Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Where's the beef?

I had my first day off in five weeks this past weekend. Saturday night I went out with one of our crew members (the stewy turned decky). We met up with crew from the other yachts, danced to a live reggae band until 1am, then went to a night club and danced some more… A much needed break…

It was 4am when I was standing outside of the nightclub chatting with some other people when the door suddenly opened and out flew our stewy, ejected by two bouncers, missing half of his clothes, his ability to stand - precarious at best. If 40 is the new 30, then 22 is the new 12 – which about describes our stew’s maturity level… When he passed out getting into the dinghy, the engineer and I felt leaving him tied up on the dinghy in the rain behind the yacht, as good a place as any to leave him...

So anyway...

I left the boat early Sunday morning, made some phone calls and went to the beach. After about three hours of sunning and swimming, I ran into a group of yachties that had been out the night before. I joined them for brunch and spent the remainder of the day listening to them tell stories as we worked our way through several bottles of wine… and I learned everything I need to know for finding my next job:

The questions to ask and what to look for:
1. Is the boat anchored or at dock?
2. Does it go on day trips or remain in the same place all season?
3. Is there time off?
4. Is there internet access?
5. Does the boat have a captain?
(Apparently my frustrations about the owner/captain are common among boats where the owner plays captain.)
6. Where does it go next season (preferably the Mediterranean)?
7. Get on the biggest boat possible (but not a cruise ship).

They all work on boats that are docked, they get on land every day, have WiFi internet access on their boats, there are days off, they spend their summers in the Mediterranean and winters in the Caribbean, and the boats are often shipped via container ships to those locations, and the crew is flown in, etc. Also, experienced chefs are in high demand…

So, I may be staging a one girl mutiny aboard the SS Anchovy and we'll see where the road leads... Stay tuned...

All I want for Christmas is a bigger, better yacht to work on. One with WiFi internet access, set days off and nice crew. Is that asking too much?


another stewie said...

when we had the owners for 3 weeks I didnt get a day off I worked my ass off but as soon they left.. whoa 5 days a week 9 till 4pm

well... big big boats at 60m+ u need to have a year or 2 experience in the industry

start with 40m+ at least 7 crew and owners who come and go or charters at least..

good luck

never I would work for owner captain. well I was lucky at least luckier than you he gave us 2 days off and by 5 we are all off except for the chef and the watch man


Anonymous said...

Hey Chef,

Met you at your going away dinner party (friends of Midori)and proceeded to lose my cell phone. Ring a Bell? Been reading your blog on and off and I must say at first I was completely envious. Now I'm just 85% envious. Still, your captain has turned out to be a real piece of work. My sympathies to you. A bird in a gilded cage is still a bird in a cage. But what a stack of stories you'll have to tell! I'm sure you'll be flying on to greener pastures as soon as possible. Hang in there. Its my first post so I'll try to keep up on a regular basis. Oh, by the way the city is in the midst of a transit strike in 30 degree weather. Wooo Hoo!!
And keep soccking anyone who gets outta hand. Gives serious street (deck)credibility. Remember, no one use to mess with the cook on board ship!!!


The Ducati Kid said...

Hang in there chef. We're thinking about you! Have a great Christmas, and what ever you do, I at least will support you!


Franky said...

Sorry to hear about your workday woes. I hope that your Christmas is much more pleasant. Will we see you ride again in NYC?

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