Thursday, January 12, 2006

New year, new boat!

Crew Dinner aboard Prodigy:
New York Strip with Ancho-Lime Butter
Grilled Vegetables with Balsamic and Fresh Basil
Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

There was an article recently in DockWalk magazine about boat design and how crew quarters were usually given whatever little space remained once the interior was designed, and usually that space was tight and cramped which is unfortunate considering that owners and guests usually stay for only a few weeks or a month and the crew live aboard the boat full time… Nothing could exemplify this more than the quarters I am in aboard a 150 foot power boat (a.k.a. “plastic fantastic”, dubbed by the sail boat crowd) that is spacious and luxurious with all the amenities and yet the quarters, which I share with the stewardess, require entry through a small hatch at the bow of the boat, and climbing straight down a latter into a room that is no more than 6 ft. x 8 ft., fitted with two bunks, a minute closet, and a set of two tiny drawers. But it’s a trade off; the crew and the captain all seem really nice and the boat is beautifully maintained…

I’ve been hired for a two week charter while the other charter chef is on vacation, though there is a chance of the position going permanent. The captain aboard right now is also a relief captain as the permanent captain is on vacation for four weeks. Ironically, the relief captain was once actually the captain of the boat that I just left so she was sympathetic to my plight. And, the crew and everyone I’ve met so far in the yachty world all speak highly of this boats regular captain unlike when I mention the name of the boat that I left last week.

This yacht spends its summers in Rhode Island. On the passage to the Caribbean, the captain made stops in Florida, the Bahamas, and the Dominican Republic allowing the crew time off to go diving and even telling them they had to get up one morning at 6am to work – but then surprising them with a day off and tickets to an aquarium. Now that’s a good captain! The boat is used privately by the owners, but is also chartered. The boat has a scooter, Jet Ski’s, a canoe, diving equipment, and snorkels, etc.

We pick up the owners tomorrow in St. Martin and then head to St. Barth and Anguilla, weather permitting. It’s been a little stormy the past few days, and the seas are rough outside the marina so we’ll have to wait and see.

I landed this job just two days after arriving in St. Martin, and since I’ve had three other job offers. One I refused because I’d heard that the captain couldn’t keep his crew, lots of turn over, etc. and two others I am still speaking with. One would be a charter boat heading to Nantucket in the springtime and the other is a charter boat heading to the Mediterranean. I’m hoping to get on a boat to the Med…


The Ducati Kid said...

Yo chef!

Gonna be anywhere near St.Croix Feb 10 to 13? I'll be at Carambola at my sis' wedding. Perhaps we could share a cocktail...

Best regards,


sha said...

you can always judge a boat from its crews turn over..
the captain sounds so good
are you coming to the med?
am slowly activating my files..

i still owe u an email......

prcrstn8 said...

Woo-hoo! I knew you (Cristina the Cat) would land on your feet!

Congrats. Tell us about the food ;^/

rachel said...

Cristina, I am dying over your adventures and can't wait for the next installment...let alone the book--which I will happily co-write with you! Thank god you got off that other boat and are on your way to "smooth sailing" (bad pun, I know). Keep me posted!

xo, *Rachel Kash (FCI writer)

sha said...

am preparing job applications busy
a yacht in marseilles is leaving for carib but they only need a LAUNDRY STEW... 18 crew and 18 guests whoaa no way

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