In this long overdue blog I am just going to try to catch up, so that I can hopefully get to a more little-and-often approach. So please indulge this rather unstructured update:
I live in a flat
Yes, I have stopped unpacking my things every 3 days and now live in a flat 150m away from a rather nice beach a 10 minute cycle from the City centre.
My blog now asks if you want to sign up for updates
It waits 20 seconds, so it should ask about now. Well, I figured you might want them. And with a string of songs coming out over the next few months it made sense to me too. Don’t worry, it won’t pop up again, and you can find it elsewhere on this page if you regret dismissing it in a fit of interrupted rage.
Dockwalking is not too bad
Finding a job on a yacht as someone who is “green” (people here don’t seem to know what a Day Skipper is and 100ft is considered a “small boat”) is tough without having a personality. Luckily I have one of those, but it doesn’t easily come across on a CV or cover letter. It took me a couple of weeks to get into the groove of approaching boats in the right way and in the right places. I am getting a good response now but this week I am doing the STCW training so can’t dockwalk. Which means…
You need Jack on your crew
If I can’t get in people’s faces this week, I need something to do it for me. Taking inspiration from Donald Trump, if you are not particularly qualified you can always just be completely ridiculous and you might get the job. So, adapting something similar I’d done previously, Palma Yacht Crew Facebook Group (PYC) will be seeing a 45 second music video in the next couple of days called “You Need Jack on Your Crew”. It is cheesetastic and I am sure will get me off this rock one way or another, even if it is through exile for crimes against integrity, artistry and just not being some kind of weirdo.
Getting in on the dive scene
On said PYC (which is a very popular topic of conversation in yachty circles), I noticed a post from Palma Diving, a one year old company run by Alex – a seasoned commercial diver who is diversifying with recreational diving tuition. There was to be an underwater clean-up, in which I participated. It is always good to hang out with divers, there seems to be an easiness in the air – maybe it is just my tribe.
We then had lunch on plastic plates surrounded by posters raising awareness about single use plastics. A bit of a catering fail on the part of the local council, who was organising the event. But the presentation that followed highlighted the inspiring decrease in sea pollution the group had achieved. I love these kinds of people – instead of getting overwhelmed they just decide to try and fix what they can see in front of them. While it was all in Spanish, I discerned that their education strategy was to teach the kids on the beach so that they gave their parents an earful.
Mallorca has some pretty interesting environmental problems due to a lack of fresh water, reliance on desalination and massive tourist population relative to its size. Not to mention the British ambassadors we send to Magaluf every year…
I need a Euro, Euro, Euro is what I need
Taking money out of a British bank account in Spain is very painful right now. The prices reflect the old exchange rates (my seafarer’s medical cost £80 in the UK but €120 here). So I am happy to have picked up a spot of daywork on a couple of yachts out here, dropping sails and cleaning engine rooms. And even though it is low season an English pub has hired me to play a two hour set every Monday.
Big boat small boat
My STCW finishes on the 18th November.
A typical conversation:
Me: I’ve got my STCW booked in for 14th November.
Yachty: Oh, you haven’t got your STCW?
Me (oh, maybe he didn’t hear me): No, I’ve got it booked in for 14th November.
Yachty: Oh, you’ve got to have your STCW, no-one’s gonna even look at you without it.
Me (hopefully hiding my disdain): Yes, I’ve got it booked for 14th November.
It only takes one
As nice as they are, being told “we’re not crossing” or “we’re not looking for crew” by every boat is a bit demoralising, and not getting a job because you have “no experience” is like being a 16 year old job hunting in a shopping mall again. But everyone is going to say no until one boat says yes. It’s like “it’s always in the last place you look”. Well, of course it is. And when that boat does say yes, I will stop getting told no, because it only takes one boat.