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    quokka
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

Tough Times - 2. Tough Chapter 2

“We have discussed this between us and with our parents over the phone, and we would like to invite you to be part of our crew on paid charters,” Brady added. “Jacob and I are happy to share a cabin, so that you can have your own crew cabin,” Trent added, with Jacob smiling and nodding his head in agreement. “I don’t know what to say guys, that is very generous of you,” I replied.

“It is our pleasure, and we need an extra deckhand when we have all three guest cabins booked, as there is always plenty to do,” Brady said to me. I was quiet for the whole trip back to the caravan park, sad that I had return to the basic living there, after two nights and days of pure luxury.

On the Wednesday evening, after a rather dull two days of doing very little, apart from laundry, and cleaning the caravan, I retired to bed at a reasonable time, and after an hour, I managed to finally to get to sleep, only to be woken sometime later, by the sounds of banging and shouting and even some screaming.

Putting on some clothes, I struggled out of my van and was unexpectantly confronted with a group of men with baseball bats, wearing black clothes including hoodies to hide their faces. One of the men came charging towards me and raised his bat to hit me, when I collapsed, and before I backed out, I heard someone say “Leave him, he is a nobody.”

When I woke up, I saw the familiar face of Brady looking at me with a very concerned look on his face, and there were red and blue flashing lights all around me. “What happened, why am…?” I mumbled before it all come back to me, and I began to shake and had trouble breathing, and all of a sudden two ambulance officers appeared and I must have blacked out again, as the next time I woke, it was morning and I was in a very comfortable bed.

The familiar sound of water lapping against the hull, made me realise that I was back onboard the yacht again, but this time in the guest twin cabin. A few minutes later there was a knock on the door, and it opened, where Kyle appeared, dressed in a business suit with an apron over the top, and carrying a tray.

“Good morning, I have made you some breakfast, there is plenty of food in the galley, so make yourself at home, you will be staying here from now on, this will be your allocated cabin. Brady packed most of your clothes from the clean laundry basket pile, which have been put away, so you have plenty of clothes to wear.

Brady will come and check on you sometime around lunch time, and I will be here to make you dinner and stay overnight, like I did last night. I have to dash to work now, so just relax and enjoy what is on offer onboard, and I will see you later in the day,” Kyle said to me, as he placed the tray on the bed.

“Thank you mate, you really didn’t have to do this,” I responded, “It is our pleasure, now eat up and relax and I will see you later, oh and by the way Marissa and Marlena may call in and check on you too, as Marlena was one of the ambulance officers and paramedic that attended to you last night,” Kyle said before giving a short wave and leaving.

Just before midday, while I was just relaxing on the lounge on the fly deck, I heard the sound of footsteps on deck. “Hello Devlin, are you here?” a woman’s voice called out to me, “Yes, up here,” I called back. “Hi, I am Marlena Andretti, and Marissa is in the galley preparing lunch, how are you feeling today?” I was asked, as Marlena began doing some medical checks to see how I was going.

“I’m no doctor, but from my observations from last night, I believe that you had a panic attack. Have you been diagnosed with anxiety and panic attacks before?” Marlena asked me, as she checked my pause and blood pressure, and made some notes in a pocket notebook.

“No, not that I am aware of, I blacked out a couple of times last night, that is about all I remember,” I replied, “Hmm, your blood pressure is still a little high like last night, I would suggest that you go and see your GP and have a proper check-up,” Marlena said to me.

“I haven’t seen the family GP since… well in quite a few years now, and I am not sure if they still have all my records anymore,” I replied. “Ok, I will talk to my cousins and see if we can set something up for you,” Marlena said as she put away her stethoscope and BP Cuff in her large hand bag.

I enjoyed a relaxing lunch with the two ladies, and as they were preparing to leave, Brady arrived, also dressed in a suit, and looking a little tired. “Hey buddy, you look like… well like you haven’t slept,” I said to Brady as he sat down next to me at the dining table, and moments later Marissa returned with a plate of food for Brady.

“Thanks cousin, I really need this, it has been a long day so far, I have only managed two hours sleep since attending last night’s incident,” Brady said smiling, as he began to eat.

“We will leave you in Brady’s care. Oh, and cousin… Devlin needs to go and have a medical check-up, preferably today and here are the notes from last night and today,” Marlena said before handing over two sheets of paper before they headed off the yacht.

Brady informed me that they had caught three of the culprits from last night, but the main man involved had manage to get away, but they knew who he was, and said that he would be caught soon. I was also informed that my caravan had been badly damaged during the incident, with most of the windows smashed in, and large dents in the outer walls of the van, plus the awning had been slashed.

Brady also mentioned that apart from most of my clothes that are now in my cabin, the rest of my clothes, shoes, and other belongings, including my wallet, mobile phone, computer and printer are all safe, and currently stashed at Brady’s place, and that he would bring it all over later today, as I would not be returning to the caravan park.

This news was quite a surprise for me, as I just presumed that I would return to the caravan park, once the caravan has been repaired. “Are you really sure about this, I mean letting me stay onboard the yacht?” I asked, “Yes mate, we had a family conference via telephone, and everyone was in agreement.

You will now be our yacht caretaker, living permanently onboard, and we will discuss your duties at a later date, all you have to do for now is to rest and get over this terrible event, oh and also get ready for a charter that we have booked for this weekend.

It will be a full crew, so if you don’t feel up to helping out with everything that has happened, that will be fine, you can just relax and enjoy the trip,” Brady said to me. After Brady had left, I went into the galley and washed the dishes, which didn’t take long, and I spent the next few hours looking around in greater detail, to see where everything onboard is located.

After making myself a snack of sandwiches and a cup of tea, I repeated my look around the yacht, so as to get familiar with it, and remembering exactly where everything is. I was relaxing in the crew mess when I heard a telephone ringing, and it sounded like that it was coming from the yacht office next door.

The door was unlocked and slightly open, so I entered and went to the deck and picked up the standard telephone, “Hello, this is sailing yacht Anders Way, how can I help you?” I said hesitantly into the telephone. “Good afternoon, this is William Price, my family and I have a charter with you this coming weekend, starting from tomorrow afternoon,” came a response.

“Yes, Mr Price, how may assist you, my name is Devlin, I am one of the junior crew members,” I said as enthusiastically as possible, “I was wondering if you have any extra cabins available, as we have some friends that would like to join us for this charter?” Mr Price asked.

“I would have to consult with the skipper on that matter, can I please take you telephone number, and I will get back to you as soon as I can?” I replied. As soon as the call ended, I hit the fast dial number for Brady on the telephone, and waited, but it eventually went through to voicemail, so I left a message asking Brady to call me back as soon as possible as it was regarding this weekend’s charter.

About an hour later, I finally receive a call back from Brady on my mobile. “Hey buddy, we need to make some changes, if that is ok with you, Mr Price our lead charter guest has booked an extra two cabins, including yours, so I have decided to put all the guests midships and forward on the starboard side, so you will need to move to the engineers cabin, next to me and the laundry, while Kyle will have the aft guest cabin on the other side.

Can you please make the move and put your sheets in the laundry, we will sort out making up the beds and cleaning the twin cabin when we get there later tonight,” Brady announced to me. “Sure boss, not a problem, I will get straight onto it, I will see you later, bye,” I said ending the call before Brady could say any more.

For the next few hours, I moved all of my belongings down to the aft guest cabin, which was a lot more comfortable, before I stripped the sheets off my bed, and the spare bed, and put them in the washing machine in the laundry and got that started, before going to the linen cupboard, and getting fresh sheets and towels, and I made the beds, before thoroughly cleaning the bathroom and wiping down all surfaces and the floor in the cabin itself, and closing the door.

Happy that I had completed that, I went and checked all of the other guest cabins, and freshened them up a bit, as some stuff was not quite in place, since the sailing trip to Rottnest last weekend. When that was done, I was feeling very tired, so I went and laid down in my new quarters, and surprisingly fell asleep, and I woke to the sound of a knock on the door, and Brady peeked in.

“Hey sleepy head, I see you have been very busy this afternoon. Marlena is very impressed with your work today on getting all the guest cabins ready, she didn’t have to make any changes or adjustments at all,” Brady said to me smiling, as I sat up stretched and stood up.

“Is she here now?” I asked, “No, she just called in to see what needed to be done to get ready for tomorrows charter, but you have done most of it for her. She headed back home, since she is working again tonight,” Brady replied. “Oh yeah, paramedic, that must be a stressful job to do that,” I said.

“Now, let’s get going, you have a doctor’s appointment with our family doctor,” Brady said to me, and a few minutes later, after locking up the yacht, we were on our way out of Fremantle. After the doctor’s appointment, we headed back to the yacht, where I discovered the main saloon full of people, and soon realised that it was the full crew, plus two extra people.

“Oh hey, you are back, Devlin, I would like you to meet Christina and Julia Eddington, who are sisters, and work in housekeeping at the same hotel where Marisa works as a chef. They will be joining us for this charter, since we have additional guests coming,” Kyle said to me as we entered.

“Nice to meet you both,” I responded, “Kyle and I had a discussion earlier, and although you have less experience, we will be appointing you Devlin, as Bosun, since the lads are still under age, even if it is only by a few months, and they are happy with this decision.

Do feel free to ask them any questions if you are uncertain about anything, but from what we observed last Sunday, we feel that you are quite capable of handling the job” Brady said to me. Kyle took over the briefing from there. “Ok, with crew accommodation and duties sorted, we will need to be back here by 1000 hours tomorrow, to make final preparations, provisions will arrive at 1100 hours and the guests are due to arrive at 1500 hours, with departure soon after.

Now that all the crew are here, I can go through our charter guest info sheet. There are no issues in regards to food, there is a request for a lunch beach party on Rottnest, with a Beach Volleyball game with guests verse the crew…” Kyle announced, and he waited for everyone to stop chuckling or commenting about that before continuing.

“As I’ve told most of you, we will be overnighting at Rottnest on the first night, and Lancelin Island on the second, with a stopover at Guilderton on the way back on Sunday. Total sailing distance will be about 137 nautical miles over the two and a-bit days, and we will be at anchor for all meals.

With nine crew and ten guests, we should be able to handle any request that our guests ask for, and in regards to the guests, the forward guest cabin will be made into a twin, as we have six adults and four children for this charter, two are aged 8 and 11 years and the other two are 14 and 17 years. Any questions?” Kyle asked.

With no response or questions, Kyle called the crew meeting to an end, and after most of the crew had left, I asked Brady about why we starting a charter during a working weekday. “That is easy, we all have very understanding bosses, and since most charters are booked about a month ahead of the charter date, we are able to arrange time off for all crew members,” Brady replied.

“Do you have any set destinations that you go to for charters?” I asked, “Yes, mostly just to Rottnest, but we do have a three islands charter that includes Penguin and Carnac Islands plus Rottnest, which is overnight and one full day. This charter this weekend is our first extended charter, and it is why we have employed two additional crew members, to make sure everything runs smoothly,” Brady replied.

“So, I will have Trent and Jacob as my deck team?” I asked, “That is correct and either Kyle or myself to help out when we are not skippering the yacht. I am fairly sure that Malena and Marissa will be able to manage things with our additional two interior crew members,” Brady replied.

“What do you guys do in your spare time, or don’t you have any?” I asked, and Brady laughed at this, “To be honest, with our other project, there isn’t really that much spare time at all,” Brady replied. “What other project?” I asked, “Come with me and I will show you,” Brady replied, as we headed for the bow and stepped off the yacht.

“Will the yacht be ok unlocked?” I queried as we walked down the jetty, then turned onto another one, where Brady came to a stop in front of a Motor Sailer, that looked to be a little over twenty metres long. “Kyle and I bought this about a year before the Anders Way arrived, as our weekend getaway from all our work pressures.

She is a 24-metre charter Motor Sailer, with accommodation for a master and two crew, plus four cabins to accommodate ten guests, the forward V berth cabin has 4 single bunks, and there are three double cabins.

Copyright September 2022 All Rights are Reserved, Preston Wigglesworth
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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