OCEANUS ADVENTURE #10

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

Chapter 4

It was close to midnight when Jona woke up from his short nap. He was hoping to go out in a casual outfit like wearing his favorite Hawaiian shirt over bermuda shorts. But his wife had already laid out one of his khaki coverall. Her argument was that since he is the leader of the project, wearing a uniform reinforces his role as the boss.

As he stepped out of his house, he found the admiral on a bench waiting for him.

“Well, director, shall we go?” asked the admiral.

Jona nodded. He glanced first at the stern superstructure which was lit up and alive with personel going about their business. He then glanced across the lagoon to the Bajau village and saw that they secured their own boats by beaching them on their island. Most of the village were asleep except for a few souls moving to report to their duty shifts. The commons was shut down after the reception ended at around 10pm and only the soft glow of a few lights were shining from a couple of houses. The rest of the houses were dark.

They went off to follow a track which was dimly lit by ground LEDs on both sides of the trail. After a short walk, they started to cross the lagoon on a floating bridge. It spanned about 60ft from the residential island to the bow superstructure.

The bow superstructure was in actuality a semi-submersible transport ship. It was originally designed to partially submerge and allow another smaller ship to be maneuvered onto it’s deck. Then, the submerged hull would be refloated to transport the smaller ship to its destination. This ship though was rigged to be permanently submerged leaving the bow and its 4 storey superstructure above water.

The end of the floating bridge rose a good 6 feet above the waterline unto a platform at the rear of the structure. The admiral eyed the series of ship ladders going up.

“Jona,” he said shaking his head, “I’m getting too old to climb 4 decks.”

Jona laughed, “Come on, old man, I have a surprise for you.”

Jona led him through a hatch into a corridor. He led him to more stairs in a well. But instead of taking the stairs, Jona led him to a lift system that the admiral had not seen since he was a teenager. From a hole on the steel floor, a conveyor belt was moving up. Rivetted on the belt were hand & foot holds spaced about 6 feet from each other. A filipino crewman was already ascending through the hole in the floor then disappearing unto the opposite hole onto the ceiling.

Jona then grabbed a hold as it was going up then stepped unto the next. The admiral followed suit. When they stepped onto the fourth deck, they head for the pilot house.

“Good morning, skipper” said Maj. Roque.

“Hi Jer. What are you doing up so late? Don’t you have a flight later in the morning?”

“Oh, that is not until ten hundred hours. I can get rest later. I wanted to be here when you bring this beast to life.”

“Well, in that case, let’s put you to work. What’s our GPS position?”

Maj. Roque took a few steps to the electronic navigation table. “Well, according to this, we have drifted about 4 miles north from our original anchorage.”

“Radar, please give me your report,” Jona requested.

“Four contacts about 4 miles off, sir,” said the radar operator. “The Mathilda and the Belinda are standing by on their respective stations… about one mile off, sir”

The Mathilda and the Belinda are ocean going tug boats assigned to Oceanus. Jona grabbed a pair of binoculars then proceeded out of the enclosed bridge onto the open starboard wing. He lifted the glasses to his eyes and searched for the tug Mathilda’s pilot lights.

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 #9

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

Chapter 3 continued…

The night sky was clear but Hallbright was not paying too much attention. He was leaning against balcony railings holding a cold brew appreciating Alicia’s tightly-fitted dress. She was blabbing about something but that too he was not paying attention.

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Alicia was not a happy gal. She was wearing a hot red number in the hope to drive Robby a little crazy. When she and Hallbright arrived at the reception, she was smugly smiling, when she spotted him across the crowded room talking to a member of the Philippine Senate. Her smiled disappeared not because of who he was talking to, but because he had his hand on the shoulders of his wife who happened to be her close college friend. Of course, when she left for the states, they lost track of each other. But still… she was a little livid. She avoided them through out the dinner.

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Ito Ito was not feeling comfortable. He had never gone to a fancy dinner party before. Oh, he and his wife had eaten with Sir Jona and Ma’am Mae several times but there he was allowed to eat with his hands. But here in this formal setting, he felt out of place. At least, his wife was taught by Ms. Bree on how eat properly. For himself, he was starving.

Then, a hand was on his shoulder. When he looked up, it was Sir Jona looking down at him with a knowing smile.

“Don’t worry, my old friend. Go to the kitchen and eat something before you starve. I know you want to get out of here. I’ll see you tomorrow. We have a big day.”

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“Ladies and gentlemen,” Admiral Harris was tapping his champagne glass to get everyone’s attention. “About 18 years ago, this boisterous upstart of a filipino came to me one day that he had a viable plan to sweep up the Pacific and he put up the argument that the United States of America should put up some of the money.” There was laughter all around.

“He stood before congress and the former US President Trump not with another conservation argument. No, no, no… His argument was that there was a great fortune floating in the Pacific waiting for someone to pick it. He was tenacious! So tenacious, that in just 1 year he had me and my committee convinced. Of course, he was not satisfied with gaining support from the most powerful nation in the world. He had the audacity to also go to the Prime Minister of Japan and made them realize that most of that plastic junk in the Pacific was theirs.” People were laughing at this including representatives of Japan who knew that the Admiral was jesting.

“Well, here we are! Oceanus is Jona’s brainchild. And I have to say, that I have no regrets supporting this venture, not because it may be profitable or that we are saving the planet. Nope! I am here… we are all here… because of this man and… his audacity.” There was clapping all around.

Jona then stood up and waited for everyone to settle down. He glanced down on his watch and then raised his hand for attention.

“An hour ago, Oceanus had hoisted up it’s anchors is now drifting on the outgoing tide. At midnight, our 2 tugs will attach themselves on the opposite sides of the perimeter rings. Once attached and rigged for towing, we will engage our thrusters and maneuver ourselves out of San Miguel Bay. By late tomorrow, we hope to be way out of the bay and 30 miles to the east to catch the Pacific current. Meanwhile, folks. Those of you who are guests please stay and enjoy yourselves here at the commons. In the morning, there will be a boat to take you back to land. Thank you again for being with us.”

There was all around clapping as Jona started to move toward the exit shaking hands with the visitors.

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.