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    quokka
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Fordell - 12. Ford Ch 12

This is when I learnt that James has a younger brother – Ashton, who is in his second year of studying at university, in the area of Marine Biology, and he has also just completed his certification as a master diving instructor, plus certification as coxswain, to skipper vessels up to 12 metres in length, and the shipboard safety course.

The following day, I was in the ships office extremely early as I had a telephone call to make to Robert, where it was 8 pm there and 4 am on the yacht. The main reason for the call was to let him know about this production company request, and that with the new yacht, with additional crew and guest cabins, it would be a great experience for the remaining senior crew that I have onboard, plus the three additional crew, that will be joining us soon.

Robert was very reluctant to agree to this idea, but I ensured him that Hunter and I would be remaining onboard the yacht the whole time, and that the permanent crew would be taking on a supervisory role, and keeping me up to date on everything happening onboard.

Robert eventually gave the all clear for me to do this, since he is part owner of this new yacht, and I really needed his “Okie Dokie” on this, and after mentioning to him, that before getting the production company to sign up on the agreement, that there are some very strict conditions.

These include the yacht’s senior crew having a background supervisory role, in the day too day operations of the yacht, with complete control of all matters regarding the health and safety of all onboard and the protection of the yacht from any damage, and any commands given by the yacht’s senior crew are to be obeyed immediately.

The yacht’s senior crew consist of four officers, a coxswain, chief bosun, executive chef, chief steward, and a paramedic, and the chef and steward will be responsible for cooking for the senior crew and its executive guests. The other condition of going ahead with this project will be that there will be no guests under the age of twelve staying onboard the yacht, and any minors 12 or over must be capable swimmers.

Finally, all of the bridge deck except the outside aft deck, plus the engine room, and officer’s living space are all off limits, to all production crew and filming crew. Robert was happy that I was including these conditions, and informed me that he would get his lawyers to draw up the contract ready for the production company to sign.

After the phone call to Scotland was over, I headed back to bed to get a couple more hours of sleep. I was woken by the feeling of the yacht moving. After a glance at the clock, which read 7 am, I rolled over and went back to sleep, knowing that the yacht was now on its way to Newcastle, which will be a three and a half day journey, with a full day stopover at Devonport.

The first leg of the journey up the west coast of Tasmania was fairly rough, and even Charles and Elizabeth struggled with motion sickness for part of the journey. Because we went through some rough weather, I arranged for Captain James to have a stopover in Stanley, to allow everyone a bit of a break from the yacht, and instead of stopping at Devonport, I decided that we stop off near Launceston, or Mowbray to be exact.

My former school has a boat shed alongside the river and between that and the Tamar Highway, and we would anchor just off shore from the boatshed, for about a day. I had no set plans yet on what we would do there, but I had some ideas, especially when we would be at Mowbray on Friday morning.

“Have you thought of what crew would be needed for keeping the guests entertained and fed?” James asked me, when I stepped onto the bridge to see how we are going with the journey, after the one day stopover in Stanley.

“I have, and I thought that maybe it was something to discuss with the production company, but I was thinking maybe a chef, senior steward, a bar steward, and three more stewards for in-house, and a Bosun, Lead Deckhand, and three more deckhands,” I replied.

“That will leave three twin crew cabins for the production crew?” James asked, “Yes that is right, they asked for just two cabins, but I thought having a spare would be a good idea,” I replied. “Do you think the chef will be able to cope with such a large number of guests plus crew?” James asked.

“I hope so, if not well then Anton will have to pitch in and help out, and I believe that Marius is a keen cook, so if he is prepared for the extra duties, then he can help too. Oh by the way my assistant Brad in Strahan has advertised nationally and over in New Zealand for a ship’s paramedic, and I have already received from Brad a total of eight applicant’s, so I will have to sort them out when we get to Newcastle,” I said to James.

“Can I have input in the recruitment process since he will part of the permanent crew?” James asked, “I was hoping you would say that, yes that would be great thanks,” I answered. “Where are they all from?” James asked, “I have only had a brief look at the applications, I think there are four from NZ and three from Australia,” I responded.

When we arrived in Mowbray the next day, it was just after 10.30 am when we set the anchors just twenty metres offshore, with less than a metre of space under the hull. After some morning tea, I retrieved my mobile and I sat down on the aft deck of the Bridge, and dialled the number of my former school.

“Good morning this is Launceston Church Grammar School,” a cheery voice said when the call was answered, “Good Morning, may I speak to the headmaster please,” I replied, “May I ask who is calling please?” the Lady asked, “This is Edwin Crawford speaking,” I replied.

“Oh, Lord Crawford, we have been searching for a contact number for you, just one moment please,” She said, as my call was redirected. “My Lord, I have had half of my administration team spending the past half hour trying to find a number to contact you, as it has been reported that your yacht is anchored near our boatshed,” the headmaster said to me, and I chucked about this.

“My apologies Headmaster, I had a few things to do before I could give you notice of our arrival, may I have a short time with your face to face to discuss an idea with you?” I asked. “Yes certainly, will you be coming to the school or would you like me to come to you,” the headmaster asked.

“I think here would be better, if you came here,” I responded, “Righto, I will be there in fifteen minutes, as I will take the walking option, with the bridge over the highway,” the headmaster replied, before ending the call a little abruptly, no doubt excited to see the yacht up close.

I called Louise the chief engineer, and asked if she could launch the smaller tender to collect the Grammar School’s headmaster from the boatshed ramp, which she said she was happy to do. Less than twenty minutes later, I saw not just the headmaster but also the senior school master and the senior administrator arriving at the boatshed, and after unlocking the single gate, and locking it behind them, they walked to the loading ramp, where the tender had just arrived to collect them.

By the time the tender arrived back at the yacht, I was down on the main deck ready to welcome them onboard. “My Lord, you remember our Senior Master and Senior Administrator?” the headmaster said after giving a slight bow of the head, “I do indeed, welcome onboard my yacht, not come on in and I will give you a bit of a tour,” I replied.

As we entered the main dining area, I saw the Anton exiting the galley, and I indicated to him that there will be three people joining me for lunch, and he gave a nod of understanding and disappeared back into the galley, as we went through the hallway and into the main foyer.

“Wow, this is quite grand,” the Senior Administrator said, “Yes it is, like most things in an expensive yacht like this,” I replied as I led the way up the main stairs to the next level up, and through a short hallway to the main saloon. “Wow, I just can’t stop saying, but it is all I can think off saying,” the senior administrator said to me, as we took a seat. Elizabeth entered the room, and asked what we would like to order for drinks.

All three asked for a soft fruit punch, which I also ordered. “Now, I am pleased to have all three of you here today, before I get onto the main subject, I wanted to let you know, that I have been doing a little bit of property investments in the past few years.

As you all know, Falkner Park backs onto Tas Water, and also some light industrial buildings on Venture Close, which is the last street before you reach the back gates of the park on Gilmore Street. I have managed to purchase the last two properties on Venture Close.

Number 5 is three thousand and two hundred square metres in area, has one narrow building, that is 60 metres long and 10 metres wide, and a second building, that is 50-metres long and 20-metres wide with a smaller attached building that is office space.

There is a good 10-metre space between the buildings, which I have recently had a pergola installed to provide shade between the buildings, the second property at Number 7 is vacant land, with a solid concrete base on it, and is four thousand square metres in area, 100 metres long and 40 metres wide.

There is a gap in the trees that run along the shared boundary, and I have replaced twos sections of solid fencing with a double gate, to allow access from Falkner Park into the two properties, which now have no separating boundary fence.

These two properties are now officially owned by Launceston Church Grammar School, and can be used for any recreation activities that you wish. You will have enough space for at least 6 tennis courts and two basketball courts, and I am prepared to pay for the construction of a spectator stand along the side wall of the shed,” I announced.

“Well, I don’t know what to say, but thankyou very much for your generosity, I am sure we will put the added space into good use, the Headmaster said.

“I have not quite finished just yet; I have also been negotiating with TAS Water to acquire the strip of land that is not in use, between them and the schools other field.

It is 15 thousand square metres or 3.7 acres of land that is on the other side of the field from the highway, and near the river, which would make an ideal location for a new and bigger junior school, especially with it having easy access via Gilmore Street.

There is enough space just in that strip of land to have all the required buildings, as well as playgrounds and sports grounds.” I announced. “Well that would indeed be a magnificent addition to the school if that come to fruit, once again thankyou on behalf of the school,” the Headmaster said in response.

“Do you recall the little house that I was brought up in, well that and the house on either side, which Aunty Bea owned, were recently demolished, and I have transferred that land over to the school as well, which is three thousand square metres or ¾’s of an acre in size.

Finally the four new units, at number 9 Bank Street, have also been signed over to the school as additional staff accommodation,” I announced. “That is indeed a huge investment on your part My Lord,” the Senior Master stated, “Yes it is, but considering all of the hard work that the school has invested, towards my education, I think it is a good investment,” I replied.

“What was the reason for this invite to come here?” the headmaster asked me, “Oh yes, I had nearly forgotten about that, we are on our way to Newcastle, so we will only be here till tomorrow, so I thought I would make an offer for a free overnight trip on my yacht. All costs are covered, for up to 11 staff plus their partner, and also four single staff who will be prepared to share twin cabins,” I announced.

“Well, you have me and my wife as your first guests,” the Senior Master said beating the Headmaster to the punch, and I smiled at this, and the headmaster and the administration manager confirmed to me that they would also be attending.

“Good, now that it sorted, let’s take a head to the dining room for lunch,” I responded. Before sitting, the headmaster retrieved his mobile phone and called the school, where he asked to be put through to the staff lounge. “Mr Owens, this is the Headmaster speaking, can you put me on loud speaker so all of the staff can hear me please,” we heard the headmaster say.

“Staff this is the headmaster, I have a very surprising announcement. The Senior Master, Senior Administrator and I are currently onboard Lord Crawford’s yacht, which is anchored not far off from our boatshed. Moments ago, Lord Crawford, who most of you know as a former student of our school, offered an all expenses paid overnight stay onboard his yacht, for some of the staff of the school, commencing tonight.

There are a total of 9 queen size cabins remaining available for staff and their partner to take up the offer, plus two twin cabins for any single staff who are prepared to share a cabin,” the headmaster announced, and suddenly there was about a dozen voices speaking all at once.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, quiet please…” the headmaster said as I stood and I walked over to him. “School staff, this is Lord Crawford speaking, since there is a large amount of interest to attend, is their any staff member who is not interested or able to attend?” I said, after I indicated to the headmaster to allow me to speak.

“Lord Crawford, this is Madeline Archer, Administration department speaking, due to family commitments, I am not able to attend,” one voice spoke up as I looked over to the senior administrator, who nodded. “Mrs Archer, may I ask you to write down the names of all of the staff interested in attending, onto strips of paper, and we will have a ballot to choice who will be attending,” I replied.

“Yes My Lord, I will do that, and call back when I have the results,” Mrs Archer replied. “Headmaster here, call me on my mobile number please Madeline, as I am off campus,” the headmaster said, “Yes sir I will, bye,” Mrs Archer responded before ending the call.

Twenty minutes later, the headmaster received a call, and with a pad and pen already made available, he jotted down the names, before handing the phone over to me. “This is Lord Crawford, can you put me on loud speaker please…

Ladies and Gentlemen, those who will be joining us on my yacht this evening, the yacht will be moored at the River Cruise Pier at the end of Home Point Parade, there is a public car park located just 130 metres before the pier. The departure time will be 5.30 pm sharp, so I recommend that you be at the pier no later than 5 pm.

This one time only staff cruise will head down river, with an overnight stop at Devil’s Elbow, which is a sheltered bay on the Tamar River. The next morning we will continue down river, stopping at Seahorse World to check out the Southern Ocean Aquarium, with the final destination being Low Bay, just before the mouth of the river.

Here you will find a chartered road coach that will take you the 55 kilometres back to your vehicles at North Esk River, with a brief stop at the school for those who choose to leave your vehicles at the school.

The yacht will continue north out of the river and we will be heading to Newcastle, were we will meet the International crew, which will be taking the yacht to Singapore, where it has been sold. I look forward to seeing those who are joining us this evening, that is all thank you,” I announced.

“I will be returning to school in about half an hour, that will be all thank you, goodbye,” the headmaster added before ending the call.

Copyright © 2020 quokka; All Rights Reserved.
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Great chapter. Edwin has made a very generous offer to the staff of the school for a one night all expense paid trip down the river at the end of the trip a motor coach will be waiting to take them back to their vehicles either at the school or the car park. After the school trip the yacht will then sail off to meet with the crew who will be taking it to Singapore where it will be remodeled to the specifications of the new owner. Edwin and his crew members will be meeting the crew at the same time as he takes possession of the new yacht. They will then prepare to get ready for the production crew for the tv show. 

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And with one last overnight trip for his grammar school profs, the 'Jane' sets off to Singapore to retrofit for new owners.

Hopefully no Calamity befalls Edwin or the yacht or delays their safe arrival to collect his newer, smaller externally but larger internally (more cabins less space?) yacht.

Perhaps when he names his new yacht, Lord Edwin will honour the two most important women in his life, with the name: MV Elizabeth Bea OR Elizabeth B. Fair winds and calm seas.

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One last trip on the yacht for Edwin and his old school teachers. Then off to get the new yacht and crew ready for the TV production, which Edwin got Robert's permission to host.

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Bloody hell Quokka, you seem to know more about Launceston and Tassie than I do and have only been here 2 1/2 years, after moving from that yucky place Sydney where I have spent all  of my life till 2018. I am going to check these places out.

 

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Hell mate make sure that my name is on the list interested in the cruise. I don't mind sharing with a hunk from down under.

Edited by Kev
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6 hours ago, Jondon said:

Bloody hell Quokka, you seem to know more about Launceston and Tassie than I do and have only been here 2 1/2 years, after moving from that yucky place Sydney where I have spent all  of my life till 2018. I am going to check these places out.

 

Hey mate, I have been to Tassie once many years ago, and loved seeing the Apple Isle.

ive seen just Hobart, and most of the west coast including Strahan and Queenstown plus Cradle Mountain, Stanley, Launceston and Devonport, enjoyed the trip immensely, and I was planning to visit Tassie again this year until the pandemic hit, so I’ve been forced to holiday elsewhere later this year.

Edited by quokka
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We have just been 2 weeks ago to Cradle Mountain and Stanley. stayed at the RACT owned Cradle Mountain Hotel, and then next to Stanley, only problem there is that in Stanley on Monday,Tuesday and Wednesday nights  the only place to eat is the Hotel Stanley, and if we went back to Stanley I would rather starve than eat at the Hotel again.

If you do get back to Tassie in the future please let me know when you are coming.

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