“I was wondering where you disappeared too, you have the whole crew out searching for you, inside and out” Paul said to me softly, after I had heard him quietly approaching, “Sorry, just need a bit of quiet time to myself” I responded, and the Captain chuckled, that is fine, I sometimes come here to get away from everything as well, it was Martin Prince, the chopper pilot who suggested looking up here” Paul said, as he grabbed a chair from the store room and joined me on the landing deck.
“How are we looking with the weather for the trip to Cape Town?” I asked after a period of silence, “We have a lucky break, there is fine weather for the next 3 to 4 weeks, so we may have an easy sail across the Indian Ocean as well” Paul replied.
“Good, oh by the way, I have done a bit more rejigging with my plans for the cruises, instead of two weeks gap between cruises, I have made them 7-day breaks, with 4 to 5 days of crew R & R in that time, this would allow us to do a total of two circumnavigations each way, plus four Southern Ocean Cruises, with two of them back to back in the middle of the year, and the other two Southern Ocean cruises, being before Christmas and straight after New Year’s, and 18 days holidays over Christmas and New Year’s” I suggested.
After the chat with the Captain on the flight deck, I headed to my suite for a shower and headed to bed, knowing that we would be setting off fairly early the following day. When I woke to the sound of a knock on my door, I was about to answer, when the door swung open and my twin brothers and Xander came barging in, with my cousin bouncing on my bed to get me out of bed.
“Ok I am awake and getting up, now scat, so I can shower and dress” I said to the three intruders.When I arrived in the formal dining room on A deck, my brothers and Xander were already seated and eating breakfast, along with Mrs O’Malley, Kyle and Annette. “Good morning everyone, this is a pleasant surprise” I said as I sat down next to Kyle.
“Xander suggested that we have breakfast here, before you set sail of for Cape Town this morning” Kyle said to me, between mouthfuls of toast, “He did? Well it is a great idea, I was planning to come down to the accommodation, to say goodbye anyway” I replied. “Eric and Mary, Tom and Margaret will be down here soon to see you off” Annette added.
“So, are you packed and ready for your flight back to Chile?” I asked Annette and Kyle, “Yes mate, all packed, what time does the plane arrive again?” Kyle replied, “well it is an executive jet, so it is scheduled to land here at 1100 hours, as it is a lot quicker that the bigger planes, and it will only take 4 ½ to get to Santiago” I replied.
Just as I was finishing my breakfast, Captain Paul appeared, “Sir, your extra passengers have arrived” he whispered to me, and I smiled, “Excuse me for a few minutes, I have a small matter to deal with downstairs” I said to everyone seated at the table, and I stood and followed Paul out of the formal dining room, and down the stairs to the main deck, where two police officer and six young men stood, with their luggage in hand.
“Good morning, my name is Mr Sebastian Wagner, and this as you may already know is Captain Kingsley, as you are aware, you will be joining us for the voyage to Cape Town, South Africa, which will take approximately 14 days to complete. Do any of you suffer from sea sickness?” I said to the six young men, and none of them said a word in reply. “Well, I take your silence as no then. During the journey you will be given work to complete, as part of your conditions of sentencing, for the damage that you did to the ship, which cost me a good amount of money, in labour and paint to remove what you had done.
You will be assigned to cabins on A deck, that is one deck up from this main deck, you are on now.You will not be permitted to change cabins, nor will you be permitted to be on any other deck apart from the main deck and A deck, unless you are being supervised for work duties” I said just as Mike Sampson, the chief engineer, Anthony Banks, the Chief Steward and David Patterson, the Deck Master all appeared.
“These gentlemen are your assigned supervisors, if you have any questions, they are the ones to speak to and no one else. A dining area is set up in the mid-section of the main deck, which is a multi-purpose room, and this is your only recreation space.All areas that are marked crew only are strictly out of bounds, and you are not to speak to any guests that are travelling with us.Mr Harmen, you will be assigned to engineering, with the Chief Engineer as your supervisor, Mr Gawler and Mr Langlands, you will be working in the galley and dining room, with the chief steward as your supervisor, and the remaining three, you are assigned to deck and general duties, with the Deck Master, and you will all get three meals a day” I announced to the six young men, as I nodded to my three crew members.
“Right you lot, grab your luggage, and follow me to your assigned cabins” Anthony Banks said in a loud voice, that made a couple of the young men jump in fright, as they followed him indoors, from the aft deck. Once the young men were gone, I sat down in a nearby lounge chair for a moment, and I sighed loudly. “Are you ok sir?” Paul asked me as I had forgotten that he was still there.
“Err? Oh yes, I am fine thanks, it’s just so much has happened over the past few years, and it would be nice if we had a few years without any dramas, that is all” I responded, as I spotted the accommodation van heading in our direction. “You can prepare for departure, our farewell party is approaching, and I will let our breakfast guests know they need to leave” I said to Paul, who set off to the bridge.
“Right away sir” Paul said, and I walked over to the nearest internal phone and pressed the button for the formal dining room. “Dining room, Xander speaking” came the familiar voice of my young cousin, which made me smile, “Xander, can you let Kyle and Reverend Davies know that we are ready to depart, so they need to start saying goodbye to everyone, I am in the Beach Lounge on the main deck” I said.
“Attention all hands, prepare for departure in ten minutes, that is all” the captain announced over the PA system, interrupting the phone call for a short moment. “Sure thing, I will tell them now” Xander replied and he hung up the phone, with a loud click in my ear.
A few minutes later, Kyle, Annette, Xander, his grandmother and the twins arrived on the main deck, just as Eric, Mary, Tom and Margaret stepped on board, answer did the rounds of farewells, and promising to return again soon, and not so long between visits, which I said we would do.
I gave Annette and Kyle an extra long hug, as tears began to arrive, “I am glad you two came along, it has been wonderful to see you both again” I whispered to them, “Make sure you come to Toodyay to visit us soon” Annette said to me, “Yes Rev, I will make a point of it, I promise” I answered struggling to fight back the tears. “Take care my friend, and we look forward to seeing you in Toodyay soon” Kyle said as he gave me a bear hug.
“Ooof, steady on there, big bear. I will need a doctor if you keep that up” I said as I tried to regain my breath from being squeezed so tight, which made Kyle and Annette chuckle. Once those who were not travelling with us were off the ship, the deck crew brought the walkway onboard, as I went to the phone to call the bridge.
“Ok Captain, we are ready to go” I said when the Captain answered the phone, “Very good sir, we already have clearance from the harbour master for departure” Paul replied, before he let off three long blasts of the ships horn to signal our departure, and the small group gathered on the main jetty began to wave goodbye to us, as the harbour workers released the ships mooring lines, and the deck crew pulled them onboard.
Once we had left Stanley harbour, I headed up to the bridge to have a chat with the Captain, who wasn’t there, only the first officer, chatting to the navigator when I arrived. “Can I help you sir?” the Navigator – Daniel Kenworth asked me, “Yes, just wondered if you have an estimated time of arrival in Cape Town?” I asked. “Yes 13 days and 14 hours, if the good weather holds up, so that will put it at 11pm on day 13” Daniel replied.
Not wanting to bother them anymore, I turned and headed off the bridge and I went down to the storm lounge, where I found Mrs O’Malley, Xander and the twins chatting while having some morning tea. “Glad to see that you are all here, Xander, I think it is time for you do some school studies, fortunately the twins here are well experience in doing school work and unusual locations, so I am assigning Joachim and Louis to be your tutors” I announced to the family, which made Xander’s mouth drop open in surprise.
“Sure, no problem there, brother dearest, we can do that” Louis said, “Yes, we can do that easily” Joachim added, “I am pleased, now Alexander, you must listen to your tutors, as they know best for you” Mrs O’Malley said sternly to her grandson. “Ahh Granma, that is not fair, why do I have to?” Xander wined.
I chuckled quietly, as I could tell my brothers were already thinking things out in their head. “Right firstly we need a place for you to study” Joachim announced, “the new conference room on the lower deck will do” Louis suggested, “Perfect” the twins chorused, “you will find most of the supplies you need already there, as I did some shopping yesterday” I added, and the twins grabbed an arm each and lead Xander towards the stairs.
“That is wonderful, that you thought of that, thankyou” Mrs O’Malley said to me, “It is all part of being part of the family Mrs O, now what about you, how can we keep you occupied for the next two weeks” I responded, “That won’t be a problem, I have my knitting, and I love reading books, so there is plenty for me to do” Xander’s grandmother replied.
When it came to dinner time, the family sat down in the formal dining room, and it was the twins that started the conversation for the start of the meal. “So, big brother, what are we going to do in the future, are we going to stay on the ship and continue going around in circles around Australia, or are we going to be heading home to Switzerland?” they asked me.
“I am glad that you asked me, as I have been thinking about it the last few days, and I thought that we would discuss it as a family to make a decision, I have one suggestion, but I would like to hear suggestions from everyone in the family, and that includes you too Mrs O” I replied.
“Well dear, I did not expect this, but if I may, I would like to stay onboard this wonderful ship for a while, and enjoy the sights around Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea”, Mrs O’Malley replied, “That is totally fine by me, and since you are part of the family, you will not need to worry about any expenses, as I will cover them all, now what about you Xander?” I answered.
“Where ever you and the twins go, I will be happy” Xander replied, and I smiled and nodded to my young cousin, and I turned to my twin brothers, to get their reply. “Where ever you go, we go, so you decided and that is fine with us” the twins replied.
“Well, I was thinking that we could buy a property not too far out from London, so we are close enough to Bern, Switzerland, as well as the Isle of Mann” I suggested, “That sounds perfect bro, have you been looking at places yet?” my brothers answered, “No, I thought we would head to London once we get to Cape Town, and spend a little time getting use to the surroundings” I replied.
Over the next two weeks, we had a reasonably calm sailing to Cape Town, with just one storm that we had to endure, that lasted for about 12 hours, and mostly during daylight hours, the 6 young men had settled into a routine, and appeared to be doing well, although during the storm they did suffer some sea sickness. I received daily reports on their progress, and it appeared that the three young men assigned to general and deck duties, would occasionally play up and often slack off, while the other three were hard working and dedicated totheir assigned jobs.
The evening before arrival at Cape Town, I asked the six young men to gather in the Beach lounge room on the main deck. “Later tonight we will be arriving in your home country, at Cape Town, I am pleased to announce that you have all successfully completed your sentence, and that you can spend the rest of the time relaxing and packing for leaving, you can leave any time after breakfast in the morning.
Although you were sentenced to work on the ship, I have decided to give you a small wage, for the time you have worked onboard the ship, in these envelopes is cash money in UK currency, that can be exchanged easily at any bank, thank you, that is all I have to say” I said to the six young men and I left the room, after handing over the envelopes. For the 3 young men who worked in the galley and engineering, I had also included a work reference for them, in hope that it will gain them a good job, and a better future.
During the journey, I had looking online for a suitable family home that was close to London and Heathrow Airport, and I had place an offer on a beautiful home located in the suburb of Battersea Park, just southwestof London, on the South banks of the Thames River, near the A3220Freeway. With the offer including all current furnishings, that has alower ground, ground and two upper floors, plus a staff cottage, all on 4.5 acres of landscaped grounds, and high walls on all three land boundaries.
The house has a cellar,store rooms, gymnasium and cinema lounge, on the lower ground floorplus it has a double door entry hall, a library &study, a drawing room, formal lounge room, formal dining room, along with a kitchen / breakfast room and a conservatory overlooking the back garden, there is also a short hallway that provides access to the staff side entrance and to the two single garages, plus staff stairs to the allupper floors.
As well as the stairs there is an elevator that services all levels, and the first floor has a large front of building master suite with dressing room, bathroom and walk in wardrobe, there are also front facing guest bedroom,with its own full bathroom, plus there are three more bedrooms with two having a shared bathroom, and one with its own bathroom, anda smallmorning lounge room, overlooking the front garden. The main stairs to second floor, lead to a small hall to a master guest bedroom, with a large master bathroom and sauna. The staff stairs lead to 4 bedrooms, two bathrooms and a utility room, on the top floor.
Outdoors, the large front garden has a gravel driveway, and in the rear a smallnarrow landscaped garden, with an outdoor cooking and dining area, on a natural stone paved area, a long wooden pergola, with wisteria vines growing on it, some nice shade trees, lawn area and also a raised vegetable garden.
Copyright May 2018 Preston Wigglesworth. All Rights are Reserved