Monthly Archives: June 2013

What a difference a week makes!

OK, so as my previous post mentioned the job really wasn’t for me. Not only this, but i couldn’t stand the captain. I wasn’t the only one. The other crew members did not like or respect him at all.

This said, i was well in need of a good night out, so headed out into Antibes last Saturday. As i told the captain i’d be back for 10.30pm, he was calling bang on time to see where i was. I was having a good time and really wasn’t ready to go back, so i ignored my phone and continued the night. 5am came and i needed to get some sleep before i was due back on the boat at 8am. With no where to sleep the beach seemed like a good option….not when we woke up to a tractor coming our way!

I didn’t want to face the music on the boat just yet, so after half heatedly looking for a tender (boat) to take me to my boat and being unsuccessful, i decided to turn my phone off and give my shift a miss.

Not surprising that when i turned up on Monday morning the Captain wasn’t best pleased and fired me. This was after a painful couple of hours where he demonstrated his ‘power’ and made me realise how ‘severe’ my actions were. I really struggled to hold my laughter in when he asked me to rate my behaviour on a scale of 1-10. Apparently 7 was the wrong answer, 10 was correct- what i did was worse than murder it seems. He ACTUALLY said that!!

So after telling him exactly what i thought of him i packed my bags, headed to the crew house and started to think about what to do next.

Booked my flight the next day to London, which was a pretty tough decision. I’ve met some amazing people that i really don’t want to leave behind and have invested a lot into getting work on yachts.

Ah well, Sydney is next on the cards- booked my flight yesterday. I’ll be there for a few months, staying with a friend, then back in the UK to continue the saving!

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Route Planning

Struggling to make a decision on my route to Istanbul and my major one is whether to cycle along the Danube or do the coast of Croatia.

So i think i’ve decided on The Eurovelo5 route to Basel (Switzerland)



From here i’ll either go along the Eurovelo 6 from Basel to Vidin (Bulgaria), then down through Bulgaria to Greece




Take the Eurovelo 5 to Milan, then make my way to Venice to start the Eurovelo 8 down to Greece.





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Boat Life

Mine and Manuela's Cabin

Mine and Manuela’s Cabin

So almost 2 weeks on board and I can safely say I’ve never worked so many hours in my life. My role of stewardess has consisted of 8am-11pm days (with no day off) cleaning, washing, ironing, serving food and drinks, making beds and helping out with the anchor and things at times.



It’s a pretty old boat and we’ve had a few hiccups already. The ice maker set on fire on my third day. Unfortunately I didn’t have chance to practice my fire fighting skills, as someone beat me to it. The engine exploded too. Luckily we’ve got another 2, so not such a big deal! Oh and the other day in St Tropez the wind was so bad it caused our tender boat to cut clean from its rope and ended up on the rocks- 20 grands worth of a boat, gone in seconds!

OK, so wipe everything out of your mind when you imagine cleaning & housekeeping, because on boats it’s on another level! We’re talking toothpicks along the wood paneling, tissues presented to look like flowers, bed sheets precisely measured and ironed, toilet paper shaped like a diamond and generally extremely anal cleaning. In the outside world you wouldn’t normally hoover if it wasn’t needed. Here it’s necessary to hoover despite it actually needing to be done. Oh and don’t get me started on the folding of the socks. I didn’t realise there was a right way to fold socks, and every other item of clothing for that matter. Jesus! Now for anyone that knows me, attention to detail is not one of my strong points. I’m more of a ‘there’s more to life than spending 20 minutes making a bed’ kind of person. So you can imagine that this kind of stuff drives me insane! I’ll fold the dressing gowns on the bed, ready for when the guests arrive and this, as the chief stewardess tells me, is not good enough. So I do it again…and again…and again. Did I mention patience is also not one of my strengths??? Music mostly gets me through, and swearing- in thought only. I made the bed the wrong way the other day. This got described as a “very bad situation” by the chief stewardess. I’d describe world hunger, aids, or even war in this way- NOT a badly made bed!! Oh, did I mention it’s a dry boat too, so I’ve not had a drink for 2 weeks!

The main Saloon

The main Saloon

Right, I’ve had my rant so now I’ll describe the good parts. The owners are nice, not too demanding at all, the money is good, so is the food actually, and the views are amazing.

The owners have left now, so time for a day off!!

The Aft Deck

The Aft Deck

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The Crew World

Antibes is in between Cannes and Nice. It’s one of the most popular places for those looking for yachting work in Europe.  Over the years word has got out about how well paid the industry is (normally you can save enough for a deposit on a house, in the North of England anyway, after one year) and has meant competition for jobs has increased. I stayed at a crew house, which is basically a hostel for those looking for work on super yachts. Some people have been there for 2 or 3 months looking for work, just picking up day work here and there. It made me nervous that I’d made a mistake coming out here, naively thinking I’d find a job quickly. I signed up to various job agencies and went walking along the docks asking boats if they had any crew jobs going. This quickly became boring, so I decided to give myself a break and go out.

The next morning I was a tad hung over, still in my PJs and trying to wake up! The owner of the crew house, Martin (real Yorkshire man), ushered me over to tell me a captain was in reception, had seen my CV and wanted to interview me there and then! I obviously wanted to quickly change into something smart, but he wouldn’t let me, just dragged me over to the Captain (in my Pjamas)! After going over my hospitality experience he invited me along for a trial day the next day in Ville France. Yipeeee.

So the next day I hopped on a train, 40 minutes away, to Ville France- which is just past Nice. The port is absolutely beautiful and apparently part of a James Bond movie was filmed here.

The boat, Sprezzatura, is owned by a couple in their 60s from Australia & USA. They spend a lot of time on board, but also charter the boat out too. This is where the tips are i hear!

The crew consists of a French Captain, English Deckhand, Italian Head Stewardess and a German engineer. They all seem really nice and welcoming.

I’d say half of the 8 hour trial was spent in the toilet vomiting from sea sickness. There was no way I thought I’d get the job…but they offered it to me on the day. I think I must have been a cat in my previous life as I always seem to land on my feet 😉

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