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    quokka
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

New Frontier - 14. NF Chap 14

“Yes, and together we can have a larger slice of the cruise market in southern Tasmania. I am already negotiating with an existing yacht cruise company based out of Strahan that has two vessels and another cruise company based out of Hobart, and I have plans to start using the main yacht, for circumnavigation trips around Tasmania in 14 days,” Edwin informed me.

“Well, I am sorry to ruin your plans, but I prefer to have the bookings managed in house, so the staff and crew all know what is going on at all times, so there are no stuff ups… well most of the time anyway,” I responded. “What do you mean most of the time? What stuff up happened with you?” Edwin enquired, as he looked to me then to Sarah, who just smiled.

“It was nothing minor, and no one got hurt on the first time, and the second time was just leaving one of the crew behind, who had gone off to do some shopping without letting anyone know,” I responded, “Interesting, you will have to tell me more about it one day,” Edwin said smiling.

“No chance in that, I was the skipper on the trimaran when I left the chef behind onshore, that is all you need to know,” I said, and Sarah chuckled at this, as I stood and walked around the room, looking at the lavish furnishings. “So you don’t want to accept my offer to have all bookings coming from here, which would give you a bigger marketing base, which would a lot more charters?” Edwin asked.

“No thanks … Sir. When not on charter, the crews are kept busy with building boardwalks and keeping the beaches and shores clear of floating rubbish. Is that all you wish to discuss, as I really need to get back, so the crew can get ready for the second charter,” I replied.

“Wow… why the sudden change of … I don’t know what to say, have I done something to annoy or upset you,” Edwin asked, “No, it is just I don’t like being pushed around or manipulated, so if there is nothing else to discuss, I would like to return to Partridge Island please,” I answered, as I made my way to the stairs and back to the ground floor, with Sarah close behind me.

About ninety minutes later, after a rather quiet return journey back to Bruny Island, we stepped onto the Catamaran, where Simon and crew were waiting for us. “What’s wrong with the boss?” I heard Simon whisper to Sarah, “Leave it for now, let him tell you in his own time,” Sarah replied, before Simon headed for the main Bridge to get going.

When we arrived at the jetty, I stepped off and headed down the boardwalk to the two cottages, and I stepped off the end of the boardwalk and walked through the thick forest in a south west direction, until I reached the small stony beach on the west side of the island, where I sat down on a large rock, and just stared out to nothing in particular.

I’m not sure how long I had been sitting there, but when I heard someone approaching, I suddenly felt cold and my backside was getting numb from sitting on a hard surface for a long while. “I thought I might find you here, I followed you once, where you were in one of your not so happy moods, but I thought I would let you be for a while before I came looking for you,” Simon said quietly.

“Hi mate, I presume Sarah filled you in with what happened during the trip to Strahan,” I replied, “Yeah, she did, and although it pains me to not see you happy with someone to keep you company, I think you did the right thing by keeping it all in house and not combine businesses with a rather wealthy and handsome Lord,” Simon replied.

“I just… I don’t know why. But I always seem to be caught in difficult situations, like that firebombing of our home and business in Jurien Bay,” I said. “About that, I had a call from Jasper about half an hour ago, they have some progress in regards to that. A bikie gang member presented to an emergency department in Perth with extensive burns, and the police were called, where after being treated he was taken into custody and questioned about the firebombing of your business.

Turns out that they were contracted to do the job of burning down the yacht, but since it was not in the marina for a couple of days, they decided to firebomb the business and house instead,” Simon informed me. “Did they say who issued the contract?” I asked.

“No, but Anita and Jasper have a very good idea who it is, and I bet you do too,” Simon replied. “Yeah, that bastard of a father of mine is who I am betting is the one behind it,” I responded.

“So, what do you want to do now, I guess you are feeling like not being around here for a while, especially with Lord Edwin being here,” Simon asked.

“You got that right, I am thinking that maybe we leave Sarah in charge of running the two sailing yachts for a while, and you, Finn, my brothers and I, and maybe Nathan if he wants to join us, go on a bit of a cruise of our own on the Duchess, to nowhere in particular,” I replied.

“That is fine with me boss, I am here for you always, you know that right?” Simon said to me, “Yes mate, you have been a great best friend to me, since we first met and you showed me the restored Catamaran, which saved me from a life of misery and hardship,” I replied.

We sat quietly for a while thinking of nothing in particular, “Um, one problem with that plan Anton, if we both go away, that leaves just one skipper, and there are two sailing vessels to run,” Simon said to me, “Yeah, I sort of hadn’t thought that out clearly, had I,” I responded.

“You could take the catamaran out, you know how to handle her best, with limited crew, if you just want to give that a go, to have some time to yourself with your brothers,” Simon suggested. “Oh, that reminds me, I have arranged for Neale and Jedd to go back to Jurien Bay to stay with Jasper and Anita for the rest of the term.

It will be good for them to get back into a normal school environment, and I am sure that young Micah Adamson will be very pleased to see his best friend again,” I announced. “When are you planning to send them?” Simon asked me, “I hadn’t arranged it yet, with everything else happening, I nearly forgot about it,” I replied.

“How about you take Nathan with you, and after dropping the boys off at the airport, you two can go off somewhere to explore some unknown place for a week or two,” Simon suggested. “Yes, that sounds like a great idea, but we will have to wait until after the catamaran returns from its charter,” I replied.

Five days later, after making all the travel arrangements for my brothers, and with the Catamaran now returned from it’s charter, my brothers were all packed ready for their return to Western Australia, and Nathan and I were ready for our little adventure, which we had kept the details from most of the staff, except for Simon.

I informed Simon that we would be sailing up to Melbourne, where I would take the boys to the airport and see them off, and once that is done, Nathan and I would set sail for some unknown destination, but I promised to keep him updated on where we are.

It would take us a day and a half to get to the Royal Yacht Club at Williamstown, and with the flight to Perth set for 11 am, we set off from Partridge Island at 3 pm today, that would allow us a few hours of sailing in daylight, and a further six hours at night, before I anchor just off a sheltered beach at Coles Bay on the central east coast of Tasmania.

The next morning it would be a 26 hour sail to get to Melbourne, and I would have to rely on Nathan to take on some skippering duties, to allow me to get some sleep during the day, so I can skipper during the night. The whole journey went quite smoothly, with Neale and Jedd keeping both Nathan and I well fed and hydrated during the long hours at the helm, and we approached the Royal Yacht Club shortly after 8 am.

Once we had paid for the mooring fees, I called a cab while Nathan stayed with the yacht to relax and catch up some more sleep, while I take my brothers to the airport. I had already spoken to Anita on the phone giving her all the travel details and she agreed to collect the boys from the bus stop when it arrives in Jurien Bay at 7.30 pm, two hours after leaving East Perth Terminal.

Once the boys had checked in their luggage, checked in with their tickets and gone through to the boarding lounge, I set off back to Williamstown harbour and the catamaran, where I found Nathan sitting on the aft deck looking a little worried.

“What is wrong? That look tells me trouble?” I said to Nathan as I approached the Catamaran which was berthed at one of the jetties. “Not trouble exactly, more of a slight hiccup with our planned holiday that’s all,” Nathan replied, “Oh, and what hiccup would that be?” I asked.

“I was up at the yacht club earlier, making a call to Mum, and after I finished the call, I was virtually stopped in my tracks by two large women, who were enquiring if I am a crew member of the Catamaran, and is it available for charter. I told them that the skipper is onshore on business and told them to come back at about 12.30, which is about thirty minutes away,” Nathan informed me.

“Oh, I see, well if we do this charter, then they will have to go along with my planned route, which is around and up the east coast to as far as Nelson Bay. Plus we may need to get an extra crew member to help us with the workload, depending on the number of guests,” I replied.

“Well, I am here to help in any way, you know that boss, especially now that I have a bit more skippering experience. Shame you sent Neale and Jedd to WA, they would have been handy right now,” Nathan said to me. “Yes quite true, but they are probably on the plane now, so it is a bit late to change that,” I replied.

“I did a big cleanup of the yacht, just in case we do accept the charter, the master suite and two guest cabins are all made up ready to go, and I also managed to do a quick shop, to stock up on basic supplies, but the ladies didn’t say how many are wanting to be on the charter, so I decided to wait to see what you say,” Nathan said to me. “Ok mate that is great that you have done that much already, we just have to …” I said stopping when my phone began to ring, and it was Anita calling me.

“Hello Anita, I have checked the boys in at the airport, they should be boarding as we speak,” I said as I answered the call, “They are not on the flight, apparently they began to argue with one another, and were both kicked off the flight,” Anita responded, “They did what… oh those boys can be such a pain in the…” I said angrily.

“Now calm down that is not going to help the matter at all is it. “I’ve told the boys to catch a cab back to the marina, so they should be there in about twenty minutes,” Anita said to me as I took some deep breaths to calm down, as Nathan grabbed the phone out of my hand.

I was about to object to him snatching the phone when he put his hand up, so I said nothing. “Hello Mum, this is Nathan, its good in a way that they didn’t get on the plane, as we have an unexpected charter, up the east coast, so we will need the extra man power to run the charter.

Don’t worry about the lads, we will take care of them from now,” Nathan said, and although I couldn’t hear what Anita say, by the nodding of Nathan’s head it looked like he had everything under control. “Ok Mum, thanks, we will talk to you soon, bye,” Nathan said before ending the call and handing my phone back.

“Let’s get into our uniforms, and we can see what to do about supplies once we know how many guests and when the lads arrive back,” I said to Nathan and Nathan headed below to his double crew cabin, while I went below forward on the other side, to the forward Guest cabin, where I had been staying for the trip so far.

“Hello, any body home?” I heard Neale call out as I was finishing putting on my shoes, “Down in my cabin bro,” I called out, and a moment later, Neale and Jedd appeared. “So you have spoken to Aunty Anita?” Jedd asked nervously, “Yes I have, but no time to discuss that now, we have a charter, so head to your cabins with your luggage, and get changed into your uniforms,” I replied.

“Yes skipper, right away,” Neale replied smiling, and they both dashed over to the other side of the yacht, “Woo, slow down lads or you will break your necks,” I heard Nathan say from near the top of the stairs, and I headed up now ready for the guests.

“Are we ready to go?” I asked Nathan, who nodded his head before indicating to the jetty, where a group of people were approaching. Nathan and I headed aft to greet them, presuming that they are our guests. “Good morning, my name is Anton, I am the owner and skipper of this catamaran, this is Nathan my Bosun,” I said politely to the guests.

“Hello, I am Evelyn Drummond, and these are my good friends, Sir Charles and Lady Eliza Carmichael, and Mr Geoffrey and Mrs Nancy Henderson,” the lead lady said, “Please come on board and take a look around,” I said, “I spoke to your bosun earlier, about having a seven day charter, would that be possible?” Ms Drummond asked.

“Well Ma’am, we are planning to do a trip around and up the East coast, ending at Nelson Bay, which is about 80 nautical miles north of Sydney, and that will take approximately seven days to complete the journey, with overnight stops each day,” I replied, as I directed the guests into the saloon.

“I see, and why Nelson Bay in particular?” Sir Charles asked, with a thick Scottish accent, which made me smile, and think about Lord Edwin. “Well sir, that is where we will stop for a day or two before making the crossing over to Lord Howe Island, and then onto Norfolk Island,” I replied, as someone new arrived and stepped onboard behind the other guests, and I frowned when I recognised him.

“Hello Lord Edwin, what are you doing here?” I asked the new arrival, “You know Lord Edwin Crawford of Fordell, Scotland?” Sir Charles asked sounding surprised. “Yes Sir, we are acquainted with one another, through friends of ours,” I replied.

“Sorry to spring this on you, but when my friends here asked if we knew of a company that does sailing charters, I recommended you, and since I knew that you were leaving Melbourne soon, we got here as quickly as possible before you left,” Edwin said to me.

Copyright Feb 2021 All Rights Reserved, Preston Wigglesworth
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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20 hours ago, Freemantleman said:

When did Edwin become such a stalker!? Used to love his character, not so much now. 

While Edwin is trying to help out with increasing business for Anton, he is not aware of the precarious situation he has put Anton in regarding the safety of Anton’s crew and yachts, with the threats still current. Which will become apparent in coming chapters.

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Edwin has become more than just cheeky and self important, he's become exactly what he hates the 'paps' for, being a stalker.

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