Meet Bindy Bryce – Stew of the Month
Meet Bindy Bryce - Stew of the Month
Before she decided to go into yachting, Bindy Bryce was a high school gym teacher, so she knows a little about tough crowds. She has since been a stew on land and at sea, and this 27-year-old has served her fair share of demanding guests. Bindy has been in the industry for three years, including a stint as a “stew” for a large chalet in Europe, where her duties were the same as on a yacht, and the clientele were comparable, too. If there’s one thing to know in this industry, it’s that service done well can translate to work anywhere. Which is convenient, because this stew of the month loves to travel.
So, Bindy, tell us a little about yourself.
I grew up on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia, and I had a very active lifestyle. I play water polo; I’m a certified lifeguard; and I love netball. When I was 19, I took my first major trip to South America with my sister, and that ignited my travel bug. The next year, I did my first ski season in Banff, Canada. After graduating from university with a degree in physical education, I taught for a year in Queensland before heading to Europe to travel and then settling in London to teach. I enjoy snowboarding, running, anything to do with travel and also writing.
So, what made you want to go into the industry? How did you get started?
I taught in London for six months but found it incredibly exhausting and soul-destroying trying to teach kids about exercise and health when all they wanted to do was play video games and hit each other over the head with hockey sticks. I needed a break, so I flew to Argentina to chill out with my sister for a bit. While I was there, I decided I’d like to work on cruise ships, as a way to do something different while still traveling. I spoke to a few good friends who convinced me yachting was the more appropriate path for me. When I returned to England, I completed my STCW 95 in Cowes and then flew to Palma to join the job hunt. Within a few weeks, I scored my first job on a motor yacht.
Tell us a bit about the boat you’re on now.
is a 52-meter, Dubois-designed, alloy sailing yacht. She was launched in 2006 as Kokomo
but changed owners and name about two years ago. We’re based in Palma, and while we were predominately private this season, we managed to fit in a few charters.
You’re a certified lifeguard. Have you ever saved someone’s life?
I used to patrol on an open beach that could get pretty rough. One day, a Japanese tourist walked down the beach, put his towel down at the base of the “Dangerous rip do not swim here” sign and proceeded to walk into the water. He swam straight into the rip. He got swept out to sea pretty quickly, but I had been watching him, so I was able to get to him quickly on a board. Once we got back to shore, he simply went and picked up his towel and left the beach without saying a word. He was pretty shaken up, but hopefully he won’t do it again.
Wow. That’s pretty crazy and embarrassing for the tourist. Do you have any hilarious or embarrassing stories you want to share about your experiences in the industry?
On my first night out with my new crew on a previous boat, I had been careful not to drink too much, because I wanted to make a good impression. The yacht was anchored out, so at curfew the watch picked us up on the crew tender. When we got back to the boat, as I went to step off the tender onto the boarding ladder, a swell came, pushing the tender away. I stepped straight into the water. Everyone was laughing too much to even think about helping me, so I was bobbing around for a while before I managed to gasp through my laughter, “Can someone help me up please?” That just set everyone off laughing again. Far from the good impression I had wanted to make, this little incident meant I had the nickname “Flipper” for the duration of my time on board.
Well, let’s hope this article doesn’t mean you become Flipper to your crew now and forevermore. Besides terrible nicknames, what makes your life a living hell?
Working with people who just don’t want to be there.
Where do you see yourself in the next couple of years? Is this a lifelong career for you?
Like many other yachties, I joined the industry as a way to combine work and travel and also save some money. I had originally only planned to do it for a few years, but I’ve found that the lifestyle and work is addictive, enjoyable and challenging. In short, it’s a tough life to leave. I’m still taking it one step at a time, because the industry is so unpredictable you just never know what could happen. I do know that once I feel I have seen and experienced all that I want, I will return to teaching back in Australia.
Name your favorite place in the world, and why.
Apart from the obvious answer, Mooloolaba, which is home, it would have to be an island off Serendipity Beach in Cambodia called Bamboo Island. All that is there are a couple of huts and a restaurant, but it’s just so stunning and peaceful; I could stay there for years.
Any advice for newbies?
The yachting industry is a very small world. Everyone is connected to everyone else somehow. If you’re going to talk negatively about someone, just remember that the chances of it getting back to that person are very high.
Andrea Bailey was born and raised in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands. After graduating from Georgetown University in 2009, her love of the ocean brought her back to the island she always called home. Andrea is a writer and editor, but she’ll forever be a sailor at heart.