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Where Are They Now?
Ann E McHorney of Select Yachts Print E-mail
Written by Nick Marshall   
Monday, 01 December 2008 15:49
How did you get into the megayacht industry?
Originally from Pittsburgh, I started as a chef in 1985 by way of Fort Lauderdale. My degree from college was a double major in restaurant management and Nutrition Education. I had moved to St. Thomas and ended up working in a local gourmet store provisioning yachts. I used to always tell the chefs, “You have it made! I wish I had a job like yours.” One day one of the girls said, “I knew you’d say that. I’ve got some interviews lined up.”
 
Captain Charlie Crane Print E-mail
Written by Nick Marshall   
Sunday, 26 October 2008 20:17
After many years on the sea, Capt. Charlie Crane swallowed the anchor the join the team at Platypus Marine in Port Angeles, WA.
 
Patrick Barrett, New Director of Operations at YCPDP Print E-mail
Written by Carol Bareuther   
Saturday, 01 December 2007 00:00
He's got a new title, but a familiar face. Veteran St. Maarten businessman, Patrick Barrett, is now director of operations and whom you'll meet when docking at the Yacht Club Port de Plaisance (YCPDP) for a visit or to attend the MYBA St. Maarten Charter Show, December 3 to 7.
 
Kristen Fritz - From nanny to marina manager Print E-mail
Written by Crew Life Staff   
Thursday, 12 October 2006 22:33

When Kristen Fritz left Missoula, Montana she headed to St. Thomas to work as a nanny. Now seventeen years later with a few stops in between, she has returned to St. Thomas as the marina manager of the new Yacht Haven Grande Marina. The marina is owned by Island Global Yachting; one of the world's premier owners, developers, and managers of luxury marinas and yachting lifestyle destinations.

Kristen's career began as a nanny; she loved children and was offered a position in St. Thomas. After a couple of years, she returned stateside to become a stock broker in New York and after four years decided to leave her career and the cold winters behind. She bought a one-way ticket to Ft. Lauderdale where she stayed in a "crew house" and through an agency found a stewardess job on Destiny - a 124 ft. yacht-- her first venture on the seas. From there, she moved to Viaggio as a deckhand/stewardess before taking a chief stewardess position on the 143 ft. yacht Starship. During her time on board, Kristen earned her Captain's license. With her license in hand, she began freelancing as a captain/first mate.

While aboard the yachts, Kristen remembers several experiences and special memories of being with people she met from around the world. She recalls this one in particular: "The family aboard our charter was a family that had traveled everywhere and done everything. They had a 4-year-old daughter who insisted that I join them on the next adventure off the boat. We boarded the helicopter aboard Starship and took off to the volcano on St. Vincent and landed inside the small center with moss-covered walls. Amongst the sulfur rocks and steam, we got off the helicopter and walked. The expression on their faces was amazing."

Her time aboard yachts was well spent, gaining excellent boat knowledge and an understanding of what they don't teach you while studying for a license.

"The difficult part of working on yachts was time spent away from my family," recalled Kristen. But, she added, "One of my largest pleasures was seeing other families arrive onboard the yacht. I always tried to make their charter experience as much fun as possible which also helped make-up the time I was away from mine."

Nine years ago she met Jeff Boyd with IGY in St. Maarten and two and half years ago he offered her the opportunity to run a marina - the beautiful new Yacht Haven Grande. They flew to St. Thomas to meet with Eli Finegold, the president, and six months later she moved to St. Thomas.

Kristen's assistant manager for three plus years, Steve Gamble, has now moved to Antigua to run the Antigua Yacht Club marina that was recently purchased by IGY.

During vacation this September, Kristen became engaged to the Fleet Manager, Billy Galloway, of On Deck Racing. They met a couple of years ago at Country Night at the Offshore Bar. Kristen loved to dance and Billy wanted to learn the "two step". Six months later they were dating, and 18 months later, they traveled to Montana. It was there Billy asked Kristen's dad for her hand, waited until after the party then fell to one knee and proposed!
   St. Thomas is proud to have Kristen back!

 
Spotlight on Cynthia Demers, M/Y Constance Print E-mail
Written by Crew Life Staff   
Thursday, 12 October 2006 22:33

How did you become a stewardess?

I grew up in Montreal, Canada and studied Early Childhood Education at McGill University. After 4 years of university and 2 years of teaching, I decided it was time for me to go and explore the world. I took a year off and traveled to Australia on a working holiday visa. I met my boyfriend there who was a yacht Captain and introduced me to yachting. 5 years later, we are still together and loving working on yachts. I have worked on both private and charter yachts mostly in the US, Caribbean and Mediterranean. I am currently the Chief Stewardess onboard M.Y. Constance.

What is the most "unforgettable" thing a guest has ever said to you?

The last yacht that I worked on was really busy both private and charter. One night, we had the owner's teenage daughters and their friends onboard for their usual weekend party. One of the girls came up to my stewardess and me in the pantry and asked us why we never went out on weekends. We politely told her that we couldn't go out because it was our job to serve them whenever they were onboard, therefore, we could not go out (as they were onboard every weekend!). She then just looked at us in despair and said: "I'm going to make sure that I stay in school so that I don't end up like you". The funny thing is that my stewardess and I both have university degrees and work in the yachting industry because we genuinely enjoy it. But try to make a teenager understand that!!!

What advice would you give new stewardesses in the industry?

As with any job, working on yachts has its good moments and its bad moments. Fortunately for me, the good times have always outweighed the bad. My philosophy is that no matter how bad things may get at times, they could have always turned out worse so keep your chin up and keep smiling! Worst case scenario, the yacht's Pratesi sheets that you sent out to a world renowned resort to get dry cleaned come back with tire marks and holes in them from them being dropped from the back of a golf buggy and then folded in a way that you could not see the damage. Best case scenario, to reward a job well done in the middle of a busy season, the yacht's owner takes you and the rest of the crew out in the VIP section of the best nightclub in Cannes, France to see a world famous DJ perform. I am speaking from experience with both these stories!!!

Where is your favorite destination?

Having worked in this industry for a few years now, I have been fortunate enough to visit some beautiful places, some of which are only accessible by boat. I would have to say that so far, my favorite destination has been Staniel Cay in the Exumas, South of Nassau. The highlights were snorkeling in Thunderball Cave, and feeding the pigs at pig beach. It is amazing to see these huge wild pigs swimming towards you in a picturesque setting! Quite amazing. My ultimate dream destination which I have yet to reach though would be Alaska. Hopefully I will get to go there on a yacht before I retire from this industry.