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Spending some time with Chief Stew Arina

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Today’s blog features a seasoned chief stewardess by the name of Arina Meyer who originally hails from South Africa. Read on for more of this glimpse into the yachting industry!

brunette yacht stewardess Arina on beach with water in background

You started your career in yachting back in 2013 – can you tell us a bit about what attracted you to the industry? 

I’m Arina Meyer and I am from South Africa from a small coastal town called St Helena Bay on the west coast in the western cape I used to be from Durban on the east coast of S.A. And this month I’ll actually be turning 30!

After school, I studied and graduated Interior Design and worked in the design industry for a couple of years as a designer at one of South Africa’s top design firms which involved a lot of decorating, designing, architecture & the odd accounts & admin. You can see how a lot of this translates into yachting! I am currently a Chief Stewardess onboard 50m/163ft motor yacht.

I couldn’t actually believe this yachting industry, you always see people “living the life” with those amazing photos and every other day a new country, but I didn’t actually get started until my brother and twin started yachting and showed me the ropes!

So here I am, six years later I’m still here and loving it! 

While in the midst of a busy season, how do you remain fresh – physically and mentally during these busy times?

Physically to stay fresh can be hard at times, but with a good interior team and support system you can achieve a lot, in order to maintain the high level of service and stay physically fresh you have to look after your body. During charters, I really try to eat healthily and drink loads of water and if I start feeling like snacking I’ll snack healthy.

Being a stewardess is already a workout, running all around the yacht! Hours of rest in this industry is so so important, so make sure you take your hours of rest and I’ll always try if there is time to let my girls have a half-hour or 45min rest longer if I can.

Before I go to bed in the evenings I’ll lay flat on the floor for a bit and just stretch and unwind, you can actually feel how your whole body is just relaxing and that helps me to sleep really well too. 

Mentally, to stay fresh in this industry, you have to work yourself towards something, set yourself a goal whether it’s what you want to achieve this season, where do you want to be in a year’s time or, after 14 days of heavy charter what’s your purpose? Even if it is to get a really good tip or really happy and satisfied owners. It’s so hard sometimes to see past the negativity that we do get on board and to pull yourself self away from a situation that doesn’t even make sense half the time, just crew winding each other up because of space and tiredness but in all of that I try to motivate myself by asking myself: what is your goal here and you alone are entitled to your own happiness. I try to motivate my girls even if it is in small dosages, give them credit when they really deserve it mentally, don’t we all want to hear that sometimes? 

It’s also so important not to lose yourself self in this industry. I have a really good support group (friends and family) that I talk to and they always motivate me and push me when I am feeling low. All of my years in yachting, I have been so blessed with amazing interior crew that we all just get along so well and we are so good for each other that we always try to motivate and uplift one another.

And as my old chief stew used to say to me “Arina don’t sweat the small stuff it’s not worth it”.

woman crouching on beach with penguins in Antarctica with snow capped mountains in background
Arina in Antarctica

What do you like to do in your downtime while at sea? 

I have started to study and prepare myself for some courses. But I do like to be outside on the sun deck catching some sunshine that is always a highlight of my day and definitely working out if it’s not too rough and the ocean is calm enough just to put on some good music and breath fresh salty air in…and lately I have been forcing myself to read more!

Do you have a favourite corner of the globe you like to visit? 

I would love to go to Norway purely because of its natural beauty but I do love French Polynesia!

If you weren’t in yachting, what else would you want to be doing for a living?

Well I’ll definitely take up my interior design again but I’ll incorporate it into a wine and coffee bar boutique…because I love making clothes as well (not that I always get the time to do it!) but I would love to have my interior/fashion line with the coffee/wine bar – combining the four things I love in life hah!

Thanks so much to Arina for her time! Please check out more of her beautiful adventures on Instagram here!

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