This months Mermaid Monday is a rather special one.
I met this lovely lady in 2010 while we were both studying Event Management in Vancouver. Listening to her stories of traveling, finding the love of her life and all of her unique experiences were more than enough to persuade me to try my luck at yachting. I am forever grateful for her friendship, wisdom and kindness.
So today, I welcome Colleen, a fellow Canadian to The Yacht Stew family! Enjoy part 1 and be sure to read until the end to hear about my biggest giveaway yet!!
Hey Colls! Can you introduce yourself & tell everyone how you got into yachting?
Hey everyone! My name is Colleen & I’m currently living in British Columbia, Canada with my husband Ben and my two young boys Cole and Lucas. I was introduced to yachting a few years prior to my first actual job as I was working in a private villa in Sardinia, Italy. The owner of the villa had a gorgeous yacht that was often anchored out front. From time to time, I would help out on board with lunches and parties but I was quite content in the villa and stayed on for a while longer. When I finally decided it was time to get on board (literally!) I was quite lucky as the Captain of the yacht had a friend who was looking for a stewardess. Before you know it, I was flying to Fort Lauderdale for my first job! I worked on board M/Y Passion for just about 3 years and I started out as a stewardess and finished as the Chief Stew.
So guys… While Colleen was working at a ski chalet, she served a lovely couple who were dining in the restaurant and next thing you know, they offer her a job at a villa in Sardinia. Talk about meant to be!! Its so fun to hear how we all found the industry as every stew has a different story!
As you progressed on M/Y Passion, what was the biggest difference between being a 2nd stew & chief stew?
There were probably two main things for me. The responsibility (which goes without saying) and my relationship with crew members. I really enjoyed being second as I had more responsibility and freedom to make decisions than I did as a stew, plus I felt like the crew still treated me as an equal where as when I was promoted to chief, my relationships with the crew members seemed to change. To be honest it wasn’t really something I could pinpoint. It just felt a bit different. I sometimes felt a bit excluded from time to time as maybe my team didn’t want me to know what they were up to all the time or perhaps they were worried I would report stuff back to the captain or something, but then again perhaps it was just me. I just felt like I should be making good decisions all the time and maybe staying out until the wee hours of the morning wasn’t such a good idea anymore! I needed to be a good role model to my team!
I love your honesty! It is very true, I also found when I first became Chief Stew I felt as though the crew dynamic shifted a little. The responsibility continues to grow & evolve – making it even more important to have a strong interior team that knows the balance of work & play. With such close living quarters, how do you maintain good relationships with crew members?
Always be respectful. Do your best to be tidy, and considerate of those around you. Obviously it’s not always easy but try to do your best! I used to struggle with one of our chief engineers. His room was right next to the laundry and he would get frustrated with us running the machines when he was trying to sleep (his bed was on the wall of the machines.) I used to get so mad. Come on buddy, we have work to do, you’re slowing us down. We ended up having words about it one day (as we often ignored him) and when I finally calmed down and looked at it from his point of view I realized how frustrating it must have been for him. Anyway, just be open minded and “shoe on the other foot” mentality.
I’m sure the Engo was so relieved when you took the time to chat with him. Lets face it, NO ONE wants a grumpy engineer!! From all of our chats, I know how much you loved yachting, was there anything in particular that made you stay onboard the same boat for so long?
That was easy, my boyfriend (now husband)! I had planned to leave a season prior but wasn’t ready to say goodbye yet so I stuck around a bit longer. Plus we had an amazing crew on that boat. It was really hard to leave when the time came.
Colleen is now raising her two boys, living in beautiful British Columbia, traveling around the world to meet up with Ben all while building an online business! There is nothing this woman can not do! She is now part of the Arbonne family, focusing on helping stewardesses have that all important “me time” with natural products. With the season winding down, she’s put together the most incredible care package for one very lucky stew. The contest starts TOMORROW ~ TUESDAY NOVEMBER 7TH & will run until 14/11/17. All details on how to enter will be posted on @theyachtstew instagram page tomorrow!
Want to follow more of Colleen’s adventures?
Check our her instagram @myarbonnelife
AND! If you would like to hear more about Colleen’s stewardess care package, check our her page www.facebook.com/colleendickersonarbonne