More Info »"/>

The Triton

News

Loving chef will always be remembered

ADVERTISEMENT

By Alex Barnard

Since the day we met on New Year’s Eve 2014, Jacques and I woke up in the same place all but a handful of times. But on the morning of Oct. 15, he wasn’t beside me when I opened my eyes. At 8:06 a.m, I was woken up by my brother-in-law, who was concerned that Jacques hadn’t come back the night before.

From that moment, everything was different.

When we first met, I was first officer on the 120-foot M/Y Dream Weaver, and Jacques had been hired as our new chef. Within four months, we were engaged. Less than seven months after meeting, we were married.

By August, we were running boats together, first the 92-foot S/Y Sea Diamond, then the 96-foot M/Y Pensees.

In September, we resigned from Pensees to spend time with Jacques’ family in South Africa. We had a 1-year-old godchild/niece who wouldn’t stop getting bigger on our behalf. On Oct. 5, we landed in South Africa.

Less than two weeks later, Jacques’ sister and her husband rented a beautiful apartment with us on the coast for the weekend. Our balcony was less than 50m from the shoreline; from here we could braai [have barbecues] and listen to the waves.

After our brother and sister-in-law went to sleep on Oct. 14, Jacques wanted to go fishing (as usual) and I wasn’t ready for the night to end. Just before midnight, we climbed up and over the farm hill bordering the coast, and Jacques picked the spot he wanted to fish from.

It was at the edge of a rocky cliff about 30m above the sea. I could sit on a gently sloping grassy area and lay back to watch the stars rise over the cliff tops. Still newlyweds, we talked and laughed for hours while Jacques pulled in one fish after another. As much as I teased him for it, he wouldn’t stop turning around to say “I love you [embarrassing nickname]” between casts. In a word, it was magical.

After a while, Jacques was still keen to fish for another couple of hours and I was ready to head back. We said our “Good night” and “I love you”s and I practically floated back to our apartment.

But Jacques never came back. At some point during the early morning hours, he slipped off the top of the cliff. The morning of Oct. 15, family, friends, coast guard, helicopters, and airplanes searched for my husband.

Jacques and Alex Barnard. PHOTO PROVIDED

Jacques and Alex Barnard. PHOTO PROVIDED

He was eventually recovered but it was too late; the fall had taken him instantly. He was nine days shy of his 30th birthday.

For anyone who knew him, Jacques was the kind of guy who you considered yourself lucky to know, always grinning, always mischievous, and always with love in his heart. The fact that he was a badass chef was just an added bonus.

Jacques is missed every day, in the galley and in the hearts of anyone who crossed his path.

A memorial service was held for Jacques Barnard in East London, South Africa, on Oct. 22.

Comments on this story are welcome below.

Related Posts...
Jacob Nicol, who suffered severe injuries after a fall while Read more...
By John Freeman Hugo Carver, long-known in San Diego’s maritime Read more...
By Dorie Cox Eng. Matthew Carscadden, 27, died June 6 Read more...
Veteran yacht captain Richard (Rick) Lee Lenardson died on April Read more...
Sailor and chemist Henry Peper Jr., 94, died at his Read more...

Share This Post

5 thoughts on “Loving chef will always be remembered

  1. Ben McGowan

    Alex, I was at Drakies with Jacques. He was such an amazing young man and, as I’m sure everyone who knew him will say, I was proud to have known him. I’m so so terribly sorry for your loss.

  2. Jeannine

    You are an amazingly strong woman like your mom. My condolences to you and your family for the loss of your beloved husband. He will always be with you and the love will never die! This was a wonderful , beautiful touching tribute. God bless you Alex

  3. Leonie Hampton

    I met you, Alex, on Steve’s yacht in Australia. My heart sends you love.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please answer the question below to leave a comment. * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

Editor’s Picks

Victoria International Marina opens for yachts this summer

Victoria International Marina opens for yachts this summer

After more than 30 years in the making, the $17.8 million (24 million Canadian dollars) Victoria International Marina is on track to …

NY marina now ready for megayachts

NY marina now ready for megayachts

Large yachts headed to New England this summer can now call on Danfords Marina in Port Jefferson, N.Y. The recently renovated marina now …

It’s all in the family for RPM’s Rubano

It’s all in the family for RPM’s Rubano

By Dorie Cox Every day, Joseph J. "Joe" Rubano scrolls through his online calendar list of 63 employees to see who has a birthday or …

Owner’s View: Text on your own time

Owner’s View: Text on your own time

Owner's View: by Peter Herm This article is about the now ubiquitous smartphone and the crew management challenges it creates. The …