tadpole fleetCOCKROACH - the next generation 
("..to badly go over the same ground again..")

Written and translated [tr.] from the Australian by Nick Fatchen

Captain's Log: Lakedate 27121998

After nearly two years in dry dock, the refit of CS148S-B Flying Tadpole has finally been completed. I must send a memo to the dockyard authorities about the remissness of their actions.

drydockThe towing of Flying Tadpole from dry dock to launch facilities proved to be easier than expected [tr. Admiral Kluck never expected to see his Light Schooner again]. Actual launching also proved to be easier using new techniques [tr. male crew got wet]. Once anchored to launch facilities, the trainee crew boarded - had some misgivings at first due to their lack of preparation but the crew fared well on the initial shakedown run.

Proceeded at one-third main power [tr. mainsail only] after using impulse power [tr. paddles] to clear docks. Problems with engineering section caused both power and control difficulties, but were not sufficient to necessitate immediate return to dock. Shortly thereafter, Federation inspection personnel [tr. girlfriends including one last seen under rescue in Lake Alexandrina] declared their satisfaction [tr. terror? horror? fear?] and requested [tr. demanded] they be returned to the docking facility. Problems with teleporter required a brief return by Flying Tadpole to allow their disembarkation. At least the grapples [tr. boathooks] worked as specifications indicated.

Once out from dock, I gave the order to increase power to two-thirds [tr. raised the jib]. Moments later, a massive power surge [tr. large wind gust] nearly caused damage - avoided by the crew's prompt response to orders [tr. panic]. thrustersThe engineering fault has not yet been found and continues to prevent full potential of our main propulsion unit [tr. mainsail] being reached, as well as causing control difficulties [tr. can't steer properly]. In addition, bridge control equipment [tr. hiking stick] is proving unreliable [tr. falling apart].

Decided to return to dock, judging that the crew had been familiarised with the vessel [tr. incipient mutiny]. Once again, approached dock under main power, conditions making impulse power impractical for docking. Docking proceed smoothly until there was a mechanical failure in the main grapples [tr. the boathook broke]. Fast thinking by crew members in employing auxiliary grappling systems [tr. hands], and in recovery of main grapple [tr. end of boathook], meant there was no damage to Flying Tadpole and no equipment lost.

Debriefed both crew and inspection personnel. Crew were enthusiastic [tr. drunk] about new technology and voyage. Inspection personnel did not seem as impressed [tr. yawns all round]. Am concerned of a bad report to Admiral Kluck from them.

Captain's Log: Lakedate 28121998

abscondingAwoke this morning to discover a crew member had absconded with equipment required for towing Flying Tadpole back to dry dock [tr. the trailer's lights went home without the trailer]. Discovered inspection personnel had opted to remain at dock for the second cruise [tr. a pair of smart women]. Left dock with minimum crew under one third power, and increased to two-thirds, although worried that our course might have carried us dangerously close to navigational hazards [tr. Clayton Bay reef]. Navigational ability was improved by tinkering in engineering [tr. tightenting the jib tack] but the aforementioned engineering fault was still present.

Set course for Duck's Hospital [tr. Dunn's Lagoon near Clayton]. Fast run to there, then more engineering problems [tr. chinese jibe] caused major power problems. These necessitated us going into a stationary position by a large mass of both organic and inorganic matter [tr. Goat Island] for repairs. botanyRepairs did not take long, but we discovered that Flying Tadpole had been caught by floating vegetative organisms [tr. stuck in the waterweed]. Unable to use the main propulsion units [tr. Goat Island in the way], we were forced to rely on impulse power. It looked as if we would need to fall back to auxilliary thrusters [tr. Seagull] [tr. tr. the outboard, not the bird] or worse still, emergency propulsion [tr. swimming] to free Flying Tadpole, but after long moments of straining, impulse power was able to extract us from our orbit.

no worries!On the return leg, engineering discovered the mechanical fault which had caused so much in the way of power and control difficulties [tr. main topping lift tied one foot too short]. The absconded towing equipment having re-appeared, the reconditioned CS148S-B Flying Tadpole was returned without difficulty to dry dock.

I am happy to report to Federation High Command [tr. Admiral Kluck] that CS148S-B Flying Tadpole is now ready for active duty.


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