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    quokka
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Top End Doctor - 7. Dr Chapter 7

“This yacht is our work and home base, it was inherited by my husband, and at first we were not sure what to do with it, and my plans to spend 12 months working in Nhulunbuy changed due to housing issues, so we came up with this idea of providing a free medical service to the remote communities, and our first trial area is the four communities on the Tiwi Islands, Uncle James said.

“Wonderful, I have always wanted to visit there, and now I get the chance of doing that for free,” Charmaine said smiling, “How are you with travelling by sea?” Uncle James asked, “Good, I have been out fishing many times, I have steady sea legs,” Charmaine replied. “Excellent, we are currently on aft main deck, meaning the back of the yacht, on the second deck,” Tim said, “Yes, I am familiar with most boating terminology,” Charmaine said, as Toby and I came down stairs from the Sky deck, after soaking in the tub for an hour.

“Boys, this is Mrs Charmaine Quinn, she will be the Nursing manager for our project, Charmaine, these boys are my nephews Reid and Toby Templeton, I am their legal guardian, after their parents were killed late last year,” Uncle James explained. “Nice to meet you both,” Charmaine said, as we joined them at on the lounge.

“We, that is James, the boys and I have a crew of just four, Angela is the yacht’s Captain and paramedic, Tracy is our executive chef, and we have two deckhands, Lance and Dean Tomkins, who are first cousins, and it is hard to work out who is who, as they look so much alike.

Where the boys came from is the Sky deck, with a jacuzzi and sunning area, some of it is shaded, the next deck down is the bridge deck, which has the bridge and the Captain’s quarters, the next deck down is the owners deck, which is off limits to everyone except senior crew and my family, just inside on this deck, is where we have turned the main saloon into two clinic rooms.

On the port-side is the private dining room, on the starboard side is the main lobby, spiral stairs up, and the straight stairs down to the guest cabins, in front of the stairs is the main galley, pantry and stores.

On the lower deck, the guest spa and massage area, which has been made into a third laboratory, ahead of that is the engine room and other work areas, beyond that is the laundry and the crew areas, which are off limits.

We have stocked up the clinic rooms over the past week, if there is anything that you suggest we should add, just let me or James know. Boys would you like to give Mrs Quinn a tour of the yacht, she can see all areas except occupied cabins, the bridge, owners deck and engine compartment,” Tim said to Charmaine and to the boys.

“This way please, we will start with the sky deck,” Toby said, as he led the way along the starboard side of the yacht before heading up the first lot of stairs, to get to the top. “The jacuzzi is cleaned every morning by the deck crew, and it is a constant warm temperature and salt water,” I informed Charmaine.

“What are you boys going to be doing for schooling, will you be on the yacht all the time?” she asked us, Uncle James is our guardian, so we have to go where he goes, and we have been getting home schooled since getting out of hospital. Tim’s work is based in Darwin, so he stays home, and will only be joining us when he has some spare days off, we live not far from the university,” Toby responded.

“I see, well I also have a Diploma in Teaching, so maybe I can help you with your school work, when I am not working,” Mrs Quinn said, and we both just smiled and nodded our heads in understanding, trying to commit ourselves to a promise of any kind, as we continued to show Mrs Quinn around.

When we arrived on the boat deck I stopped at the mini suite, “This door is your cabin,” I said to the lady, and I opened the cabin door and stepped back, to let her pass. “My word, this is absolute luxury, almost like a hotel suite, but more compact, a lot more than I expected,” Mrs Quinn said from inside, and a few moments later she exited the cabin, “there are four double cabins and one twin cabin on this deck,” I said.

After showing Mrs Quinn around the whole yacht, including the laboratory, we found Uncle James and Tim standing on the wharf chatting to someone. “Thank you boys for a detailed tour of the yacht, I will see you in a day or two,” Mrs Quinn said as she headed down the gangway off the yacht, and we headed back to the upper deck.

Within the next four days, Uncle James had his first medical team, and now with heaps of medical supplies that had been purchased in the past week, we were told that we would be leaving any day now for our first medical mission to the Tiwi Islands.

Apart from Mrs Quinn, who has agreed to staying full time until at least the end of the dry season this year, we have for this mission, a GP Doctors, who is a surgeon, as well as an ophthalmologist, a dentist, who will be allocated a double guest cabin each, and a surgical general nurse and a dental nurse, who would be accommodated in the twin cabins on the main deck.

I was told that we have on loan a portable X-ray machine, a variety of diagnosis instruments, plenty of vaccines for the common preventative illnesses like Whooping Cough, Measles, Chicken Pox and Meningitis, plus a mini lab for basic diagnosis of common illnesses, with the lab being set up on the lower level.

Mrs Quinn had settled into her cabin, and was working with Uncle James to set up a timetable, plus they had been gathering information about previous illnesses and injuries, with the help of the only Doctor on Bathurst Island, and planning a briefing for the medical team when they all arrive, on the afternoon before departure.

On the last afternoon before leaving, Angela and her crew, which now includes two stewardesses, Marlina Jackson and Eliza Yates, who have worked together on other yachts, with Marina having Chief Stewardess experience, had finished preparations for the arrival of the medical team, which had increased by two, with an additional doctor, plus a male nurse, so all double cabins and twin cabins will be used, leaving the two larger suites empty as Uncle James had planned.

As we finished packing and are preparing to travel to the yacht at Cullen Bay, Tim announced that he was taking a week off work to join us for our first mission trip, to make sure that the yacht’s engines operate correctly, even thou he had already gone through everything since the yacht’s arrival in Darwin. Uncle James also announced that with the additional mission staff, he had decided to employ an additional steward, who also has kitchenhand experience, with his name being Declan Sengler, and that he is from Tasmania.

Uncle James also mentioned to us, after consultation with Captain Angela, that the extended deck store on the owner’s deck, which has been empty for some time, would be an ideal location for my brother and I to use as a classroom for our school studies. Right away I asked that Mrs Quinn not be told about this, as they would prefer to do the home schooling without her teaching assistance, and thankfully he agreed to this.

When we arrived at Cullen Bay, the deckhand lads welcomed us on board, and assisted us with all of our luggage, which was quite a lot, since we will be spending more time on the yacht than we will be at home. “Lads, where is everyone?” Uncle James asked Tompkins cousins, “All of the medical team are on board, and are in the private dining room with Mrs Quinn holding a briefing” one of them replied.

While Tim, my brother and I head up to our accommodation, Uncle James headed to the private dining room, to participate in the briefing. After we had unpacked and put away our belongings, Tim lead us back towards the deck store, which is a little under double the size than my cabin, where there is three windows on each side, two doors forward in each corner and one door aft on the side.

Between the two forward doors there is a bench, and another bench is located along the full length of the back wall, with a large pinup board above it, that has a world map and a map of Australia on it. Above the forward bench, there is a large whiteboard above it, and Toby noticed a projector attached to the ceiling.

“We have had technicians in most of today, installing the projector, which can be used for conferencing, as well as looking at educational films, plus there are now enough power points in the room, mostly along the back wall,” Tim said to us. What’s in the two boxes? I asked, “Your classroom chairs, which don’t have wheels and once they are put together, they will be fixed to the floor,” Tim replied.

On the port side wall, below the windows is a three shelf book case, which already has some text books in them, with a wide elastic band preventing them from falling off the shelves in rough weather. On the starboard side, the is a two shelf book case, that contains a number of history, geography and nature documentary DVD’s, and by the smell of the room, it has been recently painted, white with light blue trims.

Tim left us to get settled into our new classroom, leaving the box that he had been carrying on the floor, and peaking inside, we found more books and DVD’s, which we sorted and placed on the shelves. Once we had done that we headed back down to the main deck, where we nearly bumped into Uncle James. I was just coming to get you, come with so I can introduce you to the medical team,” Uncle James said as he turned around and we headed to the private dining room.

“Right folks, these two lads are my nephews, Toby and Reid Templeton, and I am their guardian, since the death of their parents last year, and they are part of this crew. The handsome gent who just walked in is my husband, Timothy Hope, who is the chief engineer and first mate of this vessel.

As mentioned in the telephone interviews, we are a privately owned and operated medical mission, and as mission staff you only have access to certain levels of this yacht, which is the general areas of the Boat deck, Main deck, and the small part of the lower deck where the laboratory is located, plus the aft section of the Owner’s deck, which is the helipad. All areas marked crew only plus the forward Owner’s deck and Bridge deck are off limits.

Apart from us four, there are seven other crew on board, of which you have all met the two deck hands, cousins Lance and Dean, we also have two stewards, Marina and Eliza, plus a galley hand Declan, and finally our chef Tracy and our captain Angela.

We will be departing at 0700 tomorrow morning, and arriving at the first Tiwi Island community at approximately 1100 hours, which is a four hour trip, and yes before you ask, it is slower than the ferry, due to it being able to travel a lot faster than us,” Uncle James said.

“Any questions for Mr Hope or Mr Shaw?” Mrs Quinn asked, and with there being none, the briefing ended, and we walked out of the room, “We will be on our deck,” I said to Uncle James, who just nodded his head, and we headed upstairs, but instead of going to the next deck up, we headed for the Boat deck aft lounge, as I wanted to tryout playing the piano.

In the short time that we have been living in Darwin, we had heard Uncle James play the piano a number of times, and he or Tim would have the radio tuned into the classical music station, so I wanted to try and play some of the music that I had heard.

Copyright © March 2020 Preston Wigglesworth. All Rights Reserved.
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It’s a go for the medical mission which will start with the Tiwi Islands. Toby and Reid have a class room aboard the yacht so they can do their studies while they’re on the mission trip with James and the medical staff. Tim has taken a week off so that he could make sure there aren’t any problems with the engines on the yacht. 

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On 3/22/2020 at 4:21 AM, travlbug said:

I wonder why Toby and Reid don't want Mrs. Quinn's help with their studies. I would think they'd be glad of someone to answer their questions.

The ship's complement of doctors is well balanced and should prove effective in accomplishing the mission.

I thought the same thing, that it was odd that the boys didn’t want her help although she does have a lot on her plate 

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Bft

Posted (edited)

@quokka there is a small typo in paragraph 24 you have T8m I read of Tim, or was he hungry 😋? 😂

Edited by Bft
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ok now the mission begins 🙂 

there should be more medical ship like this in the world to go in places with no medical help !

excellent chapter 👍

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