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…

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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.

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