Blissfully shallow and carefree, Kate Chastain was your typical twenty something college co-ed. Well, until reality gave her a wake-up call in the form of a diploma, that is. At a crossroads after graduation, a serendipitous coincidence convinced Kate to abandon life as she knew it and jump feet first into the world of working on mega yachts. At first, she stumbled her way through life as a stewardess, just trying to adjust to her new surroundings and clumsily ‘learning the ropes’ via trial and error. Like shit-tons of error. But now, nearly ten years and a hit reality show later, Kate is finally ready to share the good, the bad, and the downright shocking details about her life at sea with the world’s most rich and famous.
It was 2008 and we were anchored off of St.Tropez. I had only been a yachtie for two seasons at the time when I turned to the Captain’s wife, and said, “You know, I could write a book about all of the insane things we see working on these boats…..the sex, the money, the celebrities….”
My older, more experienced coworker rolled her eyes and laughed then was quick to dismiss my silly idea, “Kate, of course we could all write a book about what we see on yachts. We’ve all said it for years…..but, if you actually did that, you would never get hired on another yacht again. ”
She went back to polishing the crystal wine glass in her hand and I was confused for a second.
“But Stacie, if so many people knew about the book that I couldn’t get a yacht job, would I still really need one?”
I wanted to read something a little different and I enjoy biographies or true life stories from interesting people. Back in the summer I was hooked to the TV series Below Deck which is based around the employees of mega yachts. These multi million pound yachts travel the world, chartered by the rich and famous who expect the very best service.
Kate Chastain appeared in the series as chief stewardess. This involved managing the cleaning of the yachts interior, mountains of laundry and tending to the demanding guests every wish. Kate was a master at quick witted one liners and not so subtle acts of revenge. Love her or hate her, she was always entertaining to watch.
This is Kate’s story of her early days in the yachting industry. Her dry, acerbic wit comes over clearly and as well as being a top stewardess she also makes a great author too. This thoroughly entertaining read puts the record straight about the life of a yachtie. Yes, you might visit exotic locations, but never actually see them except for the odd glance from a port hole on a break from ironing duties. The rich charter guests and yacht owners fascinated me, their demands and delusions were truly shocking. Some treated the crew like imprisoned slaves, made impossible demands and showed no gratitude. It amazed me that the crew stuck around, but they did because it was part of the life of a yachtie. I was pleased that as well as working very hard the crew knew how to party hard too, and justly deserved too!
This is an interesting, light read with tonnes of humour and a real eye opener!