Back in 2014, Ben and I were staying at a crew house in Fort Lauderdale looking for our first couples job. It was incredibly daunting & the crew staying in the house helped us keep our sanity!

There was a huge mix of nationalities, greenies & experienced crew all looking to support each other through our job search.

One particular young lady became one of my dearest friends, Bronwyn. She was a vibrant 19 year old fromSouth Africa trying to get her foot in the door. Her constant resilience & determination was inspiring. I saw so much of a younger me in her, we were both so young when we started yachting and away from home for the first time.

Bronwyn is now an extremely talented 2nd stewardess
on a  yacht is based in Monaco year round.

A few weeks ago I interviewed her for the first edition of Mermaid Monday! Enjoy xo

Hey Lovely! So, could you tell everyone how you come across the industry?

I was a mere 19 years old when I did a one year diploma in photography. It was my first year out of school and I didn’t want to invest in something too rooted. While doing the course I befriended a girl who had been in the yachting industry three years prior to our course. At the time I thought to au pair abroad would be my only chance at seeing the world. I feel like I owe my career to her. She sent me links to all the places to do my courses. When to start and where to go. She even asked some of her friends in the industry if they needed a ‘green’ stew. 

I too feel as though I owe a huge part of my career to the amazing woman who showed me the ropes! What was our biggest challenge starting to find your first job?

Did I mention my age? Oh my, starting at 19 with short hair I was trying to grow out to better suit the job (because you never know when you will be able to visit the hairdresser next with this job / able to get ashore for a hair cut) and add to the mix being South African. Hello countless visas. 

I giggled when I found out you cut your hair short because you were worried about having time to see a hair dresser. I’ve never met anyone whose such a forward thinker!! Okay, so you’re young & keen to get sailing – what was your first boat experience like?

First, I dayworked on a 60m Trinity, which was Russian owned (so you can imagine the luxurious interior), for one month before landing a seasonal stew/cook position on a 54m Delta that was for sale. Dayworking was fun but there was always a barrier between the crew and myself. Socialising is a very big aspect of the job. I was very shy and needless to say underaged too. 

Regarding my seasonal position, I didn’t feel like I was part of the crew as I only joined after they had gone into skeleton staff. I spent my days cooking up a storm. Focusing on South African cuisines. Partly because I was homesick. It was the middle of summer and all my new found friends were working their ‘skinny-asses’ off in the Med. My favourite past time comprised of staying in my cabin sneakishly eating crisps. 

 

The perfect quiet space to relax during a busy charter!

We have all been there! My first boat just didn’t feel as though it was the best fit, so I left shortly after and quickly joined a new boat that felt like a dream.

So, 3 years in you have travelled all over the world! Whats your absolute favourite memory?

I have so many!

One of my first boats we travelled the Exumas, in the Bahamas. Not only did I have, possibly a seven kilometre stretch of beach all to myself, our owners wife gave the chef the afternoon off so that meant guests and crew had to eat off the boat. She quite happily ate at the local tavern. Need I explain that it was charred burger patties with a very thin, very dry bun? That was one of my best experiences. Realizing how down to earth some boat owners can be. 

Another favourite memory imprinted in my memory was a charter I did around the Amalfi Coast. The guests had just left the boat, ready for a champagne picnic ashore when my long awaited break rolled around. We were anchored out in Ponza I think so the second stew and I sat on the swim platform marvelling at the mountain in front of us, enjoying our crunchy magnums. ‘magnifico’!  / “spettacolare”

 

Be sure to follow Bronwyn travels on instagram @red_alert

Part two of our chat will be coming soon! xo



 

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Gemma Hulbert
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Gemma Hulbert

Hello! My name is Gemma, the girl behind The Yacht Stew. After 7 years of working on yachts, I wanted to create a platform where I could share my stories, travels & passions. I have been asked a million and one times “What do you actually do working on a yacht?” – hopefully this blog will give you a good insight. I’m so excited to share my travels & stories with you.
Gemma Hulbert
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