- Published on Saturday, 13 October 2012 12:53
- Written by Carlo Caraluzzo
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Such was the case for Gemma Deloud, whom by chance (or destiny) stumbled upon a very peculiar job vacancy serving drinks onboard a 12-metre sail boat while she was backpacking in Australia. She realized that she had a talent for the line of work and begun to work for bigger boats. Deloud, at now 36 years old, is the master-mind behind a very ambitious yet rewarding Project; she has developed the steward/ess course that is now available with Cowes-based training provider Flying Fish.
Flying Fish is one of the very few places in which the career can be learned from people who have a great deal of experience within the line of work. The two week program gives trainees a large number of skills necessary to provide with a one-of-a-kind charter experience. From an introductory course on powerboat driving to compulsory basic safety training and radio operation, trainees are prepared to respond to any emergency situation they come across. But the service training is not far behind; stewards must know everything there is to know about providing services to the guest onboard, from housekeeping and mixing cocktails to food hygiene and elite hospitality.
The career is very rewarding, Gemma admits, "sometimes I have to pinch myself when I think about what I’ve done." But it is definitely not easy; it is a very demanding job. Sarah Diggle, another experienced stewardess talks about what goes on behind the curtains "Life at sea is hard, both mentally and physically. I have never worked so hard or even heard of another job that demands so much of your time. It’s seven days a week, every day, for up to six months, and when you do get a day off you spend it catching up on sleep."
A steward’s starting salary begins around £2,000 a month, and most living expenses are covered. They get to visit the most exotic and beautiful locations on the planet, and associate with the most wealthy and famous people in the world. That’s why the career enjoys such popularity among people looking for a good working experience, and maybe, a life-long profession.