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SEA
When you’re planning to charter a yacht there are many areas that tick the right boxes; the Greek Islands, Turkey, Croatia, the Caribbean. But few destinations can offer the diversity of cultures which are to be found in the countries of Southeast Asia.

The wealth of history and mystery to found in these beautiful and exotic locations, some of which have only become accessible to tourists relatively recently, can overwhelm the senses. It would certainly take more than one lifetime to discover all of its secrets.

Exploring the coastline by boat gives you the advantage of being able to access areas that are all but impossible to access by land. You will find fantastic deserted beaches, hidden temples and, if you snorkel or scuba dive, you can interact with the stunning variety of marine life to be found in these waters.

In Thailand the tropical climate is matched by the warmth of the smiles and the genuine welcome you will receive from the Thai people. With more than 3000km of coastline, sailing across the turquoise water you will discover awe inspiring rock formations, white sand beaches and some of the best diving areas in the world.

On the west coast, starting your charter at the tourist centre of Phuket, you have access to the coast and many islands of the Andaman Sea, including Ko Tapu which has become better known as James Bond Island after Roger Moore’s stand-off with Christopher Lee in The Man with the Golden Gun was filmed on the beach here.

Nearby is Koh Yang where you can anchor your yacht and take a ride in one of the long-tail boats to Sea Gypsy Island which is a village constructed entirely on stilts and rafts. Standing guard is a huge limestone monolith rising out of the sea behind it.

In the Gulf of Thailand the sailing takes you to diverse extremes from the wild party town of Pattaya, where you can really let your hair down, to the Koh Chang National Park which consists of around fifty islands. Here you can take jungle treks into the rain forests to find hidden waterfalls and where you’ll meet the local wildlife.

Indonesia, with over 18,000 islands, is the largest archipelago in the world. Many of the islands are uninhabited so dropping anchor in a secluded bay is a heavenly and peaceful experience.

You can sail through the Banda Sea or around the islands of Raja Ampat but the most popular location is the Komodo National Park. Here you will find deserted beaches, stunning lagoons and some of the most unique wildlife in the world including the famous Komodo Dragon.

Under the water the scenery is also spectacular with amazing marine life which makes for fabulous diving and snorkelling. If you prefer to stay above the water you can explore the coastline in a tender or kayak.

Burma, or Myanmar, has only been accessible to foreigners since the late 90s and there are some fabulous sailing areas here. The Mergui Archipelago is a group of mostly deserted islands in the Andaman Sea in the south of the country. Beautiful white palm-fringed beaches backed by dense jungle and with glassy turquoise water lapping at the shore.

If you’re lucky you might spot monitor lizards and gibbons at the edge of the trees while eagles soar overhead.

For those who like a bit of isolation you can go for days without meeting anyone other than an occasional fisherman in a dugout canoe. The local natives are known as sea gypsies and live a simple life. You can go ashore to their villages, see them making the dugout canoes and barter for some fish.

This is your opportunity to explore a world that very few people get to experience.

Cambodia is another recent sailing destination and is a country of deeply rooted religious significance. The coastline has pristine beaches and a little exploration will lead you to waterfalls and Buddhist shrines.

It is well worth taking an excursion inland to visit some of the finest temples in the world. Angkor Wat, covering an area of 400km2, is the largest temple in the world. Also, Ta Prohm temple, where the roots of the trees have wound themselves around the monument, has an eerie mysterious atmosphere which will stay in your memory for ever.

Chartering a yacht in Southeast Asia will leave you wanting to come back many times with each country seducing you with its own unique charms, history, customs and cuisine.

When you’re planning to charter a yacht there are many areas that tick the right boxes; the Greek Islands, Turkey, Croatia, the Caribbean. But few destinations can offer the diversity of cultures which are to be found in the countries of Southeast Asia.

The wealth of history and mystery to found in these beautiful and exotic locations, some of which have only become accessible to tourists relatively recently, can overwhelm the senses. It would certainly take more than one lifetime to discover all of its secrets.

Exploring the coastline by boat gives you the advantage of being able to access areas that are all but impossible to access by land. You will find fantastic deserted beaches, hidden temples and, if you snorkel or scuba dive, you can interact with the stunning variety of marine life to be found in these waters.

In Thailand the tropical climate is matched by the warmth of the smiles and the genuine welcome you will receive from the Thai people. With more than 3000km of coastline, sailing across the turquoise water you will discover awe inspiring rock formations, white sand beaches and some of the best diving areas in the world.

On the west coast, starting your charter at the tourist centre of Phuket, you have access to the coast and many islands of the Andaman Sea, including Ko Tapu which has become better known as James Bond Island after Roger Moore’s stand-off with Christopher Lee in The Man with the Golden Gun was filmed on the beach here.

Nearby is Koh Yang where you can anchor your yacht and take a ride in one of the long-tail boats to Sea Gypsy Island which is a village constructed entirely on stilts and rafts. Standing guard is a huge limestone monolith rising out of the sea behind it.

In the Gulf of Thailand the sailing takes you to diverse extremes from the wild party town of Pattaya, where you can really let your hair down, to the Koh Chang National Park which consists of around fifty islands. Here you can take jungle treks into the rain forests to find hidden waterfalls and where you’ll meet the local wildlife.

Indonesia, with over 18,000 islands, is the largest archipelago in the world. Many of the islands are uninhabited so dropping anchor in a secluded bay is a heavenly and peaceful experience.

You can sail through the Banda Sea or around the islands of Raja Ampat but the most popular location is the Komodo National Park. Here you will find deserted beaches, stunning lagoons and some of the most unique wildlife in the world including the famous Komodo Dragon.

Under the water the scenery is also spectacular with amazing marine life which makes for fabulous diving and snorkelling. If you prefer to stay above the water you can explore the coastline in a tender or kayak.

Burma, or Myanmar, has only been accessible to foreigners since the late 90s and there are some fabulous sailing areas here. The Mergui Archipelago is a group of mostly deserted islands in the Andaman Sea in the south of the country. Beautiful white palm-fringed beaches backed by dense jungle and with glassy turquoise water lapping at the shore.

If you’re lucky you might spot monitor lizards and gibbons at the edge of the trees while eagles soar overhead.

For those who like a bit of isolation you can go for days without meeting anyone other than an occasional fisherman in a dugout canoe. The local natives are known as sea gypsies and live a simple life. You can go ashore to their villages, see them making the dugout canoes and barter for some fish.

This is your opportunity to explore a world that very few people get to experience.

Cambodia is another recent sailing destination and is a country of deeply rooted religious significance. The coastline has pristine beaches and a little exploration will lead you to waterfalls and Buddhist shrines.

It is well worth taking an excursion inland to visit some of the finest temples in the world. Angkor Wat, covering an area of 400km2, is the largest temple in the world. Also, Ta Prohm temple, where the roots of the trees have wound themselves around the monument, has an eerie mysterious atmosphere which will stay in your memory for ever.

Chartering a yacht in Southeast Asia will leave you wanting to come back many times with each country seducing you with its own unique charms, history, customs and cuisine.

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TWCoverI
Working as a crew member on board a luxury yacht can be a great way of seeing the world while earning a good wage. Whether you are considering this as a long-term career or the chance to travel for a couple of years before settling down, visiting exotic locations and mixing with the rich and famous can be an exciting prospect and you will certainly have some stories to tell.

However, the work is hard with little free time and you will generally be living in cramped quarters, often shared, and you have to be able to get on with your crew mates for long periods at sea. Also, forming relationships is almost impossible. If that doesn’t put you off, getting your foot on the first rung of the ship’s ladder is not easy, so you need to give yourself the best chance of getting aboard.

The days when you could walk the docks and marinas asking at each boat if they needed crew are pretty much gone and, at best, you might pick up a day or two of hard cleaning work. Boat owners and skippers now want to know who they are taking on, their background and qualifications and they are far more likely to recruit through an agency.

There are many agencies and you can register with more than one to make the most of the opportunities that are out there. But, however wonderful a person you may be, starting out with no experience is difficult and gaining some relevant qualifications will put you way ahead of those without.

All crew members should have the STCW 95 Basic Safety Training Certificate which includes modules in Basic Firefighting, Personal Survival, Personal Safety and Social Responsibility and Elementary First Aid. This course has to be renewed every 5 years and you are unlikely to be hired without it.

If you’re aiming to start out as a deck hand, some sailing and boat handling training will give you a great advantage. Also, with many super yachts being equipped with jet skis and powerboats, qualifying as an instructor and being able to train the yacht owners and guests in the safe use of these vessels can put you streets ahead of your competition.

For those who are intending to take on a service role, undertaking a Stew Training Course, or ‘Interior-Crew Training’ as it is officially known, will similarly help you on your way to that first position. This incorporates four elements; Interior Introduction Course, Interior Basic Food Service Course, Wine and Cocktail Introduction Course and Food Hygiene Course for Catering. After this you will be the proud holder of your Yacht Junior Stewardess Certificate of Competence.

All the qualifications in the world won’t help you if you can’t be contacted at short notice. When this type of vacancy comes up it will generally need to be filled quickly and, by the nature of the job, it could be anywhere. Always let the agency know when you are not available because if they put you forward for a position but can’t get hold of you they might not bother with you the next time.

Call into the agency frequently to keep your face fresh in their minds and your profile on top of the pile. Update your profile if anything changes or you gain new qualifications.

You need to be able to present yourself well at an interview as the prospective employer is likely to have extremely high standards. Always keep your cv up to date and have a copy with you along with certificates and references. Be punctual and smartly dressed. Do some research so you know what the job entails, be prepared for any questions that might be thrown at you and ask some questions of your own. Don’t criticise previous employers and always appear to be positive and confident. Smile!

Once you have gained that first job on a luxury yacht you are on your way and, if you work hard and prove yourself to be a valued member of the crew, you will have a new reference and valuable experience to add to your cv.

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