the whole thing did start on Friday with lectures. Meeting point was a hotel in old town Split, which was convenient because it was in walking distance to my hostel. Because we had to wait a little outside I got to meet all the other trainees which was amazing and I was blown away from where they all were. Weeks 14’s academy had people attend from Croatia, England, Scotland, the US, Germany and many more. The best part about it, that this was “small” because during main season we will be so many different nationalities, just awesome.
During the long day with lectures we learned a lot about what hostesses and skippers do and what responsibilities they have. Skippers have way more than hostesses do due to they maneuvering the yachts around and making sure we don’t have MOB – man over board happening during a sail. We heard about who are the partners of quarterdeck and why they invented skipper and hostess academy. For lunch break we all went together to one of the restaurants I mentioned last week – BROKERIA, after that we had a couple more hours together and than split up into our groups.
With the hostess instructors we went to another building and got more details about what will happen during the week and what are general expectations. By that time my head was spinning and I thought that everybody must see it. In the end we got send home with homework due the next day. We had to write 2 meal plans, the first one we had some requirements like chicken, pasta or lasagna, the second one was free choice but preferable use the ingredients from the ingredient list already on board.
The next day we had to be at the Seget Marina by noon with all our stuff and be ready to jump right into our new rolls as hostesses and skippers. We finally found out who will be on each boat (2 hostesses and 4 skippers) and who will be our instructors (1 hostess and 2 skipper instructors) for the next week. This was the most exciting part so far because I love to get to meet new people and I already knew living on a boat with them will be very intense but worth it. Together with our hostess instructor we went to go over our meal plans and talked a little more about expectations, and let me tell you they are pretty high, I knew I had to give it my all this week.
Lunch came and went by and during the skippers stayed to inspect the boats and have lessons on board the hostesses went to provision to a close by store. Unlucky me I forgot my glasses at the marina and I had trouble getting everything sorted in my brain, I get overwhelmed without them in stores. But the other hostess on my boat was a big help and together we made it and we talked a lot, talked a little more and had a great time. Half of the stuff we needed for this week was already pre-ordered and send to the boat which was great but we still ended up with 3 big shopping carts, one of them was filled with water tho and the most other stuff we had was fresh fruits and vegetables.
Back at the marina we finally got to see our boat as well and I was amazed how big it was but that was before I realized the other 2 boats were bigger and had bigger kitchens. To be honest I was not jealous at all even a bigger kitchen gives you more room and space but at the same time it means you can make more mess and you have longer ways to go. Normally I must have said those kitchens are tiny compared to the kitchen I learned to cook in but I always felt more comfortable in small spaces because it gives me that tiny bit of a challenge I need to keep improving myself. Everybody can cook in perfect conditions but only the best will make all situations work.
The groceries got stored away and we were ready to set sail for our first destination Milna, a 3 hour motor sail away from our first marina. Only on our first day, today, we would cook together and the rest of the week we each had our own day we needed to cook and prepare snacks for our skippers. In total we each had 3 days we cooked and could prove that we are able to cook and impress with it. On the first day we made Nutella bread and Fajita’s. On my cooking days I made chicken curry, 2 layer lasagna, banana bread, etc. Let me tell you it felt like making food for days, try to feed 6 hungry skippers.
At the end of each day we got feedback to our food and how we handled the situation in the kitchen etc. On day one I got some constructive critic like seasoning more and plating it a little prettier, the seasoning part is just so me, my mom tells me the same every day when I cook – I’m getting better tho and with the plating I normally have no problems at all but had just a bad day. That was basically the only two things and after that nothing. As a side not to my first day of cooking, I had to prepare everything before we left the marina because we had 6-8 meter waves and we did set sail, I felt great all day until I went down stairs to get the banana bread out of the oven. I got seasick for like 10 minutes and I had to relief myself, slept a little and went back to duty.
Besides the cooking we did we had lectures in theory and in cooking on board, and the skippers had to teach us a couple of things about sailing. Mainly things that we are able to take over if something ever happens to them or we are in an emergency situation. I never knew how much fun sailing could be but I loved every second of it and I enjoyed learning about sailing and maneuvers and how to hoist a sail. As usual I had a million questions for the instructors but they were all pretty patient and answered my questions no matter how long or how out of the blue they were.
In the evenings we sat together inside and talked a lot and got to know each other. We discovered some skills in each other we would have never expected or just some random things. At the same time we had lots to laugh about and lots to learn and share. Just thinking back about some things that happened makes me smile, for example we used beer crates as table legs, our instructor was way younger than expected and I learned how to shower properly on a yacht.
On one of the evenings we went wine tasting to Antonio Lipanovic on the Island of Vis and on one evening we had a treasure hunt on the island of Hvar followed by dinner at Pizza Kogo and a fun night a Kiva bar. The last night on the yacht we did spend in Trogir and we as well had some time to leave the yacht and explore the city and get some drinks, after saying thank you to our instructors of course.
We spend all week on the yacht and exploring different Islands in front of the coast of Split which was pretty amazing and I had so much joy and freedom in my heart. I got to see the Islands of Vis, Hvar, Milna, Pamizana and of course we did spend some time in the Seget Marina.
The whole experience ended on Saturday morning when we left Trogir to go back to our main marina. There we made sure the boat is cleaned okay and all the food is away. After that we had a couple of hours to our selves to get some breakfast and some coffee at the restaurant, before our last feedback and the chance of a job offer for the summer. I was super nervous about the whole thing because after a not so good experience in Switzerland I was ready to hear some good news. When it was finally my turn they told me I was top notch this week and that it will be hard to reach my level for the others and that they are super happy to offer me the job for this summer.
Super happy I called my mom and my sister and talked to them and tell them I made it. On one side I was happy that I was done because now I knew that I have a job lined up for the summer but on the other side I was sad to leave and go back home. I just loved sailing so much.