So in order for me to pay for the bike ride the plan was to get work on a Super yacht in the south of France, as the pay is pretty good and a great way to save.
After 5 days of serious job hunting in Antibes, signing up to agencies and dock walking to ask if there’s any work going I’ve managed to get a job as a stewardess on a 30m Motor Yacht. I’ll go into further detail about the job and how I got it later.
I’ll start from the beginning though….
So, to work on any commercial vessel you have to do a STCW95 basic training course (which covers first aid, safety at sea and fire rescue) & get an ENG1 medical certification to state you’re fit and healthy.
I booked the course in The Isle of Wight for 5 days through UKSA.
The first day (Monday) was safety at sea. Once we’d covered all of the theoretical information about the equipment we’ll come across on board, we went in the pool to see how our life jackets work, practiced getting in and out of the life raft and learnt how to right it (turn it the right way round) whilst in the water. I wish I’d taken a video of this, as some (including myself) were definitely less graceful than others at getting in and onto the raft. He he.
The second day was first aid, which was way more comprehensive than any course I’ve been on before. The tutor was pretty funny though….plenty of horror stories to tell.
Wednesday to Friday was fire safety. I didn’t realise just how intense it would be. I thought we’d be putting out small fires and learning how to use the fire extinguishers. It went much further than that. We got into teams of three and donned our sexy fire outfits, complete with fire hoods, helmets and masks with air.
As a diver I didn’t think I’d have a problem with the face mask, but it was awful. I freaked out quite a bit.
We were numbered 1-4, with number 1 being the one in charge of instructing the team. I was picked for this role, probably because of my big mouth!
There was a real fire in one part of a container and our job was to find the fire, put it out and save any ‘causalities’ along the way. It was really hot in there with all the gear on, so dark and smoky you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face and it was extremely hard to hear what people were saying through the mask. I was told later on, by the fire man, that the reason the others were ‘ignoring’ my questions or instructions was firstly they couldn’t understand my accent and secondly my voice got so high pitched and muffled it sounded a little like screaming! Safe to say the exercise didn’t go exactly as planned, but we put the fire out and got out alive. I never want to do that again!