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    quokka
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New Frontier - 15. NF Chap 15

“Will you be joining us too Lord Edwin?” I asked politely, “Sadly no, I have to catch a flight back to Switzerland, then onto Edinburgh for business, but I want my friends to have a very good time while onboard your yacht, do you have any extra crew?” Edwin replied. “Yes my brothers are here also,” I replied.

Once Edwin had left, with a bulky envelope in my hand, which no doubt contained a lot of money, I had Nathan give the guests a tour of the yachts guest areas, which is most of the starboard side below decks, all of the main deck and also the fly deck.

When they arrived back in the main saloon, I had cocktail drinks prepared, on a silver tray ready to be handed out to the guests. “Well, I for one am very happy with this yacht, it is a lot more comfortable than I expected,” Sir Charles said to me. “Will a seven day cruise be alright with you all, which will include a stop at a beach or town for lunch each day, and we will be anchored in a bay or moored at a jetty each evening, so most nights will be fairly calm,” I asked.

“Yes, that sounds delightful,” Ms Drummond responded. “Good, we just need to go and do some extra shopping, so we should be on our way no later than 1.30 pm,” I announced. While the guests went to grab their luggage from the nearby hotel, I asked Nathan and one of the boys to go and do a lot more shopping.

I asked them to buy enough food and alcohol to last at least for five days, while I prepared lunch for everyone, as I handed Nathan the large envelope and his eyes went wide when he looked inside to see all the $100 notes. “Don’t loose it, or you will have to pay for the shopping your self,” I whispered to Nathan, who nodded his head in understanding.

Luckily I had already set out a rough itinerary route for the trip, and I needed to get to work on more detail in the evenings, once we are at anchor. When the guests arrived back, after settling into their cabins, they chose to head for the fly deck to relax, and I asked Neale to keep an eye on them, and get them anything they need, while I was in the galley preparing the meal.

“Skipper, there is someone who wishes to speak to you, we met him in the supermarkets, he’s looking for a job,” Nathan called out, as he approached and came down the stairs to the galley, with his arms full of bags, and a lad about the same age as him followed, also with his hands full.

When Jedd arrived with the last of the shopping, I stopped what I was doing, “Ok, you and Jed get everything stowed away, while I have a chat to this young man,” I said, as I headed upstairs, and into the small lounge, where the young man followed and I closed the door.

“Right, by the looks of it, you are homeless, is that correct?” “Yes sir, I have been staying at shelters as much as I can, so I can regularly have showers and wash my clothes, which as you see is not much, just what I have in this backpack,” the lad replied.

“Do you have any sailing experience at all? And what is your name and age?” I asked, “yes sir, I have three years of part time deckhand experience with my uncle, who was a fisherman, he employed me during the mid year and end of year holidays, so on average; I did eight weeks of work a year since the age of fourteen, and full time since the age of 17, for just a year.

My name is Jake Tunbridge, I’m now 18, and my uncle died of cancer last year, so I had no more work with him and I left school at sixteen, after my mother abandoned me, and I have no idea who my father is. I work hard sir, and I am very reliable,” the lad said to me.

“Ok Jake, I will give you a trial, for just one week, and we will review it after that. We are heading for Nelson Bay, just north of Sydney, and we will be leaving at 1330 hours, I will get Nathan to go with you, to do some basic clothes and shoes shopping for you, to get you by for that time. Just wait here a moment,” I said as I exited the room and closed the door behind me.

Nathan was hovering around the main saloon, when I stepped out, and came straight up to me. “Do you still have that cash?” I asked, “Yes, there is still heaps more, about $1,600 is my guess,” Nathan replied. “Good, take Jake and take him shopping for clothes and shoes, and don’t take too long, as I want to be leaving here no later than 1.15 pm.

When you get back, make sure he has a good wash, including his hair, and issue him some uniforms, he can have the forward starboard crew cabin,” I said to Nathan.

“Ok skipper, I will get right on it, and we will have lunch when we get on our way,” Nathan said before entering the room, and I headed back to the galley.

With Neale and Jedd assisting, we delivered lunch to the guests up on the Fly bridge, where there is comfortable seating and table area under the cover of the solid awning, and I came back up with a pitcher of soft bunch to complement the meal.

Once service was completed, we headed down to the crew mess to have our own lunch, and to relax a little before we set sail once Nathan and Jake have returned. When they did arrive back, Nathan had Jake take a shower in his cabin, since it is a lot bigger than the forward crew cabin, and so he can change into jeans and uniform shirt once he is done.

With the guests now fed, and the full crew now onboard, we set sail out of Melbourne, leaving at 1.35 pm, a little late, but I hoped to make up that lost time during the afternoon, with the good winds that we were expecting. Once out in the open of Port Philip Bay, I had Nathan raise the spinnaker, so we could catch a bit of extra speed, while we are still in semi protected waters.

For the next three hours we were really zooming along, going at a good 16 knots for most of that time, and as we approached the navigation marker for us to do a course change, I gave the order for the spinnaker to be pulled down, as we needed to take it easy as we pass through the tricky Victory Bight, and into the Bass Strait.

We had managed to get ahead of schedule with that extra push from the Spinnaker, so we would get to our overnight stop just before dark instead of just after. Once out in the Bass Strait, I had Nathan take over at the helm, while I headed down to the small lounge, which I also use as my office, so I could do some more work on the itinerary for the next week.

When I stepped out of the office lounge about two hours later, I could smell some very nice cooking coming from the galley, so I went down to investigate who was cooking, and I was a little surprised to see Jake there. “You can cook too?” I asked a little surprised.

“Yes skipper, ever since I was a young boy, my granny always enjoyed showing me what special tricks there are to cooking delicious meals. When will we be stopping overnight?” Jake replied, “In a bit over an hour,” I replied, “Good, dinner for the guests will be ready about half an hour after that,” Jake informed me.

“Very good, I look forward to tasting your cooking, which smells divine,” I said smiling before heading back up to the pantry service area, and I began making some drinks for the guests. “There you are, can we have some drinks for the guests please??” Jedd asked me when he entered the main saloon area. “Working on it right now mate, how are the guests going, are they enjoying the trip so far?” I replied.

“Yep, they are having a ball by the looks of it, they are soaking in the hot tub at the moment,” Jedd responded, “Good, and I will be up with these drinks shortly. Take some towels up to them please, and we are just over an hour away from our overnight stop, which is a sheltered bay on the bottom side of Philip Island,” I informed my brother.

After collecting the required towels Jedd headed back outside and up the stairs to the fly bridge, and I followed him a few minutes later with the drinks for the guests. “You have a very talented young crew here Skipper,” Sir Charles commented as I handed out the drinks.

“Thankyou sir, the two youngest are my brothers, this is Jedd, and the older one is Neale, and we have a new crew member Jake who has just joined us, and my bosun Nathan at the helm there, who is a first cousin of my best friend. The four of us have been sailing for many years together, so we know how to function smoothly,” I replied.

“It definitely shows, and it looks like your new crew member has been sailing before too,” Ms Drummond said, “Yes, he informs me he worked part time for three years on a fishing vessel with his uncle, and full time for a year, before his uncle passed away last year, and by the smells coming from the galley, he is an excellent cook too,” I replied before heading back downstairs.

Going to the wine store, I wrote down all of the wines and beers that Nathan had purchased, which was quite a large selection, with six brands of beers, six each of red and white wines, plus four whiskey’s, two Gin’s and two Vodkas, one port, one Brandy and one whiskey liqueur, all made in Tasmania, and I was amazed at the selection Nathan had made.

When we arrived at our destination, I was with Nathan to guide him to where I thought was the best place to anchor, just off the beach, in a sheltered area, between Philip Island and the mainland.

“By the way, I checked the selection you purchased earlier, you have made some amazing choices, and all Tasmanian too, well done on that,” I said softly to Nathan.

“Thanks skipper, but it was Jake who gave me the recommendations on what to buy, he seems to know what is best to buy, even if it was a huge alcohol bill,” Nathan replied, and I smiled and nodded my head.

“We better let him make the recommendations with what is best to be served with the meals then,” I added, as we watched my brothers set the anchors for our overnight stay.

“Dinner will be served in approximately half an hour, where would you like to have your meal? Up here or inside the formal dining area on the main deck?” I asked the guests, as Jedd handed each one a towel, as they climbed out of the hot tub.

“I think inside would he nice thankyou,” Ms Drummond replied, and I headed downstairs to start setting the table for dinner, and Neale helped me with the setting, before we changed into our formal dinner uniform, ready for dinner service. I asked Jake for his recommendations for wines for the first and main courses, and I set out the glasses for those drinks.

Once dinner was served to our guests, all the crew headed below to have our own dinner in the crew mess, and I congratulated Jake on a delicious dinner, and I asked him to be the chef for the remainder of the charter, which he said he was pleased to do.

The following day, our lunchtime stop was at Oberon Bay, just south of the Township of Tidal River, where we spent a relaxing two hours, with a long wide beach to walk on after the meal, before we boarded the yacht once more and set sail again, where we would go around Wilson’s Promontory, mainland Australia’s most southern point, and head for our overnight stop of Mcloughlin Beach, at the mouth of a tidal water way that creates a number of low islands.

Our second lunch stop on this charter, was a little later than usual, and at Lakes Entrance, where we moored at a jetty, on the edge of the town, to allow the guests to have a bit of a look around, after another superb lunch. Our second overnight destination would be at the town of Marlo, famous for being at the mouth of the mighty Snowy River.

Nathan and I were now getting into a good routine with running the yacht, with Nathan doing a two hour stint at the helm mid morning, and again straight after lunch, allowing me to do be a good host to our guests, and also to assist the crew with anything.

The following day, straight after breakfast, Nathan and I took the two dinghies out, to give the guests a cruise up the Snowy River and back, with a packed morning tea basket, which we served on the banks of the river, at Woods Point in the Snowy River National Park, 20 kilometres upstream from the town of Orbost.

On the arrival back to the yacht, the guests were served lunch, while the crew prepared for departure, to get to our overnight stop at the town of Mallacoota, at the mouth of the Wallagaugh River. The following day, just 45 minutes after departure, we arrived at Cape Howe, which marks the border between Victoria and New South Wales, with the area being a nature reserve and marine reserve.

We arrived at Boulder bay shortly before 12.30 for our lunch break, setting anchor just off shore from the town of Tathra Beach. We set aside some time for the guests to have a good walk along the beach, before we set off again with our next overnight stop to be Montague Island, which is four nautical miles east of the mainland, with a small sheltered bay for the yacht to anchor.

Arriving at Jetty Bay shortly after 4 pm, we transported the guests onto the island so they can go exploring and visit the lighthouse that was built in 1881 and the keepers houses, plus watch the resident wildlife of sea birds and seals, that are seen all over the island.

Jake was excelling himself in the galley, with daily praises from the guests, and I too enjoyed his cooking, which was varied and he always selected the best wines to go with each three course meal. The following day with a very early start at 6 am, we stopped at Gannet Beach at the town of Bawley Point for morning tea, and a beach walk, before setting off again, for Culburra, where we would anchor in the Crookhaven River while eating lunch.

From there we headed on northward for our next overnight stop at Jibbon Beach, just south of Cronulla, which is a southern suburb of Sydney. I selected this beach, because it was well away from all the hustle and bustle of the city, but still in protected waters.

Leaving early again the next morning, we stopped off at Station Beach for morning tea, and a beach walk, before setting off again, and arriving at our destination of Nelson Bay, shortly after 1.30 pm, where we served our guests a light lunch, before their departure.

Copyright Feb 2021 All Rights Reserved, Preston Wigglesworth
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Looks like they have a winner with Jake, and good on him purchasing all that Tassie alcohol. I wonder if Jake is gay???   hint hint.

 

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Atleast "Lord E" aka "the stalker" has left the country & hemisphere for now but he'll be back to follow his prey soon enough no doubt !?!?  whats his end game??? is it love? business? or something more sinister ?????  he's changed so much & where's the butler  come bodyguard hiding!??

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Jake, both saved and saviour (of this cruise at the least). Will he be a permanent addition to the crew? And was it just Nathan 'rescuing' Jake from homelessness through a chance encounter? And what of Edwin, pulling yet another fast getaway when things don' go his (pouting) way? (His mum and late Aunt Bea raised him better). Answers in the next / coming chapters?

Edited by Anton_Cloche
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12 hours ago, Anton_Cloche said:

Jake, both saved and saviour (of this cruise at the least). Will he be a permanent addition to the crew? And was it just Nathan 'rescuing' Jake from homelessness through a chance encounter? And what of Edwin, pulling yet another fast getaway when things don' go his (pouting) way? (His mum and late Aunt Bea raised him better). Answers in the next / coming chapters?

Yes, all shall be revealed.

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