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    quokka
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Top End Doctor - 23. Dr Chapter 23

“Hey boys, well the yacht is still anchored offshore, so if you want to go there, I will call the lads and they can take you over there and keep an eye on you both,” Angela responded, and we agreed to the idea.

Minutes later, Dean and Lance were taking us to the yacht, in the sports boat, and pleased to be in a familiar environment, we headed for the upper lounge to watch a movie on the large television.

When Uncle James arrived on the yacht, along with Angela and Declan, we set sail for home, while Tim was driving the vehicle home. As soon as the yacht was moored, Toby and I headed for our little hideaway, were we watched a movie, until we were called to the house for some lunch.

In the afternoon, Toby and I headed for the boardwalk, to have an even closer look at the jungle garden that Tim and Uncle James had created, and when we where not that far from the hidden boardwalk to the jungle house, I noticed something hidden in the jungle on the opposite side, and I stopped with Toby walking into the back of me. “Hey, why did you stop so quickly?” Toby complained rubbing his sore face, and I just chuckled.

“You should watch were you are walking little brother,” I replied, as I began to look at the nearest bigger trees to see if I could find… “Got it,” I called out, as I found a hidden swing rope, and I straight away swung off the boardwalk and into the garden, landing on a hidden boardwalk, about 8 metres away, before sending the rope back to Toby, and he soon joined me.

“Wow, another hidden board walk…. And look there is something through there,” Toby said excitedly, as he followed me down the boardwalk in the middle of the jungle. As we got closer, I could see that it was a semi enclosed octagonal gazebo, with half walls from the floor, which is raised off the ground, just like the jungle house is.

Along with the solid roof, there is also foldable storm shutters, and in the centre there is a narrow spiral staircase leading up to a square lookout, which also has a roof, half walls and storm shutters, and from there we could just see the top of the jungle house, and easily see the main house.

The lookout has bench seats on all four sides, which are 80 centimetres wide, wide slates and they are all boxed in. going back to the main level of the gazebo, there was bench seats on every second side, and another door, that leads to another boardwalk, where a tiny hut is just ten metres away.

“I think that might be the outhouse, go and see if it is,” I said to Toby, who soon returned, “That is not an outhouse, it is a toilet, and it has a small hand sink and water tap that works,” Toby informed me, and I just smiled and nodded my head in understanding.

“Let’s head back to the house to tell Uncle James that we have found the hidden gazebo,” I suggested and we headed back to the main boardwalk and the quickest way back to the main house. We found Uncle James and Tim in their private lounge chatting when we arrived, and we were both smiling.

“Hmm, what do you think Tim, have they been up to mischief or have they just had a lot of fun exploring?” Uncle James said to his husband, “We found something,” Toby said excitedly, “We found the hidden gazebo and bathroom,” I announced. “I see, well it took you boys long enough to find it, we thought you would have founded it weeks ago,” Tim responded, and Uncle James laughed and nodded his head in agreement.

“What did you think of it?” Uncle James asked us. “Real cool, I like it, especially that it has a toilet, since the jungle house doesn’t have one,” I replied. “Did you find anything interesting in the gazebo?” Tim asked us, “No, should we have?” Toby asked. “Is it the tropical fruit trees that are growing around and near the gazebo? I asked.

“Well done, and also if you looked carefully at the upstairs benches, you would have found a small latch on each one, if you unlock it, then you can flip the benches over, and the other side has sleeping mattresses, so there are four beds. Also around the underside of the spiral stairs, there are heaps of cupboards, including one that has a sink and bench plus a small fridge underneath the sink, and another cupboard stores pillows and blankets,” Uncle James announced.

“Oh, wow, that is cool, so a second jungle house, but it has half walls instead of full walls,” I said surprised, “yes that is about right, and at the moment just us four know about the jungle house and the jungle gazebo,” Tim replied.

We decided to stay at home for the rest of the afternoon, as Uncle James said that we would be attending school with the other local children on Monday, which meant we had to go with Tim at 8.15 in the morning, to get to school in time, which starts at 8.30 am, ends at 2.35 pm, with 5 ½ days of school each week.

Over the next month, Toby and I settled into our new school environment, which was a bit better than studying on our own on the yacht, while building works continued in the township. Ms Parker and Ms Wright were able to move into one of the holiday units that were now completed, having spent the past month living in one of the villas in the holiday park.

Mary Pincher and Grace Emmanuel who have taken up two more of the units, and have combined forces to build nine holiday villas, on the west side of Balanda Drive, on the corner of Marege Drive and they are simular in design to our holiday units bit are a little larger in size, and with that happening, Tim decided to make the units that we own be made available for permanent residents only, giving the ladies a more permanent home.

Seamus and Irene have demolished their holiday home, and will be replacing it with three holiday villas, and they too have moved into one of the residential units, plus they have leased the commercial building next to the general store and set up a commercial bakery business. All of the commercial buildings have been completed, and Angela has established a general store in the largest commercial building on Prau Street, plus the last two industrial sheds have been completed.

Another feature that has been completed recently, is the now bigger northern seawall, and the new southern sea wall, with a jetty on the south wall, and between the two walls, is a row of thirty centimetre diameter poly pipes that have been filled with concrete, and rammed into the sea floor, with a fifteen centimetre spacing between each pipe, creating a strong fence that will keep out all crocodiles, but still allow easy flow of water with the adjusting tides.

The top of the poly and concrete pipes is just one metre above the water at high tide, and depending on the level at low tide, there is only about half a metre of water at the pipes. On the pipe in the centre, and at the end of each sea wall, there is flashing warning beacons, to alert boat operators of the hazards, as the posts would be very hard to see at night.

To complete Tim and Uncle James’s input in helping to rebuild the township all that is remaining now is to build the small airfield terminal and aircraft hanger, with work already started on raising the airfield higher, to reduce the risk of flooding, and increasing better drainage.

The other is to build the four buildings of the CSREP – Community Sport, Recreation and Education Precinct, with the purchase of some extra land, making it 62 acres in total, to allow room for the establishing of a 9 hole golf course, a plus a football oval, eight tennis courts and a four lane lawn bowls pitch.

With two of the buildings running horizontally West & East, and the other two buildings running vertically North & South, they will be positioned to create a large central courtyard, which will have two paved areas, and a mixture of Mediterranean plants, mainly Olive trees, Rosemary and Lavender Shrubs and trellises with Ivy growing on them, for a relaxed social gathering place.

The building containing the Community Swimming pools will be on the north side, where all of the 40 parking bays will be located. The Community education centre will be facing west, while the Community Recreation Centre will be facing east, this leaves the Sports Club Rooms, to be facing south towards the outdoor facilities.

The planned layout of the sports facilities, will be a line from the centre of the sports club, where an access path will be located, which will separate the tennis courts and lawn bowls on one side from the football oval on the other side, while at the end of the path is the start of the golf course, with the 1st and 9th holes being the closest.

The other improvement to the community is a four times weekly ferry service from Cullen Bay to Dundee Jetty, which takes two hours and twenty minutes. The Monday service departs Cullen Bay at 8 am, with a return departure of 12 noon, a Wednesday service departs Cullen Bay at 10 am and return departure at 2 pm, a Friday service departs Cullen Bay at 3 pm and return departure at 8 am Saturday morning, and Saturday service departs Cullen Bay at 3 pm and return departure at 3 pm Sunday afternoon.

With the ferry crew staying overnight on Fridays and Saturdays, Tim organised for one of the residential units to be reserved for the ferry crew for Friday and Saturday nights. Although the ferry can carry a maximum of 32 passengers, it is enough to give the Dundee community a boost with tourists, and Bill Hunter was flat out with hiring out his dinghies, as well as doing fishing tours in is 25 metre catamaran vessel, which can carry 18 people comfortably for a day fishing trip or it can accommodate 12 people in the 4 guest cabins for an overnight fishing trip.

With the help of Tim, they established 4 mooring berths, in the sheltered area just north-west of the main sea wall, which allows Bill to have is vessel anchored there all the time when not in use, and leave three moorings for visiting vessels.

Before the holiday villas were completed, Mary and Grace were pleased that they were already booked for the first five weekends starting next month, when the nine villas are completed. Already George and Gladys have their Holiday park villas booked out for two months, and the camping ground, is about half full with caravans and campervans and trailers, most weekends, even with it still being the wet season officially.

When the accommodation is full, they always refer enquiries to nearby Sandpalms, who have a twelve room motel complex and space for camping as well. With the large increase in tourists coming to Dundee, George and Gladys are preparing to have six modular cabins installed in their holiday park, to cope with the increase numbers.

When not gardening, the lads, Dean and Lance have been keeping very busy with assisting with cleaning duties at the Lodge Holiday Park, as well as cleaning the community buildings. With one side of the residential units full with local staff, Tim decided to make the other six units available for tourist guests, even though they are just very basic two bedroom units, because of the high demand for accommodation.

Angela was always very busy with work in the general store, and often required Tracy to come into town to assist her, especially on stock days, and Irene O’Donnell was doing very well with her bakery, cooking up some delicious treats for the residents and tourists.

The week before the Easter long weekend, and is also the official start of the dry season, the O’Donnell’s have their Villas completed, as have Grace and Mary, and it didn’t take long for all accommodation to be booked out for the long weekend, which is also the start of the school holidays.

In an emergency community meeting held the week before the Long weekend, it was decided that we needed some rangers to monitor visitors when staying in the community, and Dean and Lance were volunteered to be the rangers by Tim, and they had no choice but to accept the position, and Harry managed to locate a copy of the NT Local Governments Acts for Rangers Services, which the lads sat down to study, before the big weekend.

Copyright © March 2020 Preston Wigglesworth. All Rights Reserved.
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Going too smoothly, yes, too smoothly for Quokka. He has a tendency to stir things up from time to time (like two storms combining into a class 5!).

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