A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing
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…
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.