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.