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    quokka
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Top End Doctor - 10. Dr Chapter 10

While Mrs Andrews headed off to explore more of the Island, with the local tour group, Toby and I headed to the upper lounge, where I continued to practice what Mrs Andrews had taught me earlier in the day. “I’m bored, lets watch a movie on the television,” Toby said to me after half an hour of my practicing, and agreeing with him we settled down to watch a movie.

We had only been at Milikapiti for just over two hours, when the engines of the yacht suddenly started up. “Captain to Dr Shaw, to the bridge urgently please,” Angela said over the PA system, and Toby and I stood up and headed up to the bridge, one deck up, with Uncle James arriving less than a minute later.

“What’s up? Is it the tropical Low?” Uncle James asked, “It is a tropical cyclone now, and it is blocking our way home to Darwin, as it is heading in a South-Easterly direction, between us and the mainland. I have spoken to Mrs Andrews, the tour group is returning to town, and once she is on board, we will set off East to stay away from the cyclone,” Angela announced.

“Where is Tim?” Uncle James asked, “In the engine room, making sure that all is good if we need to go above cruising speed to keep ahead of the cyclone, he mentioned that he had made sure that the fuel tanks were filled before leaving Darwin, so we have about 7,500 nautical miles of fuel with us, and plenty of frozen, dry and fresh food supplies, to keep us going for over two weeks,” Angela replied.

Uncle James picked up the phone and pressed the intercom button, “Attention all hands, due to an approaching cyclone, we have to end the clinics for the time been, please finish the job you are doing, and ask all waiting patients to return home and prepare to shelter from the approaching cyclone, we will departing in approximately twenty minutes, that is all,” Uncle James said.

“Boys can you go and help the deckhands to pack up the gazebos, and make sure that everything is secured down tight, as we may be in for some very rough weather,” Angela said to us, and so we headed down to the main deck and onto the beach, where the deckhands were already assisting with packing up chairs and gazebos.

As we were doing this Mrs Andrews arrived back, and she grabbed a large stack of chairs to carry back on board, while Toby and I were only able to carry two or three at a time. “Toby, can you go and let Captain Angela know that all patients are now off the yacht, and Mrs Andrews has returned,” Mrs Quinn asked my brother, and he dashed off inside to pass on the message, while I kept helping with the chairs.

“When the gangway was brought on board, the yacht almost immediately began to move away from the beach, and within a few minutes the little community was out of sight, as the speed of the yacht increased, heading in a North-East direction, clear of Melville Island.

For over an hour, we were following the northern coast of Melville Island, at a very fast speed, and it was getting a little rough, as the seas began to get rougher. Toby and I decided to stay on the bridge, where we could stay safe and know what is happening, as we continued.

When Tim returned to the bridge, he walked up to Angela, “Ok, I suggest we slow down to cruising speed now, as we don’t want to burn out the engines,” he said to her, and Angela slowly reduced the speed, which helped a little with smoothness of the trip, but the waves were getting bigger, which meant we are still being tossed around a fair bit.

A bit later, after nearly three hours since leaving the community in a rush, Tim printed out another weather report and after reading it, he handed it to Angela, while he took the helm, just as Uncle James returned to the bridge. “Apart from being tossed around like a garden salad, the medical team, crew and our guests are all ok. The lads are doing regular patrols inside, to make sure everything is staying in place, while the guests and medical team are in the upper lounge,” Uncle James said to Angela, who handed him the weather report.

“Jeez, is this thing chasing after us or something,” Uncle James added after looking at the report, “It appears to be doing just that,” Angela responded. “Bloody cyclones they can be so unpredictable,” Tim said in an annoyed manner.

“What do you guys think we should do? Continue on Eastwards, or should we head North towards Indonesia, and hope that we get clear of it, before we reach their marine border,” Uncle James asked Tim and Angela, who looked at each other for a long few seconds.

“What about Timor-Leste, it is about 500 kilometres and will take 24 hours to get there, and that will hopefully keep us well clear of the cyclone,” Tim suggested, Uncle James nodded his head as did Angela, and in response, Tim turned the yacht’s direction to a North-West direction.

Angela picked up the phone and pressed the intercom button, “Attention all crew, please come to bridge immediately,” she said before taking a seat next to Uncle James, and a few minutes later, Tracy, Declan, the stewards and the deckhands arrived.

“As you are aware, we are currently fleeing a cyclone, which has decided to follow us, so you may have noticed that we have changed direction again. In approximately 24 hours we will be arriving at Timor-Leste, the small island country that gained independence from Indonesia a few years back.

I need to know how many of you have passports, and if you have them on the yacht at present,” Angela said to the crew, “You know that answer for you and me,” Tracy responded, and Angela smiled, “We both have passports and we have them with us,” one of the Tomkins lads replied.

“I do, but it is at my parents home in Sydney,” Eliza responded, “Same but in Adelaide,” Melina added, “I never leave home without it,” Declan said smiling, “We both have one, but at home and the boys don’t,” Uncle James said, “Actually, that is not correct, I grabbed ours at the last moment,” Tim said, which caught Uncle James by surprise.

“Ok, that is better than expected, no doubt our guests have theirs, since they are from the UK, so we just have the two stewards and the two boys to worry about, I will get onto the Department of Foreign Affairs to see if we can fix that, if you have at least two forms of ID with you that would be helpful, that is all for now,” Angela said to the crew.

Once there was just the senior crew and us boys on the bridge, Angela turned to face Uncle James, “Dr, do you have any forms of identification for the boys?” she asked, and Uncle James was about to reply when Tim interrupted, “I brought their Birth Certificates with me,” and Angela laughed, while Uncle James just looked at his husband in puzzlement.

Tim shrugged his shoulders and just smiled, “I will have a talk with you later, husband,” Uncle James said, and Tim just nodded his head yes, as he continued to monitor the sea ahead of them. “I will be in the ship office next door, to make a few calls, if anyone needs me,” Angela said as she exited the bridge.

Twenty minutes later, Angela returned to the Bridge, “Timor-Leste is a no go, they won’t allow us entry, because some of us don’t have passports, Tim I suggest we head due East, see if we can get clear of this beast, and return to the mainland,” Angela announced, “Righto Captain, turning due East,” Tim replied, as he turned the yacht.

“Where is the beast at the moment?” Toby asked, “I was referring to the cyclone as the beast, and it is approaching the North-West Corner of Melville Island, just 60 kilometres North West of the community we were just at, as it had changed to an Easterly direction and chasing after us at the moment,” Angela replied.

“Darwin Ports to Motor Yacht Going Straight, to you copy, over” came a call over the radio, and Angela walked over to the radio to answer the call, Going Strait to Darwin Ports, receiving you clearly, This Captain Angela Gibson speaking, over,” Angela said.

“Going straight, what is your current location and how many do you have on board, over,” Darwin Ports asked. “We are 10 degrees 46’ 27. 2 South, 131 degrees 28’46.2 East, heading in an Easterly direction away from the cyclone, over,” Angela replied.

“Copy that, we have the Cyclone’s location as 39 nautical miles North-West of the community of Milikapiti, Melville Island, with its current direction being the same as you at 5 kilometres per hour, and it has reached Category two strength, over,” Darwin Ports said.

“Thankyou Darwin Ports, we will continue to head east, we have a total of 11 crew, a medical team of 7 plus two international guests. We have plenty of fuel and food to last us for two weeks, so we will continue East until the cyclone decides where it wants to go, over,” Angela said.

“Roger that, good luck, Darwin Ports signing off,” was the last reply. “Well it seems that we are going on an extended voyage, I will go and update everyone on what is happening,” Uncle James said. “Will we be going back to Gove?” Toby asked as he and I followed Uncle James out of the Bridge, and downstairs to the Boat deck. “I’m not sure yet buddy, I think Tim and Angela will have to make that decision, depending on the tracking of the cyclone,” Uncle James replied.

A few minutes later we stepped into the Upper Lounge, where the guests and medical team were gathered. “Hi folks, can I have all of your attention please… This tropical cyclone, which is now a category two strength cyclone, seems to want to chase us, but it is only travelling at a speed of 5 km’s per hour, with it being not far north of the community that we left.

We are ahead of the cyclone by a long way, so there is no chance of it catching up to us. You may have noticed that we have changed direction again, we are now heading due east, and we are 128 kilometres or 70 nautical miles east and slightly north of the cyclone.

The seas will calm down a bit soon, as we move further away from the cyclone, and at the moment we are not sure of our destination, it all depends on the cyclone. We have plenty of fuel and food to last us for two weeks, so there is no worry about getting caught in its path.

We will you keep you updated as often as possible, Captain Angela and our engineer Tim, are working hard to make sure that we all stay safe, any questions?” Uncle James announced, and there was none, so he stepped closer to our guests to speak to them more quietly.

After the chat, Tracy announced that dinner would be served in twenty minutes time, and Uncle James indicated for Toby and I to follow him up to our deck and into the master suite. “Just a quick chat, I don’t want you boys to go outdoors for anything while we are at sea, as the risk of going overboard is quite real, when in rough seas.

Stay indoors and away from any external doors, which mean that your classroom is out of bounds for now, I will have one of the crew collect your laptop computers and books once it has stopped raining, so you can do your studies in your rooms, understood?” Uncle James said to us both, and we nodded our heads too say that we heard and understood what he said.

After dinner, Mrs Andrews gave us a small performance on the piano, which everyone enjoyed, and while some went into the cinema to watch a movie, others remained in the upper lounge, while Toby and I were sent to our cabins to shower and prepare for bed.

When I woke the next morning, the sun was shining through the window, so I jumped out of bed and after a wash and dressing; I headed down to the galley, noticing the time on the wall clock saying that it is just before 8 am. “Good morning young man, the usual breakfast?” Tracy said to me in greeting.

“Yes please, and an extra slice of toast please,” I replied, “Very well, go into the dining room, most people are in there already,” Tracy said to me, and a few moments later a stepped into the nearly full dining room.

Copyright © March 2020 Preston Wigglesworth. All Rights Reserved.
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Great chapter. An eventual time for the ship and her crew whilst they outrun the cyclone, getting the ship to safety.

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57 minutes ago, chris191070 said:

Great chapter. An eventual time for the ship and her crew whilst they outrun the cyclone, getting the ship to safety.

Fully expect some nautical drama soon.

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A Great chapter, I see that they are playing hide and seek, it can be fun, But no doubt the serious drama is about to begin

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🎵  The weather started getting rough,

The tiny ship was tossed,

If not for the courage of the fearless crew,

Their cookies might be lost....   🎶

😂😂😂

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On 3/22/2020 at 2:06 PM, travlbug said:

🎵  The weather started getting rough,

The tiny ship was tossed,

If not for the courage of the fearless crew,

Their cookies might be lost....   🎶

😂😂😂

Did you just make that up, or you know it from somewhere?

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Just now, quokka said:

Did you just make that up, or you know it from somewhere?

Oh hang on, is some of that from “ Gilligan’s Island

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It seems they got far enough away for the boys to wake up to sunshine.   Let's hope sunny days continue....

The ditty from Gilligan's Island in comment above was spot on!

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8 hours ago, quokka said:

Oh hang on, is some of that from “ Gilligan’s Island

I was waiting for someone to say something! 😂

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