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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 - 16. AS Chapter 16

“Can I suggest that we find a way to distract Elizabeth, so we can start preparing without her knowing” Jacq said, “I think I can do that, I will take her in a dinghy to the village to have a look around and to pick up Amanda” Jay said, “Just as well that I ordered some more food supplies to come with Amanda” Jacq said and I nodded my head in agreement.

Jay went down stairs to find his sister in law, while I helped Jacq to pack up their belongings in the skipper’s cabin, once we saw Jay and mum leaving in the dinghy, we got to work to check that all of the guest cabins were all ready for the arrival of our guests.

When Jay, Mum and Amanda arrived with boxes and ice boxes of food, we helped to stow away all of the food, before I helped Amanda to settle into her cabin. Once the cabin door was closed, I looked at Amanda. “What is wrong? Has something happened?” she asked me.

“When we told mum about our guests just before Christmas, she was very shocked and surprised, before making us tell her everything about it, we had to give her a whiskey to calm her down” I said with a smile.

“And you are saying this because?” Amanda asked me, and I just kept smiling, “When we tell my Mum tomorrow, we will need to give her a double whiskey” I said, and Amanda just laughed out loud, and I told Amanda what the plans, including the extra two adults and 4 children.

Once Amanda had unpacked, she headed to the galley, to get dinner prepared, while I went up to the Bridge, noticing mum and Jacq chatting, with cups of tea in hand. Dinner was a very relaxed event, but I knew that it would not last once morning arrived.

Early the next morning, Jay checked the weather reports for the next two days, until his sister in law exited her cabin. “I think Amanda and Jacq will have breakfast ready shortly” he said to his sister with a smile, and Elizabeth made her way downstairs, as I came down from the bridge deck, and I gave mum a kiss on the cheek and sat down next to her. About fifteen minutes later we were all seated and eating, when Jay gave me a nod, which mum noticed, as I stood up and went to get a double shot of whiskey.

“Ok what is it that you are not telling me” mum asked as I returned with a whiskey glass just out of her sight, and I sat down and calmly placed the whiskey glass in front of her. “Last time you gave me one of those…. Oh no… don’t tell me…” she stuttered, “Mum we have our VIP guests arriving this afternoon for two nights stay” I said to her calmly.

Once again, mum grabbed the glass and swallowed its contents in one gulp, and she coughed a few times before she took a deep breath, “Now Elizabeth, please stay calm, we have done this before, so just relax and eat your breakfast, as we have a lot of work to do” Jay said to Mum, and as we finished eating breakfast, Jay gave instructions on what needs to be done.

By lunch time, we had finished all preparations, and we were ready for the arrival of our guests, later in the afternoon. But shortly after we had finished lunch the boats sat phone rang, and I dashed upstairs to answer it, “MV Trident, Nav speaking” I said as I picked up the phone, “Hello Nav, we are about to arrive at your coordinates, a little ahead of when we planned, as we were having problems with the media” the caller said to me.

“No Problems sir, we are ready, Amanda is with us but not the two lads, but my mother – Elizabeth is with us also, we had to give her a whiskey at breakfast time when we told her this morning” I replied and I heard Frederik laughing.

“See you soon” he said and he hung up”, I grabbed the PA mic, “Attention all crew, prepare for guest’s arrival” I said before I went down to the main deck to start lowering both dinghies. Amanda and Jay came out onto the main deck to steady the dinghies, and once this was done, I went down to take over one dinghy, to take to the beach.

As Jay climbed into the other dingy he turned to his wife, “Get Trident started and slowly bring her towards us, then just stay in place about 20 metres off shore” he said before followed me towards the shore, and as we neared the shore, we heard and saw the three helicopters approaching our location.

As we watched the choppers land, we reached the beach, and Jay and I walked towards the helicopters, as everyone was disembarking. “Skipper, Nav, good to see you both again, this is my brother Prince Joachim, and his wife Princess Marie” the Prince said as he shook our hands, and we shook hands with his brother and sister in law, as well as giving a slight bow of the head.

“Welcome back your highness, please allow us to assist with the luggage, so we can leave quicker” Jay said to him and Prince Frederik turned to his senior security officer and said something in Danish. Knowing that one dinghy would have to make a second trip, the VIP guests and the senior security officer were on the first two trips, and I returned to pick up the remaining three officers and all the luggage.

By the time we returned, Jay had all of our guests settled into their assigned cabins, and they were relaxing on the outside main deck, I found Mum and Amanda in the galley busy preparing afternoon tea for the guests. “How are you coping mum?” I asked her as I gave her a kiss on the cheek, “Where is my kiss” Amanda said, which made mum laugh, as I gave Amanda a kiss before sitting down on a chair in the galley.

“We usually have Marcus and Sam doing the steward duties, but since they are not here, the three of us will have to share those duties, as well as me doing navigator duties” I announced, “I’m sure we will be able to cope fine” Amanda said trying to reassure Mum.

Jay set course for Melaleuca Creek and we spent the afternoon slowly heading downstream, and we entered the lower reaches of Bathurst Harbour. Once in the harbour, we changed direction, to the north east for half an hour, and then due north, Jay had us anchored just off the mouth of North River, in the upper reaches of Bathurst harbour.

For the remainder of the day, mum remained in the galley or on the main deck crew lounge, leaving me and Amanda to do all the stewarding duties, Mum made sure that the security staff were kept fed, in the crew area, where she felt more comfortable. After dinner, I put on a children’s movie for the royal children to watch, before they were sent to bed, and I was asked to provide so live music entertainment for them afterwards.

When midnight and the new year approached, the guests gathered around the piano, and sang in the new year, along with me, Jacq and Jay, and we toasted with white wine. About twenty minutes later all the guests retired to their cabins, while we cleaned up and also went to bed, shortly after 1am.

The next morning, all the crew were up at 7am, preparing breakfast for the guests, Mum decided to just do steward duties for crew and the security staff, so Amanda, Jacq and I did all the steward work for the guests.

It was a beautiful morning, with a slight cool breeze, and very little cloud, the weather forecast was for fine and warm weather. Jay said that we would head up the North river, where there is an island and a sand bar, which is where we would spend most of the day. Once the guests were settled in the lounge rooms, I headed up to the bridge to assist with navigation, and as we headed up stream, and we reached our destination just over an hour later.

Amanda and Jacq already had the gazebo and chairs set up on the outside main deck, with the gazebo secured to the deck tie down points. “I think we really need a few more gazebos, this single one is not enough” Jacq said to Amanda, “yes I agree with you on that” Amanda replied, as they headed back inside.

“How about we suggest some other changes to the catamaran, while we are having the changes made to cabins, like making one of the research rooms into a multi-purpose games room, maybe mark the floors with a half basketball court, include a table tennis table, or something like that” Amanda said.

“I like those ideas, I will pass them onto the skipper”, Jacq said with a smile, and we all worked to keep the guests entertained. I went to the guest lounge areas, where the children were watching a movie, and the adults were sitting together chatting, “Nav, is it ok to go swimming in this river” Prince Henrik asked me as soon as he saw me enter.

“Yes sir, I believe that it is ok, the skipper and I will do a final check, before you go ahead” I replied and I left the room and headed up to my cabin to change into swimming gear, before going to the back of the catamaran and lowering the platform. With my snorkel and flippers gear in hand, I jumped into the cool water, and slipped the flippers, mask and snorkel on, before diving down and doing a sweep of the water around the boat.

Once I was happy that the water was safe, with no underwater snags or rocks, I returned to the platform, where Jay was waiting for me, “All clear skipper” I said after spitting out the snorkel mouth piece. “Very good, how is the temperature?” Jay asked me, “A little on the cool side, but fine once you get use to the temperature” I replied.

I stayed sitting on the platform, and watched and the two royal families entered the water and began swimming to the nearby sandbar, where the children started to build sandcastles, with their parents watching them closely. Using one of the dinghies, Jay and Amanda transported the gazebo and chairs to the sandbar, and set them up for the guests, this is when I realised that Mr and Mrs Donaldson were still on board.

I looked up towards the upper deck balcony, and I saw Princess Mary’s parents sitting there watching, and I saw Mum freeze in shock as she un-expectantly came across some of the guests. “Are good, can we please have some refreshments please, Ms…? Mrs Donaldson asked, “Yes Mrs Donaldson, and I am Mrs Elizabeth Henderson, the Nav’s mother” Elizabeth replied nervously.

“It’s nice to meet you, Elizabeth, you have a very talented son, you must be proud of him” Mrs Donaldson said, “Yes Ma’am, very much so, I will just go and get your drinks” Elizabeth said, as she left and headed to the galley, taking some time to calm down a bit, just when Amanda appeared.

“You looked shocked, what has happened? Are you ok?” Amanda asked Elizabeth, “I just met Mr and Mrs Donaldson on the upper Deck balcony, I just can’t seem to stop getting nervous around them, knowing who their in-laws are” Elizabeth replied, Amanda smiled and started to help with preparing the fruit cocktail drinks, adding plenty of ice as it was warming up outside.

Amanda made Elizabeth take the drinks tray to the guests on the balcony, and she stood nearby giving encouragement as the drinks were presented to the guests. “Thank-you Elizabeth, these drinks are delicious, please make sure the rest of the family get drinks” Mrs Donaldson said, “Already on its way, Ma’am,” Amanda said from the back of the room, as both of them exited the room and returned to the galley, to collect the jugs and glasses, to take to the sand bar via one of the dinghies.

Jay had returned to the bridge, and was watching from the balcony, when the shout came from the water near the sand bar, “Cramp, help”, instantly I dived into the water and swam straight for Prince Joachim, who was the one that shouted out, and within a few seconds, I had reached him, “Float on your back Sir, I will swim you to safety” I said to him, as I swung my arm over his shoulder, and started swimming to the platform, with the Prince in tow.

Once we had reached the boat, I placed his hands on the platform, and placed one of mine on top, to keep him there, while I climbed onto the rear platform, which is just a metre above the water, before pulling the Prince out of the water and laying him on the platform, and started to treat the cramp.

By that time Prince Henrik was climbing on board, and the skipper was running to the back of the boat on the main deck. Together we lifted the prince onto the deck of the boat, and carried him indoors and up the stairs to his cabin on the next level up.

Amanda and Jacq ferried the rest of the royal family back to the boat by dinghy, and returned to collect all of the chairs and the gazebo, once the Prince was on his bed, I encouraged him to do some light stretching of his muscles to relieve some of the pain, and this is when Princess Marie burst into the cabin, nearly knocking her brother in law over in the process.

I almost laughed when I saw that, but managed to restrain myself in time, Prince Henrik saw what I nearly did and just smiled as he exited the cabin, and I continued with the stretching exercises, until Prince Joachim started to relax some more.

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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It’s so strange to me hearing about swimming on New Years Day lol.  In most of the US, one doesn’t want anywhere near water that time of year haha.  I would love to be down under during the holidays just to experience it.

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It’s so strange to me hearing about swimming on New Years Day lol.  In most of the US, one doesn’t want anywhere near water that time of year haha.  I would love to be down under during the holidays just to experience it.   And Prince Frederik and Princess Mary are such a beautiful couple.  They always seem so kind when you see videos of them.  

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I'm hoping that Elizabeth can get over her nervousness around the royal family. I'm glad that Carlton has some first aid training so he was able to help the Prince when he wound up with a cramp in his leg. Once Carlton got the Prince back to the Trident he and Jay carried the Prince to his cabin and that's where Carlton started him out with some stretching exercises. Princess Marie almost knocked her brother in law over when she came rushing into the cabin. I hope that Carlton won't be getting in trouble over the fact that he almost giggled or laughed at Prince Henrik when he almost got knocked over. I'm sure everything will go good for the rest of the time the royal family will be on board. I'm really enjoying this story, it seems like the charter business is going very well, I think it's going to get better as time goes on and more people hear what they have to offer and the prices they charge. 

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