Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Is it still snowing in NYC?

Ok, so I'm totally slacking on my writing, been having a wee-bit too much fun!

I got a job aboard a beautiful 74' cetch sailboat, custom built by Joel White in Maine. The captain is really easy going and fun and the boat is in impeccable condition - so the captain believes in working and playing hard. I'm the chef/mate so I'm actually learning to sail and today we let out the genoa and sailed to Anguilla, and I learned how to drop anchor and check if it is caught or skipping, etc. The boat is entirely wooden, hull and all and there is really nothing mechanical on it - all the winches are hand cranked, etc. so I'm learning everything...

After spending 3 days provisioning the boat and getting ready for the guests we'll be picking up in February we headed to Anguilla to hang out and party with friends for two days. Funny enough, the captain has friends that were visiting from Mass. and they happened to know someone who knows my friend over there as well so we all had a good time hanging out together, had a little get together on the boat and then went out to dinner. We sailed back to St. Martin this morning to pick up a new crew member who will be sailing with us down to Bequia, which we leave for tonight. We'll be hangin' in Bequai for a week and then on the 8th we pick up the owner of the boat and two of his friends in St. Vincent. We'll be sailing the Grenadines for 10 days with them and then they leave and we sail on over to Bonaire for a month of working on the boat and windsurfing... The owner will come back down sometime in March for another visit and then we'll find out where we go next - perhaps through the Panama Canal to the Sea of Cortez and Mexico, or we may check out Venezuala and spend the rest of the season down there. Sometime around May or June we'll be heading back up to Maine with stops in Florida and possibly the Carolina's - unless we go to Mexico, then we'll be doing Mexico and the West Coast of the US.

So, all is good and it pays to be picky and wait for the right job. I've had seven solid job offers in three weeks down here. The mega-yacht industry is STARVED for good crew - and especially chefs. I was offered a full-time position aboard the charter boat that I just finished up on, but I decided that the job on the sailboat offered more opportunity for adventure and fun. In the yachting world - the sailboat people tend to be more laid-back and easy going... The pay isn't as high as on a charter --- but it's still great and beats the hell out of slinging hash at a restaurant in New York!!!

I have yet to worry about a budget. These people want the best of everything, and are more than happy to pay for it. I use a provisioning company to order my meat, fish, wine and specialty ingredients. I get excellent quality from the provisioners - sushi grade fish, angus beef, milk-fed veal, organic, free-range chicken, etc. and there really isn't anything that I can't find through them. On the charter I just left and the boat I'm on now, the crew eats the same food as the guests and their is an unlimited crew wine budget. I get some guidelines as to what the guests like - but basically the menu is up to me and so far I've been able to have a lot of fun.

So, all is good. Well, I have to sign off now - we're heading out. Next time I write we'll be down in Bequia...

Peace out.


Anonymous said...

I am so glad that you have found some fun. Nothing worse than working in a s**t hole.Still would like to see you in Portland

bradpo said...

Snow in NYC? Not this year. The other day it hit 64 in Central Park. Nothing compared to the weather where you are, but nice and mild for scootering.

Franky said...

I wish my company had an "unlimited crew wine budget".


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