Master of many things, among them the operation of a superyacht, Leo Durocher is our focus in this month’s ‘By The Flare’s Red Glow’, an as-of-this-very-moment regular feature of The General Alarm in which we’ll be focussing on captains and senior crew and reporting back with all of the answers fit for print. And the other answers. The ones that aren’t fit for print but are ok to put online.
The General Alarm: Hi Captain Durocher, and welcome to ‘By The Flare’s Red Glow’.
Capt. Leo Durocher: “Thanks. Call me Captain Leo.”
TGA: “Ok. That brings us to our first question.Why do some yacht captains refer to themselves as Captain fill-in-the-blank, even when not onboard?”
LD: “I don’t know any Captain Fill-In-The-Blanks. But I understand the question, and the answer is quite simple. It’s because a lot of other guys do it. Plus I managed to get firstname.lastname@example.org back in the early days and it helps to remind people of half my contact info every time they say my name.”
TGA: “What got you started in yachting?”
LD: “I’ve always loved two things; the water, and making a good living, and having people do what I tell them to do right away. So becoming a yacht captain was a natural fit. I started out messing around in dinghys and RIBs, got a job at my local yacht club, and landed a gig as a deckhand on my first yacht through a friend by way of my well-defined jawline. That was M/Y My Waaay – three a’s – and I stayed on her books until I sank her as master 14 years later off the Italian coast”
TGA: “What happened there?”
LD: “Not much to say really. The boss needed us to get him to Monaco so he could fly to Geneva to save his fortune. We put out to sea despite a storm forecast, the helicopter broke loose, we took on water, and eventually came up against a rogue wave that stove in the bridge windows and down we went. It was fine though, everyone was rescued and we all danced on the Italian cutter that came to our assistance.”
TGA: “That sounds exactly like what happens to the yacht in the movie ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’.
LD: “Oh yeah? I haven’t seen it.”
TGA: “What came next?”
LD: “I had a new drive in two days. I mean, my deck shoes were still wet from the sinking when I walked onboard the next gig, a yacht called M/Y Calamity. That’s what they say in the business, if you want a better boat, sink the one you’re on. Haha.”
TGA: “Haha. Ha, other than sinking yachts, haha, what do you attribute your success to?
LD: “Well, passion for the job, dedication, attention to detail. And of course being a white guy with great hair. I mean, you don’t see many non-caucasians driving these things do you? Or women. And even most bald guys wear a hat a lot of the time.”
TGA: “Do you have any advice for crew starting out who hope to become a yacht captain?”
LD: “Be polite, work without complaining, and smile your hardest all the goddamn time. With all of your teeth. The rest will take care of itself.”
TGA: “Thanks Captain Leo, its been a pleasure speaking to you ‘By the Flare’s Red Glow’.
LD: “Sure thing. And why is it called that anyway?”
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