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Dad’s Day

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A day in the life of a luxury yacht charter – Dad’s View

Contributed by: Jo Morgan

7:00: You wake up in an unfamiliar room. It’s dark and cool and quiet, except for the faintest sound of water lapping at the hull. You look at your wife next to you, sleeping soundly, and pull yourself quietly from under the soft duvet, padding on thick plush carpets over to the porthole. You pull the curtain aside, and there’s the sea, shining dappled and golden in the morning light. You half-expect to see a dolphin swimming by your bedroom window. The beach is only a few hundred metres away- it’s completely deserted, with palm trees bending down over the white sands. Quickly pulling on your swim trunks, you walk through the yacht, past cabins where your family sleeps peacefully.

The smell of freshly baking bread fills the air as you pass by the galley; you poke your head in to see the chef preparing platters of tropical fruit and glass bowls full of fresh berries and creamy yoghurt. You head out on deck, where one of the stewardesses is laying the breakfast table, dressing the tablecloth with crisp linen and fresh flowers. The cutlery and glassware glints in the sunshine. ‘Would you like a coffee? Fresh juice?’ she asks quietly, almost in a whisper- the spell of early morning not yet broken.

You decline, the water is calling. On the swim platform you find a deckhand washing down the teak with a hose, soft chamois at the ready to polish gleaming white paint and stainless steel. He points at the tender. ‘Would you like a lift ashore?’

You say you’d prefer to swim, at which point the deckhand offers goggles, snorkel, fins and sunscreen. He then asks politely if you’d like him to follow you in the tender in case you get tired. You spend a moment wondering if you’ll ever be able to return to normal life again. You say yes to the snorkel- there’s a reef nearby you want to explore.

The water is such a pale sapphire that you can see the sea bed, far below. You dive in. Sheer happiness overtakes you as you open your eyes in the clear, sunlit sea. You spend a lazy hour snorkelling over the reef, a riot of colour and life hidden beneath the surface. A turtle swims lazily past, looking at you curiously, and schools of tropical fish dart and whirl through the coral formations. Occasionally you raise your head to look back at your yacht, sitting huge and gorgeous in the morning sun. You can’t see anyone on deck yet; the family is obviously enjoying a lie-in, so you decide to stay a little longer. You go for a long run along the sandy beach and then wave to the boat to get picked up- you’re more tired than you thought and suddenly ravenous.

8:30: The Australian captain approaches to discuss the day’s plans. He suggests watersports in the morning before the breeze ruffles the water, then a short cruise to another anchorage before lunch. There’s a turquoise lagoon nearby full of giant granite boulders, as well as a jungle hike to a waterfall with a deep forest pool. He can organise a helicopter trip over the volcano if you’d prefer, a horseride along the beach, or a trip to some mineral hot springs. There’s also boutique shopping in the harbour, as well as several luxury spa resorts nearby. Of course, he has numbers on hand if you’d prefer a masseuse come to the yacht. ‘No worries’, he says, as if it’s nothing. There’s also the option of a spectacular night dive, or a trip to a nearby sand bar for a luxury beach barbeque. It’s up to you, of course, he says. No rush.

9:00: Your family finally drag themselves out of bed, arriving at the table wearing an odd collection of soft white bathrobes and colourful swimwear. Everyone looks well-rested, happy and excited- gazing out to sea and just drinking in the view. You compare it to resort and cruise holidays of the past, only to realise there really isn’t any comparison. This is so many levels above anything you’ve done before.   The breakfast arrives. Great piles of pancakes and bacon dripping in sweet maple syrup, baskets of fresh-baked pastries and cooked breakfasts to order. Your coffee turns up by your side, just the way you like it, and you think you might truly be in heaven.

10:00:   Everyone’s in the water- you’re tearing about on a jetski, the kids are being towed behind the tender screaming their heads off in a giant yellow tube, and your wife is taking a kayak around the beautiful boulder coastline.

11:30: You’re back on board and the crew weighs anchor and you pull out of the bay. The family gathers on the big sunbathing cushions by the Jacuzzi, the kids chattering with excitement about their morning of watersports. The huge flag snaps and billows above the bubbling white wake that curves behind the yacht. The scenery is magnificent: jungle-covered peaks rise up above sugar-white beaches, and perfect coves hide at the edge of the rainforest.

13:00: You’re on the other side of the island now, and it is even more beautiful than your last anchorage. This captain really knows his stuff. A quick swim before lunch!

13:30: Lunch- Slices of deep pink sashimi, colourful salads and more of that crunchy fresh-baked bread. All washed down with a crisp glass of white wine and a cooling dessert of coconut parfait. A breeze has sprung up off the water, breaking the midday heat, and the boat rocks ever so gently at anchor.

14:00: You’re wonderfully full, and the sun is making you sleepy. The office feels a million miles away- like that life and its worries belong to someone else. Your wife is already dozing on a deckhair, book resting open on her chest. The kids, full of energy still, have gathered around the crew, who are dressed up in pirate costume and are about to lead them on a merry treasure hunt. You take the chance to sneak away, down to your soft bed and a heavenly afternoon nap.

15:00: You wake up, the water reflection from the porthole glimmering across the cabin ceiling. Suddenly full of energy, you’re up and only minutes pass before you’re plunging off the swim platform back into the tropical waters. Everyone then piles into the tender for a trip to the lagoon, where you snorkel through a maze of granite boulders in crystal clear water. You can’t drag the kids away, so you leave them with the capable deckhands and hike to the waterfall, a hidden paradise deep in the jungle.

17:00: A masseuse comes to the yacht, easing tired muscles. Bliss.

18:00: Relaxed beyond all measure, you climb into the Jacuzzi, where the stewardess brings you a cocktail, and leaves bathrobes on the side. The kids have been relaxing playing video games in their cabins and watching TV/baking cupcakes with the chef; one by one they come up to the Jacuzzi and sink in to the bubbles to watch the sun sink huge and fiery into the sea.

18:30: Lanterns flicker on at a nearby sandbar, and coals glowing in the darkness. You see the tender do trips back and forth, laden with picnic gear. You shower and dress for dinner and the tender drives you to the sandbar, where an elegant table has been set up on the sands with white linen tablecloths, filled with huge platters of food. The stewardesses pours your wine and the chef turns the lobster one last time on the coals, serving it hot to your plates with lashings of melted butter and great squeezes of zesty lemon. All around, moonlight lights the sea silver, and phosphorescence makes the water glow as if possessed by magic. The crew have brought music, and it plays in the night under the stars. You and your wife dance, and the kids splash about chasing crabs, out here on a sandbar in the middle of the shining sea.

21:00: You head back to the yacht to shower and get into your pyjamas, then the whole family snuggles on the huge soft couches together to watch a movie. You can’t remember the last time you did this together, or felt this good. The stewardess brings popcorn and hot chocolate, a bit of fine cognac for the adults- and one by one everyone heads to bed, tired and happy.

Tomorrow you’ll get to see that volcano, and do that exciting night dive. You’ll wake up to look through the porthole at a different anchorage, possibly even more beautiful than the one you’re in now. On a luxury yacht charter, it’s up to you, just like the captain says. No rush. No worries.

 

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