December came around quickly. After a fantastic few months of catching up with family and friends, it was time to get to work.
Charter season was in full swing and we had a great one for bookings. It was my first charter working alongside Gavin as a Captain and Chef team. I’m not going to lie, I was extremely nervous, cooking all week, entertaining guests and making sure this family had a trip of a lifetime!
It was a Christmas charter so it had to be a special one. Thankfully we had an amazing, down to earth family of 5. They were really easy going and wanted us to be a part of their holiday as much it was theirs. The cooking went well, the daughter was really interested in food, so she was in the galley with me, watching and helping out where she could. We made handmade pasta together, talked about different cuisines she enjoyed and I had a really relaxed week. Christmas day was spent in the sea, enjoying water sports and an evening meal at Foxy’s on Jost Van Dyke! This was also my first real encounter of American’s and their country music.
Working on charters with the majority of our clientele from the States, you quickly get accustomed to this genre of music. I have never heard so much Jimmy Buffet and Kenny Chesney in my life and never realised every American loves it and has it on their playlist. Whilst in Foxy’s that evening I experienced their love of this when ‘Darius Rucker – Wagon Wheel’ came on and the whole bar stood up to dance and sing as loud as they possibly could! It was a sight not to be missed.
The week came to an end, we had a great week exploring the BVI and we made some great friends. Hopefully this was going to be how all futures charters turn out…
The season went by in a flash. We were so busy with charters, day sails, office/base work, and boat shows. We provisioned for the boat at the local supermarkets, prepped the boat for same day turnarounds, new menus were planned, different routes navigated and several cocktails poured, the season went really well for us.
I learned a lot about cooking, how to sail, how to fish, we got to know a lot of people extremely well (living with them for a week at a time on charter), ate at most restaurants all over the islands and listened to as much country music as I could handle (unfortunately this is NOT my favourite type of music and could quite easily never have to hear another song about chicken wings on a Friday night or driving in your truck as long as I live).
Gavin and I also got to know each other extremely well. We lived, worked and went out together (I also found out about his love of Pirate shows, which we saw a lot of throughout the season). We were inseparable and together 24/7! We had our ups and downs, most arguments were had in the galley (away from the guests) or in the dinghy!
For those of you starting out in the charter business and working with your partner I definitely recommend the 5 minute ‘cool off’ rule. This is something Gavin and I discussed and put into action almost immediately whilst working on the boat (and at home… we still live by this rule now). We got off our chests what we had to say, shouted and bickered (as you do spending that much time together), ignored each other for 5 minutes whilst we both cooled off and set back to work as if nothing had happened. You cannot work in such close proximity on an argument… It’s not good for the two of you and definitely not good for the guests.
After our first season was over, getting to know how each other work and not being afraid to talk to each other about our issues, our charter lives ran like clockwork.
We had a fantastic season running charters and couldn’t wait for the next one!
Please share below if you like what you read!