26 eyebrow-raising things yachties do that confirm they don’t live in the real world
Yacht crew are a strange breed. We are spoiled in many ways and we often work harder than many people could ever imagine. One thing we are used to is the eyebrow raises, confused looks and questions we get from people in the “real world” about the everyday, normal things we do.
As yacht crew we:
- Expect everyone from provisioners to shop attendants to drop everything they’re doing to find last-minute items for us on a Saturday …in Europe …on a holiday …during lunch.
- Avoid eye contact with other shoppers at Costco to minimize questions about why we have multiple carts piled with items such as 10 packs of toilet paper, 15 packs of paper towels, 12 cases of soda and beer, 13 boxes of zip locks, 10 boxes of garbage bags, and junk food that could feed a small school for a week. “Are you with a summer camp or somethin’?”
- Spend an entire paycheck at least once on a big weekend partying and shopping with no major consequences because our housing, transportation and food are taken care by the boat for the rest of the month.
- Walk into shops and casually spend hundreds to thousands of dollars on seemingly trivial things such as table decorations without blinking.
- Spend 30 paid days a year on holiday while everyone outside of yachting believes we are always on holiday anyway.
- Own the best skateboards, bicycles, cameras, Go Pros, laptops, iPhones, dive gear, sunglasses, handbags, clothes and shoes, even though we are “servants” on a boat
- Make life plans according to seasons, and say things like, “how was your season?”
- Dream about $5,000 cash tips for a week’s worth of work and know it’s a possibility.
- Have no major debt or bills to speak of, especially if we’ve been in yachting a while.
- Have ruined, or been a part of a team that has ruined, one or more of the following: plated gold, plated brass, Italian marble, wool carpet, or irreplaceable clothing or china.
- Fly on private jets and helicopters with the boss, his or her family, and friends.
- Continuously post photos of exotic locations that seem completely unrelated and leave our friends asking where in the world we are now.
- Spend six weeks a year, every year, crossing the Atlantic Ocean.
- Tell people we haven’t seen anyone in our family for a few years and say it as if it’s completely normal.
- Believe wholeheartedly that spotless stainless steel, perfectly fluffed furniture and ironed bed sheets are essential to any room looking good.
- Have a work week that consists of but is not limited to driving the crew car seven hours from Ft. Lauderdale to Savannah to meet the boat at the shipyard, spending $7,000 at the grocery store preparing for a guest trip, planning and arranging an upcoming life-size Risk game birthday party for an 11-year-old, giving our captain an IV in our Advanced Medical course, helping don a fire suit on the deckhand during a fire drill, and making sure 42 loads of laundry are executed to perfection.
- Have the ability to save enough money to put a down payment on a reasonable house after one year of working.
- Wear our radios attached to our hips in public places and use them from time to time if they are in range.
- Talk about our crew mates, owners and captain to family members like it’s a term everyone uses in day-to-day conversations.
- Complain about what the chef makes and doesn’t make as if it’s normal to have a chef cooking for us.
- Have access to an agent who will help us find whatever it is we need to do our jobs with ease and perfection.
- Go on vacation with friends or family who are not in yachting and dribble on about how dirty everything is or how bad the service is at our hotel.
- Call Ft. Lauderdale or Antibes home even when when are from South Africa or Australia.
- Have favorite shopping spots, restaurants and bars in places like Ville-France, Olbia and Bonifacio.
- Know someone who has been deported or have been deported ourselves for intent or actually working on a boat in the U.S. with a B2 visa.
- Believe we’ll be bored if we have to go the Canary Islands again this year instead of somewhere new like Palma de Mallorca on our way back to the States from Europe.
Angela Orecchio is a chief stew and certified health coach. This column was edited from blog, Savvy Stewardess, The Smart Girl’s Guide to Yachting. Contact her through www.savvystewardess.com.