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Top End Doctor - 28. Dr Chapter 28

“There are more of them?” Dean asked, “Yes, you remember those two sailors who jumped ship, well it appears that they were animal smugglers, and when they jumped ship they brought a large collection of birds and lizards with them, so far all we have see are Iguanas, and there are about twelve species of lorikeets and parrots, that have made our jungle garden their home,” Uncle James explained.

“Oh wow, can we see them please?” Declan asked, “Go on boys, go and show them our little hideaway and the nesting area of the birds,” Uncle James said, and so Toby led the way up past the house and along the boardwalk.

“I can hear some of them now,” Lance stated when he stopped to listen, and the others stopped too, and we were just five metres away from the swing rope. “Sounds like it is coming from deep in the centre of the garden,” Declan added as he pointed inwards, not noticing that Toby and I had already swung into the hidden boardwalk.

“Hey, where did the boys go?” we heard one of them say, and Toby laughed out loud, “Ok boys, where are you?” another one called out, and I swung back to the main boardwalk, just metres ahead of them. “Hey, where did you suddenly appear from?” Declan asked me.

“That is the secret, which you must keep; no one else is to know, well except for Mr & Mrs O’Donnell who will be looking after this place while we are away. Ok grab the rope and swing that way, you will see another boardwalk appear, and swing the rope back to us,” I instructed the lads, and a few minutes later, everyone was on the hidden boardwalk.

“Wow, this is totally awesome,” Dean said, I agree with you Cuz,” Lance added, while Toby and I just smiled, “That is not all of it, see through there,” I said pointing towards the gazebo, and we made our way in that direction.

After showing the lads the gazebo and the jungle house, we returned to the main house, where we raided the pantry for some snacks. “Declan, since Mrs Kennedy had left us a little earlier than expected, would you mind being our main cook here at the house and when on the yacht?” Uncle James asked.

“I see no problem with helping out here in the house, but when we are at sea, it is going to be hard to do the cooking and skipper the yacht,” Declan replied, “You have a good point there,” Uncle James replied. “Dr, my cousin and I are fairly good cooks, our grandmother taught us cooking when we were teenagers, and we are happy to give it a go, and I am sure Declan here will give us some pointers,” Dean said.

“Yes, all too happy to pitch in, our grandmother is from Sicily, so as you can imagine, we have it in our blood to be good cooks,” Lance added. “Do you speak Italian too?” I asked, “Si, e anche siciliano, which means, yes, and Sicilian too,” Dean replied.

“We mainly speak Sicilian when we are at home with all the family gathered, with English as our second language and Italian as our third,” Lance added. “Ok, you lads are now our official cooks, here and on the yacht, which allows Declan and I concentrating on skippering they yacht.

Lets head down and have a more detailed look at the yacht, and work out where everyone is going to sleep, when we do set sail,” Uncle James said. “Reid and I have already worked out our cabins, I have the port side aft twin cabins, and Reid has the port side double next door,” Toby announced.

“I see, well as long as you are both happy with that selection, that is fine with me,” Uncle James responded, “If I may suggest sir, the master cabins is the port side forward cabins, which I think would suit you,” Declan suggested. “And since you are going to be the skipper, you cab have the starboard aft double crew cabin,” Uncle James replied.

“I guess that leaves us with the two Starboards single cabins just forward of Declan’s cabin,” Lance said, “What does that leave us with?” Uncle James asked. “A king singe crew cabin forward of the crew’s mess on the starboard side, and two large double guest cabins on the forward main deck,” Declan replied.

“I guess we can use them for paying guests, that we may encounter, that want to experience a sailing holiday,” Uncle James suggested, and the lads all nodded in agreement. Once down on the yacht, we explored the yacht in great detail, with Dean and Lance concentrating on what the galley, pantry and stores offers in the way of storage space, and cooking equipment.

Although not an engineer, Declan does have a Certificate 3 in Diesel Mechanics, which will come in handy with Tim no longer around, so he had enough training and knowledge to deal with most situations regarding the diesel engines on the yacht.

“Dr, it appears that Mr Hope has done a full service on the motors, as I have located an engine maintenance log book, with his name and signature being the last entry,” Declan announced after climbing out of the engine compartments. “That is excellent news, so all we have to do is improve on my sailing skills, and we should be ready to do,” Uncle James replied smiling.

“Galley and pantry are all in good conditions, we have tested all the equipment, and all is working,” Dean announced as he and his cousin appeared from the pantry area, and we all took a seat in the main saloon. “Right, first thing we need to know, when does everyone finish their current jobs?” Uncle James asked.

“Friday for us two,” Lance responded, “Same for me at the bakery,” Declan added, “Good, then on Friday evening, we will move onto the yacht, and begin our training first thing Saturday morning,” Uncle James announced.

“How long will this training go on for?” Toby asked, “Until skipper Declan here is satisfied that I am skilled enough to skipper the yacht on my own, and there will be no short cuts with this, as we all need to be very comfortable with living and working on the yacht together as a team,” Uncle James replied.

Three days later, the three lads arrived in the dinghy with the last of their luggage, and once the dinghy was unloaded, they returned it to its storage area on the yacht, before they took their luggage down to their assigned cabins, and then moved all the food from the house to the yacht.

Uncle James, Toby and I have packed what we need to tale with us, and the rest has been stored away in the two safe rooms, for when we return, and we spent Friday night on board the yacht along with our three crew members.

During dinner, Uncle James announced that he had made a decision on where we are going, and that is to go down the West coast of Australia, with a number of stops on the way. “I think that is an excellent idea boss, we have seen enough of cyclones for a year or two, and I have never been to the West,” Declan stated, and the other lads agreed with their crew mate.

“Good to hear, now over the next week, while Declan and I are mastering the skills of skippering, I would like to see us all have a go and different duties on the yacht. Nephews, your jobs apart from doing your school work, which I have not forgotten about, will be to help in the galley with stacking the dishwasher, sweeping floors, and help the lads with doing laundry.

Dean and Lance, we are going to train you with at shore duty watch, which basically means staying up have the night guarding the yacht when we are anchored in or near a town. Declan and I will do our fair share of cooking and other galley duties, so we all get a bit of variety with work,” Uncle James announced.

“Can we not have school work during this trip?” Toby complained, “No, education is very important, so you will have to resume your home schooling studies,” Uncle James replied. “I think that we can survive doing school work on the yacht,” I responded, even thou Toby still wasn’t too keen on the idea.

The next morning, I woke up early when I felt the yacht moving, and glancing at my clock and deciding that 6 am was too early, I rolled over and went back to sleep. When I woke up again about an hour later, when the yacht was moving up and down a fair amount, and I staggered out of bed and went to the bathroom to wash up and use the toilet, before getting dressed.

Since our cabins are accessed from the aft deck, the hatch door was closed, so I slid it open and climbed up the steps, before closing the hatch again and headed indoors. Declan was at the helm controls inside, with Uncle James close by, and I sat down and watched from the main saloon lounge.

Toby arrived a few minutes later, and he was not looking to happy, “Come and get me next time, I had troubles getting the hatch open on my own,” Toby grumbled to me, “Sorry bro, I will do that next time,” I replied, as Dean and Lance appeared from the galley, with a tray each and they placed them on the dining table.

“Breakfast is served, pancakes with fresh fruit, tea and fruit juice,” Dean announced, and with a little bit of adjustment to our walking we made it to the table, after the yacht went over a wave and crashed down the other side.

“Wow, rough weather,” Lance commented, “Sorry, I am trying my best to give us a smooth sail, and according to the radar, it should last for only another half an hour or so,” Declan said, as Uncle James came to the table and plated up some pancakes and fruit, before delivering them to Declan.

“You eat that, I will have mine when you take over, once you have finished,” Declan said and Uncle James staggered to the table and sat down. “How did this yacht get the name Tropical Sphere?” Lance asked when he and Dean sat down to eat.

“Well I am only guessing, but since this is the slightly smaller sister yacht of Hemisphere, I guess it comes partly from that,” Uncle James replied. Just then a flash of blue came into sight, and a squawk signalled the arrival of the Blue Macaw, who I had nicknamed Blue Beard, as he landed on my shoulder.

“What are you doing here Blue Beard, you are meant to be at home?” I said to the bird, before giving him a piece of banana. “Shiver me timbers,” Blue Beard said which made us all laugh, “And he talks too?” Declan said from the helm.

“Walk the blank, walk the plank,” Blue Beard said which had us laughing some more, and I rewarded him with another piece of fruit, before he flew out and landed on the aft railing, where he turned around and dropped a poop into the water. “House trained too, by the looks of it,” Uncle James stated.

“It appears that he is full of surprises,” Dean stated. “Scrub the decks, scrub the decks,” Blue beard responded, and we all laughed. When the weather settled down a little, with calmer seas, we were able to relax a little, as Uncle James and Declan continued to take turns at the helm of the yacht, both inside and up on the fly bridge. We were in sighting distance of the western point of Bathurst Island, when we did an about turn and headed back home, arriving back at the home jetty at about 4 pm.

Once we had tied up at the jetty, Uncle James asked us all to take a seat in the mains saloon, “So, what is everyone’s thoughts about today’s sailing trip?” he asked us all, “Shiver me timber?” Blue Beard squawked, “Ok that is one view, that it was a rough trip,” Uncle James said straight after, and everyone laughed.

“I agree with Blue Beard, we did have a bit of a rough trip, but I think that it was good that we had a bit of rough weather, not that we are not new to it, but experiencing it on a sailing yacht, gave us a different feel of it, and made us think more about the yacht, and the sails,” Declan stated.

“I think that it was good to get used to sailing yachts again, I have missed the sound of the wind in the sails,” Dean said, “I agree with you on that Cuz,” Lance responded. “What about you boys, what are your thoughts” Uncle James asked us boys. “It was awesome,” Toby replied and I nodded my head in agreement.

Copyright © March 2020 Preston Wigglesworth. All Rights Reserved.
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Awesome chapter. It sounds like Uncle James and the boys have a new crew and are ready for some adventures on there yacht. It looks like they my have a Blue Macaw, named Blue Beard joining them on there travels.

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The catamaran will have a different movement or roll than the yacht and it's good that no one got sea sick.

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