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SERVICE WITH A SMILE


Madhi Meister talks to Frances and Michael Howorth about her job as Chief Stewardess aboard M/Y Jaguar


What made you join the superyacht industry? I had moved to London like many Aussies do, to see the world but I was running out of money when someone suggested flying down to France. I hadn’t been there long before I got offered a job on M/Y Willpower.


How long have you been aboard your current yacht and why/how did you join her? I have been on board Jaguar for three years now. The captain found my profile through Bluewater Yachting and I joined the vessel in Barcelona, Spain. The close knit friendship/ family crew vibe on board sold it for me.


Why did you join the interior crew rather than deck crew?


My background is in service and hospitality and I guess I never gave it a second thought. I like looking after people and being a stew works well for me.


What do you most like about your job? This is going to upset some of your readers but I really love it that I work on rotation and work the same roster as my partner. That means we get to fly out to Mexico and chill out on a regular basis. The owners of this yacht are really nice and are wonderfully accommodating and understanding.


And least like?


Mondays and Thursdays which are the days I have to clean the Captain’s cabin.


What is your favourite restaurant or bar in the Mediterranean and why is it special? El Paradiso, on Carrer de Rera Palau. It’s a secret speakeasy here in Barcelona’s El Born barrio. Some clandestine bars have unmarked bells or passcodes. Others have revolving bookcases, but here it’s a fridge door in a pastrami outlet.


If you could recommend a Med based Yacht Agency to another Stew who would it be? A1 Yachting have been so very helpful to us as a yacht. Based in Greece, they have a network of offices throughout the Greek islands as well as associate offices throughout the western and eastern Mediterranean.


40 | SUMMER 2017 | ONBOARD


Where do you spend your time ashore when not working on board Jaguar? Believe it or not I live on board our own sailing yacht in Mexico. Needless to say she is a lot smaller than Jaguar! My partner and I find Mexico a delight, it’s not expensive and it has so much to offer in the way of exciting things to do when on holiday.


Do you have a pet hate? I really hate the sound of slamming doors. That is made much worse when those slamming doors are your crew mates who should know how hard it is to catch a few minutes of down time during the busy charter season when we stews have to work the oddest of hours.


If you had a magic wand what would you change in your job? I would change the itinerary of this yacht. We are mostly Med based and I would love to do the Northwest Passage, Alaska or perhaps the Pacific Islands.


What’s the most curious request you have had made of you?


I was a little heavy footed when I came into yachting. My first chief stewardess asked me to ‘walk differently’. At the time I was offended and didn’t understand what she meant but now I find myself observing other stews’ foot falls!


What is your most amusing superyacht experience you can recall?


Watching a Captain ride the yacht’s motorbike/scooter off the self made ramp from the boat’s swim step onto the dock. He and it fell into the water in front of a large audience of onlookers. Everyone had a giggle. It wasn’t so funny at the time but now looking back it certainly is!


What advice would you give to someone thinking of working as a stew on a yacht? I would suggest they use their initiative and practice thinking on their feet. They should prepare themselves for long and frequently anti social working hours and remember that no matter what goes wrong it’s no big deal.


What makes you stand out as a Stew? If I have a skill I am proud of it’s my ability to mix a mean cocktail! I love trying out new ones and I was lucky enough to be awarded a prize for my efforts at the Barcelona Charter Yacht Show this year.


What would you like to do when you cease working on superyachts? Open up a really nice luxury Bed & Breakfast on the east coast of Queensland in Australia.


QUICK FIRE


Are you a morning or night time person? Morning


If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? Mexico


What did you eat for breakfast this morning? Fritata


What is your favourite style of cuisine? Japanese


What foods do you dislike most? Fast food


What would your last supper be? Japanese Buffet


Your 3 dream dinner party guests? Amy Schumer, Marilyn Monroe, Sir David Attenborough


What are your favourite clothes? Anything but uniform


Where would you most like to visit? Japan


Where would you want to retire? Mexico


Do you have any pets? A dog named Hugo


What superpower would you like? To fly


Favourite flower? Peonies


What’s your guilty pleasure? A big bowl of ice cream and cookies


What makes you angry? Having to repeat myself


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