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dawnkochan's Blog

Stupid questions

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Interviewed a girl for a stewardess position and after giving her a brief overview of our expectations and the boat itinerary, she asked if on the weekends, would the boat be putting her up in and apartment or a hotel.  I was speechless.  Once I recovered,  I informed her that the position was 24/7 when the boss was onboard and the captain was always good with giving crew time off whenever possible.  Her response was...what?!?!?!! YOU want me to work EVERYDAY!!!  Now granted she was new to. The industry and I also try and give people an opportunity to prove themselves; as someone did for me.  17 years in the industry and I still remember the name of that person who gave me my first job, and forever grateful, but come on people!!! I never for one minute thought that my first job would be easy or well paid.

Looking forward to any great stories or stupid questions.  I have many stories and stupid questions, so I will reciprocate.

We has a crew chef years ago warned to provide better meals than he had in resent days. Also new to the industry and was being given second and third chances. His very next meal was 12 microwaved hotdogs on a plate in the middle of the salad, nothing else. He was gone by lunchtime the next day. Same guy told the captain he was a non smoker and when we had a welcome aboard beer an hour after he joined the guy pulled out a pack of cigarettes and lit one up. Captain asked him what was up with that and he said. Oh, I just started, I didn't smoke when you interviewed me. Lol. People are funny.
Posted by: John Doe at 05/08/2013 16:34

Had my very 1st day of day work today. Enjoyed every minute. Looking forward to a more permanent position and starting a new career!
Posted by: Melinda at 06/08/2013 03:05

As promised another great story... I interviewed a girl for an Atlantic crossing, it was unpaid but a great boat and a great crew. Basically it was just another body for watch. Within 2 days after leaving the Caribbean it was apparent that this girl thought she was to be waited on hand and foot, would not get up for her watches and took offence to the crew working around her. She sunbathed whilst we washed down, polished and excercised around her. When I pulled her aside to ask what the f;():&... She informed me that she was was under the impression this was a free trip because of who her father was!!! My reply, was who is your dada?!?!?! Not trying to be condescending, but the girl was 34 years old and I reminded her of her responsibilities that i stated before she boarded. She had been on boats most of her life and knew her way around. I was always raised to trust your instincts and this was tipping point for me. I should have left her on the dock, but she looked like she needed a friend and a break...soooo. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, but when you leave for an ocean crossing and everyone is needed....we chucked her off in the Azores and did the rest of our trip with a young Portuguese guy who couldn't thank us enough!!

I hate to say I am not so soft now.
Posted by: dawnkochan at 06/08/2013 23:06

I run a crew house and we have a teaching atmosphere here. Any newbie that ask for tips
or what is expected of them or what to do if such-and-such happens, I sit them down and explain the basics and go a little deeper if need be.
The silliest question I ever got in the middle of a crossing... Where do we anchor at night?
There is a great site for tips at hope this helps
Posted by: G_2 at 07/08/2013 00:33

The problem is that so many and too many crew post on Facebook pictures of themselves in the hot tub if they had a chance to even step foot in, jumping off the boat, on jetskis...etc etc...with the caption "another day at work"...or "my office" with just a nice sunset and all the works...People only show off the perks of the jobs (when you even get to taste those little luxurious moments) and new crew come to the industry thinking that they will be paid (and well paid) to do that all day every day. So when you burst their bubble and ask them to complete the tasks the job ACTUALLY involves, they feel offended. I ve been chief stew on a 52m with a fair few greens on board and they think that they should be served and cleaned after. I ve even been asked by the female deckhand where she should leave her panties for us to hand wash!!
Posted by: Jc at 07/08/2013 00:36

I was new to yachting 20 years ago and on our first trip from San Juan, PR to St. Thomas, VI, the Captain actually expected me to make dinner underway!! I thought every one had hardtack and cheese for dinner. Needless to say, I can now cook in 8 to 10 foot seas and not spill a thing. If it is too rough, don't put pizza in the oven, what a mess.
Posted by: Stewtogo at 07/08/2013 02:48

I'm not in the super-yacht industry but planning on trying to make it next year some time. Reading the stories in great interested and amazement that some people are so foolish when trying to secure a job with such poor etiquette , I'm hoping to go into the engineering department and would happily spend all day cleaning and painting bilges and crawling around tight areas to help out the chief engineer with any task to secure a chance of a job. and hope to be doing just that in 2014 some time.Not going for the glamorous lifestyle ect but to try and become a good marine engineer and climb up the ladder. So i will watch this blog and see what common mistakes are made and frowned upon by newbies and I'm sure i will make some myself but hopefully nothing to extraordinary
Posted by: David Greenough at 07/08/2013 17:54

Do these islands go all the way to the bottom!?!?!!!!!
Posted by: dawnkochan at 07/08/2013 19:26

Another one of my favourites. Just finished scrubbing the aft deck and gangway, went inside to get changed before boss arrived and in the camera I saw a couple of "experienced" crew members run up the gangway onto the aft deck with their shoes on and place their cv down on the deck with rocks from the quay so it wouldn't blow away. Don't do that.
Posted by: John Doe_1 at 07/08/2013 20:23

This season was my first season, I had to come home before I got permanent position unfortunately, but my first day work experience involved me getting on a boat with my own pack lunch, change of clothes, no earphones and being surprised that they wanted me to go INSIDE the boat to put my stuff down.
Four days after I started and had gotten more used to how the boat worked with serving us lunch, giving me work clothes etc, a new day work guy was brought on to help out. It also happened that it was his first day work as well, but in comparison, he couldn't stop asking what time lunch was served, worked incredibly slowly and messily and I would have to clean up after him or my work would look bad as well, went to get coffee every 20 minutes and had a smoke with the coffee on the back of the boat.

His expectations versus mine.

Also, he's got a job now and I don't. Such is life I guess.
Posted by: Topher at 08/08/2013 08:29

After being around this industry for over 20 years and a purser for the last 6 I want to know what happenened to the crew that arrive asking what can I do for you? Not what is the boat going to give me etc etc. After working for the Liveras yachts many years ago, I am now beginning to think he had a good idea. We were paid below scale wages and once we had worked 12 mths we received back pay to make our monthly income indusrty standard.It was hard work and very very basic food and supplies for crew, but we ALL wanted to get to the 12 months to get our back pay. We got trainned, and 12 months on any CV looks good and these days crew hop from boat to boat and dont put it on their CV for good reason. We have guys coming to the boat with an AEC thinking they are engineers (I have stews with AEC's)Girls who have been in the industry less than 2 years thinking they are chief stews.Maybe we need to look back to the bad old days !!
Posted by: Laurette at 08/08/2013 10:57

Just a Shout Out to David Green at 07/08/2013 17:54, Kudos to you for showing the intelligent initiative to read these posts, prior to your first yacht gig! The industry neeeeeds more enthusiastic, forward-thinking individuals like yourself. Never lose your willingness to show your inexperience, as long as it goes hand in hand with a desire to learn! One thing I've been universally impressed with in this industry is, if someone is humbly seeking to learn, and to better themselves, there are ALWAYS seasoned vets oh so willing to pass the torch! I hope our paths cross in the future, and best of luck.
Posted by: Chris Cloud at 09/08/2013 13:05

"Can we stop at the 7-11 buoy? I need more smokes!"

This, 1/2 way b/t Panama and Nuku-Hiva....

Posted by: Chris Cloud at 09/08/2013 13:08

Thank you Chris Cloud for your words of encouragement i am indeed humbly seeking to learn all i can. I too hope that are paths will one day cross in the future
Thank you Happy sailing
Posted by: David Greenough at 10/08/2013 22:31

the problem is that all flip flop people who once worked in a pizzeria try to get a job on a yacht, but the major problem is that they don t want to learn or listen.
I have a stewardess working with me who worked before on a 20+m yacht and she thinks she knows everything. Tried to explain, write the jobs what needs to be done, but she does things as she wants.Ex. asked her to start cleaning windows while charter guest are sleeping,but she starts hoovering,ask her to ask her to clean bathrooms, she does bedlinen. This makes my job more difficult because I m tired to explain her things, so I have to re do most of her work.
Cpt too busy with other things,+ he likes her, seasonal position, so till end of Oct I m stucked with her.
She takes a nap after lunch(off charte) because she is `tired and bored` so guys trust me, better get rid of this type of stwd before it s too late.
Posted by: Lorandt at 25/08/2013 19:16

I had a new stew on board. She was asked go around the boat from the inside and clean all the port holes. She came back 1hr later and had finished. She then asked me, 'why did you just want me to clean just the port holes and not the stbd?' I was in hysterics. Too funny not to share
Posted by: Peter at 28/08/2013 09:40

This one is for you Lorandt!

This sounds exactly like someone I had to put up with while working on a French barge.
It's very frustrating I know and in the Captain's eyes, she couldn't do anything wrong because he ended up checking on her work after me having to re do everything she did because she used to cut corners all the time and then she got all the praise because it was her area to do so he thought she had done all the work.
Again very frustrating!
Posted by: Sarah at 02/09/2013 13:40

The ones to watch out for are always the ones who know the Captain likes them. They feel invulnerable and often get away with blue murder!
Posted by: DigbyKing( Visit ) at 09/09/2013 08:05

Hello, I was wondering which elevator do I take to get to the front of the ship?
This is a told by a friend of a friend kind of dumb question but it wouldn't surprise me!
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