OCEANUS ADVENTURE #12

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

Chapter 4 continued…

Alicia was about to ask a question when the ship’s horn blared out three short bursts.

“Admiral, would you do the honors?” Jona was inviting him to the helm control console.

He took out his key and inserted it into a slot marked for officers use only. The propulsion console lit up. Then Jona slid open a transparent panel giving the admiral access to the multiple fly-by-wire controllers. The admiral then expertly pressed three buttons which went from red to yellow. On the screen were indicators for three main propulsion thrusters coming to life until all three read 100%.

Jona then reviewed another monitor and said, “Ok, admiral. Our bow is off by 5 degrees.”

“Roger that!”

On another monitor which read Manoeuvring Thrusters. The image showed 3 bow thrusters and 2 more thrusters at the stern superstructure. The admiral touch-screened only one of the three bow thrusters which lit up to green. Then he turned a small knob labelled bow-thruster #3 to the right for about 20 seconds then quickly returned it to its neutral position. Because it was dark outside, no one could tell what was happening except Jona was watching his monitor and was counting down to zero and it stayed there, not needing a correction.

He whooped in admiration and said, “admiral, you still got it. Ok, ahead forward, half speed.”

“Aye, aye Captain. Ahead forward, half speed, sir.” He then turned a larger knob to half way. At the same time, Jona pressed a button then the ship’s horn blared out one long burst.

“Well, everybody… here we go,” Jona said.

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 #11

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

Chapter 4 continued…

When he spotted her, he got his radio and said, “Mathilda, Mathilda… this is base. How do you read, over?”

“Good morning, chief,” squawked his radio. “How was the party?”

“It was a lot more fun with out you being there,” laughed Jona. “You ready for the big haul?”

“No problemo here, chief. Though, I don’t know why we need that piece of junk, Belinda, for this haul? Mathilda can pull your monstrosity all the way to Honululu, if you want.”

Then another and much gruffer voice squawked in. “Ah! You piece of $#@%! My Belinda can haul 3 supertankers at one time and still ride rings around you.”

It was not long until the radio waves was bombarded with mirthful banter between the two skippers. The admiral who was standing nearby snickering reach over and borrowed Jona’s radio.

“Allow me,” winked the admiral. He turned a nob on the radio and then produced such a shrill whistle that Jona swore he heard a distant echo. “Listen up, you blockheads. Knock off these romantic wisecracks of yours. Fun games are over, gentlemen.”

“Sorry, admiral… sir,” squawked both tug captains. He handed the radio back to Jona saying, “voila!”

“Thank you, sir. Belinda, Belinda… are you set?”

“Just waiting for your horn, director,” said his gruff voice.

“If Oceanus have its own thrusters, why do you need a pair of tugs?” It was Alicia Buenaventura with her camera crew. They unexpectantly showed up with their bright lights which Jona did not appreciate because those lights cost him to lose his night vision.

“Ms. Buenaventura,” the admiral intervened, allowing Jona not to be bothered by answering inquiries and focusing on the work at hand. “First thing first, please have your camera man decrease his lights. Jona and his bridge crew need their night vision.”

The cameraman decreased his lights to the same level of the bridge. Then he adjusted the camera’s apperature and gave Alicia the thumbs up. Alicia then gestured to the admiral to go on.

“As to the tugs, you are correct. Oceanus’ thrusters are capable of propelling us. The tugs are there not just to give us more power which helps since our thrusters were never meant for speed. Oceanus was designed to drift with the ocean currents. But back to the tugs…”

The admiral led them to the electronic navigation table which showed a satelite display of the San Miguel Bay.

“Here is our current position,” he pointed at a red dot that was about halfway to the mouth of the bay. ” We need the tugs’ underwater sonar system to extend our own sonar. Do you see right here at the mouth of the bay? The deepest part of the mouth is right smack at the center.”

The admiral then touched the screen which popped up an illustrated profile of Oceanus. He pointed at the stern superstructure which Alicia thought was just sitting on two large pontoon hulls. But in reality it was built on a submerged oil platform.

“These 4 submerged vertical pontoons at the stern goes down about 13 fathoms (75 feet) deep. Along the perimeter ring are 10 more similar pontoons that also go down 9 fathoms (55 feet). So, only here at the very center of the mouth during the peak of high tide the depth will be about 16 fathoms. We have to stay dead center lest we run aground. This is why we need the tugs’ extra sonars. We’ll be able to make accurate soundings.

“Now, high tide starts to come back in around 5am this morning. We have to be right at the mouth, then we’ll need to drive our thrusters at full against the current. And just to be safe, the tugs will also provide extra forward propulsion just in case something goes wrong.” He knocks on wood three times.

Alicia was about to ask a question when the ship’s horn blared out three short bursts.

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 #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.

====================

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.”

====================

“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.