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If These Walls Could Talk

If These Walls Could Talk

Tall tales and not-so-romantic legends from aboard the world’s finest yachts.

By Kim Kavin — August 2003

 

Illustration: Richard Clark
 More of this Feature
• Wet Behind the Ears
• Accidental Porn Stars
• Mama’s Little Angel
• Bare Brainers

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“I’ve got a great story for you.”

How many times have you heard this phrase, only to be subjected to a coma-inducing monologue? If you crave a yuk or two or even a juicy tidbit of gossip but are trapped in the land of pity giggles or let-downs, you’re hanging out with the wrong storytellers.

You need insiders from the megayacht world.

The following tales come from a few brave souls who were willing to share, albeit anonymously, some of their most memorable experiences on the water. Some will bring a smile to your face, while others will give you a peek into the near-scandals that occur more than you might think. We’ve omitted the names of the yachts and the people involved to protect the innocent (and, it seems, the guilty).

Wet Behind the Ears
A husband and wife running a boat in the Caribbean were short one stewardess for an upcoming charter, so they called their 18-year-old niece in England and had her fly across the pond to meet them. This was long before serving as crew was considered a career, so the fact that the niece had never been on a boat before didn’t seem to be a problem. As the wife said, “It was casual in the good ol’ charter days.”

The niece, who looked like Brooke Shields and went by the nickname “Lovey,” embraced her first lesson: learning to skipper the 13-foot Boston Whaler tender. Lovey spent all day with her uncle, the captain, cruising up to and away from the shoreline, listening to him yell, “Don’t pull up too far! You’ll hit the prop and bend it!” They practiced for hours, she cruising awfully close to shallow ground and he shouting, “Easy now, Lovey! Don’t bend the prop!”

In the morning, the charter guests arrived, including a couple in their mid-60s. The woman fancied herself a fitness buff and insisted that every morning at dawn, a crew member be ready to take her ashore for her daily jog. She was a demanding woman, to say the least, and the “request” was one of many she had for the crew that first day.

The captain decided she would be as good a first guest as any for his niece to take in the tender.

Lovey arrived on the aft deck the next morning to find the woman waiting—in a hot-pink running suit, matching pink running shoes, and a cap with actual pink flower petals attached. They climbed aboard, with Lovey eager to do a good job. As they cruised closer to shore, though, she grew more and more paranoid about bending the prop. Finally, in a fit of desperation, she stopped short, looked at the petulant petunia, and commanded, “Get out.”

What a shame the dropoff was so sharp. The woman took one step and sank to her eyebrows.

Lovey did manage to save the pink hat, but certainly not her tip for the week.

Next page > Accidental Porn Stars > Page 1, 2, 3, 4

This article originally appeared in the July 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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