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    quokka
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Frontier - 21. FR Chapter 21

The next morning, I got up when my alarm sounded, and I checked to see if Jedd was awake and getting ready for school. Once I had showered and changed, Jedd and I went upstairs to join Simon for breakfast, and leaving the crew to tidy up, we headed to school on our bikes. Sam, Mike, Toby and Finn were waiting for us when we arrived, and they greeted us warmly. Once I had delivered Jedd safely to the junior school, I returned to the senior school and collected my books from my locker, ready for my first class for the day.

By the time lunch time arrived, I was fairly exhausted, and I decided to go and see the school nurse, who suggested that I have a lie-down, and I soon fell asleep. The nurse woke me up just as the first bell sounded for the last class of the day, and I thanked her for the use of the bed. I dashed off to my locker, to grab my books for the last class which was music.

When school ended for the day, I headed straight over to Junior school to collect Jedd. I found Simon already there, and I smiled as I approached.

“Where did you get to for lunch and study class?” he asked me.

“I wasn’t feeling so good so the nurse let me take a nap for an hour and a bit, which did the trick,” I replied, just as I spotted Jedd approaching. I waved to him and smiled.

When we arrived back at the marina, we locked up our bikes and headed to the yacht where the lads had some afternoon tea waiting for us. Once that had been demolished, I asked Jedd to change out of his school uniform, and Simon and I pulled out our books and started on our homework. When we had completed our homework, the lads had dinner ready for us. Gramps arrived to join us for dinner.

“So, have you made up your mind what you want to do regarding that offer?” Gramps asked me as we began to eat.

“Not really. I was thinking if I do sell the trimaran to Mr Kingsley, that maybe we could get another catamaran, similar to the one next door, and we could run sail charters up and down the west coast,” I responded.

“That would be great. What I was wondering is if you sell the trimaran, will the lads be leaving us, to work for the new owners?” Jasper asked, and realising that I had not thought about that at all, I had to stop to think about it a bit before replying.

“To tell you the truth, I hadn’t thought about it. Guys what are your thoughts on this?” I said as I turned to look at our two inherited Canadian crew members.

“If the new owners want us to continue working on the yacht we would be very happy to do that, but we will miss being with you guys,” Kirk replied.

“We will definitely miss you, as you have proven that you are loyal and hard-working crew members. If you do go with the yacht, we will make sure that we give you both a good work reference,” I said to them both.

Just as we were finishing off dinner, there was a shout from the jetty.

“Hello, anybody home?”

I stood up and went to the aft deck to see who it was, having already guessed that it was probably Anita, which it was. Since she was not in uniform, and she had her son with her, I decided to greet her informally.

“Hello, Anita, and young Nathan. Come aboard. We have just finished eating dinner,” I said to them both, as I lead them inside.

“We were just discussing options for the future, as I may have a serious buyer for this trimaran,” I said to Anita as we entered the formal lounge where some of the crew and family were seated, “Oh, I thought you liked being on the yacht and going out sailing,” Anita said sounding a bit surprised by this news.

“I do, but I have family to consider now. Gramps isn’t getting any younger, and Mum is still trying to cope with being a single mother and widow, and I have to concentrate on my studies,” I responded.

“Anton, is it ok if I can take Jasper out for a few hours? I feel that we need to connect again, and Nathan has been bugging me to see his uncle Jasper again,” Anita said, and I chuckled at this.

“Yes, go ahead, and have a good time,” I replied. Moments later, Jasper, Anita and Nathan were heading into town for a social evening.

With the lads busy downstairs cleaning up after dinner Gramps, Simon, Jedd and I sat in the formal lounge.

“So, thinking of everyone here and the crew, what do you think you want to do, if you sell the trimaran?” Simon asked me.

“I have been doing some searching online, to see what options that I have, but I’m still not sure what to do, especially when Gramps here has sold his properties to be able to buy this magnificent yacht, and Jasper gave up a career in the police force to take up sailing again.

“I want to do marine science at university, once I have finished high school, which means another 4 to 6 years of studies, and in that time Gramps needs a place to live, and so do Mum and the boys. Then there is Jasper, and you, Simon, and the lads… I just am not sure,” I said now feeling quite depressed having all this responsibility on me.

“Try not to worry about it too much, Grandson. Everything will turn out for the good. Just wait and see what happens,” Gramps said to me with some encouragement, and I gave a slight smile in return.

“Any news on Neale?” Simon asked.

“Yes, I heard from my daughter today. They will be coming back to Jurien by bus tomorrow, so I will go and pick them up,” my grandfather said to us. I was pleased to hear this.

Once I had Jedd showered and in bed, I went to my cabin for an early night, since I had school tomorrow. I fell asleep soon after I lay down on the bed. When I woke to the sound of my alarm the next day, I quickly got organised and made sure that Jedd was up and getting ready for school as well. Once I had delivered Jedd to the Junior school, I made my way to the lockers area, where Simon was chatting to the rest of the senior leadership team.

“Hey guys, how is everyone today?” I asked as I arrived at my locker and gathered the books that I needed for English and Physics. “What’s this I hear - you are possibly selling the trimaran yacht? You can’t do that. We haven’t had enough fun on it yet,” Toby said with a cheeky smile.

“Nice try, Mate, but I have to think of my family’s future first,” I responded as the first bell sounded, and we headed to first class.

At lunch time, I went over to the Junior school, and had lunch with Jedd, who had some of his friends seated at the same table, which I was pleased to see. While there I reminded Jedd that Neale and Mum would be arriving back that day, and that he would be moving back to the catamaran, with the rest of the family.

When Simon, Jedd and I arrived at the trimaran after school, Mum and Neale were sitting in the saloon along with Gramps, and I went and gave Neale a hug, saying that I was pleased to see that he was home again. While Simon went over to his cabin, I sat down with the rest of the family.

“Hiya, Mum. Has Gramps filled you in on what is happening regarding the trimaran?” I asked with a smile.

“Hello, Anton. Yes, Dad has told me and Neale everything. I can understand that you are wanting to take care of the family. I will see if I can get some work around town, so we can get some regular income in,” Mum replied with a smile. I looked around and listened for a moment.

“It’s very quiet around here. Where is everyone?” I asked.

“Well, the lads are downstairs preparing dinner, and Jasper has gone down to the city to do a few things for me. He will be back in a few days’ time,” Gramps said with a smile.

For the last two days of the school week, everything was uneventful. Neale was slowly getting his strength back, and after a visit to the local doctor on Friday afternoon, he was given the all clear to return to school the next week, which we were all very pleased about. About two hours after we had returned home from school on Friday, we saw the luxury yacht arrive, and we watched them mooring at the same place as before.

Mum helped Jedd pack his gear and move back to the catamaran, while Gramps helped Neale to get back to the catamaran, so he could have a little rest before dinner. About half an hour after their arrival, Mr Kingsley walked over to the jetty where our yachts were moored, and Simon went to get Gramps and let him know of Mr Kingsley’s arrival, while I remained on the aft deck to welcome Mr Kingsley on board.

“Hello, Sir. How are you today?” I said as I shook Mr Kingsley’s hand. I spotted Simon and Gramps heading over, so we sat down in the saloon lounge. Gramps sat down a few moments later, while Simon headed downstairs to the galley.

“Have you had a chance to consider my offer to purchase?” Mr Kingsley asked.

“We have, but you haven’t even told us a price?” Gramps said to Mr Kingsley, who smiled as he withdrew an envelope from his inside jacket pocket, and handed it to me.

“Wow, now I wasn’t expecting that,” I said when I opened the envelope and saw the offer amount written on note paper. I handed it to Gramps to see.

“As you can see I am very interested to buy this, and I am prepared to pay for it, with a request to take ownership as quickly as possible. Payment will be made in 3 lots: one bank cheque here and now, another when I take ownership, and the third to be paid by bank deposit one week after taking ownership. I am also interested in keeping your two Canadian crew members,” Mr Kingsley said to us, as I saw Gramps eyes widen when he saw the offer amount.

“That is far more than we paid for it less than six months ago. Are you sure about this amount?” Gramps asked.

“As I said, I am very keen to secure the purchase of the yacht. May I have a full tour before you decide please?” Mr Kingsley said.

“Certainly, Sir. Let’s start from the top, and work our way down. The two crew members are partners, and they share a pontoon cabin, with Jasper our skipper having the cabin next door. My friend Simon, who is my main cook, and I have the other two pontoon cabins.

“For the past few days I have been sleeping in the master crew cabin downstairs, as I have been looking after my youngest brother for the past week,” I said as we made our way upstairs to the fly bridge.

Gramps remained seated in the saloon. When we had come back down to the aft deck and had a look at a pontoon cabin, Gramps was where we left him, but he was now chatting on the sat phone, as we headed into the formal lounge and dining area. When we arrived in the crew area, Simon and the lads were chatting as they worked in the galley.

“Boys would you be prepared to stay on the yacht and work for me if I purchase the yacht?” Mr Kingsley asked the lads.

“Yes, Sir, that would be acceptable by us, although we will miss working for Anton, as he has been a great boss,” Kirk responded.

“I will be remaining here with Anton and his family, as Western Australia is my home,” Simon replied.

“Well, two out of three is not too bad. I presume your skipper, who I haven’t seen today, is not available either,” Mr Kingsley said.

“No, Sir. He is also from here, and he wants to remain here. He is currently down in the city,” I replied with a smile, and I led the way to the crew cabins, before returning upstairs, where Gramps had a big smile on his face. I frowned wondering what news he had.

“It is your decision, Anton. We can all fit in the catamaran until we decide what to do, so accommodation is not a problem,” Gramps said to me.

Turning to Mr Kingsley and smiling I said, “Sir, you have a deal. Give us a couple of days to move our belongings, then it is all yours, including two crew members, who are just as good at cooking as Simon is, by the way,” I replied. We shook hands to seal the deal.

“I will have the ownership papers ready for you by Monday morning, so we can make it then that the transfer of ownership can happen,” Gramps announced.

Once he had handed over the first of three payments, Mr Kingsley left, to return to his motor yacht, and I headed downstairs to the galley.

“Ok, Guys, the yacht is now officially sold, and ownership will transfer on Monday morning, so we need to get all of our belongings over to the catamaran before then,” I announced to Simon and the lads.

“We will miss you and the family, Boss. Thank you for keeping us on for the past few months; it has been an awesome time,” Kirk and Leon said together.

“I will miss you guys too, but at the moment, we do not have the work for you. So, good luck with your new bosses,” I replied.

As I headed back upstairs, Mum and the boys had just arrived, and we all sat down in the saloon lounge.

“Ok, Gramps. What are you up to, and where is Jasper really located?” I asked as I sat down.

“Well when you announced the possible sale of the trimaran, Jasper and I started doing some serious web searching, for options we have for more permanent accommodation, and I have asked Jasper to put in an offer to purchase a 14-metre long, 2 level house boat, in Victoria. It is only 12 years old, twenty-foot wide, with five cabins, a master, 2 doubles and 2 twin bunk cabins, which is enough for the family and two remaining crew to live in comfortably.

“Now that you have secured the sale of the trimaran, I wanted to show you the three other options that we have been looking at. Jasper will be arriving in New South Wales tomorrow and if need be North Queensland the following day,” Gramps said to me as he handed me some printouts.

“The first one is a nearly 30-metre long, 4 deck, motor cruiser yacht, with 8 guest cabins for 16, plus an owner’s cabin, and crew cabins for 7, including a skipper’s double cabin, and has a cruising speed of 12 knots.

“The second printout, is of a 40-metre motor yacht, with four decks, 16 guest cabins and crew cabins for 8, including a skipper’s cabin, located behind the bridge, and it has a cruising speed of 12 knots. The last printout is of a 30-metre long multi-purpose ship, that has a narrow draft, with 4 decks, that has 2 single cabins and a twin bunk cabin for crew on the upper deck, and 6 twin bunk cabins in the lower deck. It has a very large open space on the main deck, which would make a great work area for marine science research.”

“I know which one Jasper would prefer, although it’s not as comfortable as the others. I think that the multi-purpose ship is more practical for what I am planning to do with my future. The motor cruiser will be too unstable in open waters, while the catamaran I think would have been a better option than the house boat, but I don’t want either at the moment,” I said after I had studied all the information again for a second time.

“I think you might be right there. I will call Jasper, and see if he has made the offer yet, and shall I suggest that he returns back here?” Gramps said to me.

“Yes, get him to not make any purchases and to come back,” I decided, and Gramps nodded, before he went to the office to make a call to Jasper. He returned a few moments later with a big smile.

“I caught him just as he was arriving at the brokers office, so the houseboat is now off the plans. Jasper will head back in a few days,” Gramps said to me.

Soon after this conversation ended, the lads appeared and set the table for dinner, announcing that dinner would be served in fifteen minutes.

The next morning, everyone was busy packing up. Mr Kingsley came over and mentioned what he would like kept on the yacht, including all the food that was left after Monday morning, as he and three of his crew would be moving over to the trimaran on Monday, once the settlement was completed. Surprisingly we had everything moved over to the catamaran by Saturday dinner time, and the whole family and crew ate together on board the trimaran, for the second last time. There was not much happy conversation during the whole meal.

Since all of my belongings were now over at the catamaran, I decided to sleep over there, while Simon and Jasper elected to stay on the trimaran with Kirk and Leon. On Sunday morning, I asked the family to join me on board the trimaran, and I asked Jasper to take us out to Boulanger Island, where we anchored on the east side of the island. By the time we arrived Simon and the lads had breakfast ready for us.

After we had all eaten, Jasper and I volunteered to do the clean-up, while the others just relaxed, and once we had finished we joined them in the saloon. All was silent when we arrived, and sat down.

“So, has your new boss said anything about where you are going in the trimaran?” I asked the lads after a long period of silence.

“He says we are going along the bottom of Australia, then heading to the Panama Canal, and finishing in Florida, where he wants the yacht to be based,” Kirk replied.

I noticed that he had a worried expression on his face, but I decided to not ask if he had any concerns. I stood up and went to the office, where I opened the safe and took out two months of wages each for Kirk and Leon, and placed it into two envelopes. Once the safe was locked, I returned to the saloon.

Copyright: June 2017. Preston Wigglesworth. All Rights Reserved

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Great chapter again. Interested to see what happens next with Anton, Simon, Jasper and the rest of the family.

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I have enjoyed the story so far.  I hope that Kirk and Leon are going to be okay. I have a feeling that they are going to need the extra funds that Anton is providing.

 

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B)................I think Kirk and Leon are rightfully worried about being based in America due to their relationship to each other, as America is not all that gay friendly, but then again neither is Australia. However worse is some of the islands they may have charters to that are heavily anti-gay. So that and a different boss I guess, who knows maybe they will return back to Australia. Nice chapter!

 

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I agree with all of the current comments on the situation with Kirk and Leon and that the yacht will be based in Florida where being a gay couple isn't always welcomed. I'm not sure what the new owner has in store for them so I will wait to see what happens next. I'm not sure what Anton is thinking about as far as the family is concerned, I hope he will state what he has in mind soon. I'm glad that Neale is well enough to go to school with Jedd and have Anton, Simon and the rest of the SLT  (Student Leadership Team) I believe that Neale might have to take it easy for awhile yet even though he has permission to return to school. The payment made for the yacht was very generous. Thanks again for the great story. 

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What with the recent findings by the Supreme Court in relation to Gay marriage and Sodomy Laws in various states, the attitude of the residents of the US is gradually changing, though I am not sure as to how that attitude is affected by the election of our current President. There are even several rather hidebound clerics who are now willing to perform gay marriages and a County Clerk who refused to sign her name to a Marriage Certificate for a gay couple has been defeated in the mid-term elections. Interesting changes are afoot.

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