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…

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 #26

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

Chapter 9 continued

“Gotcha!” he said to himself. He activated the radio, and said, “Neptune… Neptune, this is Pegasus. How do you read, over?”

“Neptune, here,” it was the voice of Admiral Reese. “Pegasus, do you have a sighting?”

“Roger that, Neptune. Long patch about 8 miles north-west from your position…”

“Jer, is that you? I was wondering what happened to ya. Well, what ya got?”

“I see a lot of goodies for Oceanus to munch on. I’m sending you GPS now.”

“Hold one,” said the Admiral. He worked his way back to the stern where Ito was on the till staring into his navigation monitor. It beeped twice and Ito looked up and gave a thumbs up.

“Pegasus, we got the GPS. What can we expect?”

“The patch is about 350-400 feet in lenght… maybe around 50 feet in width. Lot’s of large debris. And tell Ito that I also spotted 2 massive logs.”

Ito had a very big smile on his face. He quickly disappeared below and came back up with a black military tubular weapon and what looked like a mini harpoon. .

“What’s he going to do with that?” asked Alicia who followed the Admiral.

“Oh, the harpoon launcher?” Tess humorously pointed at. “That is a gift that the Admiral gave him two Christmases ago. Ito uses that to snag any large debris on the move.” Seeing the question mark on her face, Tess continued, “Ito is always looking for large items like giant floating tree trunks… He likes to build furniture and stuff like that for the staff and crew. He’s such a considerate guy… Anyway, when he’s out here on a job, he hates to just stop the boat to claim it especially when the wind is giving him 10 knots. So, he harpoons any floating timber with an attached cable and haul it in like a fish on a line.”

After Ito secured his launcher, he gets back on the till and start spinning the wheel to starboard. At the same time, he was rapidly barking orders in Visayan. The Bajau crew scambled through out the boat. With the wind coming in strong from the rear, some of them went forward to the bow.

Wanting to get some footage of the crew’s lively activities, Alicia followed with her cameraman in tow. They expertly and speedily pulled out a very colorful spinnaker from a bow-locker which billowed out into the wind.

Tess expertly cranked on the winch that tightened the jib sail which was loudly flapping. When it went taut, Tess stopped cranking. She then went back to the stern getting a thumbs up from the Admiral and a toothy smile from Ito Ito.

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 #25

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

Chapter 9 continued

Before Alicia could ask another question, the admiral’s radio suddenly squawked, “Neptune… Neptune, this is Pegasus. How do you read, over?”

He lifted it close to his mouth.

“Neptune, here. Pegasus, do you have a sighting?”

“Roger that, Neptune. Heavy patch about 8 miles north-west from your position…”

Sensing that Alicia was going to bother him with more questions, Tess headed her off.

“The admiral is talking to our eyes in the sky,” she explained pointing up in the sky. Alicia and the cameraman searched the sky but clearly could not spot an aircraft.

“I don’t see the helicopter anywhere.”

“It’s a remote controlled drone about the size of an albatross. It’s not so easy to spot.”

“Really? Who’s flying it?”

“Well, we have three pilots. But by the sound of the voice, that would be Major Roque.

Major Jer Roque was having a late coffee. He was up much earlier hoping to join the admiral on Ito’s boat but when he saw the camera crew and that exasperating woman, Alicia Buenaventura boarding, he begged off. Instead, he took over the piloting of a drone.

Oceanus have three of them. Two of them are fixed wings and doubled propped. Both have the wingspans of seven feet. The third is a military-grade octocopter. Each drone was remotely operated in three secluded control rooms within the bow superstructure.

With coffee in hand, he went up to the third deck where the control rooms were located. He walked up to the hatch designated “Pegasus”, one of the fixed winged drones. Jer pursed his lip. He didn’t really like this drone. It still had glitches. He went in and jovially told the usual pilot to go get himself a hefty breakfast. When he climbed into one of the control chairs, the drone was already up in the air, 10 miles out, flying in an expanding circle. Before him were four screens, the largest of which was dead center. Two flanked the center monitor while the fourth was perched just above it.

He spotted Ito’s boat and the two others on the left monitor. By the sizes of the boats on the monitor, he estimated he was three miles away. The autopilot was maintaining an increasing orbit of the boats. This provided the pilot to utilize the drone’s incredible functional camera lenses which Jer was meticulously scanning. Then looking at his center screen, he spotted a distant discoloration. Using the mouse, he dragged a targetting square around the discolorization then clicked enlarge. A seperate window appeared with a zoomed-in view. He adjusted the focus and smiled.

Jer then turned the autopilot off, took hold of the joystick and banked the drone toward the target. Eight minutes later, the drone decreased in altitude and was circling the area.

“Gotcha!” he said to himself.

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.