Bianca Meyjes, OnboardOnline's newest contributor and author of popular yachting blog The Swedish African, tells us about the challenges of having guinea pigs on board and the silliest thing she's ever heard on a boat.
After three years in the industry she considers herself very lucky to have escaped a desk job and to have met the love of her life in Antibes port while taking the rubbish out.
OnboardOnline: How did you get into the yachting industry?
Bianca Meyjes: A desk job dared me!
Is it how you expected it to be?
Cracked heels, broken nails, stiff back - no!
What do you love most about your job?
I love the stories that you're left to tell. Yachties will make great grandparents!
What is the single biggest issue affecting yachting at the moment?
For captains: managing people
For crew: saving money
For owners: raising normal kids
What keeps you awake at night?
After a long day's work? Nothing!
What would you change if you could?
The amount of waste in our industry
What could you not do without?
My morning coffee
If you weren’t working on boats, what would you be doing?
I'm a Pilates instructor in-the-making
What is your favourite yacht?
MY Wedge Too - I love its classic design.
Where is the most beautiful bay in the world?
There's something about Portofino that gets me every time I go there.
What was your greatest experience on a boat?
Meeting the love of my life while taking out the trash at Quay Mole Sud, Antibes.
What was your worst experience on a boat?
I had three labradors and a guinea pig on board one year. Rodney the guinea pig was a pleasure but the labbies were a bit more challenging...
What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen or heard on a yacht?
"Cowboy up, cupcake!"
Generally speaking, which nationalities tend to be the best bosses?
The best charter guests?
America, French, Polish
Who do you most admire in the world of yachting?
My first season captain who had been a family psychologist for many years. We spent many a lunch break analysing difficult guests and understanding people's behaviour.
What does the future for yachting look like?
My crystal ball is never any good.
What do you consider to be your greatest achievement so far?
Starting my blog (theswedishafrican.wordpress.com)
Becoming a BASI Pilates Instructor
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?
I wake up at sunrise most mornings to practice or teach Pilates. My man and I are are also avid road cyclists - there are some breath-taking routes around Monaco where we're based. Otherwise, I run, I write, I learn Swedish, and I love to cook.
Which three objects would you take to your desert island?
Pen, paper, sunscreen
What is your motto?
If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
What is your favorite book or film about the sea?
There are some great documentaries worth the watch - End of the Line about over-fishing and the world's fishing stocks and The Cove about dolphin-hunting in Japan.
What's on your bucket list of things you still want to do?
There's still so much I want to do and so little time! I'd love to hike Mount Kilimanjaro, eat strawberries at Wimbledon, drink beer at Oktoberfest, run with the bulls in Spain and cycle from Malmö (Sweden) to Paris and see the end of the Tour de France. Who said you can't dream?
What will you be doing in five years?
I have no clue where I'll be tomorrow! Woman of the wind and all that jazz.