OCEANUS ADVENTURE #35

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

Chapter 13

Tony Hallbright felt the swaying under his feet. He had been on an oil platform before and he hadn’t recall it sway this heavily. But, of course, the other platforms were anchored to the sea floor. Oceanus was not. He drew open the curtains and saw that the sky was overcast with angry clouds. He turned on his TV which automatically opened to Oceanus’ News Report. Bree Grover, besides being the school teacher, was also the news caster for the early morning broadcast.

“Well, folks, radar had been following a class 3 storm from the northeast and is expected to hit in about 2 hours. Expect strong winds, heavy rain and thunder. Temperature will go down to the lower 70s to upper 60s. This morning, the outer rings is now being battered with upto 30 foot waves. Production operations are suspended and gleaning teams are to stand down. And for all the kids, you’ll be happy to know that school is also suspended. However, homeworks are still expected by me.”

Tony noticed his email icon blinking and clicked on it. It was from Dr. Mae Quimby who asked him to join them for a brunch at the director’s residence after he does his morning routine. He looked at his watch then dashed out of his quarters. He went down to the mess hall and grabbed a muffin and a bottle of orange juice. Then he proceeded to where he stowed his diving gear. Twenty minutes later, he was diving deep to about 30 feet accompanied by another diver. Because of the overcast, Tony brought with him some lights. When they reached 30 feet, he turned them on and was greeted by a dimly lit landscape of coral.

If he did not know any better, he would have thought that he was swimming in any of the many reefs in the Philippines. But this reef was not embedded on a rocky shelf. It rests on the deck of a super semi submersible ship which was once a de-commissioned US Navy heavy-lift ship capable of transporting 2 naval ships at one time. Whenever he dived down here, Tony cannot help but appreciate the inginuity of artificially transplanting living coral reef on this hull. He once asked Mae and Jona about the reef eventually eating its way through the metal but they reassured him that the deck and the hull was covered with layers of recycled trash.

Tony and his dive buddy swam across the width of the reef checking on the reef’s growth. At the edge of the reef, Tony noted an undulating yellow mass of moonlighters or as is commonly known as blue banded snappers. Tony first recorded this school of fish about a week ago and took note that the mass was bigger. Then a pair of large blue humphead wrasse emmerged from a cave and torpedoed themselves through the mass of snappers. After they ate, they both retreated back into their hole.

After a while, Tony then checked his watch and signalled the other diver that he was going up. The other diver acknowledged that he’ll finish the rest of the survey. Tony gave the OK sign. He had one more stop before he had to get out of the water. He looked up and saw 3 rectangular shapes side by side on the surface. He ascended to the farthest one to the right. It was the admiral’s boat house. He asked him to check on the coral beds under his window.

Tony approached the 7 foot wide underwater round portal of the admiral’s boat house. Just below it was a double shelf covered with artificial rock and living corals. Light from the admiral’s bedroom was shining on the beds of coral. As he slowly approached the miniature reef under the window, a variety of small colorful fish scurried into the numerous crags and crannies they like to hide into whenever bigger fish swim by. He saw that the anemones and the other soft corals were still quite healthy even when the water’s temperature went down a few degrees. He was quite pleased when a pinkish shrimp he recognized crawled out from behind a brain coral. But there was no sign of the juvenile eel that the admiral had not seen for a week. He took his flashlight from his belt and peered into the crags of the second shelve. Sure enough, the eel that he sought stuck its bluish-green head out. He tried to coax it out but then the eel’s head shot right back into its hole. At the same time, he was slightly startled by a grayish bobbing head tapping his shoulder. It was Flipper, Mae’s trained bottle-nose dolphin and holding to its dorsal fin was her daughter holding up a slate with a message saying ‘You are LATE for brunch!’

To be continued…

PREV


Note from the author:
Oceanus Adventure is a fun effort on my part to enter the wonderful world of creative writing. It’s a story of a group of people who launched themselves into the Pacific Ocean on an artificial island to solve the Great Pacific garbage patch. My hopes is that this will end up into a TV series.

Comments and idea suggestions will be most welcomed. I hope you enjoy.

OCEANUS ADVENTURE #34a

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

Chapter 12 continued…

“…That is the plan,” Jona said.

Robby looked at him questioningly.

“It’s the brainchild of our NCIS Agent-a-float here. She brought it to the admiral and he brought it to me.”

“You see, Robby,” interjected the admiral. “We want her to make a lot of noise. Except for us here, no one else know that Kina is a NCIS investigator. People think she’s an IT programmer. She’ll be able to nose around without being noticed too much.”

“Do you know how to program, Kina?” asked Robby.

“Four years Cal Tech, sir.”

“Well, Kina, I hope you find them before they irreparably damage Oceanus.”

At midnight, a shadowy figure was typing out a message on his or her computer console.

Attempt to disrupt operations failed! However, found vulnerable target that may cripple Oceanus for years… maybe for good. For plan to succeed… need a big diversion. Will send you signal for instructions.

To be continued…

PREV


Note from the author:
Oceanus Adventure is a fun effort on my part to enter the wonderful world of creative writing. It’s a story of a group of people who launched themselves into the Pacific Ocean on an artificial island to solve the Great Pacific garbage patch. My hopes is that this will end up into a TV series.

Comments and idea suggestions will be most welcomed. I hope you enjoy.

OCEANUS ADVENTURE #34

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

Chapter 12 continued…

“…Robby, what’s the word on the damage?” asked the admiral.

“So far, we got the machinery up and running…”

There was a loud insistent knocking on the door. Muffled voices can be heard outside. Then Alicia Buenaventura’s shouting voice penetrated through the sound insulators of the conference doors.

“Hello in there! I know you can hear me. The press demand entry…” She shouted. “And I know of the sabotages!”

“Oh great… Kina, you better let her in before she announces this to all the crew,” Jona said irritatingly.

She opened the doors and Alicia rushes in with a wireless microphone on hand and her camera man in tow with lights blaring.

“Director Quimby, can you confirm that this last breakdown was the fourth attempt of sabotage? If so, do you know who is behind this?”

“Miss Buenaventura, before you start your ‘freedom of the press’ jargon, let me remind you that you are here because of contractual arrangements with National Geographics, your employers,” Jona said authoritatively. “So, you are not technically here as a reporter of any news agencies. And so, you and your camera can very well make an about face…”

“But I’ve got the right to…” Before she could complete what she was going to say, Jona cut her off.

“Of course, if you do insist…” Jona went to the doors and opened it for them. “…my family as well as all the staff members will miss your company tomorrow. I hope you will enjoy the flight back to the Philippines. You should arrive at Cauayan City in around 9 hours.”

Alicia contemplated her choices and left the room with her tail between her legs. Once the doors were closed behind her.

Her cameraman asks, “What do we do now, boss?”

“We dig around quietly, of course. This story is too good to pass up.”

“I hope you know Jona that Alicia is still going to pursue this,” Robby said.

“In point of fact, Robby, I’m counting on it.”

“Huh? Are you sure? She going to be a pain in my behind going after this story.”

“And you are going to let her, Robby. That is the plan.”

To be continued…

PREV


Note from the author:
Oceanus Adventure is a fun effort on my part to enter the wonderful world of creative writing. It’s a story of a group of people who launched themselves into the Pacific Ocean on an artificial island to solve the Great Pacific garbage patch. My hopes is that this will end up into a TV series.

Comments and idea suggestions will be most welcomed. I hope you enjoy.

OCEANUS ADVENTURE #33

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

Chapter 12 continued…

“I wonder how he did it,” said Kina as she and Chief O’hare watched the surveillance videos a third time.

“My guess is that the saboteur had set up the failure before we installed the extra cameras,” said Chief O’hare.

“Chief, is the plant locked down?”

“Yup. Except for the repair crew, I have 2 of the major’s guys guarding the main door and 2 more roving inside.”

“Come on, Chief. We’ve got to go back inside and take a second look around.”

Two hours later, Kina and the Chief were giving their report to the admiral, Jona and Robby.

“We found out how they got in,” Kina said.

“They?” asked Jona.

“Yes, director. The Chief and I now believe that there may be more than 2 saboteurs here. One of them had enough tech savvy to manipulate our video feed. Let me show you.”

She played a video on the screen. What they were watching was a night-vision view of an external hatch with a running timer on the top.

“This is from the external camera covering the emergency escape hatch. Keep an eye on the handle bar at the time stamp 01:36:42.”

When the time stamp hit 01:36:42, the image of the hatch was the same except that the handle was slightly angled down.

“As you could see, gentlemen, this video was clearly tampered with.”

“How do you know that there are more than one guy behind this?” asked Robby.

“Well, sir, when the Chief and I went back into the plant, we wondered how none of our cameras picked them up. We surmised that my video network was hacked and the videos altered as you had already seen. Fortunately, I had 2 cameras that were independent and they both recorded this…”

The monitor screen split in half. Both images showed the same walkway but from different angles.

“Unfortunately, the cameras did not have night vision. The only source of illumination were a pair of red light bulbs about 20 feet away. Here they come.”

The videos showed two dark figures dashing past the cameras.

“I can’t see any of their faces,” said Robby. “Can you play it back again, please?”

Kina played it back.

“Do we have anything on these guys?” asked the admiral.

“Aye, sir,” responded the Chief. Kina rewound the video back, then froze it to where you can view both figures head to foot. “Do you see the support I-beam? That cross bracket just above the head of the tallest of the two is about 6 feet 5 inches. I am 6 feet 2. That makes the tallest of the 2 about 5 feet 10 give or take.”

“How many of the crew are of that height?” asked Jona.

Kina said, “Forty, sir.”

“I see. Well, Agent ʻAukai, you & Chief O’hare do have a job ahead of you both. In your hunt for them, try not to turn it into a witch hunt. Chief O’hare, when do you expect your security team to arrive?”

“In two days, Director.”

“Chief, what are their backgrounds?” asked the Admiral.

“Two of them are retired seals. The other four are former Shore Patrols. Top notch navy all, sir.”

“Outstanding! When they arrive, we’ll have an overall security overview. Robby, what’s the word on the damage?”

To be continued…

PREV


Note from the author:
Oceanus Adventure is a fun effort on my part to enter the wonderful world of creative writing. It’s a story of a group of people who launched themselves into the Pacific Ocean on an artificial island to solve the Great Pacific garbage patch. My hopes is that this will end up into a TV series.

Comments and idea suggestions will be most welcomed. I hope you enjoy.

OCEANUS ADVENTURE #32

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

Chapter 12

‘Behind me is the trash that we collected from the open sea, some 130 miles from the Republic of the Philippines. According to the chief of operations, our expedition from two days ago pulled in about 25 tons of plastics and other man-made objects.’

“Hey Alicia, are you trying to get yourself into trouble again?” asked Tina, one of the video producers. “Robby said only 10 tons was collected.”

“Well, then, I’ll look forward to getting a whole ear full from him,” Alicia said delightedly.

‘Earlier today, the expansive net that we used to gather all the trash was opened up and it’s content was dumped out. The next part of the process was the draining of the sea water. I was assured that the water was filtered of any man-made contaminants, that is residual chemical elements and compounds, before it was pumped back into the sea.

‘The trash was allowed to dry in the sun for about 3 hours. During that time, a number of Bajao women and their kids were allowed to scrounge through all that stuff by the administration to glean for recyclable items. One of those ladies came by to show me a pair of plastic children’s stools and a still fairly new Coleman cooler. I surmise that it recently fell overboard from someone’s boat.

The video transitioned to the trash being mechanically pushed into another greater pile which was also being fed into a conveyor that led to a building situated in the trees. Video transitioned again into an interior shot of the processing plant with Alicia standing infront of the conveyor with trash blurringly passing her.

‘We’re inside one of Oceanus’ two processing plants ready to turn these…’ She held up a handful of plastic bags and other discarded plastic items. ‘…into this…’ In her other hand, she held up a multi-colored cube (12 x 12 x 12 inch).

‘Now, we will show you a step by step process of…’ Then, there was a loud banging sound in the background. In the video, Alicia visibly flinched and alarmingly said, ‘What the @#$& was that?’ Alarms can be heard then the screen went blank.

“Well, Tina, will we be able to finish this video soon? I hate to broadcast an episode late. When did Robby say we shoot again?”

“He said repairs will be completed in 3 days. Meanwhile, we’ve got other materials to put together for an alternate subject.”

There was knock on the door.

“Come in,” Alicia said.

The one who entered was her sound man, Arturo.

“Ma’am Alicia… Ma’am Tina, I have some news about the breakdown. When I was storing the equipment, I overheard one of the plant supervisors talking to Director Quimby that this breakdown was no accident, but that is not all. This was not the first incident”

After Arturo told his story and left, Alicia was elated. “Tina, we’ve got an award winning story here. Imagine this headline: ‘SABOTAGE ON THE HIGH SEAS by Alicia Buenaventura’.”

“Well, boss, what’s the plan?”

To be continued…

PREV


Note from the author:
Oceanus Adventure is a fun effort on my part to enter the wonderful world of creative writing. It’s a story of a group of people who launched themselves into the Pacific Ocean on an artificial island to solve the Great Pacific garbage patch. My hopes is that this will end up into a TV series.

Comments and idea suggestions will be most welcomed. I hope you enjoy.

OCEANUS ADVENTURE #31

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

Chapter 11 continued

The next day, Robby was walking a steel walkway that went over pen number 9 to oversee that it’s content is processed.

“Is this the stuff that the Belinda pulled in from Ito’s hunting party?” asked Jona accompanied by Tony Hallbright.

“I estimate about 10 tons minus the 2 logs that Ito claimed. It’s a fair catch. However, when we add this to the material collected by our whiskers, it should add up to about 25 tons.”

“Whiskers?” asked Hallbright.

“Look toward the shoreline of the outer ring,” Jona said pointing. “Do you see the rows of what look like long fishing rods?” Hallbright nodded. “There are about 40 of them on this side of the outer ring and another 30 or so at the other side. Their design is to snag trash that ride the currents below us. Each rod are made from flexible carbon steel tubes embedded on secured mounts.”

“What about the fish-lines? They look like cables.”

“They are and with the tinsel strenght that can handle tons.”

“Hey, you’re not using sharpened hooks that can harm marine life, are you?”

“Are you kidding? Mae will skin me alive! She was the one that designed the grappling hooks. Come on, let’s take a closer look.”

Jona crossed the walkway followed by Robby and Hallbright.

“What is that smell?” ask Hallbright.

“It’s crude oil combined with rotting bio matter,” said Robby. “It’s coming from that.”

Robby pointed at the trash pile still in the net sitting in a pool of darkened sludge.

“You’ll get used to it. Come on… let’s catch up to Jona.”

They descended a set of metal steps onto the outer ring. Most of the landscape of the outer ring featured short mounds of tall yellowish grass that can easily grow in coastal areas. The highest areas of the outer ring rose to about 30 feet above sea level. Then, it sloped down onto a rocky shore. If it were not for the bouncy sensation, one would think that they were on any solid beach. Roaming the shoreline was a line of people picking up washed-up trash. They headed to the nearest fishing pole. A couple of Bajao teens were hauling in the cable line with gloved hands.

“The cable only go down about 50 feet under the surface,” explained Jona to Hallbright. “There are 4 sets of snag hooks spaced every 10 feet and an heavy weight at the end.”

When the boys brought up the first set, it was completely covered with all sort of discarded plastic strips and seaweed. One of the boys passed it to Jona. He stripped off the trash to reveal not a single hook but an egg shaped cage about 2 feet in length. And welded on the frame of the cage were hundreds of spikes.

“Your wife is a genius, Jona,” said Hallbright.

“She nicked name them ‘Porcupines’.”

Then, Robby’s radio squacked. “Hey boss! We’re ready to pump.”

“Go for it. We’ll be there soon,” Robby responded. “Come on, guys. They’re starting the processing.”

They worked their way back in time to watch a crew in green jump suits wading into the sludge handling large hoses.

“They’re siphoning the sludge out where the crude oil and other petrolium by-products are extracted from the seawater,” explained Jona.

“Where is it all pumped into?” asked Hallbright.

“There are holding tanks under the superstructure where your quarters are located.”

“What do you do with it?”

“When both tanks are close to full, a small tanker is summoned to pump out three quarters of it. We process the other quarter for our engines.”

Robby’s radio beeped three times. He cringed. This was the signal from his wife that she was on her way.

To be continued…

PREV


Note from the author:
Oceanus Adventure is a fun effort on my part to enter the wonderful world of creative writing. It’s a story of a group of people who launched themselves into the Pacific Ocean on an artificial island to solve the Great Pacific garbage patch. My hopes is that this will end up into a TV series.

Comments and idea suggestions will be most welcomed. I hope you enjoy.

OCEANUS ADVENTURE #30

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

Chapter 11

Robby was lounging on one of the couches of the TV room of the recreation center. He and Tess were just finishing watching the day’s recording provided by one of the camera crew who made an unedited copy. On the TV screen was the Belinda bringing in the bloated net of debris collected by Ito’s boats to the port side mid-section of the outer ring.

“Oh, I love watching this,” Robby said.

“Hey, Dad, what’s got your interest?” asked Rob Jr.

“Sit down, son, and watch how they transfer all that trash from the open sea into one of our collection pens without lifting it out of the water.”

“Great! I never get a chance to see this part.”

Rob Jr. plopped down on the couch next to his dad. The video was showing one of Belinda’s crew tossing a rope to an awaiting personnel in orange jumpsuits on the outer ring. They started to pull in the rope which was attached to the tow cables of the filled net. Then, the Belinda backed up a shortway.

“How are they going to get all that junk over the outer ring into the pens?”

“Just watch, son.”

The video showed the outer ring from the perspective of Belinda’s fly deck. What looked like a rocky breakwater was in actuality thousands of recycled plastic cubes fused together. The video started to pan to the left following the men pulling on the cable. They disappeared behind a long dark vertical wall with diagonal yellow stripes painted on it. It seems to be about 20 feet high and about 40 feet in length and made of steel.

“What is that, dad?”

“Well, son, if you bothered to get your nose out of your computer games, explore around and go outside from time to time like your little sister, you would have known that this was the port side gate into the collection pens.”

The gate started to slowly open until the top, of which, disappeared under the water.

“Oh, cool! it’s a massive drawbridge!”

A crewman in orange jumpsuit gave a whirling signal with his hand. Robby knew that was the signal to engage the winch. The tow cables went taut and not long after the bloated net was slowly pulled in.

“Wow! It looks like a big whale being pulled into one of those outlawed whaling ships shown in an old National Geographic films. And all that stuff is garbage?”

“Yup, son.”

Then, the screen went dark

“Hey, Tess? Where is the part when Alicia fell into pen number 10?”

“Oh hon, it’s not in that file,” said Tess. “I’m reserving that for tomorrow night. I promised Ito that he and his family can watch it with us.”

“Okay, I got to get up early tomorrow anyway. I want to process all that material by tomorrow night.”

To be continued…

PREV


Note from the author:
Oceanus Adventure is a fun effort on my part to enter the wonderful world of creative writing. It’s a story of a group of people who launched themselves into the Pacific Ocean on an artificial island to solve the Great Pacific garbage patch. My hopes is that this will end up into a TV series.

Comments and idea suggestions will be most welcomed. I hope you enjoy.

OCEANUS ADVENTURE #29

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

Chapter 10 continued

Kina was just coming down the ladder after setting up the last of surveillance cameras in the main processing plants.

“Agent ʻAukai, I still have one last camera with me,” said Chief O’hare.

“Come on Chief, call me Kina.”

“No can do, Ma’am. Career Navy, 22 years. Offer it to me when I’m retired. Now what do we do with the last camera?”

Kina took a long look around. Then she spotted a side utility hatch behind a metal rack of parts. She went to check it out. She and the Chief shoved the rack away from the hatch which was oval shaped. Printed on it was, ‘For EMERGENCY Use Only’.

“It’s cracked open,” said the Chief.

“There are no scratches on the floor,” observed Kina. “So, it has not been opened… probably since it was installed.”

“So, why is it unlocked?”

“That is a good question, Chief.”

Then they heard someone opening the plant’s main entrance. A voice called out humorously , “Is there a federal agent around here?”

Kina recognized Major Roque’s voice.

“Over here, Major.”

“Where’s here?”

“Right side… midway,” yelled the Chief.

The major came around some machinery.

“Ah, there you are. Hi Kina… Chief…”, said Jer. “Well, where do you want me?”

“Right on time, major,” Kina said sarcastically. “We just have to set up one more camera. Why don’t you go out and find out where this hatch exits? The Chief and I will check it out from this end.”

“On my way.”

The major took off toward the main entrance whistling. The Chief and Kina went to move the metal rack. To their surprise it had hidden casters. The Chief pushed the rack to the side as Kina closely inspected the hatch.

“Why would this emergency hatch be ajar like this?” she said rhetorically.

Then, there was a banging on the corregated wall.

“Hey Kina, can you hear me?” It was the major’s voice slightly muffled. “There’s a 4 foot high escape tube-tunnel that extend out to about 30 feet into the trees and it ends to another hatch. Do you want me to check it out?”

“No!” Kina shouted back. “Wait for us, major.”

She and the chief put the rack back. After she checked to see that one of her cameras covered the vicinity of the hatch, they went out through the main entrance to where the tube-tunnel was. The major whistled at them from the tree line.

The tunnel ended to a foliage covered shed and another round hatch. The major was waiting for them about 20 feet from the hatch under a tree. Kina and the chief stopped just short of it, inspecting the ground closely for footprints.

“It’s a good thing you didn’t approach the hatch, major.”

“Hey, I watched CSI,” Jer said laughingly. “It looked like someone swept the entrance area to eliminate footprints.”

Kina was inching her way to the hatch, when the chief called out, “Look at this!”

He was crouched down next to a bush pointing at a partial shoe impression.

“That is too small to be a man’s work boot,” the chief observed. “Of course, it could be a print of one of the kids.”

“But then why brush away the foodprints unless to hide his or her physical traits?” asked Kina. “Let’s place the last camera here to cover this hatch entry and see who will see.”

To be continued…

PREV


Note from the author:
Oceanus Adventure is a fun effort on my part to enter the wonderful world of creative writing. It’s a story of a group of people who launched themselves into the Pacific Ocean on an artificial island to solve the Great Pacific garbage patch. My hopes is that this will end up into a TV series.

Comments and idea suggestions will be most welcomed. I hope you enjoy.

OCEANUS ADVENTURE #28

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

Chapter 10 continued

Jer Roque settled back into the pilot’s seat. He took the drone out of auto pilot and by the look on the center screen, it was still orbitting Ito’s boat.

“Pegasus, Pegasus… this is Neptune.” It was the admiral’s voice. “Hey, Jer… it sure took you a long time to be in the head? Did ya have a hard time?” He said humorously.

“At least, the one that I used here was a lot more comfy than Ito’s bucket in a cubbyhole,” Jer laughed.

The admiral could be heard chortling in the speakers. “Yeah, Ms. Buenaventura’s still complaining about it,” he said in a low whispered voice.

“I heard that, admiral!” Alicia Buenaventura’s voice sounded in the background.

There was another bout of laughter.

Twenty minutes later, Jer saw that the boats reached the head of the flotsam.

“Alright, Neptune… you’re there. It’s scooping time.”

Jer banked to the port to watch Neptune unwind their main catch net which was about 600 feet in length and 30 feet in height. Just like every commercial fishing nets, this one had a string of floaters on top and weights on the bottom. Unlike other nets though, this net was fabricated in Oceanus, a lot more lightweight and it can stretch to twice its size, but had the tensile strenght of steel. Jer’s always amazed over the stuff that’s produced here.

The Neptune pulled away from the net. The other two boats headed for the two ends of the net. As both boats attached the net to their stern, Jer picked up the intercomm phone and punched-in 4 numbers.

“Hey Robby, they’re about to start scooping up the patch. It should take them 2… 3 hours top. I think we can send the Belinda out there now. Okay, thanks. See ya.”

He hunged up.

“Neptune, Neptune… Belinda will be there… ETA… about 1 hour.”

“Copy that, Pegasus,” said the admiral. “Hey Jer, are you going to hang around for awhile?”

“Sure, admiral. I’ll watch the show for a while. Besides, I still have my coffee to finish.” He slurped loudly, then said,”Mmmm… I really love the coffee blend from your stack.” He laughed out loud.

“You are cruel, Jer,” the admiral’s voice came in jovially. “No Christmas gift for you this year.” More laughter.

Jer watched the two small boats in full sails maneuver the net into the colored stain. The boats maintained an equi-distance of about 300 feet from each other. One hour into the operation, he could not tell how much debris was collected so far. But by the look of it, the net was visibly stretched far back like a bloated stomach. This caused both boats to angle their bows outward to maintain their equi-distance. The Neptune was about 2 miles behind and it had its own scoop net out. It was cone shaped and was 40 feet long. It was designed to collect tiny plastic particles. They’re collecting samples for the research group.

After about an hour, Jer called in the other pilot to take over. As he was exiting the control room, he bumped into Laura Kostas.

“Laura? What are you doing up here?” he asked surprisingly, not ever seeing her up here before.

“Oh, I’m exploring and… well, I’m also hoping to catch a glimpse of the drones when they come back from their mission. I’m sort of a RC nut.”

“I’m sorry, Laura, but the control rooms are off limits. However, one of the drones is coming back in about 20 minutes. You can watch the drone be snagged right out of the air at the flight decks above. Just tell the deck boss that I gave the okay.”

“Thank you, Major,” she said smiling then turned to walk toward the stair well.

Jer shrugged his shoulders then proceeded down below to meet up with the pretty NCIS agent.

To be continued…

PREV


Note from the author:
Oceanus Adventure is a fun effort on my part to enter the wonderful world of creative writing. It’s a story of a group of people who launched themselves into the Pacific Ocean on an artificial island to solve the Great Pacific garbage patch. My hopes is that this will end up into a TV series.

Comments and idea suggestions will be most welcomed. I hope you enjoy.

OCEANUS ADVENTURE #27

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

Chapter 10

Ito Ito was 40 feet up the mast scanning the glaring seas ahead. Normally, one of his crew would be up here, but he likes it up here especially if he could get away from Ms. Buenaventura and her camera crew even for a short time. He looks down and spotted her following his first mate who does not like being interviewed but he did draw the short straw. Ito chuckled to himself.

The wind is picking up again and by the rocking motion of his boat, the swells must be about 30 feet. There are no white crests which was to his liking. He spots his target up ahead. From his shirt pocket, he pulled out a printout photo of the debris patch that was transmited by the drone above. The printout showed a grid of 5 by 5 squares. Each square represented 100 by 100 feet. The floating debri field spanned about 3 grid squares. It was formed tightly together like a snake with its widest area being about 50 feet or so. The snakelike debri field is flowing with the current heading north by north east. Using a radio, he gave headings to the helmsman below. His plan was to have all 3 boats by pass its entire length and attack it from the north.

As his boat neared the tail end of the floating debris, it looked like brown-greenish chunky soup. Bobbing in the midst were larger items like broken plastic furnitures, rubber tires, detach buoys… He even spotted what look like a fairly new blue Coleman cooler. He surmised that it probably fell off a boat recently.

Ito signaled one of the smaller boats to sail down the starboard side of the long debri field with instructions to pull out from the floating sludge any over sized objects that might damage their catch nets. He and the other boat will go down the port side where he hoped to snag the prize of a pair of large driftwood spotted by the drone. Several minutes later, he spotted one of the floating logs but it was floating on the starboard side of the sludge. He signaled the other boat to pull it out and attached a GPS marker buoy on it for later retrieval.

Half an hour later, he located the other floating log about half a mile ahead in the middle of the flotsam. He radioed down to the helm to bring the boat closer to the edge of the debris field. He quickly grabbed a guideline and slid down on the deck in about 8 seconds. He then dashed back to the stern and grabbed his launcher. A waiting deckhand handed over the mini harpoon already tethered to an incredibly strong cable leader about 5 feet in length.

“Ah, Alicia… you and your cameraman may want to catch this,” said Tess excitedly.

Ito then trotted to the rear outrigger and jumping on it. He easily crossed it to the pontoon hull followed by a crew member who brought a coiled tow rope that was anchored at the stern. Balancing on the hull like a skilled surfer, Ito loaded the harpoon while the crewman attached the rope to the 5 foot cable leader. The boat was already skimming the edge of the sludge when he again spotted the driftwood. He figured that it was about 20 feet long and about 2 feet in diameter. He took aim, gauged the distance then pulled the trigger. He remembered to lean forward when the launcher fired producing an explosive bang pitching him backward but he kept his balance. He watched in slow motion the tethered harpoon sail smoothly in an arc then imbed itself on the end of the log.

“Wow! What a shot!”

There was clapping all around. He quickly crossed back to the boat and started barking order to the crewman. The crewman started to pull in the rope while Ito turned the boat slightly to the left. The log was towed away from the debris field for about 300 feet. Ito signalled and the towed log was let go with a beeping GPS marker on it.

To be continued…

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Note from the author:
Oceanus Adventure is a fun effort on my part to enter the wonderful world of creative writing. It’s a story of a group of people who launched themselves into the Pacific Ocean on an artificial island to solve the Great Pacific garbage patch. My hopes is that this will end up into a TV series.

Comments and idea suggestions will be most welcomed. I hope you enjoy.