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    quokka
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Fordell - 13. Ford Ch 13

Once the staff of the school had left the yacht, we raised anchors and headed up river, to where we would be meeting those coming on the cruise. When we arrived at the pier, there was two supply trucks waiting for us, to top up supplies for the yacht, for the overnight cruise, and for our trip up the East coast to Newcastle.

Once the supplies were onboard, we had about three hours before the guests started to arrive, so I retreated to my suite for a short nap, while the crew were busy cleaning the yacht. At 5.15 pm, Hunter knocked on my door, to let me know that it was time to get ready for the guests arrival, and I had a quick shower and dressed formally.

Dinner would be served at 7 pm, which would give the guests time to settle into their allotted cabins, and get ready for dinner, which would be served while we are underway for our overnight stopover, arriving there shortly after 9 pm.

After dinner, guests spent some time exploring the yacht, while I headed to the bridge for an hour before retiring for the night. The following morning, I joined the guests for breakfast, and explained the agenda for the rest of the morning, including the 90 minutes stop over at the Aquarium.

After leaving the aquarium at Beauty Point, a light early lunch was served; as we would be arriving at our final destination, shortly after midday. As arranged, the road coach was at Low Head when we arrived, and after saying farewell to the staff, we cast off and set off for Kent Group Islands, which would be our overnight stop, and it would take us a little over seven hours to get there, arriving shortly after 3.30 pm that afternoon.

The trip across the southern half of the Bass straight was a little rough, so my house staff and I just relaxed in the main saloon for the majority of the journey. Once we had anchored between the two Kent Group Islands, which provided excellent protection from the seas, and we were able to relax outdoors for the rest of the afternoon.

Just on daybreak the next morning, we set off to continue crossing the Bass Strait, sailing the whole day, and arriving in Eden, just north of the Victoria & New South Wales border shortly after 9 pm. The first five hours of that journey was rough, but once we had reached the main coastline, near the two stat borders, we travelled close to the coast to keep away from the rough Pacific Ocean weather.

I was very glad when we finally arrived in Nullica Bay just southwest of the township of Eden, as were Charles and Elizabeth, as the rough conditions had knocked them about a lot, although it did not bother Hunter at all. At breakfast the next day, I asked them if they would prefer flying back home to Strahan.

They happily accepted the offer, and with the nearest airport being at Merimbula, it would be a 90-minute sail north to Merimbula Beach, which is right next to the airport, with a 420 metre walk from the beach to the terminal.

While sailing there, I made all of the arrangements for a charter flight, to take Charles and Elizabeth from Merimbula directly to Strahan. After much protest about Hunter and me helping them, we let them carry their own luggage, as they walked the short distance to the terminal, and I watched from the sundeck of the yacht, to make sure that they arrived safely, before notifying the Captain that I was ready for our departure.

Our next destination is Jervis Bay, which would be our last overnight stop, with our arrival at Belmont Jetty, just north of the Lake Macquarie Yacht Club, is estimated to be at 8 pm. I estimated that we would arrive approximately two days ahead of the new yacht, so we had a bit of time for the crew to completely clean the yacht inside and out.

While doing this I booked accommodation cabins in the nearby Belmont Bayview Park, just 270 metres away from the jetty, so that the crew could enjoy a few days of sleeping on land, and so that the yacht’s accommodation can be cleaned as well.

I had chosen to stay at a B & B not too far away, with Hunter joining me, so I could have some time to myself to deal with business, as Robert had now heard back from the production company in regards to the change of yachts, and the conditions that we had set.

Reluctantly they had agreed to our conditions, and they had asked that the location of the 13 weeks of filming be located at Cape York, with the yacht to be based at Jackey Jackey Creek.

I had to look it up to see where this creek is located, just 3.75 kilometres south of the Northern Peninsula Airport, with a boat ramp located just 1.5 kilometres south of the end of the airport runway, transport to the yacht is made easy with the tenders.

The Production Company has purchased two airconditioned 16 seat coach buses and trailers, to transport guests from the airport to the boat ramp, employing locals from nearby Bambaga to transport the guests and their luggage.

They had also organised a charter company to provide all air transport from Cairns to the Northern Peninsula Airport, and the same aircraft would bring all the supplies we need for each trip.

The whole Film Production team would be joining the yacht at Cairns, for the 1520 kilometre trip up the coast to our starting point for the cruises that would take us nearly 5 days to travel. Half of them returning to Cairns on the flight that brings the hired crewmembers up, which will be four days before the first guests arrive.

Brisbane is where the last of our permanent crew would be joining us, that being Gretchen and Marius from Switzerland and Chris Hamersley our Aussie Paramedic.

“Sir, I have been thinking, and I would like to change my mind about the accommodations onboard the new yacht and I would like to have the last officer’s cabin on the lower deck please,” Hunter said to me as we headed to the restaurant for our evening meal.

“That is fine with me, I will allocate the second master suite to the captain, I am sure that Captain James will be very pleased, and the chief engineer can have the spare officers cabin on the bridge deck,” I responded. “That means there will still be a spare officer’s cabin,” Hunter said. “Yes, and if you like, you can use it as your additional space,” I replied.

“Thankyou sir, but I think I will be fine with just the one cabin,”’ Hunter answered. During dinner, I explained to Hunter all the new information that I had received from the production company during the day, and I asked Hunter if he could possibly get hold of a sailing chart of the east coast of Far North Queensland, or FNQ as the locals call the region.

I received news that the new yacht was running a little behind, due to their uncertainty with the Barrier Reef, so they have gone further out to sea to avoid the reefs, and would be a day later than planned. This gave the crew a whole day and two nights to just relax and enjoy the surrounds, now that the cleaning of the yacht is completed.

On the day that the new yacht is due to arrive, Hunter and I headed south in our hire vehicle to watch they yacht coming into the Swansea Channel, parking just outside the RSL Club near the Pacific Highway, which it crosses the channel.

“Is that it sir? If so, it is very bright,” Hunter said to me as we watched a large yacht approaching the channel and the bridge opened up to let the yacht to pass through. “Crawford to MV Saluzi, over,” I said into the hand held radio that I had with me.

“Captain of the Saluzi, go ahead Mr Crawford,” came a reply with an Asian accent, “Is this you approaching the bridge now, over?” I asked, “Yes sir, and I am presuming you are one of the gentlemen standing on the shore just before the bridge, over,” came the response, and I chuckled at this.

“That is indeed correct. I was not expecting such bright paintwork on the sides, very colourful. I will see you at the Belmont jetty, where you will see the other yacht moored, over,” I said. “Very good sir,” came the response, as we walked back to the vehicle, and while Hunter drove us to Belmont Jetty, I sent a message to Captain James, to let him know that the new yacht was passing under the bridge now.

When we arrived at the jetty, Captain James, 1st Officer Gretchen, Chief Engineer Louise and Executive Chef Renaldo, were all waiting for us, and they were in full dress uniform. Looks like the new yacht is getting a formal welcome from its new crew,” I stated as we parked and walked over to joining the senior crew.

We watched as the yacht was moored alongside the jetty, and whirling sound soon revealed a hydraulic ramp coming out and stopping two feet past the jetty’s edge, before two men stepped off, both of them looked to be Filipino. “Good morning, which is Mr Crawford?” the lead man asked.

“That would be me, welcome to Newcastle,” I responded. “My bosses in Singapore ask that the handover happen right away, so we can start our journey back to Singapore right away,” the man said.

“The handover will take place when my senior crew are happy with the yacht after a thorough inspection, and not a moment before,” I replied. “But I must go right away?’ the man said.

“Not before we have fully inspected the new yacht,” Captain James said stepping forward to make his point, and the man turned around and said something in Filipino and the senior crew raced onboard, and headed to their separate departments, and there was a lot of yelling for a few minutes, before eight men were escorted off the yacht.

“Sir, they have attempted to trash the yacht, but nothing has been damaged, I have a feeling this is going to take a while, so we will need the whole crew,” Captain James said to me, and I made a phone call, while the foreign crew were escorted to the aft main deck of my former yacht.

Ten minutes later, the other five senior crewmembers arrived to begin the full inspection, while Hunter and I watched the Filipino crewmembers. Half an hour later Chris Hamersley appeared, and he wasn’t looking happy, “Just to let you know, Renaldo is not a happy man, he is complaining and in Italian, so none of us can understand, as the galley is a real mess.

Elizabeth is not too happy either, as the crew used the guest cabins on the main deck to live in on their trip, and they in a real bad state, she said to tell you that there are some repairs needed, as well as replacing all the linen and some kitchenware has also been damaged,” Chris informed me.

I nodded my understanding, before facing the skipper, “You heard all of that, what do you have to say?” I asked him, “Not my problem mate,” he said with a smirk on his face. “It will be, as all costs to replace everything damaged, will be coming out of the $225 thousand Australian that I have withheld, until the handover is complete, and I am happy with the condition of the yacht,” I said to the captain.

“You can’t do that,” the captain shouted, “Oh, yes I can as it is in the contract of sale, and no doubt the owners will take it out of your wages,” I replied. “Ok, we sorry for mess, we help cleanup, so less cost to my bosses?” the Filipino Captain said, “Not a chance in hell mate, you will stay put, until it is all completed, and only when I have inspected the whole yacht personally, then I will sign the handover documents,” I replied.

An hour later, Renaldo and Elizabeth appeared and announced they were going shopping to replace everything that was damaged, and get new linen, including bath towels, and two sets of sheets for each guest cabin and each crew cabin.

When they returned nearly three hours later, they both looked tired and exhausted, and about twenty minutes later, two food delivery vans arrived with all the food supplies that Renaldo had arranged, and all crew has to work to transfer all the supplies to the galley, cold stores and freezers.

When Gretchen and Louise appeared dressed in work overalls, they were covered in oil and grease, and I could not help but laugh. “What on earth have you two been up too?” I asked, “Giving the engines and generators a good service, as that lot had done nothing good to them, except to over-run them at high temperatures, and with no maintenance done on them for a few months by the looks of it,” Gretchen responded.

“Once the hand over had been done, I will give you a few days to do a proper job of it all, so we have no issues when on charter,” I commented, “That would be good thanks, boss,” Gretchen replied smiling, and I chuckled at way she addressed me.

Nearly three hours later, I conducted my official inspection, with senior crew from each department explaining to me what they had discovered, and what had been done to fix any issues. Back on main aft deck of my former yacht, I signed the documents and informed the Filipino captain that I would be emailing a full list of what damage had been done to the yacht, and what the cost is to repair it all.

The Filipino Captain was not happy as he countersigned the documents, giving me the master copy, and Captain James handed over the two sets of keys for the yacht, as we watched the Filipino crew release the mooring ropes and they were soon on their way towards the channel bridge.

“Man, they are some dodgy crew that lot,” James commented, “Yes, and I am glad that it is finally over, now before all the crew move into their new quarters, I need to speak to everyone,” I replied, and ten minutes later we were all gathered in the main saloon on the main deck of my new yacht.

“Right, now that is finally over, just a few things. Firstly, I have asked Hunter to arrange for a Carpet cleaning company to come tomorrow, to give all carpets a thorough clean in the whole yacht, which will probably take two days to complete.

Next is cabin allocations, Captain James, you have the portside master cabin on the bridge deck, as Hunter will be in one of the officer’s cabin on the lower deck.

This means that 1st Officer Gretchen and Chief Engineer Louise you both have an officers cabin on the Bridge deck. The remaining six of you, plus Hunter will have the double crew cabins on the lower deck, which is forward of the laundry. You also have use of the officer’s lounge, which is located forward of your cabins, and is off limits to the temporary crew.

When all the temporary crew arrive, which will be when we get up to Jackey Jackey Creek, the three senior temporary crew, that being the Chef, Senior Steward and the Bosun, will each have a twin cabin to themselves.

Copyright © 2020 quokka; All Rights Reserved.
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Great chapter. The cruise for the school teachers went well. There was problems when receiving the new yacht as the crew had caused alot of damage. Edwin had this put right before he excepted the yacht. Now on to getting the film crew.

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Another wonderful chapter full of Quoka's specialty: plot twists and turns.

"After leaving the aquarium at Beauty Point, a light early lunch was served; as we would be arriving at our final destination, shortly after midday. As arranged, the road coach was at Low Head when we arrived, and after saying farewell to the staff, we cast off and set off for Kent Group Islands, which would be our overnight stop, and it would take us a little over seven hours to get there, arriving shortly after 3.30 pm that afternoon. "

Unless I'm misreading things, the times don't add up. The yacht left Low Head midday, dropping the teachers off after a full morning agenda. If it then takes 7 hours of sailing to get to Kent Groups islands, how do they get there by 3:30 pm?

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Good chapter, 'continuity' issues (see frosenblum post) that can't be easily dismissed as "it's fictional do we have some latitude".

Bad 'hand over' / exchange of yachts, but not surprising in S.E.A. / IOT. As is 'on the record'.  Over the last four decades , 3rd party (delivery) crews of 2nd and 3rd party brokers on super yachts have seen damages, high jacking of yachts for more money, and using the yachts 'in transit' for 'alleged' illegal activities. At least Edwin got the upper hand. 

Now it's on to more fun & games with the 'party down below' passengers.

 

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5 hours ago, frosenblum said:

Another wonderful chapter full of Quoka's specialty: plot twists and turns.

"After leaving the aquarium at Beauty Point, a light early lunch was served; as we would be arriving at our final destination, shortly after midday. As arranged, the road coach was at Low Head when we arrived, and after saying farewell to the staff, we cast off and set off for Kent Group Islands, which would be our overnight stop, and it would take us a little over seven hours to get there, arriving shortly after 3.30 pm that afternoon. "

Unless I'm misreading things, the times don't add up. The yacht left Low Head midday, dropping the teachers off after a full morning agenda. If it then takes 7 hours of sailing to get to Kent Groups islands, how do they get there by 3:30 pm?

Thanks for that I will check

Q

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I loved it... It worked for me completely and I love how the Edwin had the whereabouts to check things over like he did. I must admit I'm growing to like him more and more though if that shower of people that handed over the new boat took the old one then I would have been really worried. Love to see him and the captain getting closer and love finally finding him.

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