Monotonous madness

16 Apr

It has come to my attention I have not posted on this blog for over a month now. This is interesting to me as we have just finished a 6 week trip with the owners. You would think I have lots to say, right? Wrong!

The strange thing is, nothing really happened during this trip. Sure there were the day-to-day happenings like making beds, serving dinner, and moving the boat, however, these activities tended to stay the same daily. We literally did 6 weeks straight with no diversion from the ordinary.

I struggle to understand why our owners have a yacht in the first place. Here is where I am confused.

Firstly, the owner’s wife doesn’t like the ocean, neither do their kids, so they never swim or use the boat for its on-water appeal. Actually, the only person who does swim off the boat is the owner himself. The rest of the family stays away from the water. Apart from the fact you are on a boat, you would never really know you were on the ocean.

‘So, what do they do?’ I hear you ask. Well, the owner and his family love to play cards. They will happily sit all afternoon, playing games and  listening to music.

Breakfast is at the same time every morning, as is their lunch, even dinner. At 5pm each day, they will have a drink or two. Not before this, ever. 5pm is when they drink, yet everyday, the same conversation is had between the stews and owner.

“Would you like a glass of wine now, Sir?” we say.

“Ah, what time is it?” he says as he looks at his watch. (It is always 5pm when we ask).

He pauses, does a little questioning look, then says, “Okay, I think that would be good.”

Everyday. Every single day, this is the way the conversation goes.

While they eat their meals, the other stewardess and I clean the cabins. When it is just family, even these moments provide nothing interesting to blog about. The owner’s daughter has a lot of hair, so this gets all over the bathroom, but really that is not too interesting! Some of the sisters’ came onboard and had a big stash of chocolates in a drawer which they ate their way through; again, not so interesting.

Did you know we iron the sheets on the mattress when we make the bed everyday? Now this is a good what the bleep moment, but again, this is not big enough for a separate blog post. I am thankful everyday my cabin cleaning buddy is so fun. She is great at her job, but like me, doesn’t actually take cleaning seriously (it is not our life) so we manage to have a lot of laughs together as we make beds, clean showers, and scrub toilets.

As you can see, it was a six week trip of nothing but monotonous days. It did my head in actually, doing the same things everyday. But, the trip is over now and I am slowly coming back to life. Never-ending moments never seem so bad when you look back at them. You get through it, then it’s over. We are now back in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I absolutely love being here. When we are here, the owners aren’t on, so we basically do monday to friday, 9 – 3ish. We have freedom, so we can leave the boat when we aren’t working and have time to ourselves. I shouldn’t say this, but my favourite moments of yachting are when the owners are not onboard.

Until next time. Ahoy me maties! x

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Groundhog day

15 Mar

I am sitting at a cafe, on my break from work, wondering how I will tackle the week ahead. It is one of those times where I simply have to grin and bear it, no matter how much I want to or not.

I have just worked over four weeks straight without a single day off, so the mind and body, is slowing shutting down with each day. Like the movie ‘Groundhog Day’, I wake each morning and think, ‘here I go again’.

On Sunday I had my ‘day’, shall we say. Everyone at work has one from time to time. I woke up perfectly happy, but when I began to wipe pee off the toilet seat, I snapped.

Wine is helping a lot lately. A glass of wine at the end of the day is a great way to tackle this never ending trip!

Writing has become my saving grace onboard. I have started a new blog, where I’ve committed to writing each day. I am on day 49 of my mission, and so far, so good. It is great to have an escape from the boat and a little project to work on to keep my interests alive. By writing everyday, I am also getting more motivation to write other, more in-depth pieces.

Exercise is keeping me sane also. However, the last week, I have simply been too tired to work out! I just went to the gym and did a measly 5 minutes on the treadmill. I opted instead to come to a cafe and write on my laptop. We have been out at anchor, so it was my first time off the boat in the last 2 days – a new environment can be so refreshing for the soul!

So, these are my tools for getting through the next week. Who am I kidding; we still have 3 weeks left. First trick is tackling this trip, week by week! Followed closely by drinking, writing, and exercising!

Like Nike says, Just do it! Besides, I really have no choice!

Until next time. Ahoy me maties! x

Cinderella and the ugly sisters

1 Mar

As I was cleaning the other day, it suddenly dawned on me, I am in fact a modern-day Cinderella. Well, I haven’t had my Cinderella moment where I am saved, yet. That part is somewhere around the corner. I do have the handsome man, but he works with me too, so he really falls under the ‘man’-derella blanket.

While cleaning one of the guests rooms (the ugly, ugly sister’s) I picked up the clothes of a 6-year-old, and started folding. It was a beautiful jersey, I would have worn it myself, I thought. Looking at the label I realised why I was coveting so bad: Dior. A-ha.

Later that evening as the Oscars were on, the 3 other stews and I sat looking at the gowns, in utter adoration. Maybe this is when it really hit me. I was longing, even craving, to dress up in a beautiful dress. My whole self was crying out for the attention I would command in a beautiful gown. I just don’t get that feeling scrubbing toilets in a polo shirt and cargo shorts. Just as I started to drift off into dreamland I heard a guest in the kitchen. Up I went, and like Cinderella to her ugly sisters, I served them.

We scrub the floors sometimes; just like Cinderella did in the story. I don’t know what I would have said if my mother had told me I would be the maid when I grew up. I really, really wanted to be the Princess!

Yachting is not forever. I must keep reminding myself of this.

Until next time. Ahoy me maties! x

Knock, knock

22 Feb

Now the owners are back onboard, it is taking me a while, to get back into the swing of things.

Yesterday I made the ultimate faux pas when I barged into the guest toilet, only to come face-to-face with the owner’s wife. She had her knickers down around her ankles and loudly squawked as I slammed the door in horror.

Like a real coward, I avoided her for the rest of the afternoon. At dinner I simply put my best smile forward and acted as though nothing had happened. I am sure she went a little red at the table.

I must remember to knock before I go barging into a closed toilet from now on. Especially when it is the owner’s wife.

Until next time. Ahoy me maties! x

The United Nations combine

20 Feb

We currently have Americans, New Zealanders, a South African, Australian and Canadian working onboard. We are 10 diverse individuals, all crammed together to work and play.

I find humor is often missed when different cultures interact. Sure, there are many universal jokes that all can laugh at; however, many jokes are filled with colloquialisms or quirks associated with individual culture.

I have laughed hard at my kiwi jokes that have been totally lost on the Americans – ‘don’t be an egg! Far you’re blues.’

The Americans jokes have been lost on the Australian onboard several times today – ‘oh no you didn’t!’

The South African’s jokes have also been lost on the Canadian; to be honest, maybe they were lost on me, as I can’t think of any.

All this put aside, it is fascinating to see how we all interact and learn from each other. I particularly like it when jokes merge, and once we understand the ‘joke behind the joke’, how funny things really are.

We are 2 days into a 5 week trip, with 4/10 crew being brand new. So far, we have had many laughs and the trip is off to a good start.

Until next time. Ahoy me maties! x

The calm before the storm

30 Jan

Before new guests arrive, there is a moment of calm, then the mayhem begins.

The boat is washed, the interior is sparkling, and the champagne is on ice. Once we are dressed and ready, all we can do, is sit and wait.

We have a list with the guests names and ages, but at this stage, we know nothing else about them. From the moment they jump onboard we are trying to suss them out and form opinions. It is sad I know, but these guests will be at the forefront of our conversations, for the next week.

So, what will this week hold? Will we have a bed-wetter, party animals, or a Don Gigilo onboard? I’m hoping for friendly, relaxed, non-demanding guests.

Until next time. Ahoy me maties! x

Head in the toilet

20 Jan

It is hard to believe we are already 19 days into the new year. We have had no guests onboard for the last month and I can honestly say, “time flies when you’re having fun”.

We had an interesting end to the year with 3 crew members leaving the boat. In my opinion 2 of them needed to go and I gladly helped them carry their bags to the end of the pasarail.

It amazes me how much of an impact 2 people can have on crew. Like parasites they literally sucked everything out of us all. Their negativity leached into everything we did! Thankfully, with fresh, enthusiastic crew, we have had a complete turn around onboard and dare I say it? I am loving work at the moment and the crew is having a great time together.

I have now handed over my deck equipment to the new deck-hand and returned inside to work as a stewardess. My final day in 2010 was a true gem as I re-learnt the art of cleaning a toilet.

Cleaning a toilet is pretty straight forward right? Well, yes, and no. Let’s not forget I am not cleaning any regular old crapper – these are the toilets on a luxury super yacht, where the faucets are made of gold, and the counter-tops are marble. For these toilets we take a much more thorough approach.

On top of the regular scrubber we also use the q-tip. You know the little q-tip that in the real world is used for removing make up, nail-polish or clean a small cut? Well in yachting – we use the q-tip to clean the toilet.

Where on earth would you need to use a q-tip I hear you asking? Well, picture a toilet, then visualise the bowl. Think about the ring and up underneath it, where the water comes down into the bowl. Yes my friends, this is where we q-tip to ensure there is no extra scum at all, after we have scrubbed away until we can see our face. This is a what the bleep moment if I ever heard of one!

I am certain that if my final day of 2010 was spent q-tipping toilets, then things can surely only look up, from now on. Remind me; why did I want to work inside again?

Make sure you get right up under the lip with the q-tip.

Until next time. Ahoy me maties! x