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 #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.