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The Stewardess Bible Talks to the adventurous and beautiful super yacht Stewardess

Amy Dawes

Where do you come from?

I’m from Australia but usually reside in Argentina when not working on yachts.

What is your current position on board?

On my current boat I am 3rd Stewardess but previously I have worked as 2nd.

How long have you worked on yachts?

This would be my 4th Mediterranean season over the past 6 years.

What did you like/dislike about your last job?

Loved that the owners were late risers and that the yacht was always in port so I could get off board and go for a run every morning. I disliked that we travelled very little; we spent weeks in Cannes alone.

How did you get into the industry?

During 2007 while I was travelling for 12 months through South America, I met a NZ girl in Peru who told me about working on yachts and the good salaries. Towards the end of my travels I had a return flight back to Europe so not knowing what to expect I jumped onto a plane to Palma, landed in a crew house where I started to get some knowledge of what I needed to do. A couple of days later with CVs in hand I went for a dock walk and a few minutes after that I had my first initial interview and was moving on board as a junior stew.

What would you like to be doing five years from now?

I have plans to move back to Australia at some point and perhaps even start a family. Saying that though I love the hospitality/ service based industry, so combining that with my passion for yoga and alternative therapies, health and nutrition I would like to try working in front of house in a health resort in OZ within the next 5 years to gain some experience before looking into my own business opportunities.

What are your biggest personal accomplishments?

It would have to be learning fluent Spanish and opening my own yoga studio.

Can you work under pressure?

Definitely, hospitality is all about working under pressure and effective time management and there are no exceptions to that during a stewardess’ busy season.

What is the most difficult situation you have faced?

Losing the trail on a late summit of Snowdon Mountain, to find myself climbing vertically up falling slate with a rescue helicopter over my shoulder watching our every move! I seriously thought we were not going to make it. That and my first season on board a yacht, living in confined spaces with so many people with different likes, interests and cultures…seriously it is like a Big Bother house with all its ups and downs at times you really learn a lot about yourself, if you take the time to analysis what is happening around you.

What are some of the things that bother you?

Negativity is my number one annoyance. It is like a rotten apple in a barrel, affecting all those in close proximity and sometimes more!

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Tell me about the last time you felt anger on the job?

I know that during a season there are moments where everyone snaps, but a single moment where I felt anger I can’t actually remember, obviously couldn’t have been that important. Either that or the last 8 months of travels before this job has served me well to forget!!

What are your long-term career goals?

As mentioned above I would like to venture into resort work in health/alternative therapy to later open my own business. Time will tell. To be honest, I don’t like planning too much in advance rather I prefer to enjoy the present moment, learn all I can and take advantage of the current opportunities that are presented along the way… where this will take me, nobody knows! And that is exactly what I love; freedom to adapt!

When and why did you establish these goals and how are you preparing yourself to achieve them?

I guess getting married earlier this year with a non-yachtie has made me question the instability of the industry and pushed me to reassess future possibilities. I find organization and business planning naturally easy so I am using my time to network and learn, from people, experiences and personal studies, obviously while getting some coins in the piggy bank!

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What do you do in your spare time?

I love spending time in the sun, travelling, running, yoga and eating…This could be why I like working on yachts so much.

What makes you laugh?

Spending time in good company.

What makes you cry?

Sad movies and sympathy crying!

What is your favourite colour?

Depends on the day, I love colours, anything bright, no blacks, greys, browns or blues!!

What do you think of the term “Stupidess”

Referring to a dump stewardess, I guess, like such terms it all depends on the context of the comment really. I would be the first to laugh at myself for a dumb mistake and if someone made me such a comment at that time I wouldn’t think anything of it, but if it was said in a chauvinistic manner about a stewardess in general it could be quite offensive.

Have you heard the boys talk about “stewie bum’ and how did you feel?

Ha ha, yeah, I am starting to grow one of those as we speak!! Gotta love the great food we get on board during a season. Again, I love a little banter, nobody is perfect, give it right back to them, they’re definitely not gods you know!

Have you ever met anyone famous?

I have never spent any decent amount of time with a famous person however working on yachts and in restaurants/catering there have been moments where I have had to serve a few celebrities although by not watch TV nor reading gossip magazines etc. I am pretty oblivious to who they are.

What Is the most embarrassing thing that you have done?

Without going into too much detail, let’s just say it involved a boyfriend, an intimate moment and …my father! OMG!

What is the most embarrassing thing that you’ve seen someone else do?

I couldn’t possibly say, in case they came across this on the internet!

How do you like doing a new build project?

I like it, it is very busy and many interesting things happen every day. There is a lot more organisation and office work, which I also love and the best bit is you can work with your department and set everything up the way you like it. I have learnt a lot about brands and suppliers as well as undertaking some of the chief stew’s roles due to the fact that her hands are tied up with administrative responsibilities.

What is it like being based in Vlissingen?

I have had some fun times in town over the past few weeks. Vlissingen is close enough to Amsterdam and Belgium which makes for interesting trips on days off. On a Sunny day the alfresco dinning in town and along the coast is very pleasant however in general it is a little cold and windy for my likes. I am dying to get some Mediterranean sun on my body! Ha ha

Where is your favourite destination and why?

Aww!! I don’t know…I love travelling, there is just too many. I have spent the last 10 years travelling to 45+ countries and every place has its magic and favourable memories for so many different reasons… sometimes it is for the location, other times for the people I’m travelling with or met along the way, and sometimes it is the culture and food that really makes it. In general I like 3rd world destinations for their simplicity and natural beauty, not to mention that the locals are usually friendly and happy with more spare time to enjoy your company.

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Thank you Amy for a wonderful interview! I hope you have a great season. K. xxx