To Charter or Not to Charter

Well, the time has come to think about work.  We have been discussing our future opportunities for a while now and how we can avoid returning to London to pick up the desk job.  Money has not been an issue and our monthly budget seems to be holding well with another year and half worth in the bank.  Our decision to work has primarily come from boredom.  I understand that anyone reading this in the UK will be thinking that we are crazy, but whilst talking to a friend we ended up saying that yes, tomorrow is another beach and the after that will be another beach and so on.  We have found that both of us need to get our teeth into something that exercises our mind and our bodies.  This is not to say that Troskala’s travels are over, this could be not be further from the truth but before we head to the Pacific a little money and a foundation for a new career would be a sensible option at this stage.

So we are in the Charter Yacht Capital at the moment and have been talking to several friends about what it is like working for Moorings, Sunsail, BVI Charters and so on.  The more information we have received the better this lifestyle appears to be.  We are both very sociable, have a hospitality background and love sailing; could there be a better career for us to take up?

This decided we managed to make some contacts.  At this stage all has been very good but unfortunately I lack my Yachtmaster Practical, ENG 1 (medical) and a commercial endorsement all of which are needed to become a licensed Captain for vessels; up to 200 gross tonnes.  As you can imagine this has changed our plans somewhat.  There is no point continuing the search without to correct paperwork, wo we have put the networking to bed for now and will focus more on getting the licenses as soon as possible.   I have now booked my Yachtmaster course in Antigua; not many places do this RYA qualification and Antigua really is the best place, so in the next few weeks and after we have visited Puerto Rico, the American Virgin Islands and Spanish Virgin Islands  Troskala will begin sailing back to Antigua.  In the meantime we have had an interview with a large charter company who may have an opportunity for us in October; our second interview is tomorrow so please keep your fingers crossed for us. 🙂

Once we have the qualifications, which will take a week we are left in quite a tricky situation.  Hurricane Season is dawning and on the 01st of June we will be in it.  We do not know whether to head to St Lucia, Trinidad or Granada, or head back to the British Virgin Islands; does anyone have the right answer?  We understand from talking to numerous cruisers that this year is to set to be a record year for hurricanes but this can be just ‘dock talk’ with no fact, so before we set sail another 400 miles south we need to know exactly how bad it is likely to get out here.

If our job prospects come together we will be leaving Troskala for a month to return to the UK and then to Spain to tie up some loose ends and say hello to family and friends before returning to the Caribbean in September.

There is  a lot of change happening and these are now very exciting times with the chance of a new career and some more money to be able to carry on our circumnavigation.

We will let you know how we get on and we hope you are all well.

Best wishes,

Oliver & Carlotta

9 thoughts on “To Charter or Not to Charter

  1. Hi Oliver & Carlotta
    The best of luck with the Yachtmaster stuff – sounds a good plan. You need to avoid those desk jobs for sure!

    We are still pottering about the Solent in Cariblue but will be taking a few trips across to France soon. I just need to retrieve a tool negligently dropped in the strum box behind the keel while fixing a new water pump inline! It’s further down than my arms can reach!

    all the best
    Mark and Heather

    1. Hello Mark. Thank you again for your comment and the previous information regarding your rudder; it took me time to digest the information but at least I now have a better understanding should I have to undertake similar work.

      Mark, we are coming to England and I will do my Yachtmaster in the Solent. It would be lovely to meet up with you and your family. Is the ROA doing anything special over July & August?

      I hope you have managed to get out sailing and your France trips sound like fun.

      Anyway, we will hopefully see you all soon.

      Best wishes,

      Oliver & Carlotta

  2. Hi I don’t know much about where would be the best place to leave a boat for the hurricane season. The reading I have done says you should be south of 10 degrees so Trinidad would probably be best on that front.

    I doubt if it is any easier to predict how ferocious a hurricane season will be than it is to predict that the UK will have a BBQ summer! I believe that an El Nino can lead to more hurricanes than otherwise but I don’t think that the evidence is conclusive.

    Would it make any sense to leave the boat in the States? Say Florida. I know that it is firmly in the hurricane belt but communications are easy there and there must be thousands of boats kept there on a permanent basis.

    All just ideas though.

    Best of luck with the job hunting and so on.

    Regards Roger

    1. Thank you Roger for your advise and comment. As you will see we have decided to leave Troskala in the BVI’s but will have her strapped down and complete all necessary preparations that I can think of. Everyone is saying that it is going to be an active year but as you said it is not easy to predict and it will be a risk we have to take unfortunately. At least where we are leaving her she will be looked after and that gives me great reassurance.

      Thanks again Roger and happy sailing.


  3. Good luck with your plans. Re hurricanes, I would not risk having our boat be in the prime hurricane belt. Going south is a good idea. I have seen in Texas what hurricanes can do to marinas, anchorages, etc.

  4. It is a good plan for you It’s not for me so much I liked the stories fun to follow. Good luck cor

  5. I am sure you will not have any trouble with the yachtmaster just practice the blind nav a bit,, and look after your crew, and brush up on weather. i am sure you know it. Best wishes.
    Jim Rayne

    1. Thank you James. I am slightly concerned but already brushing up on my navigation and tides. I have not had to use tides for a while as you imagine. How are you anyway? It would be good to meet when we are in the UK if you are around.

      Send our regards to Jill and we hope to see you soon.

      Best wishes,

      Oliver & Carlotta

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