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A Week as a Yachtie

Exactly one week ago, I upped sticks and moved to sunny Palma, seeking a new life as a Stewardess on a Superyacht. Instagram might make it seem a bit glam but I'm here to set that straight.

Day 1 - Sunday

The flight got in at around 11 am. I was feeling a tad overwhelmed at the prospect of the task at hand, so much so that I felt numb, after feeling every emotion in the run-up to the move. I am blessed enough to have a place on the island so it does feel like being at home, but this is the first time I have been in the apartment alone, which for me was the most daunting thing. You'd think that, as an only child, I'd be used to being alone but the prospect was freaking me out. I also wasn't feeling one hundred percent, which just made me even more scared and emotional. Honestly, day 1 I just got settled into the apartment, got a takeaway pizza and watched 3 Adam Sandler movies (I feel like I might get judged for this but Adam Sandler movies are my absolute guilty pleasure. I've seen Just Go With It at least 8 times).

Day 2 - Monday

I woke up still feeling unwell, and spent most of the day feeling guilty and scared that I didn't know what I was doing. There's emails coming in every 30 minutes from Yotspot (the Indeed of Yachting), asking for people with years of experience and differing skills, across a range of locations. How the hell am I going to find a position? I went to sleep feeling underwhelmed that the only task I had done that day was to go to the supermarket.

Day 3 - Tuesday

The cold was on its way out, and I was ready to head out into the real world. I spent the morning on my laptop on my balcony, applying to agencies and doing more research. I decided to spend my afternoon going into Palma, getting an ice cream and wandering around the port to get my bearings. I've been coming here since I was a teenager, but this was the first time I had wandered around the city on my own and it felt so odd. I walked to my favourite ice cream place in the middle of the old town, and walked down to the port with it. I found myself in what I now know is the shipyard area, which is heavily guarded and gated for health and safety reasons, so having seen literally no superyachts I decided that it was time for a pint.

I walked into the Corner Bar, somewhere I had frequented last summer after hearing of it during my STCW course. This bar is cash only - there is an ATM along the road but the exchange rate is poor. However, the staff in here are so lovely - most of them are ex-yachties so have great advice and knowledge about the industry. I sat down next to the first person I saw wearing a polo at the bar and made my first yachtie friend. Result! After a couple of pints we headed to Ventura, where I met a whole group of lovely people and spent the evening getting to know them. For the first time, I felt like I was here for a reason and that this was going to be a fun summer. Setting a time to meet the next day to go dock-walking, I got my bus home happy in the knowledge that I had put my best self forward.

Day 4 - Wednesday

This was meant to be my first day of dock-walking. Meant to be. I chickened out after deciding that as I didn't have any CV's printed, I shouldn't go. In actual fact, I was just really nervous. So instead I decided to walk to my local internet café (yep those are still a thing) to print a few copies, and after a 20 minute rigmarole of sending him my document and him being unable to open it, he informed me that he did not print sheets in colour. Classic waste of my time, and heading back to my apartment I felt a little defeated. I had wasted my morning being a chicken without a printer. I spoke to my mother, had a little weep, and after doing literally nothing all day, I did the only thing I could think of - I went for a nap.

But all was not lost - the night before, the girls had told me about Yachties Run Wild Running Club. This queen was kind enough to take a copy of my CV the night before, and as such sent me both encouraging feedback and the contacts of a vessel looking for work - you never know when new opportunities will turn up and no matter what happens with my application, I am so grateful that anyone would want to help me out in that way, and I hope to pay that kindness forward when I am fortunate enough to find my place in this industry.

Whilst I am no runner, I was assured this would be the networking event of the week, and it would be great to meet other like-minded green and experienced ladies in the industry. I headed there in my turtle top and running shorts that I only own for comfort, with a sense of apprehension. All that faded when I saw the group of girls at Varadero. I was with the walking group and ended up having wine and tapas in a square by the port after the club had ended. Bliss. I'd recommend this club to anyone - everyone was so nice. I went to an all-girls school and honestly haven't been around that many girls at once since then - I was a little trepidatious about not being very girlie but turns out that doesn't matter. I got my bus home feeling like an actual queen, having met some great humans and eaten some great food. It doesn't get much better than that. Every day is literally a rollercoaster.

Day 5 - Thursday

This morning, I had arranged to go to a seminar at Bluewater Agency, and headed out early like a real employed human of the world. I met a girl I had seen at the Running Club and even more lovely people who were in the same boat as me - badum tsk (I used this analogy at an interview a few weeks ago and I'm not saying that's the reason I didn't get the job but as soon as it came out of my mouth I knew it would not help my cause). A group of us had a lovely snack by the marina, tried to take some new CV photos to no avail, and then I headed back to my place for more life admin. Applying to agencies, taking everyone's advice regarding CV's, networking - it's tiring stuff! I can't wait to be employed again - at least then I'll be being paid to be tired!

Day 6 - Friday

Today was the day - my first dock-walking day. I headed to Port Adriano to meet a friend who was on the same mission as me. I was dressed in my polo and skirt, looking the part and feeling very much out of my depth. For those who don't know, dock-walking is when you walk around a port handing out CV's and chatting to people working on the boats. Some ports don't like people dock-walking - technically it is not allowed so you've got to move quickly and with caution. As it was my first time, I was a little timid and it felt odd to try to be so bold - I am no salesperson, just ask anyone who went to Acre Winfield's to buy shoes between September and December 2014. After walking around smiling like an idiot at everyone that I saw, I went to Portals to do the same - an even smaller port where everyone I spoke to looked at me like an alien. When I went to the Bluewater session on Thursday, they said that dock-walking is now your full-time job. That scares the bejeezus out of me because I don't think I am very good at it. Regardless, I'll be back in on Monday ready to try again. On Friday night a new friend came for dinner and then we headed out to Ventura for a night of beverages and banter. Both were had by all, but now I can't remember everyone's names and stories and that has nothing to do with the rose I was drinking.

Day 7 - Saturday

Beach Day! No one dock-walks at weekends as the crew aren't available to talk, and the agencies are closed, so for the first time since I left university, I actually have free time at the weekends. I felt very cool to have plans to meet people at the beach, and we formed a massive group on the sand. I of course burnt my back and am now sitting at my laptop doused in aloe vera, but it was worth it. Everyone has been so friendly and nice, willing to share their expertise and tips. After a day out in the sun, an early night was required, ready for today, my Sunday reset.

I'm excited for another week of highs and lows - if I have learned anything this week, it is that you should expect the unexpected. Hopefully, this time next week I will have made more headway with actually getting a job, but I feel like for week one I have made some good strides.

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