“Well done mate, and welcome to my security detail,” I whispered to Lucas. “You don’t get paid, but you do get some rewards. What sort of phone do you have Lucas” Craig said to our newest addition. “Just an I-Phone 7s, why?’ Lucas replied. “He asked, because all of my security detail get a band new I-Phone 11 Pro, and since you are now part of the team, we will be going shopping to get one for you,” I responded, as Brad and Craig showed their new phones.
“Holy Cow Pad, really?” Lucas asked sounding shocked, “Yes, really, and that reminds me, when we have our next school holidays in late September, I would like you all to keep the whole two weeks free, as I have a special holiday planned for the four of us,” I announced.
“Can we ask where we are going?” Brad asked, “No, because it is a surprise reward, you only need to pack some clothes for a week, and include swimming trunks, and look forward to an adventure with a bit of a difference,” I replied.
When I arrived home that afternoon, I informed Mum and Aunty Bea of my plans for the next school holidays, so when my friends parents telephone to ask about this trip, they could let them know that they will be kept safe, and will be well looked after, and that the holiday was in Tasmania.
After changing out of my uniform, I called the sat phone number for the catamaran yacht. “Hello Captain Jacques speaking,” the voice said when the call is answered. “Bonjour Captain, this is Edwin speaking,” I responded, “Bonjour Sir Edwin, how may I assist you today,” the Captain asked.
“I need the yacht to be booked for me and a party of three for the entire school holidays in September please, and can you arranged for a steward to be employed for that period,” I asked, “That two week period is free, so I will reserve that two weeks for you, and we already have a full crew.
With Nicolas and Patrick still doing deckhand, and assisting with steward duties, and we have a chef with us now, by the name of Miranda, who is a cousin of the boys, and her older sister – Olivia is our chief steward, so it is a real family crew,” the captain said.
“How have the booking been for your cruises, and do you have a set destination that you go to?” I asked, “Well, the bookings have been steady now, averaging one a week on weekends mostly, but once it warms up again, they will increase to the max of three a week like before.
We have been concentrating on two of the main walks in the area, the one at Kelly Basin, with a twelve-kilometre hike to the Bird River Bridge, and the Birchs River Jetty, where the Low Rocky Point Track begins, and the guests do a nine kilometre return hike from there.
We have two cruises available, the first one involves both walks and is a two and a half day trip, and the other involves the Kelly Basin walk, as well as the Cape Sorell walk, which is a two full day trip. Both trips seem to be just as popular as the cruises down the Gordon River, which we stay clear of,” the Captain informed me.
“Well, I am very glad that you have managed to capture a niche of the cruise business that is more adventurous than just a plain cruise. I look forward to this two week holiday, which I think we will include the two cruises in our itinerary,” I replied.
“Is there anything else that you would like to include during your stay?” the captain asked, “Well yes there is, but I am still trying to work out the timetable for it, so I will get back to you,” I replied. “Very good sir, you can contact us on email@example.com, and I will forward to you a confirmation of the booking for September 26th for two weeks,” the Captain replied.
After the phone call, I went online to check out the website, and I was pleased to see a good-looking website, with plenty of photos of the areas that they travel too. There was also a good booking system and when I checked the dated of the next school holidays, it showed that the whole two weeks were already booked, and I hoped that it was my booking.
Next, I checked the dates for early January next year, and I was pleased to see no booking at all yet, so I marked from Friday January 5th to Thursday January 18th and entered my details for the booking, and confirmed them.
Moments after I had confirmed the booking, my mobile rang. “Hello Mr Crawford, this is Angela Prentis from Tas Adventures, just wanting to confirm your booking for two weeks in January, is that correct?” a female voice said to me, “Yes that is correct, and I also have a booking for two weeks during the September school holidays,” I replied.
“Ah yes, I see that Captain Jacques took that booking for you, how will you be paying for these bookings please?” the woman said to me. A little annoyed, I ended the call, and dialled the number for yachts sat phone, “Hello Sir Edwin, how may I assist you,” the Captain asked when he answered.
“You can start by telling that lady, Angela, that I am the owner of the business and that I would not be handing over my credit card details over the phone,” I said. “Oh, yes I am sorry about that, she has only been with us for a month now, so she does not know who the business owner is, I will fix that for you, and sorry about you having to deal with her. I will speak to… what the heck is going on?
Sorry boss, I have to go, something is going on with the website, and I need to get right onto it, bye for now,” Jacques said to me before ending the call. I checked the booking page of the website, and saw that both of my bookings have been removed from the website, and that another booking has been put in the place of the school holiday booking.
I headed to the kitchen where Aunty Bea was working on dinner, and Mum was reading a book in the lounge room. “Aunty Bea, would you mind if you looked after me on your own for a week, as I have an important job I need Mum to do for me?” I asked her quietly, “Yes dear, that is fine with me, you are mostly and angel, so I think I can cope,” Aunty Bea replied.
“Mostly?” I asked and we both burst out laughing, “What are you two up to in there?” Mum called out, “Nothing Mum, just some Aunty & Nephew business, that is all,” I replied, as I walked over to the lounge room.
“Mum, I need you do deal with some business for me in Strahan, Aunty Bea said she is fine to look after me, while you are away, and I can’t miss any school, so you are my next option,” I said to Mum. “Go on, I am listening?” Mum said to me, having stopped reading and sat up in the lounge chair.
“I have just been talking to Jacques, our skipper of the catamaran yacht, I had been arranging for booking the yacht for the school holidays in September, and again in early January. He has informed me that he has a full crew now, and that the cruises that he has going are doing well, but there is a problem at the booking office in town, and that is what I want you to fix.
The woman saw it fit to remove my bookings from the website, and I called Jacques back in regards to that, and he said he was going to look into it, but I would prefer that you look into it for me, if you do not mind. Oh and all expenses will be paid for by the company,” I said to Mum.
“Yes dear, I would be more than happy to do that for you, it has been some time since I was doing office work, and it will be good to get back into it again. When do I go?” Mum replied. “Have you got any business wear for this, if not you need to do some shopping, I will book the charter flight for 9 am tomorrow, and organise the hotel accommodation as well,” I said as I pulled out my wallet and handed over the second business credit card that I have for extra expenses.
“Well I better get moving before the shops close, I will quickly change and be on my way,” Mum said as she dashed to her room, and ten minutes later she came out ready, gave me a kiss on the cheek and a wave to Aunty Bea. “Mum, splash out a bit, and get a few sets of business wear not just one,” I called out to her as she left.
“When Mum returned, not only did she have armfuls of shopping, but she also had a new hair do as well, “Looking very nice Mum, you will pass easily as my business associate,” I said smiling, as she headed to her room to get packed for the trip.
I headed to my room and retrieved my old mobile phone, which was still in good working order, and I inserted a new Sim card, which I have held onto for a few weeks, and inserted it into my old phone and plugged it in to charge.
While I set up the phone, I deleted all of my old phone numbers on it, before I entered my new phone number, as well as the Sat phone number for the Catamaran Yacht, also Cousin Robert’s phone number in Scotland, our home phone number and the mobile phone number for Charles and Elizabeth.
Once I had done that, I called the Airline Charter Company, and book a plane to fly from Launceston to Strahan in the morning, and then I called Franklin Manor, and booked a room for a week for Mum at that location.
Going back to the Tas Adventures website, I checked to see where the office is located, and found it to be at 2 Harold Street, and looking at Street view, I saw that it is a neat house, tucked behind a huge corner building that is two stories high. There is just a sign in the front yard advertising the company, which was all to promote the cruises, and nothing on the main street advertising its location.
Grabbing the send mobile and my laptop, I headed to the dining room, and after plugging the phone back on charge, I sat down, and started typing some notes, on things that need doing while Mum is in town. When Mum reappeared, she sat down next to me.
“This is the website, I am not sure who set it up, but I like the design, and it is easy to brose through it all, when you get there, we need to make one change, and that is that all cancellations have to be approved by management, that is you or me. I will see who set it up and has design control of the website, and let you know.
I have done a check of where the office is located in Strahan and it is tucked away behind a large commercial building on the corner of the Esplanade and Harold Street, you may need to see if we can find a more tourist friendly location.
That mobile on charge is yours to use, so we can keep in touch, I have added all the numbers that you need including my new number, as well as Cousin Roberts, but don’t forget they are 9 hours behind us in time. And also the number for the sat phone on the yacht, Charles and Elizabeth’s mobile number and the number for here,” I said to Mum just as my mobile rang.
“Speak of the man, I was just talking about you, how are things in Scotland?” I said when I answered the call, and put it on laud speaker, so Mum can hear, and Robert laughed, “Hello Cousin, I called because I have received a call from a much stressed sounding Jacques, who has some problems with them office lady,” Robert began.
“That is part of the reason why I am talking to Mum at the moment, I am sending her to Strahan tomorrow to try and deal with that and a few other matters,” I said.
“Hello Robert, good to hear your laugh again,” Mum said smiling, and Robert laughed again. “Hello dear lady, how has your son been behaving?” Robert asked, as Mum smiled.
Copyright Preston Wigglesworth All Rights Reserved July 2020