First post so I guess it deserves an introduction…I suggest you make yourself a cup of coffee!
I’m Annabelle, 25 years old, from France. Italian mother, Danish father (I had to add that as I have mild identity issues…but that’s a story for another day). My boyfriend and I live and work on boats. To be proper I have to say on “sailing yachts” which in my head comes with a British accent for some reason.
After 4 month of “job hunting” we are about to join a new “sailing yacht”. It will be my third experience working onboard a ship and I’m very excited about it. My past two haven’t been very positive but “third time’s a charm”, isn’t it? That’s a side of the yacthing world that is unfortunately shared by many other crew members. To clear that up a little I’ll share a saying that my boyfriend, Gordon uses: “it’s not where you work at, it’s who you work for”. We work for people who own boats, we bring them where ever they want to sail to, we cook for them, serve them wine, often take care of their kids when they decide to go take a nap and we clean up after them. That’s our job and we can love it or not. Because finding the perfect boat owners to work for (basically people who treat you well and who are friendly) can be at the end of a long, long road. Some of us are lucky and you know so when you meet yacthies that have been on the same boat for over 1 or 2 years! Even if we get to travel and have a life style that many envy, we still work in the service industry and it isn’t always pretty. If I have one thing to say to anyone who ever thinks about joining in (on a yacht or not), your priority is to keep the clients happy but don’t ever let them treat you like you are less then them. Because you simply are not.
This is us!
Gordon stole me away (that’s what my father says in a joking way, well…sort of) from Villefranche sur Mer, my home town in the South of France about 3 years ago. That’s how I began sailing all over the place and work as a cook/deck-hand/stewardess. I was in Art school before that and I actually met him a couple days before my first art show. I like to paint, draw and take photographs. Which isn’t easy living on someone else’s boat so painting isn’t an option at the moment but I try to keep up with drawing a little and I definitely take a lot of photos, were ever I go. The traveling side of this job is what got me hooked. And it is definitely the best way to make money for the future. You don’t pay a rent and you don’t pay for food or life insurance (standards of the industry that sometimes have to be reminded to the owners…).
Now that I’ve briefly introduced my self, a little about the new boat. She’s gorgeous don’t you think?
We are currently in Newport, Rhode Island (where Gordon is from) and we are flying to Palma de Majorca, in Spain in a few days. There we’ll move onboard and meet the owners. So far they seem very nice. We interviewed over the phone as they are from Sweden. We were then in the Caribbean looking for a boat to join as the winter season is a major cruising time down there. Because of what I quickly mentioned earlier, yacht crews move from boats to boats very often so opening positions are very frequent. A friend called us about a possible position on a Swan 82 fd. Which is an 82 feet long “sailing yacht” with a flushed deck, meaning very flat, sleek and sexy looking design for an optimum sailing experience. “Swan” is the manufacturer’s brand of the ship. It is one of these boats that are made for cruising but that can also participate in regattas and races. We won’t be racing much but I’m sure her* performance while joining in friendly rallies will be pretty amazing!
* Always use her/she for a boat…took me a while to say it naturally. Why? This might help: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Why_ship_called_she
So I’ll soon introduce you to Palma de Majorca and to whatever cooking ideas I find for the arrival of the owners! We can’t wait to be there and to finally unfold our suitcases after 7 month of moving in and out of boats, hotels, crazy crew houses*, weird crew houses, friends places and parent’s nests. From there on we’ll sail up to Sweden for the summer!
* A crew house is basically a hostel for crew members. Most of the time they are there because they are looking to get on a new boat. But really they tend to spend more time partying then job searching!
Yacthies are usually very open and friendly to other yacthies. We share the same life style, we are all away from our families and we often have a lot in common. Plus we come from all over the place so it makes it very cool. We don’t always know where we’ll be and when so goodbyes can be tough but our world is very small and it is always such a joy to run across each other again on the other side of it!
That’s it for today. I hope you’ll follow and enjoy our adventures and be sure that I can’t wait to share them!