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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

At Sea - 12. AS Chapter 12

“It is an unexpected honour to host you and your family on our humble catamaran, may I suggest that you drive down to the jetty, to await the arrival of the helicopter” Jay said politely. As the guests returned to their vehicles, Jay and I fast walked back towards the jetty, and as we arrived we could hear the faint sound of an approaching helicopter.

Aunty Jacq appeared from the bridge balcony, looking up briefly before looking at us, “We should be ready in about ten minutes” she said to us, and Jay gave her a wave of understanding as she ducked back inside.

When the two vehicles arrived at the jetty, Jay and I went to them to assist with the luggage, of which there was a fair amount. The two security drivers and two security officers, as I worked out that is who they are, insisted on carrying the luggage, and asked that we just show them where to go, so were led them on board, and up the stairs to the upper deck area.

“Mr & Mrs Donaldson, we have all the guest cabins on this level, you and their royal highnesses can have two VIP suites, the children can share twin cabins, the remaining royal staff can have single guest cabins, each one has its own bathroom,” Jay said to the security officers as we entered the dining room.

“This is the dining room, the guest cabins we have just passed, behind us there is a formal lounge and a theatre lounge, plus the balcony beyond that. Also on this deck, there are some of the crew cabins, near the front, a utility area and store rooms, On the main deck that you boarded the ship there is two offices, and two research work rooms, a conference room, and of course the large recreation space, which you are welcome to use at any time” I added to the security officers.

“Yes, we have seen the ships layout and photos of each of the main access rooms from the website thank you, I would like to inspect the office and research work rooms” the senior of the security officers said to Jay and me.

“I will leave you in the hands of Nav, while I return to the main deck to greet the rest of the guests” Jay said, and he gave me a smile and a nod of the head before heading downstairs. I led the way upstairs to the bridge deck, and showed the security officer the bridge, my cabin, and senior crew lounge.

I then took him down to the main deck and showed him the office, which the security officer said they would use as a base office and two research work rooms, which one would be used for the security staff as a lounge space. As the helicopter landed in the paddock, not very far away from the jetty, we the crew of the catamaran Trident stood on the rear main deck ready to welcome our guests, feeling fairly nervous about hosting royalty.

Jay had the information folder of the planned charter journey in his hand, while Amanda, Sam and Marcus held a tray of drink glasses each for the guests. Mr and Mrs Donaldson waited on the main deck, as the Crown Prince and Princes and their children arrived.

“Henrik, this is the skipper, Mr Jayden Henderson, his wife Jaqueline, and their nephew Carlton, who is the navigator” Mr Donaldson said making the introductions for us, “Your Royal Highnesses, it is a privilege to host your stay, may I present a draft itinerary of your journey on the Catamaran Trident, I hope you will find it satisfactory” Jay said as he bowed his head while presenting the folder.

“Your highnesses, may I provide some refreshments, we have Tasmanian wine for you both and Mr & Mrs Donaldson, and some non-alcoholic apple cider for the younger princes and princesses” Jacq said to them. Once they each had a glass and taken some sips, I took the cue to start the tour, “If I may, shall we step inside, and we can show you the rest of the catamaran” I suggested and I led the way, with Sam and Marcus holding the doors open, bowing their heads as the guests passed through.

“This catamaran was originally designed as a fast transport catamaran, and we acquired it after the original purchase had failed to take place, we have made it into a multi-purpose vessel for fishing charters and marine research charters, which is my field of work.

The areas that were originally set as a large indoor seating area, we have turned into two large research work rooms and a research office” I said as I showed our guests the rooms I was talking about.

“Further forward, we have the library lounge and storage rooms, as we head upstairs now, we will enter a central passageway leading past the guest cabins to the dining room, with the galley, cold and dry pantry and scullery room behind that.

Off to both sides of the dining area are the single guest cabins, all with their own bathrooms, and the twin guest cabins. As we face the back, and walk down the side, we enter the theatre lounge, which has a large retractable screen for movies, a servery and as you see we also have a baby grand piano, on the other side we have the formal lounge room, where you can access the balcony.

Upstairs is the Bridge deck, which has the Skippers office and navigation desk located behind the main bridge area, off to the sides are the skippers cabin and the navigators cabin, and that concludes the tour” I said, as we stood at the foot of the stairs that lead up to the bridge.

“Your staff have distributed your luggage to your cabins, if you would like to take some time to settle in, while we start preparations to cast off and head upstream” Jay said and he bowed slightly before heading upstairs, while I went downstairs. Catching Marcus’s attention, we went out to cast off the mooring lines, while Sam was busy helping Amanda and Jacq in the galley preparing some afternoon tea.

When we had cast off, and stowed away the mooring ropes, Marcus and I stepped inside, and headed towards the utilities area, when we saw the office door open, the four security officers were seated around the central table in discussion, and they stopped talking when they saw us at the door.

“Can we get you gentlemen anything to eat or drink” afternoon tea will be served shortly” I said to them, “Once you have served the VIP guests, we would like some tea and cake if you have any” came the reply from the senior officer, and it was then that I saw the itinerary that Jay had presented on the table in front of them.

“When you have a moment, I would like to talk to you about this itinerary please” he added speaking directly to me, “Sure no problems, I will be back in twenty minutes” I replied as I followed Marcus to the laundry area.

“That guy gives me the creeps” Marcus said to me in a whisper, “Try not to let it bother you, they are only doing their job, ensuring the safety of their boss, just don’t get in their way, and don’t do anything silly that may be deemed threatening to their safety” I said to Marcus with a smile, as I headed up to the bridge.

Uncle Jay was at the helm when I arrived and he smiled when he saw me, “How about you take over for a while, I need to have a chat to your Aunt” he said to me and I stepped forward to take control, quickly scanning all the instruments, to get an idea on how the catamaran was going, before continuing to scan the river ahead of us, to make sure there is no obstacles in the way.

As the sun began to get lower in the horizon, I picked up the intercom microphone, “Attention crew, prepare overnight anchorage” I said and I slowed the catamaran to a slow crawl, and once the catamaran had slowed right down, I cut the engines, and I heard the splash of the anchors hitting the water.

I flicked on all the external deck lights, and I set off down stairs to the galley, where I found Amanda and Jacq busy preparing dinner for the 8 VIP guests and their 4-security staff, plus the crew. I noticed that the table had already been set with 8 places at each table, and moments later the senior security officer arrived, “the security detail will eat in the office down stairs, so just set the tables for the 8 guests” he said to me.

Half an hour later, Sam and Marcus were serving pre-dinner drinks to the guests in the formal lounge, and it was at this time that Her Royal Highness asked the lads a question, “I hope that Mr and Mrs Henderson and Carlton will be joining us for dinner”, both lads were not quite sure how to respond, as they presumed that all crew would be eating separately from the guests.

“I’m not absolutely certain Ma’am, allow me a moment to go and ask” Marcus said and with the bow of his head, he retreated out of the room, and went straight to the galley. “Their royal highnesses are asking if you, the Skipper and Nav will be joining them for dinner” he said to Jacq.

“Oh hell, go and find Nav and tell him to get ready, and that he has twenty minutes, I will let the skipper know, and we will do the same”. Jacq said and she dashed out of the galley and upstairs to the bridge, where she knew that Jay would be there.

When she informed her husband of the request, and swore quietly before starting to walk towards the cabin, he suddenly stopped, almost causing Jacq to bump into him, “I don’t think Carlton has any formal wear, I will have to check if I have something” he said to his wife before they walked into their cabin, and moments later there was a knock on their door as Jacq entered the bathroom to shower.

“Come in Carlton” Jay said knowing that his nephew was thinking the same thing, as I walked into the cabin, Jay smiled to me before pointing to the spare dinner suit that was hanging on the wardrobe door, “Luckily I have a spare, I hope it will fit you, now hurry, as we don’t have much time” Jay said to me, and I grabbed the suit and dashed off to my cabin.

After a quick shower and shave, I dressed carefully in the suit that fitted me reasonably well, only being slightly too big in size. I had no formal shoes so I put my best deck shoes on, and made my way downstairs to the dining room, where Amanda gave me a loud wolf whistle, which made me blush.

“Who did that…” Jacq began to say as she entered the dining room, stopping short as soon as she saw me and smiled, “Wow you’re a knockout” Jacq said to me as she glanced over at Amanda, knowing that it was probably her that had whistled.

Amanda blushed a little before announcing that dinner would be ready in five minutes, Jay soon appeared and wrapped his arms around his wife’s waist from behind, giving her a little kiss on the neck, “Our nephew is all grown up” Jay said as he released Jacq and moved around so he was beside her, “that he is my dear” Jacq replied, as she took Jay’s arm and they walked towards the formal lounge, and I followed behind them.

As we entered the formal lounge, our guests were not quite as formally dressed as we were, and I started to feel really embarrassed, “I’m sorry your Highnesses, we just presumed that it would be formal” Jay said as we approached and gave a small formal bow of our heads.

“That is quite fine, when we are alone, we like to relax a little bit with the rules” Prince Henrik said with a smile. When Marcus appeared with a silver tray of drinks, I asked him for apple cider, and on hearing me say that Jay and Jacq requested the same, as we all sat down.

Pointing to the baby grand piano, her highness asked if anyone played. “I did 4 years of classical lessons while in high-school Ma’am, but I have played very little since then” I replied, as I stood up and walked over to the piano and sat at the stool, and thought for a moment before I began.

Fur Elise, by Beethoven was the piece I chose to play, and although it was a little tricky, I managed to complete the piece with only very minor errors, and I was given polite applause for my efforts, and I saw Marcus appear and he gave me the nod that dinner was ready.

I stood up and faced everyone, “Dinner is now served, if you care to follow me please” I said politely and I led the way out of the lounge and through into the dining room. Once there Princess Mary organised for her children to sit at the table, and suggested that her parents sit beside them, to mind the children.

The Prince and Princess sat along one side, and Jay and Jacq sat opposite, leaving me to sit at the end of the table, between the Princess and my aunt. Amanda, Marcus and Sam soon appeared with plates of dinner already prepared, with roast lamb, roasted vegetables, minted peas and red wine gravy, and we were also given a Tasmanian red wine to accompany the dinner.

Deserts was lime cheesecake, with ice-cream and fresh berries, and we returned to the formal lounge for tea and coffee, while Mrs Donaldson organised the children for bed time.

Copyright October 2017 Preston Wigglesworth All Rights are Reserved
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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I found it funny that Marcus felt the security guy was creepy. Security is supposed to be creepy and intimidating. I guess that means it's working.

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Great chapter, the Royalty sound nice down to earth people not at all snobbish. I thought Security was meant to look intimidating and scary?

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I also thought it was a little comical that Marcus said the head security officer for the royal family gave him the creeps. I think that this charter will be a great success especially when theHenderson's were asked to join the royal family for dinner on the 1st night. I hope that after this 1st night that they'll settle down and really enjoy doing the charter as well as making sure that their guests have a wonderful time as well. I'm waiting for the next chapter to see how the rest of the charter goes. Who knows they might just get more charters out of this one. 

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B)..............................What great advertising the Royals could give the charter!  Great chapter!

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