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    quokka
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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 - 13. AS Chapter 13

I was asked to play once more, and this time I played Clair de lune by Debussy, which was a lot harder than the first piece I played. When I had finished, I said goodnight to everyone and exited the lounge room, heading up to my cabin, where I collapsed onto my bed, relieved that the night was over.

While the guests were enjoying a relaxed breakfast, I was on the bridge preparing to get moving again, stepping out onto the balcony, I called out to Sam and Marcus to raise the anchors, and I returned indoors, to start the motors and to continue the journey upstream.

A couple hours later when we arrived at the junction of the two rivers, I called the crew to set the anchors and, I shut off the engines, before heading down to the galley to get a cup of tea and a snack.

“Well done last night, I think you impressed our guests very much” Jay said with a smile when he saw me arrive, “So what do we do now?” I asked Jay, “Well I have suggested a boat ride up the Franklin River, as we can go further on that one, most of our guests are keen to go, the Donaldson’s have elected to remain behind, so I thought we would take both boats, we will see how they want to divide up the group.

Carlton if you can pilot one boat and I will pilot the other, we will take some boogie boards, some chairs, drinks, snacks and snorkelling gear with us” Jay said, and I nodded my head in understanding. Twenty minutes later, we had the royal family and two security guards loaded into the two boats and we set off upstream, soaking in the beauty of the thick forests that surround us, all the way to the river edge.

About an hour later we stopped at a large raised sandbar, and we set up the chairs for the guests to sit and watch, while the children paddled in the water shallows, and building sand castles. On the journey back down stream, we stopped a few times so our guests could take some photos, and once we were back on-board Trident, we set off downstream at a faster pace, so we could get to our sheltered overnight anchor before nightfall.

We stopped just a little way up from the town, so the guests would eat their lunch in calm waters, as the open seas are forecasted to be mildly rough, one we had all eaten, we set off towards the open sea, not stopping a town to prevent the locals from seeing who our guests are, as we had learnt that it was an unofficial low-profile trip to Tasmania.

The afternoon journey down the west coast was indeed a rough trip, and I remained on the bridge with Jay, to assist with navigation, and give him rest breaks when he needed them, Jacq came up regularly to keep us supplied with hot drinks and snacks.

As we approached Temma, I headed downstairs, and grabbing Marcus and Sam, we set off down to the main deck to prepare setting the anchors, before getting the tables and chairs and barbeque out, while Jay and Jacq lowered the two dinghies, as we began to prepare for a beach dinner.

With the beach being mostly protected from the mild winds and waves of the Southern Ocean, our guests were keenly looking forward to the beach barbeque, and once on the beach, our guests did some paddling in the shallows of the beach, with the security staff carefully watching nearby.

Meanwhile the crew of Trident, got to work with preparing dinner, on the Trident Amanda and Jacq were making some salads, while we set up the gazebo for some shelter, with the fold up tables and chairs set up under them, and nearby the barbeque was set up, with a wind break put in place, for extra protection.

After an enjoyable evening beach dinner, while watching the sun set in the west, the royal couple and their security took a walk along the beach, while we packed up everything and transported it back to the catamaran.

Marcus and Sam put everything away, while Amanda and Jacq did the dishes, and Jay and I took the dinghies back to the beach, and waited for the royal couple to return from their walk. After waiting nearly half an hour, I was starting to get worried, and the sound of Jay’s mobile ringing made us both jump, as Jay took a deep breath and answered the phone.

“The media has found us, please collect us further north along the beach, about 1700 metres from your position, and prepare for immediate departure” came the urgent voice on the phone. We both knew that it was the senior security officer speaking, and we quickly jumped into the dinghies and made our way towards them, I looked back to see Jay following, and that he was on his phone, I presume talking to Jacq about what is happening,

As we approached the royal couple and security started to enter the water, and were knee deep by the time we had arrived, and without hesitation Prince Frederik lifted his wife on board my dinghy, before jumping in himself with the senior security officer following. “Go, go, go” he said to me and we dashed away from the beach towards the Catamaran.

As we arrived at the rear platform, Sam and Marcus had the anchors up and the engine was idling, so I presumed Jacq was at the helm. Sam and Marcus helped me to lift and secure the first dinghy, as the second one approached, and once everyone was on board and the dinghies were secured, Jacq set off out to sea, Jay raced up to the bridge to take over, while I helped the lads to store away the anchors, and make sure everything was tied down.

Once this was done Sam and Marcus went to see if the guests wanted anything to drink, and I went to the galley to help Amanda to finish cleaning up. As we left the Temma area, we were on a north-westerly course into the Southern Ocean, and we continued on that course for nearly an hour at high speed, when we finally slowed down to a slow cruising speed, we changed direction to due south.

I headed up to the bridge, where I was surprised to see Prince Henrik at the helm, and when Jay noticed my arrival and the expression on my face, he just laughed. “We are not the only two qualified to master a ship Carlton” Jay said to me, and I closed my mouth and walked up to the front, standing to one side and a little behind the Prince, “What is your suggested destination your highness?” I asked nervously.

“I think our original destination of the Pieman River, it is remote and has no main access roads for 19 kilometres” the Prince replied, as he looked over his shoulder to me, I smiled and nodded my head. “Go and rest Nav, come back at 11pm, to take over from me” the Prince said, and I snapped to attention, to accept the order.

“Aye aye, sir” I responded and I headed to my cabin, and after a quick shower, I lay down to get some sleep. My alarm sounded at 10.45pm, and a quickly dressed into a fresh uniform, stopped at the galled for a cup of tea and a snack, before heading up to the bridge with an extra cup of tea for the prince.

“A hot drink for you sir” I said as I reached the top of the stairs, entering the bridge area, “Thanks Nav, just what I need” the Prince said to me casually, as he took a sip and smiled, I looked at the navigation panel, to see what our current position is, before stepping alongside the Prince.

“All yours Nav, we are still about 25 kilometres from the Pieman River, and about 15 kilometres off the coast, I suggest anchoring about a few kilometres upstream, if you can” the Prince said to me as he stepped away from the helm, and I took his place. “In Denmark I hold the rank of Rear Admiral in the Danish Navy, but here Sir is just fine” the Prince said to me with a smile.

“Thank you for doing a shift at the helm sir, have a good night” I responded and he smiled before heading for his cabin. Shortly before 1am, I steered the catamaran through the mouth of the Pieman River, watching the navigation screen and the depth sonar, plus reducing the speed to just 5 kilometres per hour, just in case I bottom out on a sandbar.

At one point I felt a slight scrapping of the hull hitting sand, but the catamaran kept moving forward, and once I had the catamaran 11 kilometres up stream, at the junction of the appropriately named Donaldson River, I reversed the catamaran into the smaller river, so it was 250 metres from the junction, before shutting off the engines, and shortly after Jay appeared.

We are in the Donaldson River, 250 metres from the Pieman past a small bend, skipper” I announced to Jay, “how far up from the mouth of the Pieman” Jay asked as he looked at the navigation screen, “About 11 kilometres, skipper” I replied.

I followed him downstairs to set the anchors. “That is impressive, and all at night too, well done nephew” Jay said to me, as we continued down to the main deck. Once the anchors were set, we returned to our cabins to get some sleep.

I woke the next morning to the sound of the royal children laughing and screaming, as well as the sound of splashing, sleepily looking at the clock, I saw that it was after 9am, and I jumped out of bed, and dressed, before making my way up to the galley.

“Good morning Nav” Amanda said to me as she poured me a cup of tea, and kissing her on the cheek I accepted the cup and sat down at the dining table. “Just toast and cereal for me please” I said after taking a few sips of tea to wake me up fully.

“Some of the guests are enjoying a bit of a swim in the river, and some are sunbathing on the main deck, with the gazebo and chairs set out” Amanda said to me as she started preparing my breakfast. “Do you know what the plans are now, with the media on the hunt for our location?” I asked, as I started to be a lot more awake.

“They like where you have hidden the catamaran, and we have decided to remain here for a day or more, or until we are found” Jay said as he entered the dining room and sat down opposite me. “Did I feel a slight brush of the hull sometime last night?” Jay asked me as he accepted a cup of tea from Amanda, and I nodded my head slowly, “Just a little as we were entering the Pieman River, it was a bit trickier than I expected” I responded.

“I’m not angry with you nephew, I think you did an outstanding job, considering how shallow it is at the mouth of the river, well done” Jay said to me. “I second that, I reviewed the navigation log this morning, and I don’t think I could have done what you did last night” the Prince said, catching all of us by surprise, as he entered, “thank you sir” I said blushing slightly.

The prince smiled before facing Jay, “would we be able to explore further upstream of this smaller river in the dinghies?” the prince asked. “Well, sir I’m not sure what it is like up there as I haven’t been up there yet, but we can always try” Jay replied.

“Very good, how about straight after lunch” the Prince responded, “Yes sir, we will start preparing right away” Jay said and the Prince returned to the main deck. Jay sat with me as I ate my breakfast, and I could tell he was trying to work out if it was possible to go very far up the Donaldson River.

Once I had finished eating, Jay asked me to follow him to the bridge, and we checked the navigation screen, searching the Donaldson River to see if it was possible to travel very far upstream from where we are, and we worked out from the most current satellite images, that we could get almost 3 kilometres upstream before we reach rocks and a large sandbar.

Going to the main computer, Jay brought the information up and he printed it out, so as to show to the Prince before going. The royal family spend the morning relaxing on the deck, or watching a movie in the theatre lounge, and the crew remained on standby to assist our guests at any time.

Just before lunch, the Prince came up to the Bridge as Jay and I were discussing ideas for ideas where to go apart from hiding in the middle of the forest. “Skipper, it will be just me, Mr Donaldson and two security officers on this afternoon’s excursion” he announced.

“Very well, Sir, we look forward to assisting in any way” Jay replied with a smile and slight bow of his head, and the Prince returned down stairs to the formal lounge.

After lunch Jay went on the dinghy excursion, while I remained to start planning the next part of the journey, as Jay and I had discussed earlier. After some research, I had learnt that there was a lot of shipwrecks down the west coast of Tasmania, with the “Morning Light”, that is wrecked at the bottom end of Studland Bay in 1885, just north of Arthur River.

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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Interesting turn of events.it looks like they got away I wonder what is going to happen next. Very good chapter. thanks

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The Royal Charter seems to be going really well, it should help Carlton, Jay and Jacq get the Charter Buisness launched successfully.

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Another great chapter, thank you for writing these great stories. I think that with all that's going on with the media tracking the royal family down the idea of them going into the secluded area of the Donaldson river away from roads and such was a great idea. I hope that the guests can enjoy the rest of the trip without running into the media again. It appears that Carlton has an admirer, as it seems like the Prince is really impressed with the job that Carlton is doing while on the charter. I'm surprised that the Prince actually took a turn at the helm even though he and his family are on vacation, I was surprised by the fact that the Prince told Carlton that he was an admiral in the Dutch Navy. I look forward to reading more about the charter and the Trident and her crew. 

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B)...........Another nice chapter!  So far so good, not sure if it's a good idea going further up the river though, if they get stuck. And the fact that they passed the town didn't mean they weren't seen, the catamaran is well known. Press could be there in hours.

 

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I continue to enjoy the adventures of Carlton and company! The catamaran charter business has been an interesting change for the family and their crew. I agree with the other comments: this royal charter could do a lot for business. Thanks for sharing this great story!

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Great chapter!  I am a little confused.  Carlton is gay and yet I get the impression that somehow he and Amanda might be romantically involved.  A kiss on the cheek in the morning?  She is after all an employee of Carlton.  I accepted that they lived together in a house because it was convenient and obviously Carlton's aunt and uncle are quite taken with her.

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