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Top End Doctor - 5. Dr Chapter 5

Mr Hope and Dr Shaw in the owners suite and the boys will be in the two twin guest cabins, on the owner’s deck,” Angela said to the deckhands, “Yes Captain,” one of the lads said, as they headed inside with the luggage. “We also have some extra supplies for this evening’s celebrations, and…” Tim stopped talking when he saw a group of adults in their aged in their thirty’s and dressed to party,approaching the yacht.

“Can I help you?” Angela called out to the group, “We are wondering if you are doing a charter for tonight’s New Year’s Eve festivities, we have $250 each if that is enough to charter your yacht until just after midnight?” one of them responded, Angela and Tracy looked at Tim and Uncle James for a response.

“If you think you can handle it, yes go for it, we might as well put it to good use while we are here,” Tim said to answer their looks of enquiry. “Yes, we can do that for you for that amount, for just eight of you only and no more, starting at 6 pm, to allow us a couple of hours to prepare.

We will provide 3 serves of alcohol per person, unlimited soft drinks and juices, pre-dinner snacks, a three-course dinner, and none of you are to be intoxicated when you board the vessel, or the deal is off, $500 deposit up front, and the remaining $1500 when you board the yacht at 6 pm,” Angela called out to the group, who were 4 couples, that seem to be all good friends.

“You have a deal lady, may I come onboard to discuss it?” one of the men replied, “If you are the responsible person for your group then yes, you can come and have a look, and discuss the terms, and I am the Captain of this yacht, Mr,” Angela replied. “Boss, can you or the good doctor here, please take me to the shops to get some food supplies, as we may need some extras for this group,” Tracy asked, and Tim handed over the car keys to Uncle James, who followed Tracy off the yacht.

“We are going to explore the yacht and find our cabins,” I said to Tim, who nodded his head, as he watched the new guest and his partner, walk up the gangway, while we walked into the saloon, as the two deckhands appeared, “Ah, hi can you remind us where our cabin is please?” I asked.

Through to the lobby, and down the straight stairs to the left, as you enter the passageway, your cabin is directly opposite the stairs. May I ask why your brother is limping?” one of the deckhands asked, “I guess you need to know, we were in a bad car accident that killed our parents, Toby was injured a lot worse than me, and Uncle James is our guardian now,” I replied. “Oh, we see, so sorry to hear you lost your parents, Master Reid and Master Toby,” the other lad said, before heading outside.

We found our very spacious cabin, with our bags sitting on the beds, and after checking out the other guest cabins, we went into the crew area, where there is the crew mess, laundry, stores, and the other crew cabins, heading back the way we came, we wentupstairs to the main deck, where we found a private dining room, a wine store, and the huge galley, where we found Tracey. “Hello boys, do you need anything?” she asked us, “No thanks we are just exploring the yacht,” Toby replied.

Back in the main lobby, we discovered that the yacht has a lift, but we decided to take the stairs to the next level up. Forward of the lobby, we discovered the owner’s suite, which is huge, and beside the lift we found a door leading into a 7-seat movie cinema, and at the very back of this deck is a huge lounge room, which includes a television viewing lounge.

Returning to the lobby, and headed up the stairs again, and this time we headed towards the back and through a door to an undercover outdoor saloon, with outdoor dining and lounge space. As we headed forward, we entered the main bridge, where Angela was seated at the table studying something.

“Hello boys, have you been exploring the yacht?” she said to us, “Yes, Ma’am, and it is so big, can almost get lost here,” I replied, “That is true, the only other room on this deck is my quarters back there, you can have a look if you wish,” Angela said,
“No thank you, that is your own personal space, thank you anyway,” I replied, as we exited the bridge, and headed up the stairs again, where we arrived on the Sun deck.

“Wow, what a view from up here, this is awesome,” Toby said as we looked around the huge space, with a row of bar stools along the front to enjoy the view, sunbeds, a large jacuzzi, and at the back, more sunbeds and lounge chairs. Heading back down to the owner’s deck lounge, we found some board games in a cupboard and began to play Monopoly. About half an hour later Tim walked into the lounge, “Ah there you two are, I have been wondering where you are,” Tim said to us, “Just relaxing and settling into our new home,” I replied, and Toby nodded his head in agreement.

“Ok, good, well as you saw earlier, we will have 8 guests with us from 6 pm until about half past midnight, and they will have access to the Sun deck, the outside area of the aft bridge deck, the main saloon and aft deck. I suggest you all stay indoors, either in this lounge, or on the lower deck, as all external doors will be locked on the Bridge and Owner’s decks, as well as the doors to the main lobby and dining room, so if you need anything, just pick up the internal phone and press the Galley or Steward buttons, and the lads will attend to your needs during the night.

The family and crew will all eat in the private dining room at 7 pm, so we are well out of the way of the paying guests, ok?” Tim said to us, “That sounds good, so can we order anything we like? Toby responded, “No, it is already after 3 pm, so you are allowed a few snacks and maybe a milkshake, then you will have to wait till dinner time,” Tim replied.

“What are you and Uncle James going to be doing tonight?” I asked, “Well, I will be assisting Captain Angela on the bridge, and Uncle James will be assisting Tracy in the galley, and once our guests have left, we will get some sleep, before heading back home to get packed for your move to Nhulunbuy,” Uncle James replied.

The evening was fairly uneventful, as Captain Angela took the yacht out for a cruise down the harbour and into the Elizabeth river, as far as the Channel Island Bridge, the around two mangrove islands, as we head back towards the centre of the harbour, before going into Woods Inlet, and back, then up to Mandorah jetty, and back across the harbour and up to East Point, then down the coast, passing the museum, the casino and Mindil Beach, before returning to the Marina, with us taking it nice and slow, to keep the yacht as smooth as possible for the guests.

During dinner, Tim told us the route that we are taking, that gives the guests a variety of scenery, especially with a near full moon, providing plenty of light to be able to look around, and Captain Angela informed us that she had plotted a 70 kilometre or 38 nautical mile journey, which at 7 knots would take us about 5 ½ hours to complete the journey, with a stop near Mindil Beach to watch the fireworks.

Tracy made a three-course meal for the guests, which was served on the bridge deck outdoor aft dining table, where they are protected from the rain, but can still enjoy the spectacular tropical thunderstorm on display. Lance and Dean did a partial strip show for the guests, which went down very well with the ladies, as both of them looked to work out regularly, and Uncle James even played some Jazz on the baby grand piano, after allowing them to use the Panorama lounge as well, as we retreated to the sky deck to soak in the hot tub jacuzzi.

Once we had seen in the New Year and the guests had disembarked at 12.15 am, we all headed to bed to get some sleep, with plans for a late breakfast at 10 am. When we gathered in the main saloon for breakfast, I noticed Uncle James seemed to be thinking about something.

“What is that saying, when you see someone thinking really hard?” I asked, and Uncle James smiled, “It is, a penny for your thoughts, why is that?” Tim responded, “Because dear, Reid saw that I was thinking of something,” Uncle James said, “Oh! And what was it that you were thinking?” Tim asked his husband.

“I was thinking that if we keep the number of crew down to a bare minimum, to what it is now, then we could use the rest of the money that would usually go into crew wages and meals, to providing a service to people who are less fortunate than us,” Uncle James replied.

“Has this got anything to do with your work as a doctor?” Tim asked, and Uncle James nodded his head yes, “The health of the more remote population of the Indigenous communities has been a concern of mine for quite some time now, and with us having this yacht, it means that we could get to a lot of the remote coastal communities,” Uncle James said.

“You have thought about this a lot, haven’t you?” Tim asked, and once again Uncle James nodded his head yes. “Very well, does that mean that you are going to decline the transfer to Nhulunbuy?” Tim asked, “No, I think we can start in that area first, I am fairly sure there are a lot of coast communities South of Nhulunbuy that don’t get access to regular health checks,” Uncle James said. “Very well, I will support you 100% with this project, you make all the arrangements and the yacht is yours to use as a floating medical facility,” Tim said.

On the way back home, Uncle James asked to be dropped off in Casuarina, so he can start doing some planning, and he said he would catch a taxi home when he is finished. It was just before dinner time when Uncle James finally arrived home, and he looked fairly tired, so Toby and I didn’t hassle him, and instead Tim lead him into their bedroom, so he could rest.

When Tim returning to the main living area, he was smiling, “Good news, because of the problem of with the accommodation in Nhulunbuy, your Uncle James was able to defer moving there, with the doctor he was supposed to replace, agreeing to stay for a further six months, and no he didn’t tell them that his family now owns a small floating hotel, Tim said to us.

So, what are we going to do for school, when it starts in two weeks’ time?” I asked, “Once you uncle has had a short lay down, he will tell us what he has been doing most of the day,” Tim replied. Was its Uncle who called you a couple of times today?” Toby asked, “Yes, it was him, we are working on this idea of your uncle’s with helping remote communities,” Tim replied. So, will we be staying on the yacht, when travelling to these remote communities?” I asked.

“Ask your uncle when he comes out for dinner,” Tim responded, as he headed to the kitchen to finish preparing dinner, which are always very nice. During dinner, Uncle James explained that he had been having meetings with the Northern Land Council, and representatives of the Tiwi Regional Council, about making regular medical trips to the Bathurst and Melville Islands, to take care of any medical needs required, and that they are thinking about allowing it, on a trial basis, to see how the communities reactions are to this new service, which would mean less trips to Darwin for medical check-ups and treatments.

Copyright © March 2020 Preston Wigglesworth. All Rights Reserved.
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Awesome chapter, I like that they are going to be helping a crowd of forgotten People, interesting times ahead

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