A friend asked the other day how I spent my days. I wrote the daily duties when owners are onboard and thought I would share it with a larger audience. Any takers?
The owners get their own breakfast I just have to get everything set up. The owners (O2) onboard now don't get up until 9 a so I have this extra time. They like coffee, smoothies, cereals. If I have time (or if I'm feeling nice - usually the first few days of the charter), I will bake fresh muffins or suggest omelets. The other owners labeled (O1) are early risers and expect two types of coffee and oatmeal fixins. They want fresh blueberries every morning, which is going to be a real bitch in the Bahamas when blueberries cost $6.00 for a small tin. And let’s not even talk about trying to keep them fresh while we sail the outer islands with no Piggly Wiggly in 100 miles. Anyway, O1 usually has four guests onboard so I set out cereals and fresh muffins and fruit for them as well. All different types of guests come onboard but all have been super. The guests are always happier about things then the owners so I tend to focus on their positive energy. Everybody gets up at different times so I just make sure nothing runs out and everyone has what they need. In the background I empty the dishwasher, clean the glasses from the night before etc. O1 insists that the back deck cushions be out when he wakes up at 6 a. so I'm usually up throwing those 15 cushions around and uncovering the flag. The flag was a huge deal on the last trip as it was ripped in the storm and we did not think to replace it. Huge finger shake on that one. It was a small rip!!! And we forgot. As most people who love me know, focus is always difficult and the details sometime slip away. If you can believe it, Robb is even worse - eh gads what a pair. While breakfast is going on and people are reading the newspapers, I head down to make all the beds and clean all the bathrooms. Usually at least two staterooms (normally three) are filled (there are four total guest staterooms are on the boat) so that means 2 beds and 2 heads. It's called heads and beds in the yachty world. I don't really mind cleaning the toilets it's arranging all those damn bed pillows just so. If we are moving to a new location (in the Bahamas we move every two days are so), I help with the move, i.e. putting the tender on top, the bicycles, the power lines, the gate, this and that all have to be stowed. Then lines are thrown, fenders (the cushy things on the side that keep the boat from rubbing against pilings) are pulled in and we are on our way. Usually there is much running to and fro during this time and lots of yakking on walkie talkies, esp. if there is wind. Robb's poor hearing is a factor as is the number of walkie-talkies that have ended up in the water during the dashing about. After we sail away, I start cleaning up from breakfast and preparing for lunch. In the smaller islands, my frig is it so they usually eat all meals onboard. Lunch is a wide range of whatever, fish tacos are awesome, O1 enjoys wraps so that makes it simple. Often I will do a soup or salad or sandwich. Nothing can be repeated on a trip so I have to keep in mind what I served last week and the available stores. One member of the O1 couple only eats seafood - no chicken, steak etc, which complicates matters. You wouldn’t even begin to imagine how hard it is to acquire fresh fish in the Bahamas – how odd? Usually, I make a huge Costco run before we leave the mainland so our frig is crammed before we begin but those stores fly out the galley. The larger boats or boats with owners who are real foodies will fly in specialty stores at a huge markup. If you want Kobe beef and you are in Highbourne Cay (a very small tiny little place) you can get it if you are willing to pay for it and even then only on Friday when the mail plane arrives.
After I do lunch clean up, I usually try to lie down for one hour - usually it's a forced lie down as my body refuses to function. It feels great. The afternoons are spent with laundry, cleaning mirrors (which I suck at) and preparing dinner. If I'm lucky I will get to go snorkeling or walk on the beach during the afternoon but not if dinner is going to be complicated. If they are going out to dinner, then the above mentioned two activities are a definite. Last week I got to snorkel for about one hour but it's always with the owners so you must make sure they have everything they need and aren't drowning themselves. I never forget that I'm on duty. Dinner is served at 8 p and usually takes at least two hours to prepare depending on what is being served. Dinner is always three courses, sometimes four. The whole preparing yummy dinners thing is going so well the guests never want to leave the boat. Eck! There is something to be said for not cooking too well.
Opps I forgot to add that about 5 p I have to have snacks out. Snacks always try my patience and besides do people really need to eat this much? Snacks range from Brie en croute, something in phyllo dough, chips and dips or the good old standby cheese plate. Living alone I never imagined how much food six to nine people can consume in a day. Yikes!
Anyway back to dinner - it's often a salad, followed by meat, starch and veg, ended with some type of decadent desert. There is always much wine involved and the fresh bread I've prepared. I've been reprimanded severely for my poor napkin folding skills, as setting the table is my responsibility as well. My brain just does not work that way and besides there are people starving in the world who cares how the damn napkin is folded. O1 enjoys eating on the back deck which we love b/c they are far away from the kitchen so I can play my music and scream damn it when I burn myself on the oven which I inevitably do every night. O2 always always wants to eat in the dining room, which is a pain in the ass. The dining room is flush with the galley so no music and no damn it. There is a door that can be closed b/t the two rooms but gets stuck on it's track more often than not. While they are eating the main course, I run down and turn down all the beds and set water out by the bed. Usually I'm cramming pillows hither and yon, as I'm tired and very grouchy by this point. I've also gotten in trouble for putting pillows in closets b/c it takes up too much space? Whatever, I mean why do you have so many damn pillows in the first place? Back to the galley for clean up. I'm working on the whole clean while you go thing but have not mastered this skill. Usually the galley looks as if a cyclone has blown through. After clean up is complete I fall on my face.
I loved the movie Gosford Park and it is an accurate picture of things. Blessings we have no bells on the boat. I’m tired just reading all this crap. I’m off for my nap.