Caroline from Quay Crew interviews a Chief Stew under the pseudonym Elizabeth. Here you will find out all about this role, and some great tips and tricks for succeeding as a chief stew –
What made you join the yachting industry and how did you get into?
So, I started out primarily because I wanted to travel and I was already working as a Hotel Manager so it was an easy transition to a chief stew role. I had heard about it through a colleague who had been a Mate for 10 years. She told me the ins and outs so I registered with agencies online. I went to the Isle of Wight and did my courses and then headed to Palma and dock walked!
How easy did you find getting your first job?
Fortunately, very! I was looking for 2 weeks and an agency got me my first job, It was on a 35m private MY which was a seasonal role cruising Turkey, it was an amazing season! I loved it and I actually met my now husband and one of my closest friends on board.
How quickly did you become Chief Stew?
After 2 years as a Stew I made the leap to Chief Stew. I was employed on a 45m as 2nd Stew for 3 months before being offered the role as Chief Stew.
What’s your most memorable moment as Chief Stew?
Probably the charter guests taking us swimming with a pod of dolphins in Costa Rica! Certainly one tick off the bucket list.
Where have you travelled and what has been your favourite place?
We have cruised the Pacific, the Med and the US and my favourite place was Tahiti – It was amazing.
Any nightmare charter guest experiences you can share?
I think I have been pretty lucky really. We’ve had a few of the usual charter guests being a pain but apart from that I consider myself fairly lucky on the whole!
Worst yachting experience?
Working as a temp with some volatile crew – The Captain insisted we lock our doors at night as one of the other crew was mentally unstable. Needless to say, we walked off fairly quickly.
What advice would you give green Stews looking to break into the industry?
Get some life skills – Learn how to live on your own and be independent. Whilst yachting can be an amazing experience, it isn’t all fun. You need to have a thick skin and a strong character to do well and take the negatives as well as the positives. Perseverance is also key to doing well. It’s tough competition and in order to succeed you have to work hard and don’t give up. Once you get there, it is all worth it.