What Yacht Crew Most Hate To Hear, Continued

IMG_0241With interest having been renewed in the original post on this subject, it seems like the time has come to float out a few more of the things yacht crew most hate to hear:

“It’s going to be a little rough.” When the last time the mate said that it was death on a stick out there and you had to sleep in your immersion suit. Plus you’re a little bit very very hungover.

“No raspberries till Thursday.” When it’s the only grocer on the island talking, it’s Saturday, you’re the chef, the boss doesn’t take nyet for an answer, and your mortgage really needs this job.

“No couples.” When you’re a couple.

“The windlass is making a funny noise.” When you’re the engineer, the funny noise turns out be a screeching like all the demons of Hades, and the windlass was made by an Italian man in a small town in the mountains who has since died and been buried with all the remaining spare parts for his machines.

“I’m pregnant.” When that is not an option.

“Someone has a case of the Monday’s.” When that is the fortieth time that crew member has unironically quoted the movie Office Space without realizing they are casting themselves in the roll of the idiotically friendly co-worker at Cha-Chis. And you can’t explain that because you do in fact have a terminal case of the Mondays and are afraid that if you open your mouth you might chew someone’s nose off.

Crew Member Physically Unable To Stop Saying Hello To People He’s Already Seen 100 Times That Day

11689174_m“I need help,” says bosun Tim O’Leary, standing in the lower pantry of a 50-meter motor yacht, saying hello like a damned fool to every single crew member as they come, and go, and come back again.

“Hey Matt, what’s happening?” He says, assailing the chief engineer as he passes, “Still nothing? Cool. See you in six seconds.” There is no reply. 

Tim suffers from a common syndrome found amongst yacht crew, known as Obnoxiously Repetitive Salutations Disorder, or STFU for short, in which the sufferer is physically unable to stop themselves from greeting people over and over again like a poorly trained parrot with a polite version of Tourette’s.

 “Jo-annabanafofama! Howzit? Ok, still good. Nice. No, no, I don’t have to call you that all the goddamn time.”

“On average I’d say I greet the other crew members over a thousand times a week,” Tim says, shaking his head and looking out to sea, gripping the cap rail tightly to stop himself from greeting this reporter for the fourth time since we stepped out on the side deck to get some air. “I think I have a problem.” 

“Tim has a problem,” his captain confirms immediately when asked. “We’ve spoken about it a number of times, and I can see he’s working on it which is good, but has also led to slightly unnerving situations when he appears silently beside me on the bridge and just waves when I look over at him. And that’s a little weird. I’m hopeful he can get a handle on it. Yes, hi Tim.”

 

 

A Yacht Crew’s 13-Step Guide To Surviving St. Maarten

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  1. Do not, under any circumstances, go to St. Maarten.
  2. If you absolutely cannot avoid going to St. Maarten, do not leave the boat.
  3. If you cannot avoid leaving the boat, only do so on a weekday, at lunch, in disguise, ideally as a nun, or stray dog. Barring that a chicken costume will have to do.
  4. If you must venture into the open during hours other than these, do not, under any circumstances, drink.
  5. If drinking is unavoidable (i.e.; due to a rare medical necessity such as having come off of a busy charter, or unexpected reunion/birthday/Friday) only drink in moderation.
  6. If you cannot drink in moderation, tie yourself securely to a large friend, and inflate your lifejacket. Whatever you do, do not go over the hill.
  7. If you go over the hill, close your eyes and don’t open them until you you hear someone say, “Welcome back to Isle Del Sol, what boat are you on, and where are your pants?”
  8. If the answers to these questions are beyond your reach – or are very complicated – tell the security guard your favourite movie as an answer to both queries, and hope for the best (Gone With The Wind, or Basic Instinct could work – Titanic, or The Passion Of The Christ may require further explanation.
  9. Once inside the marina, do not fall in the water while attempting to get back onboard your workplace/home.
  10. If you fall in the water follow the steps below until assistance arrives.6990271_orig
  11. Once your life has been saved and the mate has installed you in your bunk, forget everything that happened. This will be the easiest step.
  12. Remain onboard, without going near any windows, portholes, friends, enemies, recording devices, or mirrors, until you depart.
  13. When you next consider going to St. Maarten, return to Step 1.

By Helping Out On Deck, Captain Finds He’s Able To Confuse Everyone And Double The Length Of Time Jobs Take

Aye Aye Captain Sea Scouts from West Kirby seen here aboard Captain Scott's ship the Discovery. June 1952 C2842 - 002
“I’m a hands-on kind of skipper,” Says Capt. Kane, master and commandeer of the M/Y Tri Hard. “Not just when it comes to the ladies, but also when I see the team could use some help taking the rest of the day to do a five-minute job. That’s when I’m not shy about getting up to my elbows in overhauling a perfectly good system that I have very little current knowledge of.”

His specialities include launching the jetskis without the bungs in (“We used to leave those in didn’t we?”); sending the entire deck team on a hopeless mission to find fresh produce on an island with no permanent inhabitants (‘You’ll find something, I know I could’); and entangling the fishing gear in a permanent knot that turns four working rigs into one piece of installation art representing the application of chaos theory, as embodied in monofilament (‘I’m just going to leave these here’).

“I’m not a paper-pusher,” he adds as the chief stewardess quietly loads receipts on the other side of the bridge, whilst dreaming of magnums of rosé and the promised sweet escape of day-off, black-out, binge drinking. “I like to get out of the bridge as much as possible. Or at least just often enough to make the deck team wish I would remain on the bridge.”

His first mate cautiously agrees.

“He’s a team-player, as long as he’s in charge. When there’s a water slide to inflate, you can count on him to be there stepping on people on the radio, connecting the wrong lines to the wrong attachment points, shouting contradictory statements, and generally being four-bars worth of nuisance that no one dares to correct. So yeah. He’s a huge help.” He seems about to add something when the radio squawks. It’s Capt. Kane, summoning the deck team to the aft deck for ‘hose-coiling training.’ The mate drops his sunglasses back down over his eyes, pulls his lips back into a grimace-smile that looks like someone asking if they have any spinach stuck in their teeth, and quietly heads off to the bow.

Number Of Facebook Groups For Yacht Crew Officially Surpasses Total Number Of Yacht Crew.

With the creation of the group Yacht Crew With Peanut Allergies Who Like Long Ear Lobes, at 1715 UTC today, the number of yacht-related associations on Facebook officially surpassed the total number of yachties currently on the water. I Shot The Chef, But I Didn’t Shoot The Deputy – Tips For Survival Onboard The Giggityyachts (closed group) quickly followed. And moments later Winnipeg Yacht Crew went live, which went on to amass 24,384 followers by the end of the working day, despite – or perhaps because of – that city’s sub-zero temperatures, and landlocked locale.

Many crew profess that their social media newsfeeds now entirely consist of job postings for positions they will never ever occupy, apartments in cities they have no need for accommodation in, and tips on how to remove tattoos with red wine.

“And for some reason my mother has also joined all these groups,” said recently hired deckhand John Thebread, of the M/Y Saturation, “and she regularly tags me in posts on them. Which frankly is pretty embarrassing.”

Another crew member, chef Annie, smoking and scrolling through Facebook while crouching inside a garbage bin in St. Barths (“The captain doesn’t know,” she explains, waving a massive cigar) admits the resulting affect of having so many groups is to create an online echo chamber.

“A boat caught fire a couple of weeks ago and I had sixteen different pages share the video at me. It’s fine, of course, when those pages are sharing useful information like the complete bullshit The General Alarm makes up, but I just don’t need to see anybody’s boat burn that many times.” She did go on to admit that she was making crew dinner that evening based on a recipe she had seen on the popular page You’ll Eat It and Like It – Feeding The Crew Sammies And Smackdowns. And that she always loved the towel creations shared on Over-Bored Stewardesses. 

 

Just A Few Days Left For Yacht Crew To Finish Convincing Themselves They Don’t Give A Shit About Christmas

billybob

Billy Bob knows your pain.

“It’s really no big deal,” Says Shannon Stokes, deckhand on the M/Y Always Away, discussing what another Christmas on charter means to him. “I plan on doing the same thing I do every year: pretend I’m perfectly ok with sacrificing my seasonal fun, then on the morning of the 25th casually checking my phone, realizing this sucks, hiding my phone in the bottom of the ocean, and promising I will make this up to myself by getting blackout drunk as soon as this trip is over. Then I’ll duct tape a Santa hat to my head, staple my mouth into a smile, and eat chocolate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’s just not a thing.”

Other crew are more methodical in their approach to being away for Christmas, building up support networks onboard throughout the year, carefully hiding vodka in their work spaces, creating small rock gardens in which to achieve zen, and compiling lists of people willing to tie them to their bunks when this fails and they try to light the Christmas tree on fire while screaming obscenities and wearing festive underwear on their heads.

“I think self-awareness and active introspection is key,” Says Janine Griswold, chef on the S/Y No Days Off. “This year all of us on board are working hard to be mindful of our spiritual well-being as we transit this emotional segment of the calendar together. For myself, I’m confident that through deep breathing, meditation, and careful attention to my inner voice, I can make it to at least 10:00 AM on Christmas morning before I lock myself in the head and tell everyone to make their own goddamn eggs benedict because I need a hug, a spiced rum, and a cigarette in that specific order.” She pauses and brightens as a Christmas carol comes on in the galley we are standing in. “So that’ll be fun!”

As part of The General Alarm’s ongoing commitment to improving the mental health of yacht crew, please feel free to comment below with your feelings about working through the Christmas season, positive or otherwise. “FAAAAAAAAAARK,” is a perfectly acceptable response. Any and all feedback will receive this complimentary seasonal mantra: “It’s just another day, It’s just another day, It’s just another….”

 

Louis Vuitton Ventures Into Marine Safety Market With Couture Life Rafts

Spotting a gap in the offshore survival business, the French luxury goods manufacturer Louis Vuitton has launched a line of high-end ‘guest’ liferafts. 
The rafts, capable of taking up to 12 guests and four crew (for rowing, bailing, and serving drinks and canapés) come complete with a flambé station, champagne coolers, and a small, tasteful chandelier made of shatterproof glass.

“Just because your yacht sinks doesn’t mean the party stops,” said a Louis Vuitton spokesperson at a recent unveiling of the calfskin leather rafts, in Borneo bamboo containers. “If anything, this is when the wealthy will most need their creature comforts. Such as a resplendent, built-in wardrobe of waterproof, wrinkle-free suits and ball gowns, a folding string quartet to set the mood, and a roving magician who will feed the circling sharks with rabbits from his hat.”

Starting at $500,000, and requiring monthly checks to replenish the caviar and test the air conditioning, the versatile rafts are modular in nature. This feature was added to make it possible to join to other rafts, from one’s own vessel or belonging to another yacht were one unluckily lucky enough to be involved in a maritime disaster with a vessel also equipped with suede-carpetted escape floats.

While admitting that making the rafts proved a major design challenge, Fabio Fabricio, head of the new Luxury Safety division at the eminent fashion house, calls the experience a fabulous one.

“Yes it was difficult, and some called us crazy, and many other names. Really, the largest battle was with the class society safety inspectors, over their concerns about having electrical outlets in a life raft. To which I very simply asked: How else are you supposed to blow dry your hair darling?”

***To be clear, none of this is true.***

Yacht Position Titles To Be Updated


What’s a bosun? Who soussed who? Is a male purser a walleter? Why must these names suck? Let us consider alternatives. As brassiere in German is büstenhalter, meaning bust holder, so the following monikers explain while they name:

Long Pants In Charge – Captain (alternatively: Espresso Soaked Throttle Jockey)

Chief Tanner And Opinion Haver – First Mate

Second In Charge Of Sweating – Assistant Engineer

Demolitions Expert- Stewardess (also: Head Of Water Bottle Procuring & Securing)

Master of Spreadsheets 3000 – Purser

Keeper of Functional Dysfunction – Chef

Crew Lounge Seat Warmer: Owner’s Security Team
Collar Shirt Who Points A Lot: ISM Manager

Head of Eyebrow Raising – Chief Engineer

Yacht Friends Good To Go Another 4 Years Without Seeing Each Other After 37 Second Catch-Up On The Dock.

 

sailorsfem“The trick is to both talk at once.” Says Kimberley Pollock, having just finished a lightening fast reunion with a girl she once shared a cabin with for two years, thought of as a sister, and hasn’t seen in two relationships, three boats, four vacations and 214 sheet days.

“I have no idea what Jen said, or what exactly I told her, but I think we covered the basics and mostly just laughed. I hugged her six times and my goal was five so even though it was a quick hello, and we didn’t have time to get drunk and tell the real dirt, I’m happy we can go another four years without seeing each other, or ten if that’s what it takes.”

Easy to spot from a distance, there is a particular gait unique to someone coming down a passerelle to see an old friend who has just texted, “I’m outside your Mfing Boat!!!!🤗🤗🤗.” It starts as a skip, turns to a run, and ends in a half-step, half-leap into a hug and semi-twirl on the dock that often topples both friends over.

So common is this matey tumble it’s become a source of injury referred to amongst safety officers as “Bestie Bruisings.” Risk assessments have been done and familiarizations in proper reunion hugging conducted, but the problem persists, with many captains resorting to laying out padded floor mats on the dock in an attempt to avoid more broken elbows and ankles. 

As both crewmembers had guests onboard and one of their yachts was about to depart, the visit only lasted two ignored radio calls – saying the one boat was getting ready to pull away – before it was time to say, “Great seeing you write more often we should FaceTime where did you say you’re going to be in October ok go go go.”

Watching her friend run down the dock to rejoin her boat, Kimberley admits that it was all a bit of a tease. But one that she’ll take.

“That’s the business, share a toilet for two years and then live on opposite sides of the world for four. We’ll catch up again, maybe in months, maybe in years, and maybe be lucky enough to have a night in the same place. If not, we’ll just have to meet up when we’re old and been fired for having wrinkly knees and no one can stop us from drinking gin and tonics at 10 in the morning, and then I can tell her what I really meant when I said that boat I got off was bloody crazy.”

“But,” she says, turning to go back to work, a little gingerly as she climbs the steps onto the passerelle she just half-fell off, “Until then, a quick hello in uniform will just have to do.”

11 Signs Your Cabinmate Is Planning To Kill You

cabinmate

Studies show 9 out of 10 seafarers have asked, “how deep is it here?” with more than just absent curiosity. If you’ve worked on a boat and had a cabinmate then it’s pretty much guaranteed an advanced plot against your life has been hatched at some point or other. Here’s a list of ways to know if in doubt:

1. Whenever you go into your cabin your roommate whistles the tune to We’re Here For A Good Time, while staring at you and shaving their arm hair with a hunting knife.

2. After you say good night back and forth 11 times as per usual, on the 12th exchange instead of saying ‘sleep tight,’ you could have sworn they said ‘don’t fight.’

3. They keep telling you how great it’s going to be to have the place themselves next week, but you haven’t booked any time off. In fact you’re going to be on passage. Weird.

4. They’re just really fucking nice all the time. (Note: this is a sign of extreme danger. Like a mountain lion laying their ears back, you have only seconds to live. Distract them by asking if they can get you a cupcake or something, and jump out the porthole).

5. You wake up in the night to them standing over you drawing small targets on your neck with a red sharpie.

6. They keep repeating the same stories about how they have always been a chronic sleepwalker. Especially worrisome is the one in which they murder everyone in their entire town but got off on all charges because they were only 7 years old.

7. They left their laptop open to a browser window asking how long it takes a goldfish to dispose of a corpse. And they have a goldfish. Meaning the only thing their missing is a corpse. Which could be you. Seriously, you’re going to need to take this more seriously, and start jumping ahead, because we are getting tired of having to lay it all out. We’re trying to save your life here.

8. Your dog won’t stop barking at them.

9. It isn’t just your roommate, everyone wants to kill you. If it weren’t for your insomnia and the incredibly pertinent, uncannily useful skills you learned during your Proficiency in Designated Security Duties course, you would be dead by now. Fact.

10. They keep asking if you have any allergies. Try saying: Gin and Tonic with a cucumber twist.

11. You find yourself wondering if you shouldn’t take defensive measures to protect yourself. Like looking up ways to get rid of your cabin mate…