I NEED AN OFF-SHORE JOB!!
I currently live in California and am looking to move to the VI's as soon as I can get a job out there. I have previously worked on-board a cruise ship and have a valid MMD. I'm looking to get back on the water to work. If anyone knows anybody looking, let me know!
What is an "MMD"?
Shipmunk - did you see the Ad today on this website for the company seeking a captain for a Catamaran snorkel cruise/tour operation? Do you have a captain's license? There are lots of 6-pack operators, also.
My husband and I are moving our sailboat from Seattle to the USVI and will be seeking a captain/crew couple to run charters starting in the BVI's sometime in 2007. There are assorted jobs of this type that open up periodically throughout the islands. Being here is the first step for you to find a job that will be a good fit.
MMD = Merchant Mariner Document
It's a "Merchant Mariner's Document" issued by the coast guard.
Unfortunately, I do not have Captain's papers. I've been told by quite a few people that it is easier to move to the islands and start looking for a job from there and I might have to end up doing that. However, I would rather at least try to play it safe and find a job first. We'll see what happens. What kind of people are you looking for for your charter's?
for our charters, we do have to have someone with a Coast Guard certified captain's license for a vessel the size of ours or larger. It needs to be someone with extensive sailing experience, knowledge of the waters and reefs/shoals throughout the Virgin Islands and surrounding area, plus sufficient mechanical, electrical and diesel engine experience to be able to troubleshoot issues that are bound to arise over time. The second crew member should also have sailing experience and general boating knowledge. Both would need to be focused on high quality customer service. Between the two, they would have to be able to cater to the diverse needs of passengers and provide whatever services are needed, from cabin duties to gourmet meal preparation and more. SCUBA Instructor or Divemaster credentials would be a plus.
If you were a passenger on a luxury sailing charter in the islands, what would YOU expect of the boat crew? We'll need highly competent and well rounded people to run the charters. A pleasant and welcoming personality is another absolute requirement. People who have experience working as crew on other, similiar charters would be wonderful for us to find so the first few sets of passengers don't have to suffer through a tough learning curve process.
Alexandra, why would you be taking your boat to the BVIs? WIth the new marina opening here in STT, they will be trying to draw the industy back. You could be a forerunner!
Well, keep me posted on how the move and everything goes. I'm currently working on my Divemaster certification and someday hope to get my Captain's papers. Not so sure about the gourmet chef thing though. Kind of a tall order you guys are looking for. It will be hard to find a couple people that meet all that criteria, but if and when you do that person sure would be a valuable asset. Let me know how it goes and be sure to keep me in mind for both you guys and any other jobs you might here about!
There may not be many but there seem to be enough people with the skills and personal qualities Alexandra described, making it hard for anyone who is short any of these skills or qualities to find employment in the luxury market. There may be more opportunities, but at a lower pay rate, in the non-luxury market.
The non-luxury market is a good place to work on improving your skills and credentials and to determine if you even want to move up to the luxury market. The passengers in the luxury market tend to be rather demanding and expect to be waited on in all ways. Most won't want to get their hands dirty helping to hoist the sails. They are there to be taken on an exclusive, pampered cruise, not to be part of the crew. In the non-luxury market, many of the passengers want the captain to be a figurehead who just provides them with enough direction so that they can handle the boat themselves. These are the occasional sailors who are possibly trying to get enough experience that they feel comfortable renting a bare-boat the next vacation they go on.
Ronnie - until the marina on STT is open and operational and there is a good charter company operating there who is consistently filling boats, we would be wiser to operate from the BVI's where they can probably book as many weeks on our boat as we are willing to allow them to fill. We'd prefer to operate it from STX, but that's not as practical since most passengers will want to cruise through the BVI's and stop at different moorages each night rather than spend much of their time out at sea far from land as they would have to do if their starting and ending location was STX.
Between my husband and I, we have the necessary combination of skills to run the boat ourselves in the charter biz (he helped build the boat and knows it inside out, while I'd be quite happy taking passengers scuba diving, lol). However, we have other businesses we need to run much of the time and will probably only crew the boat ourselves when taking family and friends on trips through the islands.
But first we have to get it there. The next phase of our relocation journey is about to begin. I've just finished provisioning us for the trip and the crew is working on a few last minute technical modifications. We depart San Diego either tomorrow afternoon or Monday morning. For this trip, it appears I will be chief cook and beer opener.
We went to the Jimmy Buffett concert here at the Coors Amphitheater on Thursday night. The next party stop will be Cabo San Lucas 3-4 days after departing San Diego. Maybe we'll get there in time for my birthday on Nov. 2nd! For those interested in the trip in progress, the journal entries and photos will be posted on www.viescape.com in the sailboat section each time we are able to send updates, probably every 3-5 days whenever we stop in a port and can hit an internet cafe. The satellite phone is currently refusing to cooperate and synch up with the computer to give us email capability at sea while cruising the Mexican and Central American coastlines.
Enjoy the trip and have a Happy Birthday in advance!!