There is a great romance behind sailing: letting the wind propel you through a seemingly limitless environment; leaving ‘civilization’ behind and relying on your wits make sailing a perennial favorite past time. It is a great status symbol among the rich to be able to own a luxury yacht.
The chances are that like me you are not rich. The good news is that many yacht owners do not relish being out at sea for weeks at a time, and as a consequence they are always looking for crew.
Even if you don’t have any experience of boats or any sailing qualifications it is still possible to land a job on a yacht.
Below are a few tips to make sure you don’t blow your first job.
The first thing to ask about after getting hired is of course pay, return airplane tickets, and visa requirements. Among all the red tape and conditions be sure to check if you are expected to contribute to a food kitty.
It is a common scam by unscrupulous captains to ask for $20 or more a day for food. This should be $15 maximum – anymore and you become a passenger that has to work.
If you sign on as a stewardess your job is to serve the guests, make the beds and bring drinks. Beware of job descriptions that ask specifically for a ‘stewardess’ - they might be expecting more than just drinks.
During a long journey you are trapped in a confined space with people. It is imperative for the safe working of the ship that everyone gets along. Watch out for contentious issues such as politics and religion, and avoid getting drunk, being nude in public and doing drugs. These are all big no-nos on board.
Things you will definitely need to pack include deck shoes, binoculars, sun block, sunglasses and sea sickness medicine.
Everyone gets sea sick on their first journey – having some medicine to calm your stomach can be a godsend. The most effective seasickness medicine is the trans-derm scot patch, known simply as ‘the patch’ by sailors. It has numerous side-effects and is not for long term use, but it does the job.
And it is hoped that after reading this you will up to doing the job and that your first trip will be plain sailing.