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As told to Lucy Dunn. Illustration by Massimiliano Aurelio. Do you have a tale to tell? Send your story to thebitterend@boatinternationalmedia.com

Dear BOAT: “All I could do was fess up – and ask for help to remove the stains"

19 February 2024 • Written by Lucy Dunn

Every month, Lucy Dunn gets the skinny on all the most treacherous tales from the high seas...

If you want to really impress a Tinder date, show them around your superyacht – or that was my tactic as a newbie deckhand until a few years ago, when it spectacularly backfired. The captain was away for the night, so I sneaked my love interest on board behind the chief stew’s back, and spent an hour or so creeping around, taking her on a tour before cosying up in the cinema room with some drinks. She ended up staying the night – all completely against the rules, but I’m ashamed to say that there were other, more pressing, things on my mind at the time. 

I thought I was being clever; I thought I’d got away with it… but just as I was ushering her off the boat the next morning, both of us looking a little dishevelled and worse for wear, a captain – who was a good friend of my captain – was just arriving with his boat and we were spotted. My heart dropped. Then, when I went back down to the cinema to tidy up, I discovered to my horror that, although the stews had covered the couches with covers, there was make-up smudged into the white leather sofa.

I felt sick! All I could do was fess up to the chief stew, beg forgiveness and ask for her help in removing the stains. Furious, she gave me the name of a cleaning product to buy and told me to get down to the shops sharpish: “That should do the job,” she said, “but if it doesn’t, then you can pack your bags!”

To my huge relief, I found the right cleaning product, and it did the trick. My only worry then was that the captain’s friend would tell on me – especially as they were having drinks that night. I spent the next couple of days on tenterhooks but, thankfully, he didn’t say a word. I think he realised I’d learned a huge lesson that day, and we’re friends now!

First published in the January 2024 issue of BOAT International. Subscribe below and never miss an issue.


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