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Latitude Adjustment: Crew news

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Capt. Gianni Brill has taken over S/Y Milo. He’s got a fantastical story to tell about this yacht and how she came to be floating on the water — quite an unlikely event, he assured me. But she is afloat and was looking lovely in Antigua last month.

Brill met the owners years before when they acquired the yacht in an auction. It would take a lot of work and fittingly, he didn’t hear from them for several years outside of the occasional e-mail or phone call touching base.

Then, as he’s driving out of town for a weekend, he gets the call that the yacht is ready and the owner wants him to be captain. Just like that. When he returns to town, he visits the yacht and makes plan to join it in Europe for the summer season.

Nevermind that it might have been easier for him and the owner if he had joined the vessel during her refit, but no matter. A few hiccups and yard periods later, Brill and the crew of Milo were looking forward to winter in the Caribbean. Good luck to you all.

The little table in the breezeway at the yacht club caught my eye a few times during the Antigua show, but I was always running to meet someone and couldn’t stop. Finally, on the last day of the show in early December, I stopped.

Draped over driftwood and laying over coral were huge pearls strung on leather. Simple yet exquisite jewelry made by a local sailing cruiser and delivery crew named Julie.

Julie found out this summer that she has stage 1 breast cancer. Her friend and delivery captain Capt. Maiwenn Beadle of a 95-foot sailing yacht is gathering money for her care back in South Africa, selling her jewelry for her, and selling a black-and-white calendar of Julie’s friends wearing her jewelry and nothing else.

She has already sold enough to buy airline tickets for Julie’s husband and teenage son to fly from Antigua to South Africa to be with her, and hopes to sell the rest to help pay for her care or reconstructive work, should she choose that.

“Women agonize over breast cancer,” reads the Web site her friend, had created for the occasion. “We take as personal the lump in every friend’s breast.”

And even friends of those we meet for a moment. I bought one of the necklaces and get compliments on it everywhere I go. One of the calendars hangs by my desk. To buy your own, visit BoobiesForJulie.com. To see her jewelry, visit rushjewel.com.

During the Antigua show, there are morning seminars on destinations that always seem interesting. Like many people at the show, I intend on attending them all, but because they are held at the crack of dawn, it gets harder and harder to wake up that early as the show goes on.

On Thursday morning, four people sat in on a session about clearing into Antigua. A broker and his colleague from Greece, I think; me; and Capt. Aaron T. Clark of M/Y Four Wishes, the 144-foot Palmer Johnson.

Capt. Clark and I struck up a conversation and I told him about the captains on Natita and Bad Girl who work a rotation, which seemed pretty cool to me. I must not have explained it clearly, because he wasn’t impressed.
Clark is a two-time winner of Fraser’s Charter Captain of the Year award and clearly loves what he does. But being away from the program for months at a time just didn’t make sense to him.

“If you charter, you have to have a reliable product,” he said. “That’s why I work on 3-5 year contracts. How many Fortune 500 companies do you know where the CEO is off for three months? These kids need direction.”

He made a good point, and as we talked more, I learned that he’s on stage for the entire winter and summer charter seasons. When the yacht is in transit and when it’s in the shipyard, he has a relief captain take over.
“Some guys are really good at maintenance, but I want my energy to do what I’m good at,” he said.

It occurred to me later that he’s on a sort of rotation, too, although it’s called something else, and the “product” doesn’t notice. Four Wishes is as busy as it wants to be in season, with a crew full of spirit and smiles. That’s all anyone can ask for in yachting, isn’t it?

And it makes one more case for scheduled time off.

Have you made an adjustment in your latitude recently? Let us know. Send news of your promotion, change of yachts or career, or personal accomplishments to Editor Lucy Chabot Reed at lucy@the-triton.com.

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