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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.

Unexpected Journey - 7. UJ Chapter 7

With no passengers, and just 5 crew plus Mum and I, we were looking forward to this trip down the coast. The crew had enjoyed their three days on Christmas Island and were a lot more relaxed, and we planned to spend just a few hours looking around each of the small towns that we call into on the way down the coast.

The Captain asked me if I wanted to learn more about sailing the yacht, and I eagerly accepted the challenge, and so apart from manning the helm, I spent the next week learning everything from night and day navigation, by using the stars and a sextant, as well as the more modern technology of satellite navigation.

I also learnt how to plan journeys, using ocean navigation maps, understanding shore-based navigation aids, and identifying lighthouses, by the number of flashes, and the time between each flash. Learning all about weather reports, tides, wind directions, ocean currents, and learning the terminology for each operational part of the yacht, and how to get up the mast in a Bosun’s Chair, to untangle any ropes or wires.

By the time we neared our destination, my head was so full of information, I was not sure where I was or what day it is, but Mum reminded me that it was January 2nd, as we had stopped briefly in Kalbarri on New Years’ Eve, leaving the next morning, soon after dawn, at the start of a New Year.

With it being school holidays and a Saturday afternoon, the boat harbour was quite busy, with plenty of fishing pleasure boats in the area, and when we were a few kilometres to the north, we started to get a lot of attention, since we are quite an unusual site.

I was at the helm, with Hans standing beside me, when my mobile phone rang, and I placed it on the navigation dash and pressed accept. “Hello Buddy, how was your trip down the coast, you know you have attracted a lot of media attention, since leaving Christmas Island” I heard my good friend Curtis said.

“Hey mate, yeah, it was a blast, where are you at the moment?” I replied.

“Watching you coming into Ocean Reef, where else would I be” Curtis replied, which made me laugh.

“Curtis, this is Captain Hans speaking, I need you to do me a favour, are you standing anywhere near the big shed just north of the boat harbour,” Hans said interrupting the discussion.

“Yes sir, I am standing on the Breakwater wall, near the big jetty, why do you ask?” Curtis replied, “Because the big shed and the jetty just inside the breakwater wall, is Mr Matias’s property, and I need your assistance to moor the yacht when we get there” Captain Hans replied.

“You may have a problem with that sir, as there are two pleasure boats moored at the jetty, and kids on the beach and swimming near it” Curtis replied.

“Damn, that is not what I wanted to hear. Ok, do me a favour, call the local council or police or whoever you can, to get that area cleared, as we will come in there in less than half an hour, we will head out to sea a little bit to give you some more time” Hans said to Curtis.

“Yes, sir, I will get right onto it, actually, my parents are both here, and my dad is calling someone now, as he heard everything you said, Curtis responded.

“Good, call us back when it is all clear for us to come in, bye for now,” Hans said and I pressed the end call button, as we prepared to go about, and head out to sea.

About twenty minutes later, my mobile called again, but the signal dropped out before I could accept the call, and so Hans turned the yacht and headed East towards the coast, and about five minutes later the phone rang again, and this time I was able to answer it.

“Hi Captain and Matias, it is all clear for you to come in now, the local Council rangers are here and have ordered everyone off the small beach and away from the jetty, the owners of the two boats were not too pleased about being forced to move, but it is done, and there is just Dad and me on the jetty, ready to assist with mooring the yacht” Curtis announced.

“Good, we will be there in about twenty minutes,” Hans said.

“Ok, no problem, man you have attracted some major attention here, I can see all the members of the social club all gathered on their front lawn waiting to see you come in, plus there are media news crews from three television stations here, and the whole upper carpark is jammed pack full of cars, with the council rangers closing off the road down to the boat ramps, which is half full” Curtis said to us.

“Curtis dear, can you put your Dad on the phone please,” Mum said, and a few moments later a new voice spoke on the phone.

“Is that you Mary?” he asked, “Yes, hello Hugh, can you please walk towards the big shed and don’t let anyone near you, as this cannot be overheard?” Mum said to Mr Kingsley, as she too walked away, so she had some privacy. Ten minutes later, Mum returned to the outside helm, and handed me, my phone which I pocketed.

“What’s with all the hush-hush stuff Mum?” I asked.

“Nothing much, I just had Mr Kingsley unlock the pedestrian door to the shed, which has an electronic keypad lock, so I just needed to give him the code, so he could turn on some lights, and start up some fans in the shed” Mum replied.

“Oh, ok, I didn’t think it would be that sophisticated,” I said.

“Uncle Jake had some security specialists come in from Norway, to install it about five years ago, soon after he bought the Schooner Eldorado, and because it is European, no one in Australia knows its system, which makes it a lot more secure, especially with a 10-digit numeral and alphabetical code” Mum said.

“Wow that many? I think I will leave it up to you with regards to access to the building” I replied as we were now less than 1 ½ kilometres north of the entrance to the harbour, and about 600 metres off the coast, and we could see a long line of cars parked along the side of the highway, so they could watch us sail in.

At half a kilometre from the mouth of the harbour, Captain Hands gave the order to lower the sails, and so Sven, Marcus and I got to work to lower the two main sails, so there was just the front main jib out. At 250 metres, Hans ordered for the Jib to be furled, which Sven did, and almost straight after, we felt the rumble of the engines being started, as we began to quickly slow, once well inside the harbour, with not much room for a big yacht like mine, Hans turned the wheel sharply and we swung left towards the shed, then towards the jetty.

As the yacht continued to swing around, Hans adjusted the engines, until we were alongside the jetty, and drifting towards it sideways, with the bow of the yacht facing West, and with Sven and Marcus holding the mooring ropes at each end of the yacht, they threw them to Mr Kingsley and Curtis, who quickly placed them over the mooring posts at each end of the jetty, and Marcus and Sven pulled in the slack of the rope, till the yacht was up against the jetty, and the mooring ropes were secured.

I opened the side door, that allows access to the main deck from the jetty, and Curtis jumped onboard. “Hey buddy, welcome home” Curtis said wrapping me in a tight hug, “I have missed you since we left the island” Curtis added softly so that only I could hear him.

Once Curtis has let go of me, after squeezing the stuffing out of me, he turned to Hans, “That was some very fancy parking you just did there Captain, very impressive, and all caught on news cameras too” Curtis said smiling, as he pointed out the tv cameras on the shoulders of reporters on the nearby boat landing, which made Hans groan in displeasure.

“Never mind Hans, just think of all the wonderful free publicity that we are getting” Mum said as she appeared from down below, now dressed in a colourful summer frock, that went down as far as her knees, and she carried a tray with fruit cocktail drinks on them for everyone, including extras for the Kingsley family, who had now joined us, on the main deck.

As I was drinking the fruity drink, that contained pineapple, mango, apricots, orange and lemonade, I glanced at the big shed behind us, and I was surprised at how well it is disguised, with coloured corrugated iron to help it blend in to the surrounding dunes and native bushes around and along the top of it.

“I only had a chance to have a quick look inside, but from what I saw, it is very impressive,” Mr Kingsley said to me, “That it is, now you work as Law clerk if I remember correctly?” I asked.

“Yes, I did, but now I’m a junior lawyer, what are you thinking Mr Matias” Mr Kingsley said calling me by the name the crew call me, “Oh, I was just thinking, I may need some help with establishing a new business, in the area of sailing charters, and wondered if you would be interested in a part-time job” I replied.

“Mrs Kingsley is a part-time bookkeeper and admin manager for a primary school, maybe she would be of more use” Mr Kingsley responded.

“What are you volunteering me for now, Hugh, it better not be without my input,” Mrs Kingsley said as she approached.

“No Grace, Mr Matias here has offered a part-time job here, to assist with establishing a new sailing charter business, and I suggested that you would be better suited to the position,” Mr Kingsley said.

“I see, well we will discuss it, and get back to you on that matter, now what are we going to do with this lot approaching us,” Mrs Kingsley said pointing out the approaching media.

“Do you deal with media relations at the Primary school, Mrs Kingsley? I asked innocently, which made both Mr Kingsley and my mum laughed.

“Very clever, Mr Matias, and if I am going to be your employee, please call me Grace” Mrs Kingsley replied, as she put down the glass of drink and stepped on to the jetty, to intercept the approaching media, before they stepped onto the jetty, which had a big sign on it – “Private Property, No Trespassing”.

Grace made a point of looking at the sign, which gave the media the hint not to step onto the jetty itself. “Are you the owner of this sailing yacht, and can you tell us some more about it?’ one of the reporters asked, pointing the microphone is Grace’s direction after asking the question.

“Good afternoon, my name is Grace Kingsley, I am the media liaison for Madsen Sailing Adventures. I have a statement to make, and I will take just two questions afterwards. The Schooner Eldorado is formally from Norway, even though it flies a Dutch flag, as that is where the yacht is registered.

Up until a little over a month ago, she was doing charters in and around Scandinavia. After the passing of the previous owner, the yacht was placed on a cargo ship and sent to Singapore, where the Great Nephew of the past owner took possession of the Eldorado.

She is a 38 metre Schooner and can have a maximum of ten crew and eight guests. Over a few days, she sailed from Singapore to Christmas Island with 5 guests, spending a few days over Christmas there, and this is where the guests left the yacht.

With five crew and two owners, they have spent the past week sailing from Christmas Island to here, with stops at Exmouth, Denham and Kalbarri” Grace said calmly, as we watch from the main deck.

“Your Mum is really good at this” I whispered to Curtis.

“Ms Kingsley, have you sailed on board the Eldorado?” another reporter asked.

“Yes, my husband, son and I, were three of the guests on board the Eldorado, from Singapore to Christmas Island, and it was a very enjoyable trip, with the crew being very professional at their jobs, and I look forward to spending a lot more time on board her. Next question?” Grace responded.

“Ms Kingsley, you stated that Madsen Sailing Adventures owns this yacht, Eldorado, yet there is no listings or advertising for such tours, can you explain this please?” the reporter asked.

“Sure, the Eldorado was purchased by Mr Jakob Madsen a bit over five years ago, and that is the name of the business when it was operating in Scandinavia, and the company plans to retain that business name for operating sailing adventures here in Western Australia.

I must stress that this is the first day for the Eldorado in its new home base, so we have to give the owners and crew time to get everything in order before this will begin to happen, now I will take one last question” Grace said.

Copyright © 2019 Preston Wigglesworth; All Rights Reserved.
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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.
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Awesome chapter. They certainly got the attention of the media and public on arrival. Let the adventures begin.

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Very good chapter, talk about getting thrust into spotlight, I foresee really Interesting times ahead.

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No new chapter till Monday now, as the 2nd Chapter of my other story - Heartache &Terror, is due for posting tomorrow.

Q

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