OCEANUS ADVENTURE #9

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

Chapter 3 continued…

The night sky was clear but Hallbright was not paying too much attention. He was leaning against balcony railings holding a cold brew appreciating Alicia’s tightly-fitted dress. She was blabbing about something but that too he was not paying attention.

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Alicia was not a happy gal. She was wearing a hot red number in the hope to drive Robby a little crazy. When she and Hallbright arrived at the reception, she was smugly smiling, when she spotted him across the crowded room talking to a member of the Philippine Senate. Her smiled disappeared not because of who he was talking to, but because he had his hand on the shoulders of his wife who happened to be her close college friend. Of course, when she left for the states, they lost track of each other. But still… she was a little livid. She avoided them through out the dinner.

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Ito Ito was not feeling comfortable. He had never gone to a fancy dinner party before. Oh, he and his wife had eaten with Sir Jona and Ma’am Mae several times but there he was allowed to eat with his hands. But here in this formal setting, he felt out of place. At least, his wife was taught by Ms. Bree on how eat properly. For himself, he was starving.

Then, a hand was on his shoulder. When he looked up, it was Sir Jona looking down at him with a knowing smile.

“Don’t worry, my old friend. Go to the kitchen and eat something before you starve. I know you want to get out of here. I’ll see you tomorrow. We have a big day.”

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“Ladies and gentlemen,” Admiral Harris was tapping his champagne glass to get everyone’s attention. “About 18 years ago, this boisterous upstart of a filipino came to me one day that he had a viable plan to sweep up the Pacific and he put up the argument that the United States of America should put up some of the money.” There was laughter all around.

“He stood before congress and the former US President Trump not with another conservation argument. No, no, no… His argument was that there was a great fortune floating in the Pacific waiting for someone to pick it. He was tenacious! So tenacious, that in just 1 year he had me and my committee convinced. Of course, he was not satisfied with gaining support from the most powerful nation in the world. He had the audacity to also go to the Prime Minister of Japan and made them realize that most of that plastic junk in the Pacific was theirs.” People were laughing at this including representatives of Japan who knew that the Admiral was jesting.

“Well, here we are! Oceanus is Jona’s brainchild. And I have to say, that I have no regrets supporting this venture, not because it may be profitable or that we are saving the planet. Nope! I am here… we are all here… because of this man and… his audacity.” There was clapping all around.

Jona then stood up and waited for everyone to settle down. He glanced down on his watch and then raised his hand for attention.

“An hour ago, Oceanus had hoisted up it’s anchors is now drifting on the outgoing tide. At midnight, our 2 tugs will attach themselves on the opposite sides of the perimeter rings. Once attached and rigged for towing, we will engage our thrusters and maneuver ourselves out of San Miguel Bay. By late tomorrow, we hope to be way out of the bay and 30 miles to the east to catch the Pacific current. Meanwhile, folks. Those of you who are guests please stay and enjoy yourselves here at the commons. In the morning, there will be a boat to take you back to land. Thank you again for being with us.”

There was all around clapping as Jona started to move toward the exit shaking hands with the visitors.

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 #8

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

Chapter 3 continued…

Before he can say anything, Merlie picked up his bags and proceeded to the stern where he thought she was going to deposit them in a cabin but instead she went straight to a spiral staircase that he didn’t even notice before. Then, a bigger surprise still, she disappeared downstairs. The admiral quizzically looked at Mae and Jona.

“Surprise!” They both said.

“Starting tonight, you’ll be sleeping with the fishes,” smiled Jona, “…so to speak. Come! Let’s go down.”

The admiral was a submariner and he was used to sleeping in tight quarters under fathoms of water, but when he went down just 9 feet down, what greeted him blew his mind away. It was a bedroom with an incredible view. His first thoughts was on an old Disney movie, ‘20,000 Leagues Under the Sea’. The bed… a king-sized bed was facing a large round plexiglass window about 7 feet in diameter.

The admiral was automatically drawn to it. Because it was already evening, he could not penetrate the darkness except where the light of the room spilled on a bed of corals just under the window. A school of jacks swam by then disappeared into the depths afterwhich several crabs came crawling out from their crags and crannies. Then, a colorful parrot fish came by to graze on patches of algae on the rocks. Other marine life that one can find in a reef made their appearances.

“What do you think?” asked Jona.

“I’m thinking that you made friends with a certain marine architect that built all those houseboats in Dubai with underwater cabins.”

“Yup. Ours are not exactly as fancy as those in Dubai, but each of them can survive a stormy sea in a pinch. These 3 guest boats are designated as emergency lifeboats complete with solar panels, rations and a desalination system for freshwater. Each boat can handle 20 to 25 people max.”

“Excellent, Jona.”

“Meanwhile, we have a dinner to go to. Merlie will finish unpacking for you. You freshen up and we’ll see you there.”


“I don’t know if I want to go tonight,” said Tess Ramiscal. “She’s going to go wild when she sees that you married me.”

“Well, you can’t hide from her for the next 6 months,” Robby said. “Besides, I laid down the law with her. She’s here to do her job and I’ll be too busy to even deal with her.”

“I hope you’re right, but if she is the same like she was in college, we are in for a rough year.”


The reception dinner is going to be held in the second floor level of the residential island’s community center. If seen from a distance, it looked almost like a giant flying saucer. The center was essentially the food commons and recreation area for the residents of the island and the executive officers of the project.

Bree Grover was looking over the entire reception area. She was satisfied with the decorations that her students and the village women put up. The room with it’s round panoramic windows were beautifully decorated with local flowers and colorful paper streamers made from dried seaweed. The fifteen round tables on the other hand were elegantly adorned with pearly white table cloths with its embroidered hems, silverwares, crystal glasses and beautiful flowery centerpieces. Mae Quimby is really pulling all the stops. She strolled over to the buffet tables which were laden with food mostly of Filipino fares. Then she realized that she was still in her grungies. She dashed off.

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 #7

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

Chapter 3

The lagoon in twilight reminded Admiral Harris about another lagoon in Florida. Except for the two superstructures, Oceanus’ lagoon was surrounded by foliage, the tallests of which were a grouping of coconut trees which is a feat considering they were successfully grown in trash. The admiral was amazed by the ingenuity of the Bajau Laut to enclose each root of the coconut trees with a honeycomb-like-cage stuffed with the plastic sand which is produced by the project’s recycling plant. It was said that the roots had so entwined itselves that the trees are impervious to extreme gusts of winds.

The zodiac with it’s quiet electric motor was approaching the residential island. The island had a mound on it that rose about 30 feet over the water. On it were more of the mangroves inbetween which were dome houses with warm lights glowing through the windows. Jutting out is a floating pier with a couple of zodiacs tied off it. The admiral thought they were heading for it but then the boat veered off to the right. Anchored between the two islands were three boat houses attached together with suspension bridges.

“Hey Jona… Mae… are you setting me up in those?”

“It’s a big surprise for you, Admiral,” said Mae. “I think you’ll love it.”

The zodiac sidled up to the port side of one of the houseboats. The admiral estimated it to be about a 50 footer. Most houseboats were motorized but these were just white rectanglar floating barges. He boarded through a side entryport and was pleased to find a comfortable open design with a plush lounge set, dinette for four and a modern equipped kitchen galley. At the front was a tall floor to ceiling window and glass sliding doors that open up to an open observation deck with no sidings.

As he looked around, he was surprised to find a little Filipino woman just quietly standing in the galley.

“Ah, Merlie,” Jona said as he came in. This is Senator Reese Harris.”

She approached and extended her hand to him and said, “Hallo, Senator Harris. I am honored to be serving you at last.”

“Merlie here… when she found out that you were coming, she volunteered… no… she insisted that you’ll need her as a cook and houseservant.”

The admiral shook her hand and replied, “Thank you, Merlie. Please call me Admiral.”

Nodding her head, she said, “Senator Admiral.”

“No, no, no… just Admiral.”

“Okey dokey… sir Admiral.”

The admiral almost laughed. “Merlie? Where did you learn ‘okey dokey’ from?”

“Oh, Ms. Bree,” she gave a toothy smile. “I hear her say that all the time. Can I serve you now, sir Admiral?”

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 #6

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

CHAPTER 2 continued…

“Jona, you’re one month late,” Mae chided while giving him a welcome home hug. Then she turned to the Admiral, shaking his hand. She said jokingly, “Of course, Senator Harris, I blame you for keeping him away from me.”

Laughing out loud, the Admiral joked back, “Well, Mae… how else can I keep you apart, so that I can steal you away?” He gave her a bear hug.

Then she looked at Tony Hallbright who came over and was vigorously shaking her hand. “Hello, Dr. Quimby… I’m Tony Hallbright… department of marine biology, University of Texas, class of 2023. I am so glad to be closely working with you…” He was still shaking her hand when she slightly shifted her gaze to Jona with a glint in her eye that told him that there will be words later.

A heavy hand patted his shoulder. “I sure don’t want to be in your shoes later,” Maj. Roque chuckled softly.

“Hello Alicia… welcome to Oceanus.”

“Hello Robby,” said Alicia.

“I’m here to set you and your production crew up in your quarters and work stations.”

Robby Ramiscal looked leaner than she remembered and his hair was much shorter. She recalled running her hand through those locks. And he seems more serious, not like those wild college days.

“Jona has assigned me to give you all the assistance you’ll need,” as an after thought, he added, “…except during my usual duty routines.”

“Now, if you all follow me, your apartments are in this superstructure.” He started to lead them toward a wide entryway on the side of the hull. “

“Ah Ms. Buenaventura… I mean Alicia,” called Jona. “Please join us for supper at the residential island. There’ll be a zodiac waiting for you.”

“Ok, I’ll be there tonight. Thank you,” she said. She waved at them, then jogged after Robby and her crew who already disappeared into the superstructure.

Alicia caught up with them on the second level. As Robby climbed up the steps, she gestured for her crew to hang back a ways so she can converse with Robby.

“So Robby, you are married now.”

“Yup. Seven years now.”

“Do I know her… maybe from school?”

“Nope. I met her in Ohio.”

“Jona said you have kids.”

“Twins, to be exact… about 6 years old.”

Alicia was a little miffed at him because all he offered so far were short quips. Robby paused on deck #3, waiting for the rest of her crew to catch up.

“Ok, here in deck #3 is our sick bay,” explained Robby. “We have 2 doctors and 7 nurses on staff. Since, you are going to be with us for several months, you’ll be joining our people in mandatory first aid training.”

“What!?” exclaimed Alicia. “Wait a minute! We’re here to shoot video!”

“Ms. Buenaventura, I suggest you check your contract.”

Alicia turned to her crew and said, “Can you go ahead up to the next level?” As soon as they were out of sight. “Ok, Robby. What is with this Ms. Buenaventura crap?”

“I prefer that any interaction between you and me, we keep it professional.”

“Why are you being so distant? Once upon a time, you and I were… very close,” she purred as she reached out to stroke his face, but he took a step back.

“Alicia, you have not changed,” he said shaking his head. “When I heard you were leading the NG group, my gut told me you would be trouble. Let me reiterate something. There is no more ‘you and I’. “

He then sidestepped her and went up the steps to catch up with her crew. Alicia stood there. She was not angry, she was smiling to herself.

“Are you trouble?”

Alicia was startled to find Hallbright, the marine biologist, a few steps down the strairwell with his bulky dufflebag over his shoulder.

“I tell ya, Ms. Alicia…,” he said as he walked up the last few steps to her, “it was like I was watching some kind of soap opera.” He chuckled. “And I thought I was going to be bored here.”

“Well, Tony Hallbright… a girl needs to have some kind of fun.” She smiled demurely.

“Ho ho ho… you are a bad girl!” He chortled. He picked up her bag and they both went up to look for their quarters.

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 #3

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

CHAPTER 1 continued…

Major Roque navigated the chopper by mostly hugging the eastern coast of Luzon with the Pacific to their left. Two and half hours later, they were over the Bicol Natural Reserve. It was suggested that he give the passengers a more dramatic approach. So, Maj. Roque dove the chopper to treetop level. From the back, he heard someone yell out, “heee hawww”!

Then looming in front of him was the forested mountain range of the reserve. He turns on the PA systems and said, “Buckle up and tighten your belts, people. This is going to be a fun ride.”

Jona tightened his belt. “Here we go again, Admiral. Jer knows I hate this part.”

To keep from throwing up, he locked his eyes out the window. Fortunately, he was sitting next to the Admiral who had the larger domed window with fantastic vantage view of the scenery. The chopper wound its way up and down deep forested ravines.

“Oh yeah,” whooped Hallbright. “This is better than the rollercoaster at Six Flags.”

Jona tightened his grip on his chair, then asked the Admiral, “Do you think the pilot can perform a roll in a twin rotor chopper this size?”

The Admiral laughed out loud and sympathetically tapped Jona’s white knuckled hand.

“Sir, the last ridge is coming up,” said the co-pilot.

“Ah right.” Maj. Roque clicked on the PA system. “Well, ladies and gentlemen, I hope you enjoyed the ride? We are making our approach to our destination in 20 minutes. Ms. Buenaventura, you can activate your cameras at this time.”

The chopper climbed to an altidude where the passengers can get a grand view of the San Miguel Bay. The bay’s width is about 20 miles at it’s widest running from west to east. It’s length, from the mouth of the bay going south, is about 25 miles. The bay encompasses the provinces of Camarines Norte to the west and Camarines Sur on the south and east.

The voice of the pilot came on again on the PA system. “If you look out the port side, that is the left side, you can see where we’re landing.”

Alicia had control of one of the cameras and was sitting just behind Admiral Harris’ seat. So, besides her own portal, she can just stand and pan her camera out his bigger window.

“There she is, Admiral, at the center of the bay,” Jona said.

Alicia pointed her camera to where Jona indicated. She was slowly panning right, trying to keep the camera steady against the aircraft’s vibration still not seeing nothing but sea and the distant coast of the bay which was a little blurred. Then she stopped panning when she spotted something green. She adjusted the focus and zoomed in. At first, she thought she was eyeing an island. But there was something strange about it. Then she realized that it was not just an ordinary island. Though it had vegetation, it seemed artificial.

“Jona, is that island…?”

“…Floating? Yes!” Jona stood and faced everyone. “Folks… welcome to 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 #2

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

CHAPTER 1 – continued…

“Sir,” said the co-pilot who was looking out his window, “ang dyan na sila.” (‘they are coming…’)

Jona looked out also and saw a group of six exiting the terminal. “There they are. No rough flying please.”

Jer laughed out again and gave him the thumbs up. Jona closed the cockpit door then went to the side hatch where his guests were already climbing in. Jona guided them to their seats. The last to board was a tall white haired man in his seventies.

“Hi Admiral. Any problems with the paperworks?”

“Nope. Our embassy people did a good job smoothing the way with your government…” said Admiral Harris. “…including keeping my indentity hush hush.”

Admiral Reese Harris is a retired Naval Chief of staff and is now a sitting U.S. Senator. Some years ago, Jona befriended him when they sat opposite from each other when the Admiral headed the committee to investigate the feasability of his project. There was much debate and consternation between them but after a chance meeting in a Georgetown Irish pub, they began to see things eye to eye and became longtime friends.

Jona guided him to a seat on the left side by the only dome window.

“This is your seat, Admiral. You’ll get the best view here.” Jona saw one of the female passengers gesturing to him, “Ah… excuse me, I’m being paged.” He goes towards her.

Alicia Buenaventura is Filipino-American who recently moved back to Manila. She is a Youtuber with her own channel. She and a team of four videographers are in contract with National Geographic to journal his project. Jona was elated when he received the email he was longingly waiting for after a year of negotiation with the executives of NG. Alicia was their answer.

“Where can we set up the flight cameras?” she asked, hefting a couple of Go Pro cameras in her hands.

“The pilot said you can set up a camera in the cockpit. Another camera can also be mounted in the belly view port. The chopper’s engineer will show you.”

“That’s great,” replied Alicia. “We’ll get fantastic aerial scenes for our opening broadcast. Ah, Mr. Quimby…”

“Please, call me Jona.”

“Alicia… ah… Jona, I understand Robby Ramiscal is part of your crew?”

“Yes, he is. He’s one of my supervisors. How do you know him?”

“Oh, we were in college together,” she said smiling.

Jona could not help but read something mischievous in that smile.

“Well, you’ll be able to catch up with him…” Jona then adds, “…his wife and kids tonight at the reception.”

Her smile disappeared as quickly as it appeared. Then the corner of her lips went up ever so slightly and Jona thought he saw a glean in her eye. He guessed that Robby is going to have an interesting year ahead of him.

The big chopper lifted off the tarmac. To avoid the incoming and outgoings of planes of the very busy airport, the chopper flew north for a short while then swung east over the city until they were just over the mountain ranges that overlooked the metropolitan. Then it changed course to south by southeast.

Tony Hallbright, who was sitting on the starboard side of the chopper saw they were skirting what looks like a large three-pronged lake. He popped up his Google Map app and read that it was called Laguna de Bay or Laguna Lake. According to Wikipedia, it is the largest fresh water lake in the Philippines located southeast of Metro Manila between the provinces of Laguna to the south and Rizal to the north. They were flying low enough that tony can still distinguish several aquaculture pens. From his research, they were more than likely filled with tilapia and a mullet like fish which the locals called Bangus. Tony had some of the delicious milkfish for breakfast. A very pretty Filipina waitress recommended that he should eat it with garlic fried rice, salted eggs with red yokes and some pickled papaya relish. And to spice it up all up, she generously sprinkled his fish with reddish cane vinegar suffused with garlic, onion and tiny red peppers. He smiled to himself. Not only did he enjoy his meal, he also got to ‘friend’ her at Facebook.

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.