Charles and I decided that it was best to get the rest of our belongings before the catamaran returns, so well before lunchtime, just Charles and I headed back into town in the sports yacht, and moored to our jetty, we transferred all the boxes to the boat, and made the journey back to the Manor.
When Charles and I had finished moving the last of our belongings to the manor, I went looking for Mum, who I found in the study, with the laptop on, and she was on her mobile. I soon realised that it was Beverly that she was talking to, so I just left her too it, and I headed to my suite to get changes, as I was a little damp from all of the drizzling rain.
I was in the drawing room talking with Aunt Bea, when Mum appeared, “We have come up with a system to stay in touch. Beverly has worked out that I am the mother of the young man in yesterday’s paper, and has agreed to keep that knowledge secret, and she is happy to call me by my new name,” Mum said to us as she sat down too.
“So, you are happy too keeps going working from home to keep that business running smoothly?” I asked Mum, “Yes son, I feel great being able to work in a business again, I forgot how rewarding it is. What about you, what are you going to do?” Mum replied.
“Well I plan to contact the Headmaster at my school, and see if I can continue my studies via remote studies, and maybe join in the classes via video conferencing,” I responded, What about your other responsibilities?” Aunty Bea asked me.
“Well, I received a email from Robert earlier, he has arranged for cousin Alexander to send me monthly reports on how the Haig Hall business is going, and in regards to my other properties, Cousin Robert is managing those, and he will send me a report every month as well,” I replied.
Surprisingly for the next two months I was kept very busy, the video conferencing for all of my key subjects was working well, and all other subjects in class were being done via email. Lucas, Craig and Brad would Skype chat with me every fortnight, to keep me updated on all the news around the school, as well as on news about the media, who had given up hanging around the school and our old home.
Our new home was been checked on every couple of days, to make sure everything was in order, and with the school holidays now just a few days away, our latest Skype chat was for me to check that all three of them are ready for an awesome holiday.
I instructed them to be at the Launceston airport at 5 pm on Friday afternoon, where a chartered flight will take them to their holiday destination, where I would meet them. I had Mum check with Beverly, that everything is prepared for the one-week long charter, that I had booked, and I had given mum and Itinerary to forward on to Beverly, so Jacques and crew knew where they are going for the next two weeks.
Using the existing cruises as a guide, I had expanded on it, to not only include both of them, but also include cruising up the Gordon River, and using the Dinghy to go and explore some of the Franklin River as well. With the assistance from Ranger Tom Decker, I was able to get the permits to allow us to go deeper into the Franklin - Gordon National Park, which will make this trip extra special.
I had arranged for a taxi to collect my friends from the airport, and bring them directly to the jetty, and by dinghy to the yacht, which is anchored well away from town in Lettes Bay, where I was waiting for them, but I remained below to stay out of sight. Beverly had reported in that there seemed to be a lot more media people in town than usual, so I did not want to be snapped onboard the yacht.
I had just been notified that the charter plane had been delayed leaving Launceston, and that it would be twenty minutes late, so I sat in the saloon enjoying a cup of tea.
A few minutes later, the Captain himself entered, carrying the sat phone, “For you sir, call from Edinburgh,” Jacques said as he handed over the phone and left the room smiling, which made me wonder what on earth that was about.
“Good evening to you cousin,” Robert said cheerfully, “Hello Robert, this is an unexpected call, is everything ok?” I replied, and I heard Robert chuckling. “What makes you think anything is bad going on, in fact I have some news for you,” Robert said.
“Ok, I am listening, what surprise are you going to spring on me now? Are you here in Tasmania?” I asked, “Sadly no, I am not, but yes I do have a surprise for you, if you would like to go to the back of the catamaran and have a look at what is approaching,” Robert stated, and suddenly the phone went dead, which caught me unaware.
I put the phone down, and made my way to the aft of the yacht, and stepping out onto the deck, I saw a huge luxury yacht approaching, and it was slowing down as it was going to come along side. “What the hell is all this, I wonder?” I asked myself aloud, and I jumped when a heard someone clear their throat behind me.
“Sorry to startle you sir. This is a present from Lord Crawford, he has been closely monitoring the media lately, as well as getting daily updates from Lady Crawford, and he felt it best to have a more secure vessel that can escape the media’s watch a lot easier.
So, I present to you your new yacht, the Motor Yacht Calamity Jane,” Jacques announced, as it came to a stop about fifteen metres beside the catamaran, and suddenly Mum and Aunty Bea stepped out on the aft deck.
“Hello Dear, hasn’t Cousin Robert excelled himself this time,” Aunty Bea called out, and I saw a dingy coming over to the catamaran, just as the chief steward arrived with my suitcase and backpack, all packed and ready for the move over.
Once I was on the new yacht, the catamaran crew waved and it set off back to its home jetty, and suddenly I was facing a group of new faces. “Good Evening Sir Edwin. Welcome aboard Calamity Jane, I am Captain James Hakney.
This is my First Officer Andrea Sampson, Chief Engineer Louise Parker- Johns, 2nd Engineer Samantha Hart, Bosun Anita Channing, Chef Renaldo Lombardi, Cook Mari Conti and Chief Steward Elizabeth Boucher, the remaining four deck crew and five inside crew, you will meet as we travel,” the Captain announced.
“Hello to you all, welcome and I hope to speak to you all soon,” I said to the crew, as the officers headed off, as did the minor crew, with just the chief steward remaining.
“Sir Edwin, May I give you a tour of the yacht now?” she asked as I looked over to Mum and Aunty Bea, who had settled at the bar just inside, with cocktails in hand, so I nodded my head yes.
“The yacht was built by Austal Ships, which I believe is a Western Australian company, she is 72 metres in length, 13.8 metres wide and has a draft of 2.1 metres, so your itinerary is still good for us, we will doing everything that you have planned,” Elizabeth said to me.
“Tell me Elizabeth, what are the nationalities of all of the crew?” I asked, “Well sir, it is quite mixed, the Captain and the Chief Engineer, who are partners come from New Zealand, the first Officer is from port Lincoln, South Australia, the Second Engineer and I are partners are from Canada.
The Chef and Cook are partners and are from far northeastern Italy, close to the Austrian Border. The Chief and second Bosun’s are Western Australian’s and they are married, with the wife being the Chief Bosun.
Tobias is the Bar Steward, who doubles as the laundryman, with all the crew liking him as he is very entertaining, a good singer too, and the only crew from Tasmania. The leading deckhand is from Darwin, while the other two deckhands are from Queensland.
The five remaining stewards are two from Adelaide, South Australian, one from Alice Springs, NT and one from one from Townsville in Queensland, Elizabeth replied. “That is quite a mixture of cultures, does that cause any issues?” I asked.
“Not really, I fluently speak Italian and Canadian French, so I can understand what is going on in the galley, when they chat in Italian, and all nine senior crew have been on this yacht full time for three years now. While the other crew joined us about six months ago, and seem to get along most of the time,” Elizabeth said to me.
“That is good to know, now tell me some more about this incredible yacht,” I replied smiling, “Well sir, all 13 crew cabins are all on the lower deck, except for the Captain and Engineers, which are on the Bridge deck, as well as the Master Cabin, which is your domain.
As you see we are on the first of the aft decks and if we go through the doors, we enter the main dining area, and bar, with the main galley located directly behind it, which we are passing now, and this short hallway leads to the main foyer, and the stairs to the upper decks.
Through this door on the left, we have a eight-seat movie cinema, through the central door; we enter in to the first of guest accommodation areas, which is where you friends will be staying for this cruise. We have five double and two twin guest cabins here,” Elizabeth said and she showed me two of the cabins.
“Wow, they look very luxurious, my friends will be very happy,” I commented, and Elizabeth smiled, “The area forward of here is a crew area, and we will take these stairs to the next deck up,” Elizabeth said as she led the way.
“Here we have two crew storage areas, and the main guest fitness gym, and through this door we enter another hallway, to the remaining guest accommodation area, with four VIP guest cabins, and two VIP guest suites, which Lady Petworth and Lady Crawford occupy.
Through here we enter the upper deck lobby, those two doors lead to the rescue boats, in case of an emergency, and through here we enter the main saloon and bar,” Elizabeth, and I saw Mum and Aunty Bea relaxing here.
“Hello dear, enjoying the tour of this incredible yacht?” Aunty Bea asked, “Yes thanks Aunty, how do you like your suites are you comfortable in them?” I asked, “Yes, very much so, they are very comfy,” Aunty Bea replied.
A buzzing noise sounded, and Elizabeth stepped behind the bar and picked up a telephone, “Yes Captain, I will let him know,” we heard Elizabeth say before hanging up. “The captain has just spotted the tender returning, with your friends on board,” Elizabeth informed us, and I smiled, as I headed downstairs to go and greet them.
I knelt on the day bed on the main deck aft, watching as the tender approached, and the look on my friend’s faces was good to see. “Hey guys, welcome to the Calamity Jane, my newest acquisition,” I called out to them as the tender came along the aft of the yacht.
“What? You own this yacht! It is huge?” Brad exclaimed, “I do indeed, but I only found out about it just half an hour ago, and my family are on board also,” I replied, as I watched them step onto the landing deck, with the stewards help and take the steps up to the main deck.
“Now without getting lost… hopefully, I will show you to your cabins, which are on this main deck
Two chapters remaining...
Then all done for this story...
Copyright Preston Wigglesworth All Rights Reserved July 2020