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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

Alex & Lang - 1. A & L Chapter 1

“Mi scusi, parla inglese?” a voice asked in very poor Italian, obviously this bloke was using what he learnt in high school, and had not bothered to learn more before travelling to Europe, and I almost groaned out loud, but instead I put on a smile and looked up.

I observed that he must be only nineteen or twenty, and by the looks of the Akubra hat that he was wearing, he must be from Australia. “Si amico, ti capiro perfettamente in inglese!” I said before changing to English and repeating my response.

“Yes mate, I understand you perfectly in English, and I suggest you give up trying to speaking in Italian again, as it is appalling, no offence,” I replied.

“You speak fluent Italian but you have an Aussie accent!” the young man said in shock, and I laughed and he smiled. “It is good to see a fellow Aussie, from so far away from home. I was at the other café across the way and I have been watching you, staring sadly at the Cathedral, and I could not help it but to come over and ask why you are so sad,” the young man said to me.

“It is a long and sad story, which starts off sad, but ends up being a great life for an orphan,” I began as I signalled for the young man to take a seat before I continued. “After the passing of his mother, he spent some time been brought up by a Grandmother who could not cope with bringing up a child, so she goes looking for the known father, who is hard to find and turns out had unexpectedly passed away before the boy could meet him.

The orphan boy was me, and my new guardian was my late father’s first cousin. Apparently, I inherited a gift from my father, and I used it when attending my father’s memorial service at a very remote Cathedral, in the far Southern Hemisphere. Each time I hear a choir singing, it reminds me of that funeral service, and of the father I never knew,” I said to the young man sadly.

“Wow. That is quite some event for you at such a young age. My name is Lang by the way, and I am from a small town you probably have never heard of called Toodyay. Two questions, what was your inherited gift? And where was this very remote Cathedral?” the young man replied.

I must have looked shocked when he told me his name and where his home town is, and he looked concerned at me, but I smiled. “Well hello Lang, it is a pleasure to meet you, my name is Alexander, and yes I do know Toodyay very well, as I owned a farm on the north-west side of the river just downstream from Toodyay, and to answer your two questions, I inherited my fathers gift of singing, and the remote Cathedral is the Anglican Cathedral in Stanley, on the Falkland Islands, where my father is buried,” I replied.

“Oh, wow. I didn’t expect that. So how did you get to speak Italian so fluently?” Lang asked me, “As I said before, my father and my guardian were first cousins, my grandmother moved to Western Australia, and my guardian’s mother remained in Italy and Liechtenstein. They were sisters who fell in love with men from two different sides of the world and in different hemispheres.

My guardian could afford the very best for me, so I went to the best schools and Universities, both here in Europe and Australia, and I learnt German, French and Italian easily from all the travels I have done. My guardian also has twin younger brothers, and it was them that I have been visiting for the past month,” I replied.

“So… are you going to go inside the Cathedral and listen to the choir sing?” Lang asked me, and I chuckled at this question, “Maybe another time, I have been inside many times before, and it is known as the Basilica di Sant’ Apollinare Nuovo.

Now tell me a bit about yourself, what are you doing in Italy, speaking the language very badly?” I asked, “Hey... that is mean, and that is quite a mouthful for a name for a church,” Lang responded.

“Relax, I was just teasing you mate, so tell me about yourself?” I replied. “Well, as I said, I am from Toodyay. I graduated from Grammar School, just over two years ago and I am now taking a gap year, before continuing on with my 3rd year of University studies in Medicine like my mother, at the UWA. My father is a Medical Lecturer at UWA.

I have two younger brothers, twins Mitchell and Julian, who are four years younger than me, and they are so jealous of me going to Europe to look around for three months, and I have been travelling around for ten weeks, looking around and also doing a bit of bar and restaurant service work, when it become available.

But now I am so homesick, that I want to head back home soon, but I have to change all of my travel arrangements, which will take forever to do, so I am sort of in limbo, trying to decide what to do,” Lang replied.

“How is Rev, is she still the School Chaplin there?” I asked taking a guess that Lang went to the same Grammar School as I did. “You went to Guildford? Wow what a small world,” Lang said in response with a shocked look on his face, and I just smiled and nodded my head yes.

“She has retired from the School and is only the Minister in Toodyay now. Wait a minute, do you know her son, I think his first name is…”, “Yes, Kyle is Rev’s son and a good friend of mine,” I said interrupting him. “Yes, that is him, anyway he changed directions in careers, and he is now a Mathematics Teacher at the Grammar School, and a very good one too,” Lang informed me.

“Well, that is news to me, mind you I have been out of contact with Rev and Kyle over the past few months, as I have been recovering from an incident that happened last year,” I replied. “You don’t mean the foreign aircraft and the gun battle at Northam Airport, do you?” Lang asked.

“Yes, I do, I was caught in the middle of it and received three automatic gunshots to the arm and shoulder,” I replied, “Wow! You have been in the wars!” Lang stated, “Not as much as a family member, who has served in the Australian Army on overseas conflicts,” I replied.

“So, are you heading back to Australia? Maybe I can tag along?” Lang asked sounding hopeful on coming along with his new friend, that being me. “That is ok by me, as long as you don’t mind taking a slow trip back home, and that you don’t get too sea sick,” I replied smiling.

“We are going back on a yacht? How big is it? Is it yours? How long will it take, and when are we leaving?” Lang asked rapidly, “Woo there, calm down with the questions. Yes, a yacht, it is big enough, and yes, it is mine, and it will take us a few weeks, depending on the weather,” I replied, as I smiled.

I had sold my previous yacht known as Toodyay 2, and bought another yacht from different yacht builders, and my new five deck yacht has seven guest cabins on the main deck, with two doubles that can become suites, when not suites there is four more doubles and one twin. Also on the main deck, is the ten-seat cinema, main saloon and the main dining room, plus on the aft is the large splash pool and outdoor seating area.

On the lower deck aft, is the beach deck with fold out side deck areas, with the rest of this deck being service and crew area, with the main galley, pantry stores, crew dining and lounge area, and with the most recent refit, there are now nine twin crew cabins instead of eleven, and with the refit, the three officers cabins are a lot roomier double cabin.

The upper deck is entirely owner’s space, with a butler’s pantry and service area, along with my master suite, my office and the staff cabin located behind it, with a large lounge and a small dining area at the aft of this deck. The Captain’s cabin and 1st Officer’s cabins are on the Bridge deck, along with a small Captain’s lounge and service area for the crew.

There is a lot more crew accommodation than needed, as I prefer a safe but minimal number of crew, and each crew member has their own cabin. I had allocated the staff Cabin behind my suite for my staff member - Wyatt to live in which he likes very much, and since the yacht is for my own personal use, there are rarely any guests on board, so all the guest suites and cabins remain empty.

I had changed the name of the yacht to “Toodyay” without a number, and it was currently moored at the Ravenna Marina, just 15 kilometres from where we are sitting near the Basilica.

“Sorry, I have never been on a big yacht before, if you don’t count the ferry over to Rottnest Island,” Lang said to me. “Well, it is a bit bigger than the Rotto Ferry, at 65 metres long, with five decks and has a permanent crew of ten, including my personal staff member Wyatt, who is also from Western Australia.

Captain Anton is Italian, and he has been skippering my yachts for some years now, the only other long term crew member is Toby, my Chief Steward and he is from South Australia. The rest of the crew have been with the yacht for the past eight months.

They being 1st Officer Chris and wife Chief Engineer Christine, who are from New Zealand, 2nd Engineer Grayson and Bosun Carter, who are brothers from Canada, Joseph Devries is from Switzerland, Chef Kent, is from the Northern Territory, and Steward Nigel is from Tasmania,” I informed Lang.

“A good mixture of crew then, that is good to see; and mostly guys too,” Lang commented, “Do you have a problem with that?” I asked cautiously, “Not at all, I am Bi, so I have no problem at all,” Lang replied, “That is good to hear, now where are you staying? As we can get you settled on the yacht right away,” I asked.

“It is a hotel across the road from a strip of forest then the beach and not far to the marina,” Lang replied, “That would be the Maddalena or the Albergo Bermuda,” I responded, “Correct on the first one, do you know the place?” Lang asked me, “Only by word of mouth that it is a LBTQ friendly place to stay,” I replied.

“That is the main reason why I chose it, and all of the staff is great, and the guests are all great fun,” Lang commented. “It is about 4 kilometres from the marina, so not that far from my yacht, how about you grab a cab, pack up and checkout, and make your way to Viale delle Nazioni, I will write it down so you can pass it to the cab driver, he should know where to find it.

My yacht is moored alongside the harbour right at the end of that street, and you will know it when you see the name on the transom,” I said to Lang as I wrote down the street address on a napkin and handed it to Lang.

“This is so awesome, thankyou for allowing me to join your yacht for the trip back home, my room mates will be a bit disappointed that I am leaving so suddenly,” Lang said to me. “Oh, how many do you share a room with, and where are they from?” I asked.

“Three others, one is Australian and two are New Zealanders, they have been great new friends over the past few weeks,” Lang replied, “Do they want to head back home too, I have enough room for all of you,” I replied, “I think they want to stay around for a bit longer, and see some more of Europe,” Lang replied sadly.

“Well, that is ok, if they change their mind just let them know where my yacht is located, as we will be here for a few more days,” I replied, and after a quick farewell Lang set off back to his accommodation, while I pulled out my mobile to make a call, to arrange my transport back to my yacht.

I have been enjoying living on my yacht, and now with at least one guest soon to arrive, I settled into my office and Captain Anton arrived soon after I sat down. “Welcome back sir, is there anything that you need?” the Captain asked me.

“Yes, I have come across a fellow Aussie, who I have invited to join us, for our journey back home. Can you please ask the crew to prepare for our guest in a crew twin cabin, and start preparing for our return trip home in a few days time,” I replied. The Captain nodded his head and left the office, and Wyatt appeared at the door entrance.

“Hey mate, can you get me a cup of tea and a sandwich please,” I asked, and Wyatt smiled and nodded before leaving, and as always, he was back with a cup of tea and a plate with one round of sandwich, which he placed on the desk. “Is there anything else sir?” Wyatt asked.

“No thanks mate, you can go back to your cabin and the book that you were reading before I arrived,” I replied smiling, and Wyatt chuckled before leaving. About an hour later, Wyatt returned to the door to my office, where I had been responding to a few emails.

“Your guest has arrived, and he has three friends with him, who would like a tour of the yacht if that is agreeable to you,” Wyatt said to me, “Thanks mate, I will deal with this myself, and have young Lang get settled into a twin crew cabin, as he has some skills that may come useful,” I replied, as I stood up and made my way towards the aft of the yacht.

As I stepped out onto the main deck, I saw Lang with a suitcase and a backpack, and gathered around him was his three friends. “Hello sir, permission to come aboard?” Lang asked, and I smiled, “Permission granted, and bring your friends, and I will give them a tour of the yacht… while Nigel here will show you to your cabin,” I responded as the junior steward appeared beside me.

“Get him settled into an empty crew cabin, as he has some restaurant and bar experience, so we will put him to work, make sure he gets issued with the appropriate uniforms,” I said quietly to the steward, who nodded, and stepped forward to welcome our newest crew member.

“Hello, I am Nigel, the 2nd Steward, please follow me,” Nigel said, “Hi, I am Lang Atkins, from Western Australia” I heard Lang reply, as they disappeared inside.

“Welcome to the Motor Yacht Toodyay, she is 65 metres long and…” I said to start the tour, for Lang’s three friends, and over the next half an hour, I showed them all of the Non-Crew areas on all four decks.

Copyright December 2021 All Rights are reserved, Preston Wigglesworth
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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Chapter Comments

Great to have a new story.

Awesome start, to the new story featuring Alexander and Lang, a fellow Australian. Great to see some familiar faces on board that magnificent yacht.

Looks like we are in for a fantastic journey.

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It will be interesting to see how all of this turns out, I am sure there will be some rough seas and bumpy sailing to follow!!

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Good to see a return visit from Alex.

So he's prepped to sail back from Italy on his refitted Toodyay and a chance meeting sees him offer fellow Aussi Lang a sea trip home. Lang will have to 'Sing for his supper' to use any old saying, using his restaurant skills on board as a Steward. 

Let's see where this story goes. Hopefully Alex his grown up and put his often displayed 'sharp attitude' away, as it is both annoying and has cost him some friendships in the past.

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1 hour ago, IBEX said:

He should tell Lang upfront, that he as to work for the passage. Why the secrecy?

No secrecy, it was just a decision he made after learning that Langley had skills that could be used on the journey back home.

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