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What to include in your confirmation of employment letter when applying for a B1/B2 Visa.

B-1/B-2 visas are a mandatory requirement of the US authorities enabling visitors to enter the United States, either temporarily for business (B-1), tourism, pleasure or visiting (B-2) or a combination of both (B-1/B-2). When applying for one, you must provide the date you first arrive in the US, the name of the yacht's owner and confirmation that it is operated privately. If the Embassy believe you're a crew member from a commercial yacht, they can refuse your B-1/B-2 application and request you reapply for a C1/D. The Embassy also require that you supply a full crew list and certificate of registry, confirming the vessel as a pleasure yacht.  So here's a few pointers for your letter of application: Ideally set it out on letter headed paper Address it to ...

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How Sailing Sparked a Passion for the Natural World

  In Collaboration with Nick Bubb. When you're spending days, weeks, months on the open sea, out in the elements, you can't fail to feel connected to the natural world.  Or at least that was ex Ocean Racer Nick Bubb's experience. As Business Development Director for the world-renowned innovators and conservation charity Fauna & Flora International and recent UK Green Party candidate Nick told me "my interest in the natural world stemmed from a love of sailing." The son of former QE2 navigator and Operations Director at the Port of Felixstowe, John Bubb, 6-year-old Nick started sailing Mirrors at the Deben Yacht Club in Woodbridge. Obsessed with sailing and boats from an early age, Nick would sometimes get to help out on...

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Picasso hidden in Superyacht Cabin

What would Pablo Picasso have thought?  A painting he completed when he was just 24, in 1906, tucked away and hidden from view in the cabin of a 212-foot 3-mast classic superyacht "Adix".   That was until it was seized by the Guardia Civil off Corsica's coast nearly five years ago.  Jaime Botin, spanish billionaire, art collector and heir to Spain's largest bank, Santander, received a fine of €52m  ($58 million) and an 18 month prison sentence this month, for attempting to smuggle this Picasso painting "Head of a Young Woman" out of Spain. Although Botin is recorded to have purchased the painting in 1977, Spanish heritage laws are really strict and clearly state that any piece over 100 years old, and deemed by the state to be a national treasure beca...

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Welcome to the 1st Superyacht of 2020

With all the excitement of a new year, a new decade, there's always a great buzz around new entrants to the already glamorous and elite international fleet of superyachts. A case in point is German shipyard, Lurssen where there's already been much excitement this month, when they revealed their first superyacht for 2020.  Measuring in at 87-metre, Project Hawaii is a beautiful example of Lurssen naval architecture combined with exceptional exterior lines and interior superyacht design from the world-renowned, UK-based Bannenberg & Rowell. This talented and experienced studio, descendants from the internationally acclaimed godfather of modern yacht design from the '60s, Jon Bannenberg, nurtures an innovative and ground-breaking team of yacht designers,...

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Results are in from the 1st Marine Salary Survey

  Whilst experience placing men and women in marine related shore-based roles tells us a lot about what is going on in the industry, including; how trends for specific roles are changing, what the reality of the gender pay gap is and how good the prospects for marine industry career progression are, we are driven to investigate the industry further. There's nothing quite like irrefutable facts and feedback from all those guys and gals out in the field to give us the full picture - so, when new recruits ask us:  What am I likely to earn?  How long can a career in the marine sector last?  Will my skills be transferable within the sector?  We can provide them with the best advice, backed up by latest industry findings. So, when we had the opportunity to he...

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Welcome to The Ward Room.

Welcome to The Ward Room.   Yacht life is hard enough, working long hours and being away from home, but it doesn't take long to settle into your position on board and call the yacht "home". As longevity is gained and you want to start looking at career progression by taking on some courses, you find yourself looking for accommodation ashore. In many of the main yachting hubs in Europe you can find plenty of reasonably priced short term lettings, Airbnb's and hotels that are perfect for this, but when it comes to studying in larger cities or in the UK, it's not so easy.   Hotel rates fluctuate with events that are going on and rarely offer discounts for longer stays. So what do you do when the course runs for a month or even 6? Now that Warsash...

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Stew Top Tips

Thank you to the fabulous Chief Stews, Stews and Chefs who all shared their equally fabulous "top stew tips of the day" at the 2019 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show earlier this season, here's just a few to make life onboard that bit easier.  If you've got tips you'd like to share with fellow superyacht crew, simply add and share in the comments below: 1) Try to stay cool, calm and collected on charter and if anyone is struggling do try to help your fellow crew out.  A smiles goes a long way and the guests will pick up if the crew aren't happy and the guests are on board to have a nice time, so if the crew smile, the guests will smile too. 2) Tip for cleaning those tricky to clean thermoses and thermos cups. All you need is Oxy Clean and som...

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Where do you berth for Christmas?

So, with Christmas just behind us, where do you think superyachts have most likely berthed in preparation for the festivities? While many superyachts are undergoing crucial maintenance and others wintered, there are owners and charterers who have planned their Christmas onboard beautiful superyachts, but where have they dropped anchor?  The Bahamas - although the Bahamas have been hit hard with the widespread flooding and devastation caused by Hurricane Dorian back in September, most of the islands south of Grand Bahama weren't too badly affected so still provide the chance for a luxury winter escape, maintaining the same high standard of service you have come to expect from the region. Thought to be the perfect charter destination and having served the superyacht com...

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Owners, Guests and Crew Plan 3rd Rescue Mission

Flushed with the success of their first canine mission back in September, where they rescued 50 dogs from the Bahamas, the Captain, crew, guests and owners of M/Y Laurel went back in early December to rescue even more displaced dogs, and they're already planning a third trip for January 2020. Having gone the first time to deliver aid, with the support and backing of the owners, December 5th saw Laurel's Captain and crew actually accompanied by the owners and their guests, all keen to get involved.  Everyone playing a crucial part in providing aid and rescuing the homeless, sick and injured dogs.  Each guest temporarily adopting two dogs to speed up the process of getting them to the USA.   The owners have even set up their own foundation, Bailey &...

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UK university student innovates plastic alternative from fish waste

Inspired by the strength of fish scales, University of Sussex final year Product Design student, Lucy Hughes has devised a potential alternative to single-use plastic, made mainly from by-products of the fishing industry. Named "Marina Tex", Lucy's final year university project could potentially, she hopes, replace the single-use plastic film sometimes used in sandwich and tissue boxes. Lucy's fishy innovation is edible, home compostable rather than having to be composted industrially, doesn't contaminate soil and bio-degrades in 4-6 weeks, winning her this year's International James Dyson award, awarding her the grand sum of £32,000 in prize money which she plans to use to further develop the product. With an estimated 50 million tonnes of f...

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