We have officially been away from home for 5 weeks. It seems crazy, as so much has happened between now and leaving Cape Town. We have stayed in some very entertaining places and had some very interesting experiences. My favourite story to tell is the story of a night out we had in Monaco.
I am sure you remember me telling you about the day that Bryce and I walked to Monaco from Eze…well, that night got a little out of control, with our friends very kindly sponsoring our bar tab. At the time we were staying with a French guy in Nice (through AirBNB). He was staying on the couch in the lounge and Bryce and I were in his tiny bedroom. The whole apartment was pretty tiny. Anyway, our friends kindly paid for our cab back to the apartment. Bryce had his full “ness” on and was doing a little bit of stumbling up to our apartment. It didnt take long for him to pass out in bed. Half way through the night, I heard him get up and go to the bathroom. Next minute, I hear a commotion in the next bedroom. Bryce, instead of climbing back into bed with me, had erroneously climbed into bed with this poor, quiet, innocent French guy. He woke up to him tapping him on the shoulder, saying “pardon, pardon”(thick french accent). Bryce got such a fright and quickly got out of his bed and made his way back to the correct one. I was in hysterics. It was hilarious.
This was one of the many entertaining stories we have from staying in a number of people’s homes. But, when we catch up with you over a couple of beers, we will share a few more. The story above, is just one of those I have to hold my sides and catch my breath, in order to finish the tale, as i am laughing too hard. We finally learnt from our experiences and stayed in two really beautiful apartments in Nice. The day we moved into the first one, I got a job in San Remo and Bryce got to stay there all by himself. It was beautiful, on a quaint French street, with a French bakery pushing out croissants all day. The fresh smell wafting up through the window and into our apartment. It was a beautiful studio, with excellent finishes. And Bryce was a happy man staying there (even with the cost of it playing tricks on his mind at times).
Luckily, it didn’t take us too long to get our first jobs. Although they weren’t together, we were able to get off the Rand and start to enjoy a little bit of the delights Europe had to offer. I was lucky enough to get a great job on a charter boat for ten days with an awesome crew and a fabulous bunch of charter guests around the French Rivera. The most delightful part of it was in ten days I was able to pay back half of the money I borrowed to pay the cash deposit on my house. YAY!
And Bryce got himself a job on a great boat with a friend of mine as a deckie in Monaco. I know he found it pretty surreal catching the train from Antibes to Monaco. You know, in this industry every now and then you have to pinch yourself so that you don’t become jaded about where you are and what you are doing. For example, jumping off the boat in St Tropez to try and find magnum bottles of vodka and tequila for your wealthy guests. These places you hear about all the time, become your local playground. You run down to Monaco for a coffee, or pop off to San Remo for an interview. It’s a crazy world we have put ourselves (back)in to.
It’s been amazing for me to feed off Bryce’s excitement for the industry. Seeing him walk down the docks and be so overwhelmed by the selection of million dollar yachts is beautiful. If you know him, you know his energy and enthusiasm. You know his levels of excitement. And he has been no different here. However, we have both approached this change and industry differently. Where I have done things my way, “floatily” getting in touch with my contacts and friends and utilising social media, Bryce has meticulously written lists of all the crew agents and we have meticulously visited every single agent and dock in the French Rivera. It started to drive me nuts, but I had to remind myself, he needed to approach this his way. As an engineer – lists, lists, lists 🙂
Anyway, so I had done a hectic ten day charter. It was busy but awesome and I was tired but so happy to be back doing charters. I really love them. I love the rush, I love meeting demands, the attention to detail and rising to every request. But I missed my partner in crime and when the boat offered to drop me off closer to him, I felt like a little kid. I got onto the train, heading back towards him, Antibes. He had, in the time I was away, moved into a new apartment with some new people. And as I walked down the beautiful, flower lined cobbled street, up towards the beautiful new French Oak door, there he was hanging out the window.
Feeling so comfortable in Antibes, as our second home, we walked arm in arm down to the beach and shared a bottle of wine. We talked about the week that had passed between us and even swam in Antibes famous beach, “the toilet bowl”. We were splitting again for the week (so we thought) because I was going back to San Remo and him to Monaco. So, we had a great dinner and an early night. Waking up early for a coffee together in Monaco before I went to San Remo for the week. As I did every time I was alone, I logged onto the Facebook Group for Crew in Antibes and applied for a few jobs. There was one that really stuck out to me, but it would mean me being apart from Bryce for a month. Eeek.
By the time I got to San Remo, that boat had contacted me and offered me the position, they needed a service stew with experience. I told them my hesitation about being away from Bryce for so long, so soon. Told them I needed to chat to him about it that evening. I just had a good feeling about the boat though. At tea time, I checked my phone again and I had a missed call. I had a funny feeling that they were calling me to offer Bryce a position too. But I laughed that idea off and sent some wishes out to the universe. I then called back and missed my contact again. She then called me back and said,
“Tash, why doesn’t Bryce come work for us too?”
I almost dropped my phone. Of Course. I was far too excited and told her she had made my whole day. I called Bryce, very over excited.
He had to quit his job, as he still had ten more days to go.
We had to be on our boat the next day, as they were leaving for a month long trip.
I had to leave San Remo, immediately and head back to Antibes to pack up our stuff and organise out next little chapter.
This is how quickly things change in this world.
12 hours later, we were signed on to a new boat. Wearing matching uniform, in separate cabins and surrounded by 28 other crew members.
Our first job, together.