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 #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.

OCEANUS ADVENTURE #28

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

Chapter 10 continued

Jer Roque settled back into the pilot’s seat. He took the drone out of auto pilot and by the look on the center screen, it was still orbitting Ito’s boat.

“Pegasus, Pegasus… this is Neptune.” It was the admiral’s voice. “Hey, Jer… it sure took you a long time to be in the head? Did ya have a hard time?” He said humorously.

“At least, the one that I used here was a lot more comfy than Ito’s bucket in a cubbyhole,” Jer laughed.

The admiral could be heard chortling in the speakers. “Yeah, Ms. Buenaventura’s still complaining about it,” he said in a low whispered voice.

“I heard that, admiral!” Alicia Buenaventura’s voice sounded in the background.

There was another bout of laughter.

Twenty minutes later, Jer saw that the boats reached the head of the flotsam.

“Alright, Neptune… you’re there. It’s scooping time.”

Jer banked to the port to watch Neptune unwind their main catch net which was about 600 feet in length and 30 feet in height. Just like every commercial fishing nets, this one had a string of floaters on top and weights on the bottom. Unlike other nets though, this net was fabricated in Oceanus, a lot more lightweight and it can stretch to twice its size, but had the tensile strenght of steel. Jer’s always amazed over the stuff that’s produced here.

The Neptune pulled away from the net. The other two boats headed for the two ends of the net. As both boats attached the net to their stern, Jer picked up the intercomm phone and punched-in 4 numbers.

“Hey Robby, they’re about to start scooping up the patch. It should take them 2… 3 hours top. I think we can send the Belinda out there now. Okay, thanks. See ya.”

He hunged up.

“Neptune, Neptune… Belinda will be there… ETA… about 1 hour.”

“Copy that, Pegasus,” said the admiral. “Hey Jer, are you going to hang around for awhile?”

“Sure, admiral. I’ll watch the show for a while. Besides, I still have my coffee to finish.” He slurped loudly, then said,”Mmmm… I really love the coffee blend from your stack.” He laughed out loud.

“You are cruel, Jer,” the admiral’s voice came in jovially. “No Christmas gift for you this year.” More laughter.

Jer watched the two small boats in full sails maneuver the net into the colored stain. The boats maintained an equi-distance of about 300 feet from each other. One hour into the operation, he could not tell how much debris was collected so far. But by the look of it, the net was visibly stretched far back like a bloated stomach. This caused both boats to angle their bows outward to maintain their equi-distance. The Neptune was about 2 miles behind and it had its own scoop net out. It was cone shaped and was 40 feet long. It was designed to collect tiny plastic particles. They’re collecting samples for the research group.

After about an hour, Jer called in the other pilot to take over. As he was exiting the control room, he bumped into Laura Kostas.

“Laura? What are you doing up here?” he asked surprisingly, not ever seeing her up here before.

“Oh, I’m exploring and… well, I’m also hoping to catch a glimpse of the drones when they come back from their mission. I’m sort of a RC nut.”

“I’m sorry, Laura, but the control rooms are off limits. However, one of the drones is coming back in about 20 minutes. You can watch the drone be snagged right out of the air at the flight decks above. Just tell the deck boss that I gave the okay.”

“Thank you, Major,” she said smiling then turned to walk toward the stair well.

Jer shrugged his shoulders then proceeded down below to meet up with the pretty NCIS agent.

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 #27

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

Chapter 10

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…

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 #26

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

Chapter 9 continued

“Gotcha!” he said to himself. He activated the radio, and said, “Neptune… Neptune, this is Pegasus. How do you read, over?”

“Neptune, here,” it was the voice of Admiral Reese. “Pegasus, do you have a sighting?”

“Roger that, Neptune. Long patch about 8 miles north-west from your position…”

“Jer, is that you? I was wondering what happened to ya. Well, what ya got?”

“I see a lot of goodies for Oceanus to munch on. I’m sending you GPS now.”

“Hold one,” said the Admiral. He worked his way back to the stern where Ito was on the till staring into his navigation monitor. It beeped twice and Ito looked up and gave a thumbs up.

“Pegasus, we got the GPS. What can we expect?”

“The patch is about 350-400 feet in lenght… maybe around 50 feet in width. Lot’s of large debris. And tell Ito that I also spotted 2 massive logs.”

Ito had a very big smile on his face. He quickly disappeared below and came back up with a black military tubular weapon and what looked like a mini harpoon. .

“What’s he going to do with that?” asked Alicia who followed the Admiral.

“Oh, the harpoon launcher?” Tess humorously pointed at. “That is a gift that the Admiral gave him two Christmases ago. Ito uses that to snag any large debris on the move.” Seeing the question mark on her face, Tess continued, “Ito is always looking for large items like giant floating tree trunks… He likes to build furniture and stuff like that for the staff and crew. He’s such a considerate guy… Anyway, when he’s out here on a job, he hates to just stop the boat to claim it especially when the wind is giving him 10 knots. So, he harpoons any floating timber with an attached cable and haul it in like a fish on a line.”

After Ito secured his launcher, he gets back on the till and start spinning the wheel to starboard. At the same time, he was rapidly barking orders in Visayan. The Bajau crew scambled through out the boat. With the wind coming in strong from the rear, some of them went forward to the bow.

Wanting to get some footage of the crew’s lively activities, Alicia followed with her cameraman in tow. They expertly and speedily pulled out a very colorful spinnaker from a bow-locker which billowed out into the wind.

Tess expertly cranked on the winch that tightened the jib sail which was loudly flapping. When it went taut, Tess stopped cranking. She then went back to the stern getting a thumbs up from the Admiral and a toothy smile from Ito Ito.

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 #24

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

Chapter 9 continued

Tess could not help being a little pleased inside as she worked her way up to the bow. Reaching the prow, her face was sprayed with cold salt water as the bow easily sliced through twenty-foot swells. She was reminded on absolutely how much she loved to sail. Then her radio squacked into life.

“Chrystal blue… Chrystal blue, come in, Chrystal blue! How do you read? Over.”

She recognized Robby’s voice. “Rapper, this is Chrystal blue, you’re coming in loud and clear.”

“Hey blue, is that you on the prow doing that ‘Titanic’ scene again?” he snickered.

She glanced back at Oceanus and asked, “Where are you Rob… I mean Rapper, over?”

“Look for my blue strobe.”

Amidst all the other lights of the tall superstructure, a sharp blue light was blinking away about halfway up the tall structure. Tess knew that Robby was radioing her from the observation platform where there were several telescopes mounted on the railing.

“Hi mommy!” shouted a kid’s voice in the radio.

“Guess who’s looking at you right now?”, said Robby.

“What is Larissa doing up so early?”

“She woke up looking for you and didn’t want to go back to bed. How are things out there? …especially with you know who?”

“She’s back there puking away,” she said laughing. He was laughing too.

“I hope she can do her job.”

“Well, that’s why I’m here.” Tess then spots Alicia struggling to make her way up forward. “Oh, she’s coming forward.”

“Okay, enjoy yourself out there. We’ll see you tonight, Rapper out.”

“Chrystal blue, out.” Tess waved her arm back and forth imagining her daughter on her tip toes peeking through the telescope waving back.

“… this boat was actually built by our Badjau captain,” said the admiral to Alicia. Behind her was a cameraman shooting away and a soundman was crouched down holding a boom & microphone. “He actually googled the design of a Malibu Outrigger after seeing some of my old Hawaiian vacation photos and built it in just 2 months.”

“Did the US government fund his building project?”

“Oh, we wanted to, but Ito Ito had it in his mind to build it on his own. So, he took the wood framings of two of his own 30 footer bancas and reframed it into this baby. He had intended that his boat should slice through 30 foot waves like a knife. So, he needed a material that was sleek. Jona… that is, Director Quimby offered him ‘Plasteen’.”

“Plasteen? What is Plasteen?” asked Alicia.

The admiral got down on his knees and slapped the side of the hull. “Plastic skin… produced only in 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.