Stew of The Month – Anouk Linschoten
What did you do before yachting, and how did your yachting career first begin?
After I finished my Hospitality Management studies in Holland I moved to Curacao in the Caribbean. I took an office job in a lovely hotel but soon realized that being inside an office is not really where I wanted to be. Thankfully my friend offered me a job on a Catamaran that did day trips with tourists so I quit my office job! What an amazing job this catamaran job turned out to be. The happiest people on board everyday, swimming with dolphins, snorkelling with turtles, bbq’s on the beach, sunset sailing, I had a blast! Everything was fantastic but unfortunately it didn’t pay very well at all. One day at the gym I met this guy that worked “on super yachts” (I had never heard of this industry before). He told me he worked on a sailing yacht, traveled the world, and that the pay was good. It didn’t take long for me to realise I should change careers. So I booked my flights home, did my STCW and off to Antibes I went.
Being Chief Stew must be quite demanding, do you ever wish you weren’t the one in charge?
Of course I do! Although I could never go back to not being in charge I do sometimes dream of those days when I was new to the industry and I had a second and a chief stewardess working with me. The amount of stress definitely increases a lot when you are the one in charge. At the same time you feel so satisfied when everything goes well and you know you rocked it.
What has been your favourite boat you’ve worked on, and why?
I have only worked on three boats so far and they are all my favourites in different ways. I worked on SY Tiara for 2,5 years, we did a lot of traveling and we had an awesome crew and lovely owners. Then I did a season on SY Nikata which was amazing. We did a lot of sailing and I got really involved out on deck. The racing we did in St. Barths was probably one of the coolest things I’ve done so far! I work on SY Sarissa now and I am super happy! The boat is beautiful and she sails beautifully. We have a really fun crew and some exciting times ahead.
What are the best and worst parts about working onboard?
The best parts for me are definitely the cool places we go to and the crossings! I can’t get enough of seeing dolphins of the bow. My very favourite moment is when we were in the middle of the Atlantic and we saw a rainbow at night because the moon was so incredibly bright! The worst parts for me are bilges. I don’t think I need to say anything more about that. Bilges.
How do you keep sane on charter?
It’s a mind game. You have to stay positive. Whenever a dark thought comes into my head I block it out straight away. Keep smiling and count down the days!
What are your best strategies for spoiling charter guests?
Knowing what they want before they know what they want.
What’s the coolest thing you have done for guests?
We did an amazing beach party with live music in Antigua last season. So much fun!
What is your signature cocktail?
I love cocktails. My signature cocktail would be a cocktail I call the Mexican Refresher! Its a cocktail with Jalapeno infused vodka. Yummieee. This also works very well with a bloody Mary. 😉
What is your favourite yachting destination?
I really really loved the Maldives. Antigua is up there as well but France is probably my favourite. Especially because it is so close to home and my friends and family can come over to visit. There’s mountains for snowboarding, cheeky waves for surfing and wind for sailing and kiting too.
If you owned a superyacht, what would you do differently?
I would chase waves rather than fancy places.
What is your on-board pet hate?
Cleaning ashtrays. Cleaning shower trays are a good second.
What career achievement are you most proud of?
Making it to Chief-Stewardess by 25!
Best housekeeping tip/hack?
Use environment friendly products. Better for you and better for the world.
Tell us about your funniest embarrassing moment on board.
When one of the deckhands got into the walk-in fridge in his undies with a chicken mask on his face and scared me so much when I opened the door that I actually was in tears on the floor, laughing and crying not knowing what to do with myself!
What’s your favourite adventure in Mallorca?
Cruising the hills and coastline in a Cabrio Mini Cooper.
If you could give your 20yr old self one piece of advice, what would it
Don’t waste any time, life is too short. If it doesn’t feel right, change it. Send mum and dad more flowers
What’s your plan for the future?
See some more cool places, save some more money. Follow my heart.