Abu Dhabi Dooo . . .

16 04 2012

Well it’s been a long time again and this time I will mainly put it down to poor internet connection which slightly curbed my enthusiasm to post regularly and uploading photos would have been a near impossibility. I would however be lying to suggest that the fantastic time I’ve been having hasn’t got in the way a little as well. I will skip past my trip to Australia in November and bring you a little more up to date. I must just point out that a delightful perk of yachting is meeting and making friends from all over the world so my end of season time off was spent exploring greater Sydney, staying with a yachtie friend in Manly.

Beautiful Summer BayStandard Tourist Photo

Post a relaxing few weeks spent touring and surfing on Sydney’s northern beaches, I was thrown swiftly back into the swing of things. A 54 hour flight from Sydney – Hong Kong – London – Dubai (yes I did take an exceptionally long route) landed me in the UAE just in time for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. I was given half an hour to recover from the exhausting flight, to shower and get to work. Luckily it was a light trip for us with only 4 guests who spent the duration of the grand prix in the paddock so within radio contact, we were able to walk the length of the very noisy track throughout the race. I must admit we were a little smug at the sight of the other yachts packed to the rafters with revelling guests!

After a short guest trip we expected to be leaving Abu Dhabi a few days later so had a whole crew trip to the desert; dune bashing, camel riding, belly dancing, amazing food – the full on Arabian experience, and what an experience it was!

With an unknown quantity of time remaining in the UAE, we quickly packed in all of the other must see sights on our to do lists over evenings and weekends. The Burj Khalifa, Burj al Arab, The Atlantis Hotel, Palm Island and the beautiful Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Abu Dhabi.

As time wore on, the pending trip to India seemed less likely and rumours of trips to Thailand, Sri Lanka and the Andaman Islands passed us by. By this point we settled in to life on Yas Island and began to live more like ex-pats than tourists enjoying day to day life. I was happy to experience my first warm christmas with my extended crew family and to keep us entertained, a series of events and concerts passed through Abu Dhabi including Creamfields, the Volvo Ocean Race and the International Pro Golf Tour to name a few (I am absolutely gutted to have missed Elton John just after going on annual leave).

To top off my time in the Emirates, the highlight was a trip over Dubai by Seaplane taking in the city from the sky.

All in all I’ve had an amazing 5 months of winter in a country that I never had a great desire to visit so it has surprised me on every level. It has been an exciting and entertaining place to live; I would truly recommend it. Unfortunately workwise we had quite a quiet season but with the vessel planning to set sail for Europe, the crew are looking forward to a potentially busy summer.



The ‘Glamorous’ Life of Superyacht Crew

20 07 2011

I have recently been in contact with an influx of potential superyacht crew who are looking for a real insight into this ‘glamorous’ industry. Superyachting is a little known industry that is rapidly expanding by word of mouth as friends and friends of friends share the secrets of their adventurous lifestyle but in reality, as a stewardess, I am a glorified waitress/cleaner. I spent the weekend at the below beach club and I considered writing this blog whilst cleaning a bidet on Monday morning.

Baia Beach Club, Malta

This week and next we are dedicating time to detailing the boat. Our last guests left a week or so ago and although we cleaned the boat afterwards, detailing is a whole different ball game. To the normal eye the boat looks clean but detailing requires scrubbing the interior to within an inch of its life – every nook and cranny is to be sanitised and polished. We steam clean the whole cabin, wash the walls and ceilings, vacuum mattresses/curtains/sofas/carpets, disinfect toilets and bidets, buff marble, polish taps, use tooth picks/cotton buds to get into every corner and groove, iron sheets onto the beds, place all items in position at the exact angle, the list goes on . . . realistically, we would expect to take approximately a day per cabin – depending on its size.

One very shiny sink!

Further to this, daily we are responsible for cleaning and restocking the crew mess and bridge, vacuuming, mopping and wiping the halls and walls in the crew corridors and stair ways, checking the temperature/colour/pressure of water in all guest cabins, setting up and clearing crew breakfast/lunch/dinner etc etc. Other jobs include creating inventories of items such as uniform, shopping for crew provisions and taking deliveries (the soft drinks/water delivery is always a killer). This week, to break up the cleaning, we are undertaking a little training each day in service, cocktail making, table settings, housekeeping and so on.

The interior team enjoying a dock party

If I’ve not put you off so far, keep reading as it’s not all bad . . . I spent today out on the water driving the tender as the deck department needed ‘students’ for their power boat instructor course. Last weekend we had a whole crew dock party on Friday night and on Saturday I lapped up the sun rays at a beach club in Malta, played on jetskis, sipped on a little rose and reached Monday morning feeling like I’d just returned from holiday! Basically, for superyacht crew it’s not a job they’re buying into, it’s a lifestyle and if you can take the tough or mundane work, you will reap plenty of rewards. Over the next 6 weeks I will be cleaning and serving in 6 different countries and that’s a deal I’m happy with!

Jetskiing : )

Follow me on Twitter @bethanysilcox for a better insight into day to day life.

Capri from the Sea

7 07 2011

This morning I left the beautiful island of Capri off the west coast of Italy. Unfortunately I can’t offer any knowledgable advice on what to do whilst visiting the island as I spent the week looking at a rock, a pretty rock mind you, but I didn’t step foot on dry land. The last three weeks has been a case of viewing life through a porthole and my tan is drastically fading from stewie life in the interior!

Having spent a long weekend trip in Valencia for the Grand Prix, we had less than four days to travel to Italy and to prepare the boat for guest charter. Charter involves guests who hire the boat for a pre arranged duration and as a stewardess, learning their preferences instantly and catering to their every whim aids in the smooth running and ultimately the enjoyment of their holiday. Charter is renowned for being exceptionally hard work for a short period of time and although this charter only lasted a week, we are all feeling physically and mentally drained. This particular charter utilised the combined efforts of four superyachts and two hotels catering for approximately 60 guests and although our maximum sleeping capacity is 12, these guests could turn up without warning for lunch, dinner and parties thus is was paramount that we were prepared for every eventuality.

My role for the week was the night shift; from 5-10pm and from midnight – 8am. After the first few days I began to adjust and was able to get some sleep throughout the day however now I feel rather ‘jet-lagged’ and can’t get to sleep at night whilst trying to meet with my normal schedule. The yacht I work on has a particularly large exterior deck area and was used by the guests as a ‘floating dance floor’ with a DJ every night and I loved working on the bar for the duration. One of the weeks highlights was a private performance from Craig David to an audience of just 20; it’s great to have a few perks during tough weeks. For me, the ultimate plus side to the night shift is the serenity of sunrise which acts as a great pick me up when you’re beginning to flag at around 5am.

This was the first guest charter I have undertaken and despite the hard work, I am looking forward to the next although having been running up and down four flights of stairs all night every night, my aching legs certainly will appreciate a few weeks guest free!