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 #5

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

CHAPTER 2 continued…

“How many people now?” asked the Admiral.

“The last count was 248. Well… it’ll soon be 249. One of our Bajau Laut ladies… ah… Mrs. Espinada… is due to give birth anytime now.”

Alicia turned the camera on Jona. “Jona, excuse me for eavedropping, but may I ask, how many of those sea gypsies did you get to join your project?” Seeing his frown, she quickly added, “No, I am not prejudice. I did a story on them some years back. The impression I got was that they were very much set in their ways.”

“Well, most are, but even among such a tight knit community, there are those that feel they need to spread their wings a lot more, so to speak. To answer your question, we have about 22 families that joined us.”

“How ever did you get them to join you?”

“Well, seven years ago, I was scuba diving off Palawan when I met this guy named Ito Ito about 20 feet underwater. I was so focused to take a picture of this nudibranch when suddenly this bamboo spear swoosh right by me and hit a very large moray eel. Apparently, this eel was going to take a big bite of my leg. I turned around to see this small skinny guy with no scuba gear except for goggles, a wooden flipper on one foot, a makeshift speargun and get this… white underwear with red hearts all over it.” There was laughter all around including Hallbright who was listening also.

Jona continued on, “Anyway, we got to talking in the dive boat I was staying in. He told me about how he used to belong with a sea gypsy clan in the Sulu Sea until they exiled him because of religious differences. So, he and his family have been living a nomadic life. He was such an expert of survivinging entirely off the sea that I told him that I wished I had about a hundred like him for my project. When we parted, I thought I’d never sea him again. Two years later, when we launched the rings into the water, about thirty bancas with multicolored sails appeared into San Miguel Bay. It was Ito Ito, his family and 21 other exiled families like him. It took him about a year to seek them out and assemble them together. Then, they took a year to sail their fleet of boats to reach us.”

“Attention everybody,” piped-in the Pilot, “…we are about to land. Please buckle up.”

The chopper descended on the heliport which was situated right next to the stern superstructure. It didn’t take too long for them to land and as soon as the whirring of the engines decreased, the crew chief went past them to open the rear cargo hatch.

Jona was off his seat as soon as the crew chief gave the clearance. First, he helped Alicia with her bags then got his own and he led them off the chopper. Waiting for them was his wife, Mae and Robby Ramiscal. Also there waiting were Bryce and Bree Grover, a brother and sister team incharge of the multiple agri and aquacultural projects.

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 #4

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

CHAPTER 2

“Oceanus… a Titan from Greek mythology,” Hallbright said.

“Yes,” said Jona. “He was the Titan god of the river Okeanos, which was believed to encircle the world and connect the earth to the heavens and the underworld. Anyway, Oceanus is an artificial floating atoll and it is all floating on… trash!”

“Trash! Incredible!” said an excited Hallbright, “I recalled watching videos of a floating island made of thousands of recycled plastic bottles in the Caribbean coast of Mexico… built by… ah… Reishee Sowa.”

“In fact, his designs and experiences were a large factor into the workings of the Oceanus Project,” explained Jona. “Of course, our floating creation is a lot more extensive than Mr. Sowa’s little island.”

“To what end?” asked Alicia who had her camera on him.

“The Oceanus Project is not just a floating city. She is our answer to the Great Pacific garbage patch. Now, before you ask any questions, the pilot is going to orbit Oceanus twice and then we will land. Enjoy the view.”

As Alicia turn the camera on Oceanus, she zooms in for a better look. Jona called it a floating atoll. By definition, an atoll is a ring-shaped reef that encircles a lagoon partially or completely. This is definately ring-shaped and it brought to mind another man-made atoll in Dubai, the Palm Jumeirah; except that this one floats. As they orbited closer, she saw that there were actually two rings; the outer ring of which is narrower than the inner. Both rings had foliage. As they came closer, she recognized that the foliage on the outer ring were mangroves. The inner ring seem to have more variety of foliage including the recognizable palm and coconut trees.

‘How in heaven did they get mangrove and coconut trees to grow on floating trash?’ she thought. ‘A definate question to ask later.’

By the look of it, the diameter of Oceanus is about twice the length of one of those supertankers, about 4000 feet or so. The rings, however, did not form a complete circle, however. In actuality, the atoll is made up of two arcs, their ends of which were attached to two superstructures, one of which seem to be the bow of a freighter which was cut in half.

On the other end was another superstructure but a lot more different from the bow. As the chopper flew by it, she saw that this superstructure was about nine stories high above sea level. The structure itself is built up on twin catamaran hulls, but by the look of the darker colored waters underneath there seem to be more underwater. The opening between the hulls is the gateway into the lagoon. By the look of it, a sailboat can go through it with space to spare. Now, the chopper was giving them a better view of the lagoon.

“I see that you expanded the inner side of the ring,” it was the Admiral’s voice.

Alicia saw that from the inner side of the ring, the floating land roughly extended out. On it were about twenty or so dome huts.

“Well, the villagers needed more ground space for their cottage industries,” Jona said. “They’re quite enterprising. Did you know that the women figured out how to convert seaweed into toilet paper? We are slowly and surely becoming less reliant to outside supplies.”

“What’s that big island?”

“That’s the staff’s residence island. That’s where we will be staying.”

Alicia panned the camera to the big island mound near the bow. On it were six dome structures encircling a larger double decked structure also with a dome roof.

“The smaller island is still under construction,” said Jona. “That will be eventually fused with the residence island.”

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.