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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.

Life on the Swan - 14. Swan Chapter 14

As was hoped the end of year celebration day cruise to Rottnest Island went very well, with no major incidences. From Rous Head, the 112 Year 12 students, plus 5 teachers, and 7 parents, boarded the Southern Explorer at 8 am, with a departure time of no later than 9 am, and all the guests were directed to the aft deck on A deck

“Good afternoon, and welcome on board the Southern Explorer, an expedition ship that has circumnavigated the world in the Southern Hemisphere many times over, delivering supplies to remote research islands, including Australia’s Heard Island, France’s Isle of St Paul, South Africa’s Marion Island, all located in the Southern Ocean, plus Norway’s Bouvet Island, the UK’s Ascension, South Georgia, Sandwich and the Falkland Islands, in the Atlantic Ocean and Chile’s Easter Island and the Pitcairn Islands in the Pacific Island,” I said starting my announcement.

“We however, will not be that adventurous, as we only have twelve hours to celebrate our graduation, before the ship has to start its new project. To give you the experience of what it is like out in the deep ocean, we will be travelling out to 17 nautical miles West of Rottnest Island, which is 31 kilometres for those who don’t understand nautical distances.

This will take us 90 minutes to get that far out, and another 90 minutes to return, for those who will no doubt get sea sick on the trip, we have a fully trained medical team onboard to assist you. We will spend approximately fifteen minutes out that far, before we make the return journey, and we will stop off at Rottnest Island for the rest of the day, arriving in time for lunch.

I had arranged for some music entertainment for later in the day, with a live band, plus a DJ to keep us going, once we have had enough of the surf and the beach at Eagle Bay on the north west end of the island. Now just a few things to remember, any doorway or passage that is marked No Entry Crew only, is off limits to all visitors.

That means all students, parents and teachers, with no exceptions what so ever. This ship has a total of 7 decks, we are currently on Deck A, below us is the main deck and the lower deck, for those who want to just veg out and not do much, the lower deck has a 27 seat cinema, and there is drinks and popcorn available for those wanting to be there.

On the main deck, which is where we all boarded the ship, it has the exterior deck and Beach deck, with changeroom and toilets. On this deck, you have the upper beach deck, main saloon lounge, bathrooms and dining room for your use. The next level up is B deck, where there is the exterior guest deck, and two more bathrooms.

That is all that you will have access to during today, all other areas are either locked or off limits,” I announced, “Yea and what if we get caught in a restricted area?” one of my classmates asked me with a cheeky grin, “Then you will be placed in a holding area, away from everyone for the rest of the day, where you will not get to enjoy the entertainment, but you will be given food and drinks, like everyone else” the Headmaster replied, looking directly at the student who had asked the question.

“We do have and we have used the holding room before, so I suggest that you not put us to the test, as the Captain will not hesitate to order for detention, if there is any breaking of the rules. Now you may go and explore the decks that you have access to, and I hope you enjoy your day,” I added.

What I had not mentioned to the headmaster, teachers or parents, was that the Wagner twins had decided to come along on this day journey, to keep watch, and assist me if there is any trouble. Sebastian and Lewis remained at their home near Denham, but would be in regular contact with the twins, and the ship’s captain, while Louis had to remain at home in Dalkeith, with Wyatt, since he is a year younger than the graduating class.

I had boarded the Southern Explorer the night before, and as usual I was given all the top-grade service that Sebastian expected them to give, no matter which member of family is onboard, and I stayed in my father’s old cabin on D Deck, located directly below the Bridge.

The live band would be joining us when we arrive back at Rottnest, with a boat from the ship to be sent to collect them and their equipment from nearby Rocky Bay beach, where the main road is close to the foreshore, and the DJ had boarded the Southern Explorer about an hour before the guests, and he had set up his equipment on the exterior guest deck on B Deck.

Apart from a few of my fellow students getting severe sunburn, and a few cuts and bruises from surfing to close to the rocks, everyone had a wonderful day, and surprisingly only 3 out of 112 students and 2 parents became ill when we were way out to sea, but they felt a lot better once we arrived at Rottnest.

After a huge dinner, and plenty of entertainment, the Southern Explorer headed east back towards the mainland, and it was about halfway back, when a crew member interrupted a conversation I was involved in, and informed me that I was wanted by the Captain.

When I arrived on the bridge, I saw a large glow near the mouth of the Swan river, and the Captain was looking a little worried as he had slowed down, and slowly began to turn southwards. “There has been an incident at the entrance to Rous Head, and all harbour traffic has been cancelled until further notice” the Captain informed me when I arrived.

“What is your recommendations Captain?” I asked, I suggest we head for our base at Rockingham, as it looks like they will have this all closed off for some time, sir” the Captain replied, “Yes, good thinking, I will let the Headmaster know the change of plans,” I replied before heading downstairs.

It took me a while to locate the headmaster and his wife, and two of the parents, who were in the formal dining room on A deck, where it was reasonably quiet from the noise of the band playing, one deck lower. “Sir, we have a situation,” I began when I located them, and this caught everyone’s full attention.

“I don’t know the full details, but there has been an incident at the entrance to Rous Head, which has shut down the whole harbour, so we have to divert to another location. The base for this ship is located at Mangles Bay, Rockingham, near the end of the causeway to Garden Island, and that is where the ship is heading now. We will be there in about half an hour,” I announced.

“Is there a way we can get access to off load everyone from there?” the headmaster asked, “Yes sir, we have a full-sized jetty, with a carpark and a shed and administration building. It is on Point Peron Road, on the same side and just before the turnoff to Garden Island, a sign on the shed clearly states that it is Wagner International, and I will arrange for staff down there to be ready for parents to arrive to collect their sons,” I replied.

“Sounds like a plan, I will call the school bus for the boarders. I guess it is the closest jetty available to us, south of Fremantle?” the headmaster said, “Yes, sir it is, as all the jetties north are all part of Fremantle Ports, and are secure locations, and the Fremantle and Coogee boat harbours are too small for the Southern Explorer” I answered.

A few minutes later, after getting the band to stop after they had finished their current song, I went to the nearest telephone on the wall and pressed the intercom button.

“Now hear this, now here this, attention all students, teachers and parents of Wesley, I have an urgent message,” I began and I waited a few moments to allow everyone to stop what they are doing and listen. “Due to an incident at the entry point to Rouse Head, which has resulted in shutting down the whole of Fremantle’s Inner harbour, we are diverting to another location for disembarking.

Please notify your parents right away, to travel south to Point Peron Road Rockingham, to collect you from the Wagner International Corp Jetty, located just before the turnoff to Garden Island. I repeat, have them collect you from the Wagner International Corp Jetty on Point Peron Road, just before the Garden Island turnoff. All boarders, please see the headmaster in the main saloon, on A deck for further instructions. That is all” I said.

Moments after ending the announcement, the phone buzzed, and I picked it up. “Yes Captain?” I said, presuming that it was him calling me, and I was correct with that. The Captain informed me that the incident was a 56 metres custom expedition yacht, that had swerved to avoid a collision with a ferry, and it ran into the sea wall on the south side of the Rous Head entry, and burst into flames.

No one was killed but a few were injured in the incident, and the port authority has shut down the harbour till further notice, so an investigation can be done. I thanked the captain for the information, and after ending the call, I went looking for the headmaster, who was in deep discussions with two of the teachers.

“Any problem sir?” I asked, when they saw me approaching and stopped talking, “Yes, just a little one, which we are trying to resolve, as best as possible,” one of the teachers responded.

“I see, well maybe I can be of some assistance?” I asked. “You have already done so much for everyone today, this is a school problem so we should be able to come up with a solution” the Headmaster said, and I saw one of the teachers frown, and I looked at him in hope he would tell me what this was about.

“Well, we have a transport issue for the fourteen boarders, to get them back to the school, as the school bus has decided to breakdown at this very moment when we need it most” the teacher who frowned eventually said, and I just smiled. “Sir’s, if I may, I have a perfect solution, and I am happy to provide it, at no cost to the school of the students,” I said cheerfully.

“Oh? And what may I ask is this solution?” the headmaster asked me, “Sir, if I may, I would like to offer accommodation and breakfast for the boarders and teachers who also stay, until the matter can be fixed in the morning” I offered, and there was silence amongst the staff as they thought about this very generous offer.

“Really sir, it is not an issue at all, we have enough accommodation for the boarders and staff, but unfortunately not enough for all of the dayboys too, that is why it had to be just a full day cruise and not overnight” I explained. The headmaster looked at his wife, who smiled and nodded her head, and the other two teachers also agreed with the idea.

“Well it looks like everyone is in favour of your offer, so we will accept it with our thanks, but I suggest we wait till after the dayboys are off the ship, before we spring the surprise on the boarders” the headmaster said. “Good, I will go and get it all organised, so it will be four adult guests and 16 teenagers?” I asked, and the headmaster confirmed this number.

Using the internal phone again, I called the chief steward, and asked to meet with her in the storm lounge in ten minutes, and after the call, I let the headmaster know that I will be gone for about fifteen minutes, before I headed for main forward stairs, to D deck, and I didn’t wait for long till the chief steward arrived.

I informed her that we would be having a total of 16 teenage and 4 guests overnight, due to transport troubles, and I asked her to ensure that 8 of the cabins on the main deck are made up as king singles, and the remaining two are to stay as they are, as kings. Plus, to have one suite on this level readied for the headmaster and his wife to stay in, and also to have breakfast ready by 7.15 am for the guests, as they will want to head off no later than 8 am.

The headmaster had informed the boarder students that there was a delay with the transport, so they would remain on board until the bus arrives, so as to give the day students the idea that all students would be leaving the ship this evening.

About half an hour after the last of the day students had been collected by his parents, the headmaster called all the boarders together. “Gentlemen, this is your lucky day, as your kind host here is offered to accommodate us onboard this magnificent ship tonight, as the school bus is having mechanical issues,” the headmaster announced, and the 16 boys cheered loudly, and I smiled from where I was standing to one side.

“Dude, is this true, you are letting us stay overnight?’ one of my classmates asked me, “Yep, but it will be two boys to a cabin, in king single beds, and I will even throw in breakfast as well,” I replied smiling, which brought another round of cheers from the boys, and plenty of slaps on the back for me.

“Right now, the cabins have been already prepared, Mr Oats you are in Cabin A5 and Mr Carter is opposite in A6, on the main deck. Fellas, I will let you decided who you want to share a cabin with, and they will be cabins A1 to A4 and A7 to A10 on the main deck. The headmaster and his lovely wife will be given a suite elsewhere on the ship, your cabins all have small courtesy bags, since you don’t have anything with you, any washing you want done overnight, I suggest you leave outside your cabin, no later than 9 pm” I announced.

The boys dashed through the beach club lounge and down the passage to find their cabins, and I smiled knowing how shocked they will be at the furnishings and everything in the cabins. Headmaster, if you and your wife will please follow me, I will show you too your suite,” said before heading down the passage, past the noisy boys, towards the elevator.

“Quieten down boys, now get settled in and lights out at 9 pm. We will see you all tomorrow morning for breakfast at 7.15 am in the formal dining room” the headmaster said as he passed the cabins. “Yes sir” the boarders chorused together, as we passed them and continued down the passage.

“Welcome to D deck, this is where the executive accommodation is located, and where you will be staying tonight, this is what we call the storm lounge, and in the morning, you will see how magnificent a view we get from the front windows. My suites are the Portside rear suite, you’re is the starboard side forward suite. Good night” I said before heading to my suite.

The following morning, I was up just after dawn, at about 5.50 am, and after a quick shower and changing into some fresh clothes, which I had plenty of in my suite, I ordered a cup of tea and sat in the storm lounge to watch the sun rising on the starboard side of the ship.

The headmaster and his wife appeared about an hour later, and I organised some coffee for them both, and we chatted for a while, before heading downstairs for some breakfast. “Thank you for allowing us to stay, the suite was way more than we both expected, and we slept extremely well” the headmaster’s wife said to me as we headed down to the formal dining room. “It is my pleasure ma’am, although the ship is technically Sebastian’s, he is my legal guardian” I replied.

“Well thankyou anyway, it was a real treat to be able to stay here last night” the headmaster said. Over breakfast we listened to the other boys talked about how incredible their cabins are, and about who was snoring their heads off, and keeping them awake half the night, which had everyone in fits of laughter.

When the bus arrived and it was time for the boys and teachers to leave, they thanked me again for allowing them to stay, and wished they could have stayed longer. Once all of the guests had left, and with Wyatt arriving to take me home, I thanked the captain and crew for a wonderful job, before leaving the ship, to go home and start preparing for Christmas celebrations with the family and university studies next year.

The Very End

Copyright July 2019 Preston Wigglesworth. All Rights are Reserved.
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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.
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Fantastic end to the story, it seems like everyone had an enjoyable experience on board the Southern Explorer for the end of year graduation ball. The only problem was when they were returning to the harbor so that everyone could leave the ship, they had to detour to the Wagner International Corp Jetty where all but 20 people were still on board as the school bus had some mechanical problems and it wouldn’t be available until the next morning. Xander offered to allow them to stay aboard and they would have breakfast in the morning all at no cost to them, the next morning the Headmasters wife thanked Xander for allowing them to stay in a suite he told her that it was his pleasure although the ship actually belongs to Sebastian who is his legal guardian. Over breakfast they listened to the boys saying how nice their cabins were and they talked about who snores the loudest which brought everyone to have a fit of laughter, as they left the ship to get on the bus they all thanked him again and said that they wished they could stay aboard longer. This was a great story and I enjoyed reading it very much. 

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I have followed all 5 stories in this series.  While I hate to see stories end - especially when I get involved with the characters and the plots - I do understand they must.  This is a much more fitting ending than the last chapter and I applaud you for doing it. 

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Another excellent chapter and a very good ends to this story, our weekly fix of a chapter of story by you is almost at a endi really hope that you have a New story online soon, many thanks for such entertaining reading.

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Thanks for all of your comments.

still have two other stories going, but they too are nearing the end.

I have two brand new stories I am writing at the moment, which I will start posting soon.

Q

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A nice way to finish this book, I think like most of us we will miss the adventures of Seb, Lewis, Xander et al 

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8 hours ago, quokka said:

Thanks for all of your comments.

still have two other stories going, but they too are nearing the end.

I have two brand new stories I am writing at the moment, which I will start posting soon.

Q

Many thanks. I await with eager anticipation

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41 minutes ago, mikedup said:

Many thanks. I await with eager anticipation

Antisssssipation...

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3 hours ago, chris191070 said:

I really hope you decide to write more about Xander and his family one day.

I have already began the next story about Xander.

Q

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