OCEANUS ADVENTURE #20

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

Chapter 7 continued

They crossed the lagoon on a skiff to the starboard ring; to a floating protrusion constructed by the Bajao. The mall, in actuality, were makeshift stalls set up every night by the enterprising Bajao. There were a variety of shops selling from home made crafts to food stuffs.

Kina was munching on a barbecued cuttle fish on a stick as she weaved her way through people enjoying their shopping and haggling. So far, the sea gypsies she met does not seem to have any motives to sabotage this project. She liked them.

“This is my school!” said Bree.

It was a domed structure just like the residences except that it was open. Bree led her in. Where there should have been kids’ desks, a number of long tables were laid out ladened with products. One in particular had several baskets of fresh fruits by Bree’s brother, Bryce. A camera crew was videotaping him as spoke into a microphone.

“Yes, this is the third crop of fruits that I harvested on my aquaponic system,” Bryce said proudly. He picked up a basket of lemons to show it at the camera. “Do you see these lemons? This basket is about 60 pounds. It is about half of what I harvested from a single tree and we have seven trees. With my aquaponic watering system, the growing time from flowering to harvest is about 3-4 months. We’re going to have fresh fruit practically all year round.”

“Cut!” said the cameraman. “Okay, Alicia would want to get some shots of the greenhouse, tomorrow.”

“Sure thing,” Bryce said.

“I’ll take the whole basket,” Bree jokingly said.

“Sorry, sis. Cooky already reserved these for her lemon cakes.”

“Bryce, you know Laura hates it when you call her Cooky.”

“Why do you call her Cooky?” asked Kina.

“Oh yeah, this is Kina, my new roommate.”

“Hello…” said Bryce shaking her hand. “Are you Filipino?”

“Hawaiian.”

“Oh, cool. Aloha…”

“Aloha, back.”

“Bryce calls Laura ‘Cooky’ because she’s not exactly a good cook, but she does try,” Bree said.

“Who is this Laura, exactly?”

“Oh, she’s the wife of the skipper of the Belinda,” Bryce said. “Now ask me what her job is?” He asked mischieviously.

“Okay, what?”

“She’s the cook!”

An hour later, back at her quarters, Kina was studying the dossiers of Diego and Laura Kostas.

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 #19

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

Chapter 7 continued

Five hours later, the chopper was landing on Oceanus.

When the rear hatch opened she was greeted by Director Quimby and Admiral Harris. She including Chief O’hare were led inside the bow superstructure to a conference room.

“Chief, it is good to see you.”

“Thank you for asking for me, admiral,” said O’hare. They shook hands. “Jona, this is Chief O’hare, Navy Seal. He’ll be your head of security.”

“Wow! Navy Seal, cool,” said Jona looking pleased. “Welcome to Oceanus.”

“Thank you, Director.”

“Please, call me Jona. We are quite informal here and…”

“Don’t bother, Jona,” chuckled the admiral. “The Chief here is pure navy. I can’t even get him to call me Senator.”

“Sorry, sir. Once an admiral, always an admiral, sir.”

“Okay, special agent Kilikina ʻAookayeee…” Jona was struggling with her Hawaiian name.

“I think Kina might be a lot easier, don’t you think, Jona?”

Two hours later, after the conference, Kina was guided to the residence island. When she entered her assigned quarters, she found her roommate lounging on a couch with a headset on her head absorbed in her tablet. Her dossier says she is Bree Grover from New Mexico, agriculture specialist & teacher.

Kina wasn’t sure which bedroom was hers, so she came a little bit closer and tapped her on her shoulder. Bree looked up and smiled.

“Oh, hi! I was wondering when you would show up. I’m Bree.”

“Kina. Which room is mine?”

“Well, Kina, you’re through that first door to the right. Your stuff was already delivered.”

“How about direct Satelite connection?”

“We have wi-fi here for direct linkage. Just type in your access code. You were given an access code right?”

Kina nodded.

“So, tell me Kina, what’s your job?”

The admiral cautioned her not to reveal that she’s here as an investigator.

“I’m with security.”

“Really!? Would you teach me to shoot?”

“Sure. For now, though, I better unpack.”

Kina went into her room. She opened her big luggage and pulled out her laptop which she put on her desk. When she turned it on, she had to center her face to the built in webcam which scanned her face. Then a NCIS graphic came on display and a request for a password which she typed it in. When she got in, she opened the folder of Oceanus’ personnel files. On the chopper, she read through about twenty or so dossiers. She just have to review about a hundred to go, not including the twenty or so Bajao families who had no paperwork. She’ll have to get a better sense on the Bajao. She got up and went out into the living room.

“Hey Bree, can you introduce me to some of the Bajao?”

“I’m going to the mall, this evening. You can accompany me and meet a lot of them there.”

“The mall?”

“Well, it’s not like the malls you’re used to. We just call it that. Come on, let’s go.”

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 #18

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

Chapter 7

Her suite was located on deck 5 overlooking the lagoon. There was a slight breeze which felt good after being in Alicia’s smoky room. But then her nostrils were assaulted by another puff of exhaled smoke. Tess eyed Alicia taking another long drag while leaning against the railing with her back to a beautiful view of the lagoon. She so wanted to say something nasty, but from the Bible passages she read this morning, she knew that He upstairs would not be too happy.

“So, you married Robby,” Alicia said with a smile. “You, my best friend, hooking up with my college sweetheart. How could you do this to me?”

“Alicia… you walked away from him for another guy. And I have not seen or even heard from you since you left for the states. Then we heard stories of you going from one guy to aahhh…”

“I was just kidding, Tess,” she laughed out. “I was estatic when I saw you both together at the reception. Let by-gones be by-gone. Besides, I have my eyes on the IYSA awards for this Youtube National Geographic gig.”

“IYSA?”

“Oh yeah, they are the International Youtube Series Awards. There’s a half a million bucks price money that comes with it. Anyway, what’s up?”

“Oh yes. Director Quimby asked me to be your liaison. So, I’m here at your beckon call.”

Alicia smiled with delight. “Mmmm… okay. Tell me what Robby does here?”

Tess was feeling a little tightness in her gutt. Then the chopper flew right over and was making a slow landing at the bow’s heliport.

————————

Kilikina ʻAukai had been with NCIS for 6 years now. She was recruited straight from the Hawaiian Police Academy and was posted on board two aircraft carriers the last of which was currently berth in Subic Bay. She would have flew off to her next assignment when she received new orders to be reassigned to a special project somewhere in the Pacific. From the ship, she was ordered to take a cab to the Naval Air Station Cubi Point and look for a retired Filipino Air Force Major who will fly her over.

She was surprised to find him standing by a CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter. But instead of the U.S. Navy insignia on the side, a watery blue circle encompassing the Pacific Ocean was in its place. The major casually introduced himself as Jer Roque then introduced her to a U.S. Navy Chief named Chief O’hare. Before she could ask the Chief on what his job was suppose to be, Maj. Roque passed her a sealed packet and told them to board.

Once they were airbourne, Maj. Roque’s, voice came over the PA system saying that they were first stopping at Manila to pick up supplies. They spent the night at an airport hotel of which federal agent ʻAukai went over the report of Senator Harris’ assessment of sabotage. At daylight, they took off again. Five hours later, the chopper was landing on Oceanus.

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 #17

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

Chapter 7

Tess Ramiscal stood before the door for a good 5 minutes. She had been staring at a hand written sign that says ‘Buenaventura Productions, Editing in progress, DO NOT DISTURB!’. She took a big breath then knocked.

The door opened but instead of Alicia, it was a young woman. Tess recalled that she was one of Alicia’s production assistances.

“Is Alicia here?” Tess asked.

“She’s recording in the other room. She can’t be disturbed.”

“Who’s at the door, Linda?” It was Alicia’s voice shouting from the other room.

“Alicia? It’s me, Tess. Can I come in?”

“Tess? Sure, sure! Come on in!”

The suite was a mess. Tess went over to the other door and tapped on it.

“Come in.”

When she opened the door, the room was dark and smoky. She was wondering why the smoke detector was not blaring away and the officer of the day not up here by now. Then she noticed that it was clearly tampered with.

The room was suppose to be the second bedroom of a two bedroom suite. But Alicia had converted it into an editing suite. A work table had replaced the bed and was placed in the middle of the room. On it were a sophisticated desktop computer and two laptops. On the wall were two flat screens TVs. One was showing an aerial of Oceanus. The other was a paused screen of Alicia in an outfit that reminded Tess of a Hollywood starlet.

“Hold on Tess,” said Alicia as she took a puff of her cigarette. “I just have to review this edit one more time.”

She clicked the play and then the graphics of the Pacific Ocean behind Alicia came to life. The heading, Pacific Garbage Patch, slowly materialized next to her.

“According to Wikipedia, the Great Pacific garbage patch, also described as the Pacific trash vortex, is a whirl of marine debris particles in the Pacific Ocean. The collection of plastic and floating trash originated from the Pacific Rim, including countries in Asia, North America, and South America.”

The graphic behind Alicia zoomed in showing the area of the ocean with Hawaii in the middle. On the left and right of Hawaii, were two twirling arrows, one going clockwise the other counter-clockwise.

“The patch is actually two enormous masses of ever-growing garbage. What has been referred to as the ‘Eastern Garbage Patch’ lies between Hawaii and California, while the ‘Western Garbage Patch’ extends eastward from Japan to the Hawaiian Islands. An ocean current about 6,000 miles long, referred to as the Subtropical Convergence Zone, connects these two patches, which extend over an indeterminate area of the widely varying range, depending on the degree of plastic concentration used to define the affected area.”

The graphic behind her then changed into photo of concentrated trash floating on water.

“The vortex is characterized by exceptionally high relative pelagic concentrations of plastic, chemical sludge, wood pulp, and other debris trapped by the currents of the North Pacific Gyre.”

“No no no…” Alicia cried out as she paused the video. She stood up, walked right by Tess and opened the door. “Linda, that garbage pic made me look like I was wading in sludge. Go back in there and find me a better image. We have to upload this in an hour.” She then pulled out another cigarette and strolled out onto her balcony to light up. Tess followed her out.

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 #16

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

Chapter 6 continued…

Hallbright gave him the thumbs up as he pulled down his mask and placed the snorkel mouthpiece in his mouth. He slid into the water and the first thing he felt was the current under his legs. He went face down but stayed floating on the surface with the snorkel still above the waterline. Then he tilted down his head so that the snorkel was immersed to test his makeshift breathing gadget. He took a breathe and was satisfied that water did not leak into the system. He exhaled and was again gratified that air bubbles expectedly blew out through a valve at side of his mouthpiece. He was about two feet under when he noticed something.

He kicked off to swim backwards to see what was really below the boat ramp. He half expected to see a metal hull but the surface was rough like rock covered with sea grass swaying in the current. He swam closer to find that the crags and cranny surfaces was plastic. How solid it was, he was not sure. He’ll have to ask Dr. Quimby about it. Thinking of which, he better start heading for her lab.

He clicked on the mini props and was jetting through the water about three feet underwater. He could not help but smile because he was gliding through the water like in the latest Aquaman movie. As he approached the small floating island that was still being developed, he saw that the underside was made up of thousands of plastic cubes being held together by what look like cargo netting. By his estimation, the underside went down about ten feet. Then he noticed two achor lines extending downward to what he was not sure. He wanted to dive deeper but first he had to surface to replenish his air cannisters.

As he was about to dive back down, his peripheral picked up a gray blob the quickly swam past him. For a moment, he thought it was a shark. He had dived with sharks before but he still can’t help hearing the Jaws music in his ear. He decided to skip investigating where those anchor lines went and swam under the island to head straight for the lab. He was halfway swimming under it when he was relieveded to encounter not a shark but a curious bottlenose dolphin.

When Hallbright cleared the island, he surfaced and found that the dolphin came near. He noticed that it wore a harness with a patch that had the Oceanus emblem on it.

“Tony Hallbright…,” it was Dr. Quimby calling from the inner ring shore. “I was wondering where you were.”

He started to swim towards her when the dolphin appeared next to him. “I see you already met Flipper.”

“Flipper! You kidding?”

“Nope. I’ll explain later. Meanwhile, go ahead and follow him.” Dr. Quimby blew on her whistle one long high pitch burst and at the same time making a gesture.

Flipper responded by nodding its head then swam to his left. Hallbright followed suit. It didn’t take long until he reached a netted enclosure. Flipper easily jumped it. He on the other hand, swam to a floating platform where a young girl was petting another dolphin.

He quickly climbed out and said, “And who do you belong to, young lady?”

She haughtily eyed him then turned with her chin up saying, “My mother told me never to talk to strangers.”

“Ooooh, I see. That is wise, but you see I’m not a real stranger. I’m a marine biologist just like your mommy. You can call me Uncle Tony.”

“Well, Uncle Tony…” Dr. Quimby said mockingly. She was standing just above him. “Why don’t you stow your gear and join me inside? I want to show you the works before I have to feed the little ones.”

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 #15

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

Chapter 6

When the guests had all disembarked, Jona had called in all senior officers for a security meeting. They met at the bridge ready room at eleven hundred hours. Jona felt that since the bridge deck was already restricted to the officers and bridge crew, it seemed logical especially if he was worried about planted bugs.

“The chief engineer’s final report was that the O ring was also tampered with,” reported Robby. “We have also assigned guards on all three engine rooms and at both tow line hitches.”

“Can the guards themselves be truly trusted?” asked Mae who was really angry when she realized the danger to her kids.

“They’re all clear. They were all vetted by Jer, I mean Maj. Roque,” said Jona. “He felt a squad of retired Philippine Marines would be really be needed against like… sea pirates or something. I’m so glad he talked me into it.”

One of the supervisors asked, “So, what is the plan? None of us have the experience to conduct a proper investigation.”

“Originally, I finished talking to a friend of mine in D.C.,” said the admiral. “Since, we will be joined by a crew of U.S. Naval Personnel a week from now. I requested that NCIS, that is Naval Criminal Investigation Service, assign an ‘agent at float’ to be stationed here. It’ll be a load off my mind to know that the United States investment is being taken cared of.” He leered a little like the Thresher Cat at Jona.

“So, we radioed Maj. Roque that after he drops off our guests at the Manila airport, he is to fly directly to Subic Bay to pick up a NCIS agent from the USS Nimitz. The agent would have already be given his or her assignment to us. We’ll meet the agent by tomorrow.”


Tony Hallbright was just finishing his email when his tablet started to beep. He clicked on the quaint bell icon which was jiggling. It was a calender notification that he was to report to Mae Quimby’s lab at 4pm. By his watch, he had about half an hour to report. He looked out his window to see how far he had to run. Dr. Quimby’s lab was along the starboard inner ring just across from the residential island. He could run along the pathway that goes from this structure to where her lab is. Then he looked at the water and decided to get there another way. His thinking was that since he was a marine biologist, he might as well get the lay of the land. Besides there were some toys that he brought along that he had been dying to try.

Ten minutes later, he had donned a short wet suit was at the small boat launch which was the closest thing to a beach around here. A filipino crewman helped carry a couple of equipment cases down from his quarters. When Hallbright opened them, the crewman whistled with wonder. Inside one case was a pair of mini propulsion fans. He quickly pulled them out and strapped one on his left calve, then the other to his right calve. He checked the battery power and was satisfied that it was fully charged. In the next case was something a little more makeshift.

The crewman was quite curious as Hallbright strapped this gadget on his left upper arm. It was two small aluminum cylinders with long airtubes protruding from them into the mouthpiece of a snorkel.

“Sir Tony… ano yan… I mean, what that?”

Hallbright smiled, “Ah, this is my own innovation. This helps me breath underwater.”

“How… it works, sir?”

He reached up to a handle that connects the top of both cylinders. He pulls it back and then pumped it 4 times.

“I pump this everytime I surface. When I go under, this gadget gives me 6 more minutes. This is, of course, for shallow diving only.”

“Sir Tony… engines on… current strong… be careful…”

Hallbright gave him the thumbs up as he pulled down his mask and placed the snorkle mouthpiece in his mouth.

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 #13

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

Chapter 5

It was zero fifty thirty hours.

GPS had Oceanus’ position about half a mile past the mouth of the bay. The propulsion thrusters had been running on three quarter speed for about 3 hours because the incoming tide was stronger than expected. It was slow going through the mouth and based on sonar readings, the stern submerged pontoons just cleared the bottom by just 2 fathoms.

Jona was enjoying the wee morning wind on the starboard wing. He had his glasses on Caringo Island west of them. The sky was light enough to make the sandy beaches sparkle. He was reminiscing when Mae, the kids and him took a Boston whaler to the reef sanctuary on the lee side of the island where they did some snorkeling then hit the small town for the local version of pizza.



Migs was wondering where his replacement was. He was the swing shift engineer for the number two propulsion thruster. He stretched and yawned on his duty station monitoring the six display monitors. Then he noticed on one screen that a hydraulic pump pressure had increased from yellow to orange. Orange meant that he had 5 minutes to release the pressure before it turned red which meant critical. So, he called one of his crew to take his station. He dashed down a couple of ladders and head to the hydraulic pump room. When he opened the hatch, he knew things were really wrong because the compartment was filled with smoke. The first thing he did was going to the nearest alarm box. He elbowed the glass cover, breaking it. Then he pulled down the fire alarm. Not wanting to wait for support, he went to another nearby cabinet where he found a face mask, then dashed into the smoky chamber.


Jona was thinking about turning-in, when he heard an alarm beeping sound.

“What’s going on?” he asked a bridge crewman.

“Sir, fire alarm at the engineering station of number two propulsion.”

A phone rang and another crewman picked it up. “Director, the fire is in the hydraulic pump station. The chief engineer is requesting to shut down number 2 thruster.”

“Very well. Anybody hurt?”

“Yes, sir. One man. He was brought to sickbay.”

Jona nodded his head. He went over to check Oceanus’ position. He was not too happy that they were too close to the reefs of Caringo Island. With one thruster down and a strong tide still coming in, they could still be pushed against the reef.

“Helm, turn port by ten degrees. Shutdown number 2 and decrease number 3 to quarter speed. Increase number 1 to three quarters.”

“Aye, sir,” said the helmsman.

Then Jona got his radio. “Mathilda, Belinda, this is base, come in over.”

“Mathilda here. What’s up, chief?” “Belinda here too.”

“Ok guys. Thruster 2 is down, we need you guys to pick up the slack. Can you handle it?”

“Can I handle it?” asked the Belinda captain. “I can do it better than Mathilda by myself.”

“Oh, really? … ” The competitive bantering started all over again, but Jona tuned them out. He then passed the conn to the second officer on duty.

“I’m going over there. Keep your eyes on our position and radio me if we begin to get any closer to those reefs, contact me right away. Meanwhile, get Admiral Reese from his cabin to take over here.”

“Aye sir.”

Jona head below and found a zodiac waiting for him. The zodiac took about 9 minutes to zip across the lagoon to the stern. It took him another 4 minutes to reach the number two engine room. When he got to the hydrolic pump chamber, it was already cleared of smoke. He found Robby there with the chief engineer.

“Robby… what happened?”

“According to the chief, the rubber O-ring seal from a secondary gasket stripped away causing hot liquid oil to leak. Then, the gasket heated up causing enough friction to warp the shaft running the pump. It should only take an hour to replace the damaged parts. We’ll get number two up and running.”

“Who got hurt?”

“Oh, it was Migs. His feet slipped on the spilled oil and knocked himself out when his head hit the bulkhead. He’s up in sickbay. Doc said he’ll live and entertain us in the next talent show.”

Jona smiled at that, remembering how bad Migs was on stage. He was about to leave when a thought hit him.

“Hold on, Robby. How is it that the O-ring was defective? Those things were all brand new, right?”

“That is the question! The chief is ‘miffed’ about it and I agree. This shouldn’t have happened.”

Jona was thoughful about this as he went back up to sickbay.

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 #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…

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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.