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From Newbie to Hooked in 12 months

Like many superyacht crew working onboard vessels at the time COVID-19 travel restrictions were implemented, the crew onboard MY Mirage were given the choice to either remain onboard, move into local crew apartments or return home to quarantine with family (wherever that may be!). One crew member, Stewardess and Massage Therapist, Elle Watton, having moved ashore with fellow crew, was able to get back on board and start unpacking last week, ready for what will hopefully be the new charter season - as yet still to be confirmed. Sitting in STP shipyard, Palma, onboard "MY Mirage", we caught up with Elle, as she comes to the end of her first year as superyacht crew. As a completely green newbie, who'd never even sailed before, Elle told me she's now absolu...

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Spring Charters

As for charters, with the inevitable restrictions on travel worldwide, spring bookings have taken a nosedive, with many either postponed or cancelled. Despite this there are charter firms keen to take advanced charter bookings, for those clients looking to escape as soon as the restrictions are lifted. With some requesting the ability to re-book or cancel in case of future travel bans, with some brokerage firms even offering 'cancellation no penalty' clauses. The hope is that as soon as travel bans are lifted, the global charter market will bounce back, with people wanting to escape on a yacht and spend time onboard in a safe, secure, isolated but beautiful environment – away from home. Looking for remote? As for the safer destinations, favourite options will proba...

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The Displacement of Superyacht Crew

Everywhere you turn the disruptive effects of COVID-19 are stark.  First and foremost, we hope you're safe, well and where you want to be! It's a bit of an understatement that the superyacht industry has a whole has been hit pretty hard by the COVID-19 outbreak, with yachts unable to move freely in Spain, France and Italy, and many yachts heading to the UK as a safe haven. With such stringent lockdowns, crew can't easily join yachts and vessels are stuck unable to leave port.  Whilst some owners are using their yachts as safe havens, it's tricky for rotational crews whose counterparts can't get flights out to the boats. COVID-19 has obviously affected an enormous number of crew; causing repatriation issues, crew unable to access government fina...

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Olympic Pledge to Eradicate Plastic

Palma's loss was my gain this week! Hannah Mills, MBE, British Olympic Sailor and 470 World Champion is just back from the 470 Worlds in Palma, postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Making training and preparation for the recently postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics more challenging than ever. Team GB were reluctantly sent home from Palma and home on the south coast of England was where I caught up with Hannah to find out more about https://bigplasticpledge.com, the athlete-driven initiative - actually more like a movement - launched with fellow 470 crew-mate Eilidh McIntyre, with the full backing and support of the IOC. (The International Olympic Committee). With medals and international acclaim, Hannah is no stranger to focus, determination and hard work.  ...

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COVID-19 and the Superyacht Calendar

Whilst event organisers worldwide do all they can to slow the spread of COVID-19, cancelling, changing and postponing planned events and travel plans, we're obliged to take the necessary precautions to look after and protect one another as we see how things unfold in the coming months.  With regard to the Superyacht calendar, obviously things are changing on a daily, if not hourly, basis so we advise you check individual events, travel, transfer and country policies directly with the relevant websites and helplines. In the meantime, here's an indicator of what's been postponed and cancelled due to COVID-19 for now:  Events MARCHDubai International Boat ShowOriginally set for 10–14 March, postponed until later this year, 24–28 Nov 2020, takin...

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How is COVID-19 affecting your day to day?

Before we look at coronavirus in the superyacht industry here's a quick round-up of the facts: The World Health Organization (WHO) has named the Coronavirus, COVID-19 Coronavirus (COVID-19) was first reported towards the end of 2019 in central China Originated in Wuhan Estimated that most healthy people who contract COVID-19 will recover uneventfully with mild to moderate symptoms, but for those with underlying health issues there is increased severity It's most likely transmitted through infected respiratory droplets, transmitted by coughing, sneezing or naturally airborne, so can be contracted simply by talking to one another It's possible to contract COVID-19 either by having contact (directly or indirectly) with infectious droplets or touching the face Ris...

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Cleaning up Teak

Teak can be tricky to keep spotless. Whether it's the deck or furnishings, it can be difficult to keep the teak looking pristine, especially if it's a table and your guests unintentionally spill food or drinks during dinner.  Even if the teak gets thoroughly wiped down afterwards, oily food will leave it's oily calling card!  However delicious, any food that's either cooked in oil or contains oil and then lands on the deck is susceptible to mark. Teak is notorious for retaining oil stains, so here's a little run down of how to get rid of those tiresome blotches: 1) Grab yourself a box of washing powder (doesn't matter which brand) and vinegar (again, doesn't matter which brand) - they're great for the job, gentle but with a touch of acidity to remove marks left by water,...

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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 because i...

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