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Captain's Corner: Life on board a charter superyacht

Captain's Corner: Life on board a charter superyacht

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Ohana charter yacht captain
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Captain Mattia Dzaja

Ohana, 49.7 metre

My favourite thing to do on board? Sailing of course! Sailing on a superyacht as large as Ohana is simply unique, it is incredible to think that something so big and heavy can sail so fast and easily. Whilst I am aware that sailing on a smaller boat it is indeed more pure and closer to the sea, sailing on a superyacht is just impressive.

I also enjoy swimming in early morning when everybody is still asleep and no one is around. My favourite place to jump off the boat while at anchor is Salina in the Aeolian islands. You are so close to the shore that you can smell the grass, yet the water is a deep blue shade due to more than 100 metres below the keel. The world is just waking up, no noise, no wind, no swell, it’s the perfect time to centre yourself and to realise how lucky we are, how wonderful life is and what truly matters.

I am a sailor born and raised. My father, a yacht captain, taught me to pack just the bare essentials because everything else doesn’t matter when you are at sea. I find it is indeed true, but I always have a small wooden silver box with me, owned by a captain of the RMS Briton on 1898, which sits on my desk in my cabin. It holds a collection of my personal items that I cannot wear while at work: my wedding ring, my old watch, a couple of notes made by my children, my grandfather’s compass, a gold medal made by my grandfather when I was born and my father’s sailor knife made of sperm whale bones.

I enjoy a simple Mediterranean meal such as vegetables with white rice or pasta with olive oil and cheese as I often do not have the time to sit at a table eating when there are so many things to do during the season. Even when I am not busy I prefer to eat quickly and then to take a rest on deck. Of course, my crew doesn’t always agree with this idea so most of the time I kindly ask the chef to prepare something basic and simple just for me.

Sailing on a charter yacht is something unique, it has given me the possibility to meet so many different people and indeed to face many different situations. After 20 years on a charter yacht I have so many fond memories linked to each charter that it is indeed simpler for me to recall an area that I have visited. The Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia are memorable not only for their pristine white beaches and emerald waters, but also the lush green vegetation complete with waterfalls. In this primitive scenario, nothing has changed for over 170 years when Herman Melville sailed over there facing cannibals… One can almost imagine him running out of the jungle of Nuku Hiva followed by Taipi people trying to catch him!

Ohanais available for charter through Fraser, with a weekly rate starting from €150,000.

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