Updated: Jan 14, 2020
We have just booked a week's charter in Croatia for a family of five - parents who are avid sailors, two young boys and a toddler daughter. They want a skipper and a hostess and here is why.
This was somewhat of an interesting one. I personally know this couple from the sailing circles and was somewhat surprised when they asked for a skipper and a hostess for a 49ft charter yacht they booked for their family holiday. My initial thought was 'why, when they can sail it themselves?', but Joanne was very kind to explain and provide a rather interesting take on this.
"Normally we race our own 32ft boat but want something different for holidays. Chartering is a great way for us to enjoy more luxurious and spacious yacht than the one we own." - she says. "It's also a great opportunity for our children to learn about sailing in a truly enjoyable environment" - she continued.
I have asked why are they hiring a skipper and a hostess, since I know that they are more than able to handle the boat themselves. This is where the surprise came - "When our boys were younger and I was pregnant with our daughter, we did the same thing. It was a 'treat' for a significant birthday and a wedding anniversary, so we decided to splash out. Peter (Joanne's husband) also wanted an extra pair of capable hands since I was pregnant and the boys needed constant supervision. We hired a husband & wife, skipper & hostess team and it was the best thing ever! They were both extremely pleasant and sensitive to the fact that this was a family holiday. Ivan, our skipper became best friends with our boys who were in awe with him. Ivan and Peter took the boys out fishing and exploring on a dinghy and the boys were chuffed that they took part in 'manly things'. Ivan also allowed them to steer the boat and called them 'captain'. Ljiljana, our wonderful hostess went to the local markets every morning and bought just picked local produce. She once brought the boys with her and they bought this huge watermelon. Luckily, watermelons float when dropped in the water, as this one ended up in the sea while being brought on board, but it was quickly retrieved" - tells Joanne through laughter.
"It was important to us to make sure that Ivan and Lilly knew that they are extra hands, rather than strictly paid help. We struck a relationship with them on these basis and everyone got on like a house on fire. Lilly would be the first one up in the mornings and she would feed the boys breakfast and keep them occupied for a little while so Peter and I can have a lie-in, until about 7.30am" - she jokes. "Ivan gave them little jobs to do, so they felt important and valuable. Having Ivan and Lilly with us really made our holiday - having them on board kept our boys safer, allowed us to travel greater distance as well as gave Peter and I a chance to actually enjoy ourselves rather than keep a constant look out on the boys while trying to sail and run our boat household. On the last night of our charter holiday, we asked Lilly would she keep an eye on the boys after they have gone to bed so that Peter and I can go ashore for our anniversary dinner. She was surprised that we didn't do it every night and even refused extra payment we offered".
Joanne continues - "Ivan brought us to the places we would never have found ourselves. Peter and the boys were taken into an old submarine shelter where they have seem morays, an octopus and all kinds of fish. He also took us all to an area frequented by a large pod of dolphins so we were able to watch the dolphins play for hours. It really was special!"
The good news is that WannaGoSailing.com brokers managed to locate Ivan and Ljiljana and book them for Joanne and Peter's charter this year. The joy of old friends soon to be re-united abounds, especially on Ljiljana's part who is particularly excited to meet Joanne and Peter's young daughter. Ivan and Ljiljana are parents to grown up sons, so Ljiljana has already put the dibs on spoiling the little girl.
WannaGoSailing Yacht Charter operate a fleet of over 7,000 sailing monohulls, catamarans and motor yachts in 41 countries worldwide. All our yachts are available for bareboat, skippered or fully crewed charter. Contact us today for a quote, we will not disappoint you!