Well done. You did it.
Not only are you alive to tell the tale but so is the rest of the crew, whom you’ve managed to not throw overboard or lock up in a bilge without food and water (some of them so deserved that, didn’t they?). There have been plenty of moments when you thought you were going to dive from the starboard side with a little waterproof knapsack, not return from a shopping trip (“I’m just going to get a newspaper for the boss, back in ten..”), poison the deck crew with a ‘very special reviving smoothie’ or barricade yourself in your cabin and refuse to come out until after the Monaco Boat Show.
You’ve had to deal with more stress and random craziness in two months than most landlubbers would need to deal with in an entire lifetime. Forget about having to take your lunch break half an hour later than usual, or not being able to find your stapler because Tim from accounts forgot to give it back to you, again. We’re talking about having to organise a ‘mobsters and lobsters’ themed party on a two-hour notice, three-minute turn-arounds, losing your sense of humour during charter no. four and having to find the boss’s sunglasses/ iPhone/ marbles on a daily basis. Not to mention having to deal with the two-syllable second engineer or a boozing charter guest insisting you stay up to listen to the story about how his wife left him for the French barman down the road, for the fifth time this week (true story). You’ve been on non-speaking terms with the chef for two days after he made a big fuss about you confusing crudités with canapés (dude, whatever), and if you’d been given a euro for every time you made a face behind the Captain’s back, you could get out of yachting forever. Doesn’t sound too bad now, does it?
But now you’re done. You didn’t try and bribe a local fisherman to sneak you and your 32kg bag ashore at 4 am, you managed to stick it out. Until the very bitter end.
You’re in desperate need of a pedi, mani, everything-cure and a glass of wine the size of a jacuzzi.
Now, you’re back in Palma/ Malta/ Antibes or Viareggio and it’s awesome. If you’re still up at two o’ clock in the morning it’s because you’re celebrating in between season-ness and not because you’re still ironing the boss’s underpants. And if you’re up at 6 am it’s because you’re still out, as end of season celebrations tend to last a few weeks. You can start going back to your yoga/ gym classes, rest, refuel and enjoy a slice of normal life. You might spend some time at home where your mates of ten+ years will help bring you back to planet ‘normal’. A place where they don’t get two grand tips, wish they could for once not spend the winter in the Caribbean and get into stuff like polishing the toaster and hoovering the hoover or indeed use phrases like: “When are you next picking up?”
After your hols and back onboard and ready for cruisy eight to five maintenance work, things are surprisingly not so bad. Cheffie’s started to make yummy cooked brekkies and the Chief Stew has started to slowly breathe in, and then out. Good girl. You’ve noticed some of the deck crew are actually quite funny and, lo and behold, the Captain’s given you a compliment and a pay rise.
Quite all-right this job really. You might even decide to postpone your resignation until after the Caribbean season.
Photo Credit: Fiona Shields under CC license.