23/10/2019
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Home > News4Stews > Stew Of The Month – Sylvia White

Stew Of The Month – Sylvia White

What did you do before yachting, and how did your yachting career first begin?

Before yachting I worked in Human Resources Management. I first heard about the yacht industry from a friend who owned a catamaran and I helped him with an expedition trip that hosted a team of National Geographic Pristine Seas. I loved the experience and during the expedition trip I got  lots of support from all the guests, encouraging me to go ahead, do all the yacht courses and look for a job in the industry. Originally I was planning to work in the industry  for one year then go back to my HR Management career. I remember my old boss telling me when I resigned that he could not believe that I was leaving a great Management career “to go clean toilets” and I replayed to him that I really needed to try something different and after one year I would return to continue with my HR career. After 5 years I still don’t want to go back to an office surrounded by 4 walls, here I am still enjoying “cleaning toilets”. But we all know it’s a lot more exciting than that!

What has been your favourite boat you’ve worked on, and why?

M/Y Were Dreams (WD); I love the owners and the crew are amazing. It was here that I was able to build my entire yachting career and I had the opportunity to start as junior stewardess and work my way up to chief stewardess.

 What are the best and worst parts about working onboard?

The best is to challenge myself every day to try to be a better version of my yesterday self and travelling of course. The worst part is to be away from home for long periods of time.

How do you keep sane on charter?

Is not easy, definitely having a great team is most important. This takes time to build and each boat is different with regards to the expectations of the owners and Captain. Keeping up with the expectations of the owners and Captain requires a lot of training prior charter, which is not always possible due to time constraints.

 What are your best strategies for spoiling charter guests?

Thinking ahead of all their needs and giving attention to every single detail, even the very insignificant ones like wiping their sunglasses as soon they leave them on side. Every time a guest uses their cabin one of the stewardess (including myself) will go in after the guest has left and will tidy the cabin up. The guests notice every little effort we put in, even if it goes unsaid.

 What’s the coolest thing you have done for guests?

One of my greatest hobbies is photography and whenever I have the chance and the right moment without disturbing the guests, I take photos of their adventures and I make a memory stick with the photos of the trip for each one of them. They love it and really appreciate, and I also make a photobook with all the bests photos of the season or of the year.

 What is your signature cocktail?

Frozen pinna colada

2 parts of Malibu

1 part of freshly made pineapple

1 part of coconut cream

Ice

Combine rum, pineapple juice, coconut cream and ice in a blender, bland it until its smooth and creamy, then pour it in a long cocktail glass, garnish with a slice of pineapple and finish with a cherry or you can garnish as you like.

What is your favourite yachting destination?

Well this question is quite hard to answer, luckily, I am working on yacht that moves around a lot and I love all the destinations that we visit; from the Med, Caribbean, Maldives, to the USA, all of this place has something I like. They are all special that’s why it’s hard to choose one favourite, each place has something unique.

If you owned a superyacht, what would you do differently?

Be as eco Friendly as possible, from the initial building to the daily running of the yacht.

What is your on-board pet hate?

Gossiping and Drama. We are constantly trying to create a healthy and positive team and a small rumour can grow and be interpreted in the wrong way. This can create a big drama for all the crew, even for those who are not involved. Open and clean communication is very important when we live and work together, even if we don’t particularly get on. Respect is key!

What career achievement are you most proud of?

Becoming Chief Stewardess; it’s a big reward for all the hard work I have put in over the past few years and continue to do.

 Best housekeeping tip/hack?

Homemade Febreze made with few drops of essence oil (lavender is my favourite). It’s very simple to make I use a little bit of a fabric softener in a spray bottle and fill it up with water with just few drops of essence oil. I get my spray bottles from the supermarkets garden section; these are eco-friendlier as most of the bottles we use more than once a year instead of buying lots of plastic bottles that end up in our seas. This also saves the boat money, even if is not much, in the end makes some difference.

Tell us about your funniest embarrassing moment on board

OH god I had many, but I will mention one:

I once said in front of all my crew, including the captain that I was going to brush my tits instead of saying that I was going to brush my teeth,  because of my Portuguese accent. Everybody laughed and still to this day they make jokes about it.

 What’s your favourite adventure in Mallorca?

Hiking on the hills close to port Andratx and Go Karting

 If you could give your 20yr old self one piece of advice, what would it be?

Don’t be scared to get out of your comfort zone and do things you really want to do, because in the end if you fail at least you tried and did not regret what you never did.

What’s your plan for the future?

Few more years on yachting and retire close to the sea, kitesurfing every day in exotic places.