Friday, April 21, 2006

The ketchup

Working aboard a motor yacht is a completely different experience than the sailboats and smaller boats that I have been on thus far. I am purely a galley slave to the chef and don't have the interaction with the guests that I really enjoyed on the other yachts. The big power boats don’t really cruise too much, as I'm sure feul costs and the work necessary just to take it out for a quick "jaunt" may be a little prohibiting. So, we stick to the big docks – St. Barth, St. Martin, Antigua - which isn't a bad thing. The plus side is that the galley is enormous and really well stocked.

I’m glad to be getting some exposure to another chefs cooking, it gives me some good ideas and it’s great to be able to see how a real mega yacht runs without the responsibility of figuring it all out on my own… Although, I do confess, it’s humbling to not be the one in-charge. Also, I’ve learned that my fears and apprehensions about being a chef on a yacht of this size were grossly over blown. I don’t think I would have any trouble moving into a head chef position on a boat this size – as a friend of mine said to me, the only thing I lack is not skill but confidence.

This week we have been chartered for the Antigua Classic ~ a classic sailboat regatta. We’ve been chartered by the owner of a beautiful J-Class yacht named Ranger that won the America’s cup in 1937. Endeavor, another well-known (in the yacht world) J-Class has also been chartered by the owner of Ranger and is docked right next to us. We are basically the mother ship to two beautiful sailboats for the week and we’ve been having barbeques and parties all week long on the boat – so I’ve been running ragged…

It’s the end of the season in the Caribbean and the yachts are pouring out, heading to the Mediterranean and the East Coast of the United States. I was in St. Martin last weekend and the marinas are ghost towns– everyday another boat leaving. Even the people from the crew placement agencies are heading out for the season…

Everyone I know in the industry, myself included, is looking forward to a change of scenery. It’s been a great season and an absolutely amazing experience – but after a while “island time”, Caribbean food, and Caribbean customer service begin to drive you a little crazy…

I look forward hitting the Mediterranean; sitting in a café, enjoying a glass of wine (it’s been ages since I’ve sat in a decent café and had a glass of wine!), reading a book and people watching. Culture, “foreign” films (because all that is available to rent or see in the Caribbean are big, boring Hollywood blockbusters) and museums – its’ been ages! I’m also a bit homesick, and land sick. I miss my couch, my neighbor’s cat, friends and family – all things warm and familiar but I won’t be getting home now ‘til September. That’s life…

One thing I am really looking forward to is meeting up with a fellow blogger and regular reader of my website! I’ve been swapping emails with a woman that is a stewardess in the Mediterranean and she’s been reading my blog since I first began back in September. We’ve actually become friends, and yet we’ve never met! She’s shown me pictures of the markets in Antibe, France where we will be docked. She is based there as well and will be giving me a market tour when we arrive! So, we leave NEXT WEEK, April 29th for France and will be at sea for two weeks with possible stopovers in Gibraltar and Spain. Our first charter will be at the end of May in Monaco for the Grand Prix. Rumor has it that Rod Stewart might be on board. Of course, I’d prefer Franz Ferdinand or perhaps the Flaming Lips – but hey, Rod is a celebrity in Japan or something right?! Ha ha. Just kidding.

So, bear with me. I’m just a little tired, burnt on the Caribbean, looking forward to catching up on my sleep on the crossing to the Med and waking up to a change of scenery – then I assure you there will be many more stories to be told!!! Just two more weeks and I’ll be posting from the Med!

3 comments:

prcrstn8 said...

If a critic can't even make the effort to cough up a bogus name, you shouldn't waste your time answering.

I could wish you posted more often - I look forward to it, your recipes, your horror stories - but it's easy to see that you just don't have the time. But ... you damn well better be saving up those stories for happy hours in September!

Anonymous said...

Cristina! You are the best!!!

Thank you so much for writing! I understand you have little time to write and was surprised how you found time to write all your previous posts before in such details.

Cristina, i started to read your posts about a month ago after my roommate told me about you; he heard your story from his colleague and your friend Midori. I am also looking for ways to move to Caribbean and almost changed my career to become a chef, but did not get the same ‘bravo’ from my parents as you did, which made the whole deal a little more complex. Thus, still in Brooklyn with no good plan to skip out to perfect warm sapphire water.

Your story is amazingly fascinating, and i keep thinking i can read the end of it if i get a copy from a bookstore. The thought that your journey is evolving right this moment is exhilarating!
It is hard to believe one can get tired of Caribbean, guess it all gets old at some point.
Hope you’ll enjoy Med (and that wine) and sea will be forgiving.
Looking forward to more posts.

You rock!

cheers,
kira

p.s. btw, i did not mean to be anonymous last time and thought i signed, so, prcrstn8, there is no need to get aggravated.

The Wayward Chef said...

Hi Kira,

Thanks so much for reading. Don't mind prcrstn8, he's just a little frustrated right now because he hasn't been on a scooter ride in a while! Glad you are enjoying everything, stay tuned - there are some good adventures in the works...

 
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