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Frontier - 24. FR Chapter 24

By the time that we had finished, we were all exhausted from all the work, and we happily made the journey back to the marina, where Gramps came out onto the marina carpark to meet us.

“I had a call from the Federal police, they have sent the required documentation, to the Geraldton Magistrates court, regarding the ownership dispute of the trimaran, and it is scheduled to be heard Wednesday, next week,” Gramps said to me.

“So, we could have the trimaran back in our hands soon then. I wish I had never met that bastard Kingsley. I hope he rots in jail,” I replied with a frown.

“You will have to come with me to attend the hearing, which means some time off school next week,” Gramps added and I nodded my head in understanding. The following day as we arrived back at the marina from school, Gramps was there waiting for us, and there was no sign of Mum or Jasper, and one of the vehicles.

“Get changed and we will head over to the house. The others are already over there,” Gramps said to me, and once we had changed, Gramps drove us over to the house, where there was a pile of large boxes and new furniture, sitting on the front verandah. Over the next two hours, everyone was busy taking everything inside and unpacking the boxes, and putting together the beds, with Mum mainly directing where everything went, and taking care of everything to do with the kitchen.

When all was done, we all collapsed onto the lounge suite to rest, and I was pleased that the house was now starting to look like a home. After a short while, I stood up and turned to face everyone.

“Well tomorrow is move-in day, so let’s get back to the marina and start packing our belongings ready for the move,” I said to everyone, and about ten minutes later we arrived back at the marina.

I stopped Gramps from boarding the yacht, as I wanted to speak to him without everyone else around, and we walked back to the other end of the jetty.

“I was thinking, if we do get the trimaran back, that I would like to sell the catamaran, as having two vessels is a bit too much to deal with, and now that we know we won’t get full payment from Mr Kingsley, we are probably very low of funds.

“I know that the catamaran has some memories for you, so I wanted to check with you, as I feel that it should be your decision and not mine, plus we can get a better income from the trimaran, if we get it given back to us,” I said to Gramps.

“I understand your thinking, and I thank you for getting my input regarding this. As I said when this all started, that this catamaran is yours and mine, as equal owners.

“Over the past months, you have proven many times that you are a very responsible young man, and I am very proud of you. So, my answer is yes, go ahead with selling the catamaran, if and when we have the trimaran back in our possession,” Gramps said to me, and he pulled me into a hug.

“Thanks, Gramps, you are one awesome man,” I said with tears in my eyes.

When everyone woke up the next morning, the family members began to pack our belongings, and since I had done a lot of mine the previous night, I helped my brothers to finish their packing. Thankfully, a lot of their belongings were still packed and in storage in town, along with a lot of Mum’s belongings that they had shipped over from New Zealand.

After we had stopped for some morning tea, Jasper and Simon helped everyone to load all the luggage and belongings into the trailer and the back of one of the vehicles, and we made our way over to the house. When everything was unloaded, Jasper, Simon and I went over to the large storage locker, to collect all of the other luggage and boxes of belongings, and bring them back to the house. When we had returned, the boys were busy unpacking their belongings, and working out where to put it away. It was good that they had large deep walk-in wardrobes, and a built-in shelving area.

I just placed all my belongings in my room, to unpack later, so I could help get the last load of belongings from the storage unit, into the house and distributed to the right areas. Just as we had finished unloading the trailer, the truck from Geraldton arrived, and everyone stopped what they were doing, to help unload the truck.

As this was happening, Mum was in the kitchen preparing lunch for everyone, having done a quick shop earlier. She watched as we unpacked all of the whitegoods, and put them into their set place, and finally there was just the two televisions remaining.

“Can I have the large one in the lounge room, and the slightly smaller one in the games room please,” I said as Simon and Jasper unpacked the televisions from their boxes.

When we sat down for lunch at the dining table, I was happy that we were finally settled into our new home, with plenty of space to stretch out as we ate and chatted. Once lunch was over, Jasper announced that he and Simon were heading back to the marina, to get the yacht back into readiness for the next possible charter, and the arrival of Kirk and Leon on Wednesday that coming week. So, they drove one of the vehicles back into town.

For the rest of the day, the family were kept busy unpacking their belongings, and getting settled into our new home. Gramps parked the new vehicle and trailer in the shed. After that, he and I went for a walk around the property, to get an idea of what there was on the property. Gramps suggested that we plant a couple of rows of eucalyptus trees along all the boundaries fences, to give us a little more privacy, and also a little more protection, in case there was ever a wild bush fire. We were too far away to get any kind of view of the ocean, so there was no need to have an open area in that direction.

After a short rest, Mum announced that she needed to do some food shopping, so as to feed the family for the next week, and Gramps volunteered to remain at home with the boys. So Mum and I drove into town to do a big food shop. I texted Jasper to ask if he and Simon were coming over for dinner, and he replied that they had plenty of food that needed to be eaten, so they would remain on the catamaran. While mum put all the groceries and kitchen supplies away, I headed into my office, closing the door, so hopefully I wouldn’t be disturbed.

Booting up the computer, I waited till everything was initialised, before looking at the software that I had asked to be added to the system as part of the purchase. It was then that I realised that I didn’t have any stationary for my office, and I made a mental note that I needed to do this after school on Monday. I went to my room and retrieved my laptop computer and my school bag and brought them back to the office, once again closing the door.

I thought that while I was in there, I might as well get my homework completed, and so I dug out my text books and got to work on my studies, stopping every now and then to do some things on the desk top computer, like setting up the internet, getting the new printer/scanner set up, getting my email account established on the computer, and looking at our charter company website. Some hours later, there was a soft knock on the door, and it opened slowly. I saw my two brothers peering in.

“Mum said to wash up as dinner is almost ready,” Jedd said.

“Ok, Guys, thanks. I will be there shortly,” I replied, and they closed the door again.

When I arrived in the dining area, the table was set with five placings. Gramps was standing near the kitchen bench chatting to Mum, and the boys were watching cartoons on television.

“Have you guys done your homework?” I asked my brothers as I approached them.

“Yes, Anton. Gramps had us sit at the dining room table to do it, and it only took us half an hour to get it all finished,” Neale replied with a smile.

When we all sat down to eat, we chatted about how good it felt to be living in a real home again, and as one family, before Gramps looked at me with a smile.

“I think you are ready for your two exams,” he said to me, and at first, I had no idea why he said two exams. “The first is to get your driver’s licence, the second is your coastal and open oceans skippers ticket,” Gramps announced. I was a little surprised, before realising that I was now old enough to be able to drive a car.

“I have arranged for the driving tests to be done on Tuesday after school. The skipper’s exam is after school on Thursday, and we have that court date on Wednesday remember,” Gramps added with a broader smile. I was a little speechless, that in just one week, I would be able to legally drive a car, and skipper a yacht.

“I guess we better start teaching you how to drive properly before you do the theory and practical tests,” Mum announced as she placed a driving theory book in front of me.

That night, as I lay in bed, I read through the driving theory book, which had all the rules and instructions on driving. I read it a second time before setting it down and going to sleep. The following morning, after we had finished breakfast, Mum and I went over to the shed and climbed into the car. Mum had me familiarise myself with the vehicle, which was a manual geared Holden Colorado Ute, before I started the engine and backed it out of the shed.

With the driveway being about 750 metres long, I spent the next two hours going up and down the driveway, getting used to driving, including reversing, 3-point turns, using the indicators correctly, and remembering to check the side and rear vison mirrors when required. Just before lunch time, Jasper and Simon arrived, and Simon said that Jasper was helping him to learn to drive, so he could go for his driving test on Friday.

I chuckled for a little bit before telling my good friend that I too was doing my driving tests this week, but on Tuesday, and that I had already spent most of the morning doing driving practice on the driveway. Simon said he had been practicing on the vacant carpark of the marina, and that Anita had arrived while he was doing it, and she said that she saw nothing Simon reported with a big smile, and we both laughed.

“So, Jasper. I have set up my new desk top computer, in my office, so I can monitor the website, but I will get you to keep an eye on it during the week when I am at school. Can you make sure that you print out all emails regarding the charter business, and make sure that I get a copy put in my office,” I said to Jasper. He smiled and nodded his head.

Once lunch was over, we all sat down to watch a movie in the lounge room, and Mum even made some popcorn for us to enjoy, as we watched the movie “Hook”, with Robin Williams and Dustin Hoffman as the main actors. With the surround sound speakers installed in each top corner of the lounge area, the movie was awesome, and sounded like we were at the movie cinema.

The following day, as it was looking very overcast with possible rain, Mum drove us to school, picking up Simon at the marina on the way, and dropping us off at the front of the school. As usual I walked my brothers to the front building of the junior school, before heading back and getting ready for my first two classes of the day.

By mid-morning, the skies had opened up and it was bucketing down with rain, so I stayed indoors most of the day. Luckily there was a pause in the rain at the time that school had ended for the day, and we were able to get to the vehicle without getting wet. Once Simon had been dropped off at the marina, we headed home and after changing out of our uniforms, I headed to the office to get started on my homework. The boys were already at the dining room table doing theirs, with Mum supervising them, and helping when needed.

I was deep in concentration, reading from one of my text books when a sudden flash and crack of lightning sounded close by. I heard the boys scream with fright. I got up and headed into the dining area, where Mum was hugging the boys.

“It’s ok, Guys. It’s just the clouds. They have a terrible tummy ache, and are not feeling too well,” I said to them.

“Well tell them to go away, because I don’t like it when there are very loud noises,” Jedd announced, just as there was another very loud crack and flash of lightning.

“Wow! That one was even closer than the first one,” Mum said to us, just as Gramps arrived, having gone outside to check on everything. He looked a little shaken up.

“That one was a little close for comfort,” Gramps said as he sat down to relax a little from the shock of the close call. Another loud crack and flash came, and this time we lost our power.

I stood up and went to the back verandah, where the store room containing the solar power batteries and converter were located. I flicked the switch over to solar power, to get the power at the house back on. As I approached the back door, looking northwards, I was not happy with what I saw.

“Oh shit, that is not what we need right now,” I mumbled to myself, but obviously not soft enough, as Jedd heard me swear.

“Mum, Anton just said the 4-letter ‘S’ word,” I heard him say out loud, as I walked inside.

I could see that Mum was about to tell me off, but I beat her to it.

“Never mind that now, Mum. Call the local fire station. We have a bush fire due north of us, in the national park, probably due to lightning strike,” I said to Mum who was standing near the phone, just as there was another loud crack.

“Stop, don’t touch the phone. It’s too dangerous with lightening around. Use a mobile on loud speaker, with it on the bench so you are not touching it,” Gramps said loudly, making all of us jump in fright a little.

Mum did as Gramps suggested, looking up the number in the local directory, before dialling the number.

“I want to report a fire. It looks to be at the north end of the national park, about five kilometres away,” mum said as soon as the call was answered. “Yes, that is correct. My name is Suzanne Wallis. We are on Cambewarra Drive, just off Jurien Road,” Mum added, and a few moments later she ended the call.

“They thanked me for such a prompt call, and they will send out the crew to tackle the fire,” Mum said to everyone. We stepped out onto the back verandah to have a look. I pulled out my mobile and called Jasper.

“Hey, can you grab the binoculars and look north-north east of your location, and tell me what you see,” I said to Jasper. Moments later I got a response.

“Holy crap, a bush fire in winter time,” he replied to me.

“Yes, and in the national park too by the looks of it. Hopefully there is very little dry stuff and it will burn out. What is the current wind speed, its direction and humidity readings?” I asked.

“Wind is coming from the north east, at 5 knots, and the humidity is at 26%,” Jasper replied to me.

“Ok keep an eye on it for me, but stay off the fly bridge. The lightning is getting vicious. We have already lost mains power here, and we are on solar battery power now. Stay safe and talk to you later,” I said to Jasper before hanging up, just as I saw and heard the sound of emergency vehicles racing up Jurien road towards the fire. I was pleased when some heavy rain arrived about half an hour later, and extinguished the bush fire.

After dinner, I returned to the office to complete my homework, and when finished I read the driving information book, before I had a shower and went to bed early, knowing that I had a busy day ahead of me the next day. The next morning, I had another quick review of the driving book before getting dressed and ready for school, and heading out to get breakfast, where the rest of the family were already gathered.

When lunch time arrived, I was about to head to the library, when a PA announcement called for me to go to the admin building, where I found Gramps waiting for me.

“Slight change of plans. Your appointment for your theory test and driving test, has been changed to right now,” Gramps said to me, which I was a bit surprised about. I followed Gramps out the door towards the carpark. When we arrived at the police station, Anita was at a desk near the counter, and she smiled as we entered.

“Sorry about the change of time. We have some other commitments for later on, so we had to do it now or change the day,” Anita said to me.

Copyright: June 2017. Preston Wigglesworth. All Rights Reserved

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Chapter Comments

-I'm glad Kingsley's actions didn't go far enough to seriously damage the family's finances. Hopefully getting the trimaran back won't be difficult.

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I just hope Anton's driving test goes good, and that when he and his grandfather go to court to see about getting the trimaran back that it goes in their favor as well. I hope that if they do decide to sell the catamaran that they have a background check done on the potential buyer so they don't have the same problem with it that they had with the trimaran. Go Anton, we're all rooting for you. Really enjoying the story keep it coming. 

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