rocky cliffs, but there are a number of beaches as well,” Mitch asked. “Our base will be located on the smaller Little Boughton Island, which was not affected by the fire, and I am told, that a pedestrian bridge already exists between the two islands, and that is the area where the boat jetty will be located, once it is built, and that access to the bays where the beaches are will be restricted to all boat traffic,” I said. “I see, from what I have seen from the Google Maps, the long beach, known as Providence Beach, on the north side, is a large open area, while the small beaches on the south-west side of the main island, mostly disappear at high tide. The smaller two smaller beaches in the long bay also disappear at high tide, while the two bigger beaches at the end of the bay are where the camping area originally was located,” Mitchell said to me. “True, I have a topographical map of the island, which I brought along with me, and that bay is the main area that we want to block off, to stop boat traffic from entering that area, do you think that maybe we can get a heap of floating buoys with signs on them to achieve that?” I asked. “I guess that is something you need to discuss with your father,” Mitchell replied, as he picked up some more speed, as we reached the end of the protected waters of Port Stephens. I headed back downstairs, where Travis and his cousin were deep in conversation, and I saw Nigel’s face go bright red and Travis laughed at this. “What are you two up to?” I asked. “It appears that wed have a new relationship blossoming,” Travis teased, which made Nigel go and even brighter red, and I chuckled at this, as I sat down next to Travis and gave him a nudge with my shoulder. “Leave the poor boy alone, that is his own business, even if he is your cousin,” I said to my partner, and Travis reluctantly agreed to stop teasing his cousin. “Go and make yourself useful, go and make the skipper a cup of tea, white with one sugar,” I said to Travis who grumbled at been made a slave, which just made me laugh. While Travis was delivering the drink to the skipper on the bridge, I retrieved the map of the island and opened it up over the shared table. When Travis returned, the three of us discussed ideas for the island, and it was agreed that we should establish raised boardwalks on both islands, to reduce damage to the island, and to allow animals to be undisturbed, once they are re-introduced to the island. On Little Broughton Island, it was suggested to have one single boardwalk, down the centre of the island to as far as where the new village will be located and no further. On the main island, Nigel suggested that there also be just a single boardwalk built down the centre, to the peninsular on the north-west corner of the main island, with a few smaller boardwalks branching off it, one north to Providence Beach, with stairs leading down to the beach itself. Another heading south to the middle of the end of the peninsular, and a smaller branch of that one, leading to a raised lookout, located between the two main beaches in that bay, with no direct beach access, which I fully agreed on. The main boardwalk will be approximately 2.4 kilometres long, and the shorter one southwards will be 800 metres long, while the one on Little B Island, as my father calls it, will be just 450 metres long. As I was rolling up the map, a crackle came from a speaker in the room, “Bridge to passengers, come up to the bridge guys, you will want to see this,” we heard Mitchell say over the PA system. A few minutes later, we entered the bridge, on the right was Little B Island and to our left, the main Broughton Island, but right in front of us, was quite a surprise, there we could see a good-sized bridge spanning the distance between the two islands, with a rocky island in the middle of it. I looked over to the Little B Island side, where there was a landing of sorts, looking to be about 300-metres long, but it was only about 1-metre wide, with mooring posts spread out about 50-metres apart, and looking up, I saw a crane has already been put into place above it. Looking over towards Bought Island, I was surprised to see a larger jetty already in existence, similar size in length of the jetty, but it was a lot wider. At the end of the jetty, there is a square staircase, leading up to the bridge, which appeared to be about ten or so metres above the jetty. “The main jetty I think please skipper,” I said to Mitchell, who turned direction slightly, and slowed down as we approached, and I dashed outside to get ready with the mooring ropes. Even with the boat properly secured, there was still a bit of swell causing the boat to rock, as we disembarked fort he first time, and walked the length of the main jetty, which I was fairly close to my estimation on how long it is. Mitchell allowed me to take the stairs first, and as I reached the top, I found my father smiling at me. “What the… how did you get here?” I said totally surprised. “Hello to you too son!” Dad replied, and we shook hands before Dad pointed over towards the smaller island, where I could now see a helicopter sitting there, with a man standing next to it. “You cheated, and took the easy way over here,” I said smiling and Dad just nodded his head, as he greeted Travis, Mitchell and Nigel. “Welcome to the Broughton Island Group, now a private freehold property, owned and managed by our company. There are three small islands and some rocks that are included in this group, with that island to the north being the third largest of the group. As you can see I have had the jetty and supply landing already constructed, along with the stairs up to the bridge, and the supply crane installed, plus here on the bridge, we have the two access gates, to limit who comes onto the island this way. Let’s go to Little B Island first, as we need to work out exactly where to put the main houses, the sheds and the staff village, which I intend to make into guest cottages, when all is completed,” Dad announced, and he whispered to me the 6-digit code to me, to open the gate.
  4. quokka

    Oce Chapter 12

    One more slight change in the last paragraph.
  5. quokka

    Oce Chapter 12

    Amendments have been made to this chapter.
  6. quokka

    Oce Chapter 12

    Good point, I will fix that now
  7. quokka

    Oce Chapter 12

    "Now with four submarines patrolling the world’s oceans, I was being kept quite busy, with coordinating port calls for each of the vessels, and liaising with the authorities in each county, and if there was ever an issue that arises, I just refer the matter to the United Nations representative on board, which thankfully didn’t happen too much, mostly because I mostly involved the UN rep with all plans for the submarines visiting foreign ports. “Sir, a message from headquarters, you are to go to the conference room for a video conference” Jocelyn announced to me when she knocked and walked into my office, and I groan, knowing that my father is probably about to spring another surprise on us. When I activated the video link, the screen was split into two, with Jonah on one and my father on the other. “Good, you are both on, time for another little surprise family, and this one is a real doozy and has been a very top-secret project that I have been working on for just over two years now” my father announced. “I just knew it, I had a feeling you would when Jocelyn informed me of this video conference” I responded, and Uncle Jonah just laughed, “He is a smart man, this son of yours, Hamysh,” Jonah said when he settled down a little, and Dad just smiled. “Ok, Dad, what is it this time, are we going to invade a country or something dramatic like that?” I stated, “Not quite that drastic son, but what I have done is bought something, and turned it into an underwater city of sorts” Dad announced, and both Jonah and I were silent, shocked at what he had just announced. “Ok, what exactly is it that you bought Hamysh?” Jonah asked suspiciously, knowing that it was probably something totally outlandish, and never done before. “Another Island…” Dad announced, “A what!” I exclaimed loudly, as I jumped out of my seat, and moments later Jocelyn came rushing into the conference room, to check on me. “It’s ok Jocelyn, my son is just a little shocked at what I had announced, closed the door and please take a seat, you might as well know about it too, since you are my son’s right-hand assistant in everything” Dad said to my assistant, and Jocelyn did as asked, and sat down next to me. “Yes, I have bought another island, off the coast of New South Wales, Australia,” Dad announced to us. “Whereabouts exactly is this new island?” Jocelyn asked, and Dad smiled as he leaned back in his chair. "It is known as Broughton Island, and until recently it was part of the Myall River National Park, but last summer, a lightning storm set it on fire and totally destroyed all vegetation. Because of our history in nature preservation, we have been granted freehold ownership of the island, as long as we restore the island’s vegetation, and reintroduce some local fauna to the island. There were composting toilets, a boardwalk and a dozen tent platforms, all which had been destroyed by the fire, so now that we have bought the island, the Parks and Wildlife have removed all reference of it from their information sheets and website, so there will be no more day visitors or campers. I am wanting to ask for a team of volunteers, including one or two officers, to live on the island and start the restoration project. I will arrange for some transportable housing to be brought to the island, along with a few storage buildings for supplies and equipment,” Dad announced. “If we can do some shuffling around of staff, then I would like to coordinate this project please, I feel like I need some time on land for a while,” I responded. “I was hoping that you would volunteer to run it, and I am sure you will do a fantastic job. Just one thing thou, I have recruited one person who will be very useful for this project, an old acquaintance of yours,” Dad said to me. “Hmm, let me guess, is he an engineer, same age as me and very handsome?” I responded, taking a good guess that my father had arranged for my good friend and ex-boyfriend, to join us, and Dad just laughed. “You are quite scary sometimes, how you can work out what I am planning. Yes, it is Mitchell that will be joining you, I thought it was about time you had your old friend back in your life. He will be arriving in Shoal Bay in three days’ time, where he will pick up the vessel that I have bought for you to use for travel between the island and the mainland, he and you are booked into the Shoal Bay Resort Hotel. Be in Newcastle to meet up with him so you can work together to decide on where to put the buildings. I will talk to you again in a few days’ time when you have selected your team,” Dad said before signing off, and we sat in the conference room in silence absorbing all this new information. A few hours later, I received an email from the head office at Wake Island. “Trenton, just a few things to let you know about, firstly the purchase was for two islands, the main Broughton Island, which is 282-acres in area, and also Little Broughton Island, which is 89-acres in area. I recommend that you establish your little housing village on the smaller island, as it was not affected by the fire, and it has a 4-acre rock between the two islands and a 300-metre long and 3-metre wide bridge that links them all together. An area on the west side of the Little B Island is sheltered by both islands and the rock. I have already organised to build a jetty for the vessel, in that area, with stairs to Little B Island, where a crane will be placed to lift heavy items up. Until the jetty and stairs are completed, you will just have to travel around the island by boat to get an idea of what it looks like and charter a helicopter at Newcastle to take you onto the island. A heavy crane chopper will be used to transport the buildings over to the island, once the preparation work has been completed. Good luck. Your Father.” Letting the Captain know that I would be leaving the ship and travelling to Australia, he set sail for the nearest main port, which is Auckland, so that I could disembark. Meanwhile, I let Jocelyn know that she would now be taking on a good amount of the work of coordinating things with the four submarines, and with the UN representative, and she thanked me for the opportunity and the challenge. Travis and Nigel were thrilled when I told them that if they wished, they could join me on this new project, and they both said yes, so I had my first two team members. I would hold off with choosing other people for the team, until the 250-metre long jetty, the stairs, crane and the buildings are in place. Checking online to see what the nearest town to the island is, I learnt that Port Stephens is just 18 kilometres south-west of the island, with a number of towns on the north and south side of the harbour. Shoal Bay, was the nearest town on the south side of the harbour, and I soon located the hotel resort where my father had checked us in. Over the next few days, we travelled from Auckland to Sydney, and by train up to Hexham, just north of Newcastle, where we hired a vehicle to take us the rest of the way to Shoal Bay, which is three hours by train and another 1 ½ hours by road coach. It could have been much easier to just charter a flight from Sydney Airport to Williamtown, but it is still a 40-kilometre drive to Shoal Bay, so I decided to take the slow and less expensive route, which the Patterson boys did not mind at all, even though it was taking us longer to get to Shoal Bay from Sydney, than it is to fly from Auckland to Sydney. When we finally arrived in the large town of Shoal Bay, I was pleased that the sun was shining, with a slight breeze, and the town had more of a country town feel to it, as it was so spread out. After a short drive around the large town, to get an idea where everything is, we headed to the hotel. As I was approaching the front reception desk, I suddenly found myself the recipient of a huge bear hug, and I tried to laugh as I was losing air fast, knowing that it was Mitch, and once released I took a few deep breaths before facing my good friend. “Hi mate, it is good to see you, but I could have done without the Bear hug, especially with my partner standing close by,” I said to Mitch who just laughed, as he took control of my two suitcases. Travis smiled and shrugged his shoulders and we followed him to the desk, where the receptionist had watched the greeting that I received. “This would be your friend that you are expecting, Mr Brighton?” the lady asked with a small smile, “Yes, my best friend and my new boss,” Mitchell replied happily, and I just smiled. “Trenton Blackthorn, checking in for myself, my partner Travis Patterson and my butler Nigel Patterson, please,” I said to the receptionist. “Yes sir, we have your suite ready for you all, your butler is two floors down, on the same floor as Mr Brighton, I’m afraid, but that is how the booking was made,” I was informed, and the sad look that Mitchell gave me, made me chuckle, “That will be fine thanks” I said as I signed the register, and received my key. After Mitchell had left to let us to settle in, I checked my emails on my laptop computer and found an email waiting for me from Dad, which I opened. Attached to the email was layouts for some modular buildings that would be purchased to use on the island. The first layout plan, called Strathmore, is 152.9 m2, and is a little unusual as it is in two sections, the main section contains a living area, kitchen and meals area at the front, a master bedroom, with walk-in robe and ensuite bathroom, a second bedroom, a pantry adjoining the kitchen, a second bathroom and a laundry at the back section. The second section has a living area, a separate shower and toilet and two more bedrooms. I liked this layout plan, as I can use the smaller section as my administration office, and it will be just a small space separating the two buildings. The second layout plan is called Shoreham, is 80.8 m2, and it is a two-bedroom house with a shared bathroom, a separate toilet, laundry, kitchen and meals area and a generously sized living area. Another attachment, showed some more layout plans, from a different building company, with the first one named Banksia 1 bedroom granny flat, that is 53 m2, and it has a basic layout of living area, kitchen, bathroom, laundry and bathroom. The second layout is a 2 bedroom granny flat, that is 63 m2 and has a similar layout, but the bathroom separates the two bedrooms that are identical in size. After viewing the building layouts, I looked at the email message from Dad. “Dear son, here are the layouts of the buildings that I have purchased for you and your staff to live in while working on the recovery programme of the main island. I will the installing a desalination plant and water storage tanks, so you have a plentiful supply of freshwater, plus a waste treatment plant, that will treat the effluent water, so it can be transported and used for fertiliser, as will the solid waste, using a system that is used down in Antarctica. The four-bedroom Strathmore house, I thought would be ideal as you and Travis as a home, and administration office. I bet you thought the same thing when you saw the plans. The two-bedroom Shoreham, will be for your staff Nigel and Mitchell to live in, and I suggest putting them fairly close together, and near the top of the hill, close to where the stairs will be located. The other two designs, the Banksia Granny flats, are one and two bedrooms, I have ordered four of each, to accommodate twelve people, and I suggest that you place them just past the middle of Little B Island, with a one-bedroom and a two-bedroom next to each other, with about a five-metre spacing, the same again, with the next two, also five metres apart, and the other four opposite, with a five-metre spacing, between the front of the buildings for the centre path down the middle. That will put a distance of about 450 metres between your place and the staff village, and between the two will be two sheds, one will have a maintenance workshop and machinery storage area, as I have ordered six quad bikes, with trailers. The second shed will be the power shed, that will contain the wind turbine and solar power generators, the desalination plant, waste treatment plant, water pumps and the power storage batteries. The freshwater tanks and waste tanks will be located, directly behind the shed power shed, and will be partially sunk into the ground. Mitchell is a qualified skipper now, so he can pilot the boat that I have purchased for you, so you don’t need to be on board all the time for trips to the mainland. The boat is a 27-metre Swath trimaran, which was built at Henderson, Western Australia, and it is already in Newcastle, waiting to cruise up the coast to Shoal Bay, where I have arranged a permanent berth at the nearby Nelson Bay Marina, good luck with it all. I will email you again in a few days time, to check up on how things are going.”
  8. quokka

    JV Chapter 3

    Somewhere like up the creek without a paddle? LOL
  9. quokka

    Oce Chapter 11

    This chapter has been amended... Q
  10. quokka

    JV Chapter 3

    “I have no say in the matter, sir, my parents have been funding my higher education costs, and they have withdrawn any future funding as of the end of this semester, due to a conflict of interest. I will not be homeless, however, as I have managed to secure a well-paying job, which includes accommodation, and once I have left this office, I will be commencing to pack my belongings and moving out, as the accommodation is available immediately, and I will complete my semester exams and defer any future studies to a later date” I explained. “Well, I wish you the best of luck in the future, and by the way, I have not recorded any disciplinary action on your files, since it was a one-off thing and a minor infraction. Good luck Mr Walker” the manager said to me before I left and headed to my room. With less than 1 hour to go, before my transport arrives, I quickly wentand had a shower, and changed into casual clothes, before I began to pack my suitcases and the few boxes of belongings that I have. The luggage that had been delivered to my locker was still there, and I intended to pick them up on the way back to the apartment. Because of my approaching exams, the work roster had been changed to allow me more time to study and to attend my exams for the next two weeks, so I would only be working on Friday and Saturday nights and Saturday lunchtime, during his time, so I now had the spare time to move into my new home and concentrate on my studying. Mr Wright was kind enough to assist me with getting my belongings, from the Rolls Royce to the first floor foyer, and once I had done that he suggested that I join him for dinner at 7.30 pm, which gave me a few hours to get settled into my new home, and work out where everything is. All boxes of belongings ended up in the spare room, while my three suitcases were placed in the wardrobe, to be sorted in the morning. My main priority was to get familiar with my new surroundings and start doing some more studying for my exams. I was a little surprised, when I discovered that the kitchen has a selection of top-notch cooking pots, pans and utensils, cutlery, crockery, a rice cooker, a waffle maker, plus the pantry was stocked with some basic food supplies, including cereals, rice crackers, cans of various soups, rice, flour, pancake mix, and a few other snacks. The fridge has a selection of fresh fruit, salads and vegetables, plus eggs, milk, bread, bacon, and a selection of cold meat cuts, and the freezer has a selection of gourmet microwave dinners, plus some frozen bread as a backup. In the linen cupboard, I found a good supply of bathroom soaps, toilet paper, room deodorisers, and cleaning supplies, that would last for over a month. I was totally surprised that the apartment was fully stocked up ready, and I was not sure if I should say anything about it, as I continued to explore the apartment in more detail. The living area has two large bookcases, that are full of novels, books on history, and different places around the world, plus a large selection of DVD’s, which I doubted that I would get much time to watch any of them. At 6.45 pm, I showered and changed into some semi-formal clothes, with no tie or jacket, just a woollen jumper, in case it gets cold later, and I was about to walk out my front door when there was a knock. “Ready to go?” my boss asked when I opened the door, and I smiled and nodded my head. After an enjoyable dinner, I arrived home… wow, that was going to take a while to get used to and realised I still had to clear away the luggage off my bed, find my linen and make my bed, before I could get near to going to bed. Realising that I only had single bed sheets, I remembered the linen closet earlier, and there I found two sets of high-quality cotton sheets, including pillowcases, to fit my bed, along with 4 sets of large and thick bath towels. The following morning was Sunday, so I decided to go for a long walk along the river, but I only got as far as two blocks, when I decided to go into the city and walk around there for a while, so I headed back to my apartment, to collect my wallet, before catching a taxi into Perth. With it being usually quiet on Sunday’s, I asked to be dropped off at the west end of Terrace Road, where I began to walk eastwards along the footpath beside Terrace Road, and Langley Park, which appeared to busy with some cricket matches. Crossing over the road, I went to watch one of the matches for a while, since I had nothing better to do. No sooner had I crossed the road, did I realise that it was two private schools having an inter-school match, which explained why there were so many cars parked along the side of the street, and by the look of the colours, it was Trinity College versus Wesley College. There was a large group of adults gathered to watch the match, which I presumed to be teachers and parents, of the schoolboys, and I stood a little way off from one of the groups, not sure who they were supporting at first. I was so focused on watching the match, that I didn’t realise that someone had walked up to me, and was standing just two feet to my left. “Hello Davies, what a surprise to see you here,” the female voice said to me, and it took me a moment to realise that she had mentioned my name, then I realised that it was a familiar voice, as I turned to face her. “Mum! What are you doing here? Wait… is Aiden playing here?” I said in total shock. “Yes son, he goes to Wesley College now. We moved him up here during the mid-year break” Mum replied, as I looked around to see if my father was around nearby. “No your father is not here today, he is working at his Perth office, so he won’t be coming along. Anyway, how are you, have you found a place to live, and how is your job at the restaurant going?” my mother asked me. “Good, I have a new job starting as soon as I finish all of my exams, and the job comes with an apartment, which I moved into today. He is an awesome boss, and I sort of already know about him, he is a very famous gay author, and I have read all of his books. I will be his administrative assistant, so I will be travelling around a lot, when he is doing book tours” I explained. “I see, well I am pleased that you will not be homeless and without a job, I can rest easy that you are safe and well… oh crap, he is here, your father. You better go now, before he spots you. I love you, son, I will let Aiden know that you were here briefly to watch him play” Mum said as she gave me a quick hug then gently pushed me away. Heading away from where mum was looking, I just hoped that Dad had not seen me, as I crossed the road, and turned up the next street, heading towards Adelaide Terrace, so as to find a taxi to get back home to Dalkeith. Over the next few weeks, I dealt with the stresses of end of year exams, as well as working part-time in the restaurant, and spending three afternoons a week working for Mr Wright, getting settled into my new position. When my final exams were over, it was also the end of my job at the restaurant, and my boss there was sad to see me go, but he understood and wished me the best of luck in the future, and not to forget us, and call in for a meal every now and then, which I said I would do. I had not heard from Mum since seeing her at Langley Park, so I presumed that everything was alright, I just wished that I was able to spend more time with her, and to actually watch my younger brother Aiden playing in the cricket match. With just days to go, before Mr Wright and I are due to fly out of Perth, for Sydney to start the book promotion tour when I received an unexpected text message. “Aiden playing cricket versus Scotch College at Creswell Park, Sanbourne, starting at 9 am tomorrow, I hope you can come and watch, love Mum.” Tomorrow was a Saturday, which I had free to finalise all of my things before we head off on Monday, so I was very pleased that I would have the chance to go. This time I had my work vehicle, so I didn’t need to rely on taxi’s, as I looked up the park online, and saw that it was a public park, owned by the Claremont Town Council, as I looked it up on Google maps, and saw that it is alongside the sporting fields of Scotch College. I studied the map carefully, to see where is best for me to watch the match from, and eventually, I decided that I would park the car at nearby Swanbourne Primary school, and walk the one block through BallarukBushland to the park, where I can sit on the edge of the bushland under the trees and watch the match from a distance from everyone else. I informed Mr Wright that I would be out watching a cricket match for half of the day, and he said that he was glad to see me getting out and doing something enjoyable, before we tackle the next few weeks of travel, staying in hotels and book promotions in book stores and libraries. The following day, with the loan of a picnic rug, a fold-up chair, and a picnic basket full of goodies, thanks to my kind employer, I set off for Swanbourne, to watch the cricket. I was setting up my little spot under the gum trees on the North end, just as the coin toss was being done, and it was Wesley who elected to field. It didn’t take me long to find my brother Aiden, amongst the fielders, for the first half of their innings he was always in the infield or bowling medium fastballs, and he managed to get one wicket. Once he had done his round of bowling he was sent to the outfield, right in front of me. Although he had not recognised me, he did look at me briefly, before facing in towards the game. Shortly after my phone buzzed with a message and it was from Mum. “Hello son, I am glad you came to watch, did Aiden recognise you just now?” the message read. “No, he just noticed some guy sitting under a gum tree away from the rest of the spectators, but that is fine, I am just happy to see him playing,” I responded. “LOL, you are probably right there. I didn’t get a chance to tell him that you were at his other match in the city, as your Dad was suspicious about the guy walking away from me, and he did ask who it was, I just said you were some stranger, asking who the two cricket teams are”. As the game broke for lunch, I watched as Aiden walked towards the grandstand, located on the western side of the oval, chatting happily with his teammates, as they disappeared inside. I unfolded the rug and laid it out on the ground, on this beautiful early summer afternoon, before retrieving my lunch from the basket. Two plastic tubs, one containing coleslaw and potato salads, and the other a mix of cold meats, cheeses and gherkins, which I love to eat. Also, there was cutlery, napkins, a cup, and a thermos, which contained tea in it, with no milk, which I didn’t mind. After setting out my lunch, I looked out onto the oval, and suddenly I saw a schoolboy racing at full speed in my direction, and I soon realised that it was Aiden. I closed the containers, and stood up, and took a few steps out of the shade of the trees, and waited on the edge of the oval, where Aiden came rushing into my arms, and he immediately burst into tears. “Now, now little bro, none of those tears. It is good to see you again, how are you enjoying attending Wesley?” I said to my brother, who was almost as tall as me, and he was 5 years younger than me, now aged 14. “It is just good to see you again big brother, I miss you so much, and I don’t care that you are gay, I just want to spend time with my brother,” Aiden said to me, between tears, as I spotted Mum walking along the side of the oval, carrying her own picnic basket of lunch. “You better wipe away those tears, mum is on her way over,” I said to my brother, and he used the sleeve of his cricket shirt to clear his eyes as I walked back to the rug and sat down, with Aiden soon joining me, as did Mum. The lunch break was over a lot faster than we had hoped, and Aiden had to rejoin his teammates again, but before leaving he turned to Mum. “Do you have my mobile Mum? Can you get Davies to enter his phone number, and list it under his middle name, that way we can keep in touch, without Dad knowing,” Aiden called out as he walked off, and Mum did as Aiden asked, and listed my number as Quinn, my awful middle name. Mum stayed with me for half of the match, before heading back to the grandstand, and I decided that it was a good time to pack up and head back to my new home, after having a very enjoyable day and great family reunion. For the next few weeks, I was so busy with visits to 8 cities in just over 3 weeks, with book promotions happening 6 days a week. I was totally exhausted by the time we arrived back in Perth. The only thing that I managed to do while away, was to buy postcards and send them to Aiden via his school, which I signed as Quinn. Mum had texted me when we were in Melbourne, asking for my postal address, so she could send me a Christmas present, so I gave her the office address since I deal with all incoming mail as part of my job. After three days of resting from the long tour, I headed to the post office, to collect all the snail mail, that had been building up, while we were away, and sure enough, there was a package addressed to me. “To my dearest first-born, with all my love this Christmas year, we will miss you dearly. Aiden has received all of your postcards. Love Mum, Aiden and Michaela.”
  11. quokka

    JV Chapter 2

    When I woke in the morning to the sound of my alarm clock, it took me a few moments to remember why I set the alarm for a Saturday morning, and when I did, I smiled before jumping out of bed and heading to the bathroom for a shower. Once I had showered, I dressed casually, before heading to the dining room for some breakfast, as I didn’t want to go to the meeting on an empty stomach. Back in my room, and with just 55 minutes to go, I called the taxi company and booked a taxi for 25 minutes time, as I wanted to make sure I arrived in plenty of time. Dressed in a fresh suit, with matching shirt and tie, I stepped out onto the front courtyard, and watched the approaching taxi, right on time, which I was pleased about. “Where to mate?” the driver asked me as I entered the taxi. “Number 79 Waratah Ave, Dalkeith please” I replied, as I closed the door and secured the seatbelt. Just over ten minutes later, we came to a stop outside a very small shopping area, in the leafy western suburb of Dalkeith, and I paid the driver and stepped out of the taxi. Once the vehicle had gone, I spent a few moments looking around, and I couldn’t see any sign indicating a business office, but there is a small arcade, so I crossed the road and entered the small arcade, which looks to have about 4 shops on each side. I pulled out the business card from my top pocket, to read the address on it, “Unit 7, 79” so I knew I was at the right street address. I spotted a shop number above the door of the second shop on the left, which read Unit 3, so I was now confident that I was heading the right way, and I came to a stop outside Unit 7, which has no advertising on it, and there were tinted windows and heavy curtains all along the glass front. I knocked on the door, before taking a glance at my watch to check the time, “8.55 am,” I was five minutes early, so I hoped that was ok with my new boss. Moments later I heard the door unlock and it opened. “Good morning sir,” I said smiling. “Good morning Davies, you are looking very smart for a Saturday morning,” Mr Wright said in reply, “I presumed that I would be required to be in business attire when working, so I came dressed that way” I answered, “Well you have impressed me already young man, and the haircut looks perfect, did you get that passport application in yesterday?” my boss asked. “Yes sir, completed and submitted by 4.45 pm” I replied. “Good, take a seat and let’s get started. Firstly, do you want to start right away, or would you prefer to wait till after your semester exams are completed?” Mr Wright asked. “If you don’t mind, I would like to complete the exams first, so it isn’t a complete waste of a semester of studies, and I can continue on with them at another time hopefully” I responded. “That is good to hear, now read all of this information, while I get us a cup of tea, how do you take yours?’ my boss said, “White tea, no sugar please sir” I replied, “Perfect, just as I have it” my boss said and he exited the office, returning a few minutes later with two cups of tea, in a cup tray and a small paper bag, which contained two square cakes, called hedgehogs. Twenty minutes later, after reading my work duties, presenting my driver’s license and a current federal police clearance, plus completed filling in income tax forms, bank deposit forms, and superannuation forms, Mr Wright announced that all the paperwork was now completed, as he placed them in a vanilla folder and placed it in a desk drawer. Next Mr Wright gave me a brief personal history of himself, of which some of it I already knew from reading his author profile, on his books. I learnt, that my boss had not had many relationships in his life, and he has been single for many years now, which he is comfortable with. He has three younger brothers, who he rarely sees or speaks to, and a number of nieces and nephews, who he has not seen for many years, because he has been so busy. He has worked may jobs when writing was just a hobby, over a six-year period, until his first published book, was a hit and he no longer needed to work other jobs. My boss stated that he often travels to the UK, Spain and Italy, to promote his books, and he owns a small apartment at White Cross, Richmond, on the banks of the Thames River, that is just 16 kilometres from Heathrow Airport, where he stays when in Europe. When travelling to Canada, he leases an apartment in Calgary as his central base while there, and hotels at other parts of Canada. Mr Wright said that I was welcome to move into the apartment, whenever I wish, as the apartment is empty, and that it is located in the very modern building at number 87, a few buildings down the road. “You mean the fancy, three-storey building sir?” I enquired, and my boss chuckled at my surprised expression. “I know I said modest home, I guess I stretched the truth a little there, I own four apartments in total, mine is apartment 32, which covers two levels at the top, and has three bedrooms and three bathrooms, a lot more than I need, but I like the space, and I turned one into my study. Two other apartments I lease out, as part of my investment portfolio, and the last one is apartment 10, which I keep reserved for guests and friends, although I don’t really have many of them. Apartment 10, will be your residence, it is on the first floor and has two bedrooms and two bathrooms, and I am sure you will like the space it provides. I also have two vehicles, my favourite one, which I only take out on special occasions is a Bentley Continental GT, blue in colour, and it is awesome to drive, the second vehicle is for official events and is a Dark Grey coloured Rolls Royce Cullinan, of which you will be my driver. Since appointing you like my new Administration Personal Assistant, I have decided to provide an ordinary vehicle for you to use, for running around doing whatever chores that I give you. So, I have looked into purchasing a Landrover Discovery, which is Bronze in colour, and will be delivered here on Wednesday, next week, once the sale is finalised,” Mr Wright announced. “Sir, do you think that maybe a Landrover Discovery is a little more than ordinary, maybe a Holden Trax, would be more appropriate, as it is compact and easy to get around it. I had the chance to test one out two years ago, and they are great cars to drive” I suggested. “Very well, if that is what you prefer, I will swap it for a Holden Trax, I just wanted you to be able to drive around in comfort that is all” Mr Wright stated, “Thank you, sir, but a Holden will be plenty big enough for me, let alone driving that monstrosity of a Rolls Royce” I commented, which made my boss laugh. A few minutes later, after being issued with my own set of office keys and a key card to my apartment, we walked over to the bigger building, and I was amazed at the opulence as we entered the foyer area. “Wow, if this is what the apartments are like, I am in for a big shell shock” I commented as I glanced around some more, before following my boss through the secure door and to the elevators. Once inside, I was instructed to use my key card and place it on the card reader, then press floor one. It was only then, that the elevator started to move, stopping moments later on the first floor, and I followed Mr Wrightdown the short hallway, till we arrived at apartment 10, and he indicated for me to open the door, using the key card again. When I entered the apartment, I was shocked at how big and open it looked, and everything looked very expensive. “I had it remodelled when I bought the apartment, it was a lot fancier than, compared to what it is now” my boss informed me, as we walked through the living areas and the kitchen, before going to the big glass doors that lead to the wide balcony. I didn’t bother to open the doors, as I could see clearly that the view was impressive, and I turned and took a look at the smaller of the two bedrooms, with a separate bathroom across the hall. Around the corner, I entered the master suite, which blew me away, with a huge ensuite bathroom, wardrobes and huge king size bed. “Sir, this is way beyond what I am used to, even our family home in Albany isn’t as flashy as this, I really would be more comfortable with more suitable accommodations,” I said to my boss, who frowned at me. “Well it is up to you, I have already made one concession, the job comes with this apartment, if you don’t want the job, I can always keep looking for another candidate, who will accept the extras that comes with the job” he said to me, and he turned to head back towards the door. I sighed, knowing that I would be a stupid fool not to take this job and the apartment, “Very well sir, I don’t have a choice in the matter, I will accept the job with the extras included, it’s just going to take me a while to get used to it, that is all” I announced, and my boss faced me and was smiling. “I knew you would see it my way,” he said to me, and I couldn’t help but laugh. “Boy, am I in for a roller coaster ride” I commented, and my boss just nodded and walked out the door, with me following. Next, we went down to the carpark area, where I was shown the two vehicles, and I must have looked like a deer caught in the headlights, as the boss laughed at my expression, when I saw the Rolls Royce for the first time. “Considering that I had a fairly difficult life growing up, you are just going to have to accept that I am entitled to a few luxuries now that I am able to afford it” Mr Wright commented to me, as I cautiously opened the driver’s door and glanced inside. “Come on, no time like the present, jump in, and you can take me for a drive, we will go and have an early lunch, Matilda Bay Restaurant I think, do you know where that is Davies,” my boss asked. “Yes sir, Hackett Drive, opposite the UWA Business School” I replied, as I opened the back door, and closed it again after Mr Wright had handed me the car keys and taken a seat in the back. Although it was only a 3.5-kilometre drive, it was a very nervous one for me, having to drive the Rolls Royce for the first time. I found it to be a very heavy vehicle, and I had to take extra care with going around bends and roundabouts, but I was very relieved when we arrived safely and I opened the back door for my boss. “I will go and organise a table while you park the car please,” my boss said as he headed to the front door. A few minutes later, after a difficult and stressful few minutes of parking the car, I entered the restaurant, which was only about half full, and I quickly located where my boss was seated and headed that way. After ordering a straight orange juice, I looked around the restaurant, which had some great views of the Swan River, and we settled for an enjoyable lunch. Mr Wright asked me which of his books that I liked the best, and why. So, I came him a detailed summary of the story, so as to prove that I had indeed read his books. After lunch, we returned to the office, where I was shown the latest schedule that had been set out for promoting Mr right’s latest book, which has just been released a month earlier. For the next two weeks, Mr Wright would be attending book signings at a number of locations around Perth, as well as in Mandurah and Bunbury. The week after I finish the last of my semester exams, I would be joining Mr Wright for an Eastern States book promotions tour, that had been organised by his editor. This tour would involve visiting 2 or 3 book stores and libraries each day for three days in Sydney, them the same in Coffs Harbour, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Townsville, Melbourne, Geelong and Adelaide, before returning home for a three-week Christmas & New Year break. When Mr Wright mentioned this, I said nothing, but my mind was thinking, what the hell am I going to do for Christmas, I have been disowned by the family and I will be all alone. “You will join me for Christmas Day lunch I hope, I have been volunteering at a local charity, that provides a full-on Christmas lunch for underprivileged families, and I want you to be my guest there,” Mr Wright said to me, and a tear slowly dripped down my cheek when I heard this. “I don’t know why I deserve all of this generosity from you sir, and yes I would really appreciate having somewhere to be for Christmas Day” I replied. “Good, I am pleased, now run along and start packing your belongings, I will be at the back entrance to the college in two hours, to collect you, your luggage and bike,” Mr Wright said to me smiling, and I nodded my head, and headed out the door. The first thing I did when I arrived back at the college was to find the residential college manager, who was sitting in his office reading a report of some kind when I knocked on his slightly ajar door. “Come in Mr Walker, what can I do for you?” the manager asked when he saw me enter. “Sir, I am here to inform you that due to family issues, I will not be attending university or living in the college, as of the end of this semester” I announced, “I see, I have had good reports in regards to your classes, it will be a shame that you are pulling out” the manager replied.
  12. quokka

    Oce Chapter 11

    Wait and see... Q
  13. quokka

    Oce Chapter 11

    Oops... thanks for that, it is corrected now. Q
  14. quokka

    Oce Chapter 11

    Nearly 24 hours after we arrived, we had completed the survey of the damage, and the report was not good for the owner of the Catamaran, apart from the badly dented hull, there was also a crack in the forwards section of the port hull, where the force of impact, must have been enough to weaken the welding joints, plus there was water damage in both aft engine compartments, where a split in the aft hull had allowed water inside. However, the two power generators and two forward engines which are in a separate area further forward were not damaged and are operational. The main problem now was to get it floating and off the island and over the reef, before loading it onto a cargo ship, so it can be sent to be fixed. I had been notified that the Oceania had also picked up the distress signal, and was making its way to our location to assist in any way, with it being another three days away. After some discussions with Derek, was asked for some volunteers among the crew, to remain with the damaged catamaran, until the Oceania arrives, and we had plenty of volunteers, but we decided that just four would be sufficient, plus Mr Wallace had elected to remain behind as well. With the catamaran secured to the beach with heavy anchors, and stocking up the vessel with plenty of supplies of freshwater and food, we set off towards New Caledonia, to deliver the remaining crew and passengers of the catamaran, plus their cargo, since it is the nearest landfall from the reef, and where they could still have a short holiday. When I was on the catamaran, I noticed that there had been some changes made, that were not on the layout plan, that showed the outside deck behind the bridge, had been converted into a crew accommodation and lounge area, with an extension behind the crew lounge directly behind the bridge, to allow for a small library and a ship’s office. Behind that, are 2 officer cabins, 2 triple crew and 4 twin crew cabins, each with their own bathrooms, to accommodate all 16 crew, so I knew that those who were volunteering to say would be fairly comfortable for the duration of their stay. With New Caledonia being just over a days journey away, there was a good chance that we would arrive back at the site of the catamaran at about the same time as the Oceania, and together we would be able to work out what to do with the stranded vessel. Once we had dropped off the passengers in the main city of Noumea, we stocked up on some local supplies, before turning around and heading back to the reef, after just a 6 hour stop. The Oceania, was already there when we arrived, and once we were sitting on the sand near the reef, a boat delivered the captain and XO over to the Aquaria. During a two hour meeting, we discussed all of the issues regarding the stranded vessel, which had sunk a few more centimetres since we left it a few days earlier. With a telephone conference with Mr Wallace’s lawyers and insurance company, the decision was made to declare the catamaran ferry abandoned, as it would cost too much to have it transported to a shipping yard and get all the damage repaired. At that point, on behalf of my father, and the family corporation, I made an offer to buy the catamaran, and that we would take responsibility for its safe removal and repairs. When a reasonable price had been agreed on, a bill of sale was written up and sent by the lawyers to our corporate law firm, to be finalised. Mr Wallace agreed to be dropped off at Auckland, which would be our next destination, while the Oceania would remain behind and start work on trying to get the catamaran unstuck and floating again. Once we had dropped off Mr Wallace, we headed to Mayor Island, where we decided to spend some time relaxing for a few weeks, to all the crew a good rest, as no doubt my father had plans to keep us busy for the near future. Two weeks later, we were notified that the catamaran was now off the island, having been pulled off the island and into the coral lagoon, and was now being piggybacked on the Oceania to Whangarei, New Zealand, where it will be repaired, before being offered to the Vanuatu Ferry company at a reduced price, to what they were going to pay before this accident happened. Over the next eighteen months, we saw the introduction of two more submarines, sister ships to the Oceania, and now between the four vessels, the corporation was patrolling the world’s oceans on a more regular basis, and with surprisingly no disputes with governments who share boundaries on shared seas. In the north Pacific Ocean, on Wake Island, there have also been many changes, with Peale Island on the north-west end, been transformed into a 4 storey luxury hotel resort, while the village now has a population of 280 residents, plus a whole line of shops and cafés, to provide a healthy economy to the island. Wilkes Island had all of the staff accommodation removed, and it was turned into a forest of tropical trees of shrubs and was declared a nature reserve, with just two raised boardwalks on the island, to stop people from walking all over the island. Wake Island, was mostly restricted to residents and crews of the submarines, with a boundary security fence installed just south of the yacht marina, and all visitors had to be bused to their accommodation, with a swinging bridge installed between Wake and Peale Islands, that is only wide enough for the Golf buggies and quad bikes which are the only vehicles permitted on Peale Island. All new resident accommodation was now located just south of the security fence, and the airport terminal had been upgraded, to provide more secure facilities for al of the visitors, which were flying in twice a week 3,700 kilometres from Hawaii, USA plus once a week, 3,200 kilometres from Tokyo, Japan and once a week, 5,300 kilometres from Darwin, and 4,600 kilometres from Brisbane, Australia. As well as the commercial flights in and out of the island, with our own Wake Island Airlines, that provides a three-day, a week service from Majuro, Marshall Islands, and Pohnpei, Micronesia, allowing family members of the residents to visit regularly. All freight in and out of Wake Island comes from either the Marshall Islands or Eastern Australia, and every single passenger is screened on arrival, especially from the USA and Australia, to ensure that no illegal weapons or drugs of any kind are brought onto the island. Dad had also put restrictions on which airlines are permitted to land on the island, with one major commercial airline from each country of origin, which had put out a lot of other airlines that wanted to establish Trans-Pacific routes with a stopover on Wake Island, which Dad was considering. There had been quite a few proposals put to Dad, the first was from Los Angeles to Tokyo by a Japanese airline, another from Hawaii to Darwin by a US airline, a third from Vancouver to Singapore by a Canadian airline, and the last one from Los Angeles to Manila, by a Philipines airline. There were also requests from large hotel chains, wanting to build hotel resorts on the islands, which had totally refused, as one hotel is sufficient to cope with the demands of the current number of airlines, and not much more, so as to allow for private yachts that wanted to stay in the hotel for a night or two. Eventually, after a long family meeting, it was decided to accept just one other airline to land on the island, on a trans-Pacific route, and that was the Canadian flight from Vancouver to Singapore, with a 4-hour stopover, to allow visitors to look around the island.
  15. G’day Matt, where in Oz are you from?

    I am West Aussie.

    1. Matt Mc

      Matt Mc

      I am from in WA as well.

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