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With thanks to Van Allen Group
Whether in port searching for that first yacht job, or taking a well-deserved break from a long and tiring charter at sea, heading to the renowned yachting hubs and hangouts of your current destination during downtime can offer great fun, great friends and ample opportunity.
Not only will you likely meet other crew members and crew hopefuls that you’re sure to have a lot in common with, making new friends for your time ashore, you’ll also likely hear about upcoming yacht jobs that have not yet been disclosed, networking with some influential industry players.
Yachting Pages relays the best yacht crew hangouts and activities around the world.
As the largest yachting hub in the Med, Antibes is a rustic old town with a busy summer tourist season. The town is full of crew hopefuls and existing crew members looking to relax before starting the season all over again.
Keep yourself busy and make new shore side friends by getting involved in some fitness activities. Many crew find monthly gym subscriptions too difficult to maintain, so yoga is popular in Antibes, which is full of yoga studios and private instructors. Take your session to the beach or down to the docks. Alternatively, there are many bootcamp-style fitness camps and personal trainers, which see you undertake tough classes in the park, on the beach, at the docks…
In the heart of the town, Le Blue Lady Pub is a popular hangout with captains and crew, known for its hearty breakfast and live music. You might even see a crew interview underway. Not far away is the Irish Hop Store, again with great breakfast and live music, and crew also head to the L’Enoteca Tapas Bar to relax, or crew bars The Drinkers Club and Absinthe Bar Antibes to party.
Palma de Mallorca has some of the world’s most beautiful waters, so take to the waters with some fellow crew. Scuba diving, stand-up paddle boarding, surfing, waterskiing, jet skiing, there are a range of companies that offer competitive hire and instructor rates with all equipment provided where necessary.
If you get involved with this crowd, you’ll also be able to take part in the many competitions, events and groups that are hosted around the world.
Dawn Goodwin, crew consultant at Van Allen Group recommended Corner Bar and Escape Bar in Placa de la Drassana for daytime networking and crew fun; she said, “These are the places to head for big sports games, plus breakfast is good at Escape, or so I’m told.”
In the evening, she recommended Santa Catalina to hangout at Cuba Bar, Havanna Bar and the Crazy Chef restaurant. She said, “Many yachties have bought apartments in the area, which they rent out to shore-based workers and newbies while they search for the elusive first job”.
She also recommended Agua Bar and Mojito Bar in La Llonja for evening networking, as well as Hogans Bar at the end of San Magin with its good food and sport channels.
When it all gets too much, a day or three on the beach may be just what you need. Sunset Beach on St. Maarten is found along the front of one of the airports’ busiest runways. Lie back and watch the planes come in right over your head. Sunset Bar is just down the beach for cocktails among crew. Sand Bar and The Soggy Dollar are also great for crew networking, and themed party fun.
The beaches on Anguilla are also noteworthy destinations. Typical of the imagined ‘paradise beach’, Anguilla beaches offer crystal clear waters, white sand and sea turtles with a few local bars nearby making for peace and quiet.
If the beach life isn’t for you, head to Antigua for a scuba diving day or adventure safari, getting up close and personal with exotic plants and animals. If you fancy a drink, try the Mad Mongoose at Falmouth Harbour, or enjoy the views at Shirley Heights Lookout Restaurant and Bar.
A worldwide favourite, Waxy O’Connors has a special place in the hearts of many yacht crew, and Waxy’s Fort Lauderdale is a great place to let loose with fellow crew after that long trans-Atlantic crossing.
The US is a good a place as any to head to a beauty salon, nail bar or spa to treat yourself. If you’re going all out, then why not book a room at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel? Here, you’ll find breathtaking views, a large swimming pool and a private golf course for complete relaxation.
Once anchored in Barcelona, take advantage of all that the city has to offer; go shopping, get a new outfit and then hit the clubs.
When in town, crew like to head to Barcelona’s I AM GLOBAL festival, which takes place in June at Illa Fantasia. This is a water park that plays host to over 30 DJ’s to keep you dancing all day and night long. The bars, restaurants and pools are open all night, so don’t forget to pack your swim stuff.
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