However long those winter months in the yard stretch out the start of the season always comes as a bit of a slap in the face You got quite used to five o’ clock finishes, weekends away and work out sessions at the gym you were able to join. You got to know most of the other yachties, a good group of locals and the best place to grab a post-work pint.
Lo and behold you’ve even learnt quite a few phrases in Spanish/ Italian/ French and no longer get lost in the cobblestoned old town on a crew night out..
In short, you’ve settled in to the life more ordinary and the routine it comes with. Although the months of March/ April have been looming for quite some time it still feels like it’s from one day to the next that you’re frantically ordering new uniform and working your way through a pile of CV’s!
You’ve got a work list so long it could make it across to Barbados and the boss is apparently keen to start the season early. Also itineraries and charter plans are changing by the minute as at this stage you don’t know whether you’re starting off with a group of Russians aiming to anchor off Monaco for the grand prix or a family of five keen to cruise the Balearics. This wake-up-and-smell-the-cleaning products- period is bound to be overwhelming after a sleepy winter hibernating inside a shipyard tent tricked into thinking next summer’s still eons away!
Whatever your position there’s surely enough logistics to make your head spin but equally hard will be the transition from spending most evenings steadily working your way through both the snack cupboard and the boat’s DVD collection to having to become physically super fit as that first charter will definitely be draining. You’ll be on your feet all day, bringing out plates, carrying cases of Cristal, hoisting tenders and taking on even more provisions; everything’s heavy, your body’s sore and your hours of sleep have gone from a sufficient 7 to a meagre 5-6.. Ouch.
If you’re not yet part of a crew but have started the search for that perfect position the season ahead seems equally unpredictable….to go for that job where the pay is less but the crew really cool or to decide on that step up to a better place even though the boat’s scheduled to cruise the Scottish Hebrides.. (I did it and everything people say about the Scottish isles in summer -it’s all true..)
Whatever seems to be on the cards it’s more than likely it will change because if there is one thing that’s certain it is that a yachting season will only throw the things at you which you least expected!
Are things looking pretty manageable with only one sleepy boss’ trip and a week’s charter? Hoping to be able to spend some sneaky time on the beach this summer and possibly even squeezing in a short trip back home? Chances are you’ll have one charter after the other with two days turnaround in between.
I’ve had the opposite happen as well on a boat which was perfectly prepped for the owner to arrive to spend the entire summer on board. We were milling around the aft deck with our hair brushed, our teeth cleaned and kitted out in immaculately pressed whites ready for our meet and greet when we got the call (literally seconds before the owner was supposed to land) with the news he’d hurt his shoulder and we wouldn’t be seeing him anytime soon..
So to help you find peace with the fact that only October will be able to tell what this coming season will have in stock, here are a few things that are more likely to happen than that the season’s schedule will play out as originally planned:
- A Somali pirate attack in the Bay of Palma
- The chef saying ‘don’t worry about it, it was only an accident’ after you’ve dropped his pièce de résistance, again.
- The boss suggesting a role swap between guests and crew for a few days as he thinks ‘It’ll be refreshing’..
- None of the boys losing a sock all season
- You remembering how to tie a bowline and not lose a fender once (oh, maybe that one’s just me
In any case superyacht job seekers good luck finding the perfect match! Here’s hoping you land a good job on a great boat! And to all you yachties already signed up: Have a fab season filled with only surprises of the sterling kind!
Written by: Danielle Berclouw
Top Photo Credit: licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0. Author Moshi Anahori