Tuesday 19th March – The first day working on a Superyacht.
Going back to work has come early, but we have been given a great opportunity to Day Work on a Superyacht and Paulo (The Captain) had kindly offered me a couple of days day work before Carlotta and I join him and his crew on the delivery trip to the Bahamas.
Although I am not as unfit as I used to be I am certainly not the fittest guy around and after spending years behind a desk the physical labor was bound to hurt.
My first job was to help Dan (Chief Engineer) clean some of the bilges in the engine room and degrease parts of the engine. I have to say that this was not the most fun part of my first half-day, hot, sweaty and very painful; Paulo had coined it the house of pain, and he was not wrong. The heat and noise in the engine room are far from comfortable but it was good to be on board working and learning from the very knowledgeable Dan.
After that job there was deck work to be carried out. I found that you do get used to doing things a certain way on your own boat compared to other peoples; and a Superyacht is no different. Paulo keeps a very strict ship. Everything on board has an order and everything has a certain way to be done. Also, everything is far heavier, larger and more dangerous than on Troskala. Paulo and Greg (first mate) have shown a lot of patience in my learning to do things a certain way and I am happy to say that I can now coil a hose clockwise.
The best thing about working on this yacht is the Emilie’s cooking. We have been treated to some amazing meals whilst working on board and have enjoyed every single one. You live for the lunches and dinners on board I think due to the nature of the work and the physical demands you face; I was so hungry.
My first half-day work was tiring and my muscles hurt. I was on again the next day as we preparing to leave Antigua. Troskala has been moved to a marina and Carlotta has been spending time cleaning her up before we leave her.
Wednesday 20th March – Second Day on a Superyacht
I now had a full day of labor ahead of me. We started off with some rope work, tying the sheets to the genoa and staysail. We were hopefully departing the next day so most of the work carried out was in preparation for us leaving. We spent the rest of the day cleaning and sorting out and tying large objects incase they move during the trip.
I managed at lunch to pop back and see Carlotta for a short time but I was soon back working way with Greg and Dan.
We finished around 17:00 and after fetching our luggage and moving into our 5 star cabin we joined the Captain of Two Ladies who again entertained us with drinks and a brilliant BBQ. Tomorrow we would be leaving to the Bahamas, a 6-day sail and our first passage on a Superyacht.
Thursday 21st March – 28th March – Our First Superyacht Passage:
We both started work on Thursday morning. There were fire drills to be completed and Paulo needed to go through the safety procedures before we set off. I was great to have a night in an air-conditioned cabin but we did miss Troskala and worried about her safety whilst we were away.
After running through the safety brief with Paulo and trying to start the water pump with Daniel we were ready to conduct the final preparations before setting off. More physical work was called upon as we departed the dock on our voyage to the Bahamas. We stowed the warps, fenders and secured the anchors.
It was a fantastic experience leaving Antigua on this yacht; the motion was steady, the sun shining and the company great. We all had watch-keeping responsibilities and it worked that we each had four hours on and eight hours off, which worked well and for me I working 16:00 – 20:00 and then 04:00 – 08:00, which meant that I experienced the sunrise and sunset, which did not once disappoint. I would start my shift with Daniel and finish with Paulo, we had great chats, whilst drinking tea under a full moon. Our other responsibilities involved completing the Deck Log every hour and an Engine Room Log every hour; this was completed without fail.
The days on board worked well. Once you get into a routine life becomes easier. We have found time to relax whilst off shift and time to sleep, although as the days go on I have found myself more tired, which is probably a result of the strange hours we are awake.
We were not faced with any issues. The wind was mostly calm with only one day where we made good way under sail. We managed to raise the Main Sail at one point and also run under Genoa and Staysail, which looked fantastic. We averaged around 9.5 knots throughout the journey but at times we were achieving 11.5.
In the evening we were greeted by other shipping and a great lighting display for two nights running. Fours hours go very fast when you are on watch. Carlotta and I did not spend much time together but I believe she enjoyed the experience, especially sitting on the seat at the bow of 109 feet Superyacht.
We made land fall on Tuesday 26th March after completing … miles and 6 days at sea. We approached New Providence in the Bahamas and moored in Lyford Cay, or as Pailo put it, ‘lifeless Cay’, which is a private gated community where Botoxed people were prevalent. The yacht would be victualed here before we carry on to Freeport.
We spent 2 days in Lifeless Cay preparing the yacht for the owners. Again the work was hard but it never felt better to end a day with a beer and lovely meal at a restaurant care of Paulo. We managed to gate crash a private, what appeared to be a Millionaires party but even with Paulo’s charm we still got rumbled and had to pay for our drinks; it was a sickly sight and we did not hang around.
On the Thursday evening we set sail for another 100-mile passage to Grand Bahamas and Freeport Marina. The passage went well although after a few engine alarms sounding we had to change course further out to safer water whilst Dan sorted the issues out. We arrived at Freeport around 09:00 and Paulo allowed us to sleep until lunchtime. After lunch we continued to clean, prepare and tidy the yacht. In the evening we went to the center of Freeport. Driving through you could still see the damage to houses and forests from Hurricane Sandy. The center of Freeport is nothing much but a fake village with shops, bars and restaurants; very American, but it was pleasant nonetheless and we were in great company. Carlotta and I tasted our first Miami Vice Cocktail and strongly recommend you try one if you have not done so already.
The next day brought more work with it and the final tidy. Carlotta and I would depart the yacht and our friends on the evening. Paulo had kindly arranged a hotel and flights for us to return to Antigua. We finished our tasks around 16:00 and Carlotta, Paulo, Greg and I went for a drive and some beers before we hit the town and checked into our resort hotel.
The next day was pretty uneventful; we woke up at 05:00, caught a taxi to the airport, flew to Miami, had breakfast and then flew onto Antigua for dinner and to be reunited with Troskala. In essence we had breakfast in the Bahamas, Lunch in America (Miami) and dinner in the Caribbean. J
We had a great time and what an amazing experience and introduction into the Superyacht industry. We look forward to meeting up with our friends in Florida or New York over the coming months. Thank you all for looking after us and we wish you a safe voyage onwards.