Luxury catamaran SKYLARK is the newest addition to the Sunreef Yachts Charter fleet and we take the opportunity to present you with her top-notch crew, Captain Jez Fletcher and Chef Caro Uy. This always cordial and friendly close-knit team is devoted to excellence and their passion for traveling and the open seas has taken them to remote places around the world. Now they are up for a new seafaring adventure aboard this high performance power catamaran and are already anticipating treating guests to a royal service.
Do you have a personal favorite destination?
Jez: BVI. It is a beautiful and varied destination with small safe anchorages.
Caro: Corsica in the Med, and the Grenadines in the Caribbean. Jez speaks from the point of view of a captain while I am interested in provisioning. Corsica is a spectacular destination with its craggy coastline and wonderful produce: the maquis (wild herbs), fig trees, chestnuts and olive oil that add a unique tint of flavor to my dishes. The Grenadines offer unique fragrant bay leaf varieties, fresh spices and great lobster, plus friendly local culture and stunning anchorages.
What would you say is the one imperative port of call for charter guests?
Jez: The answer is not easy because it depends on whether you are in the Mediterranean or the Caribbean and we also have to take the guests’ preferences into account but I would say Anegada because of its relaxed vibe and feet-in-the-sand lobster dinners.
Caro: Anegada is definitely an unspoilt island with its tranquil ambiance and turquoise waters. My favourite is Corsica!
Is there any place in the world you are still looking forward to discovering?
Jez: Yes, French Polynesia.
Caro: French Polynesia—we would love to explore this destination. Also the east coast of South America, starting in the north of Brazil and continuing south all the way to Patagonia in Argentina.
What is the biggest challenge of working on a yacht?
Jez: What’s challenging is trying to run perfect charters and maintaining the boat in tiptop shape for a smooth operation and responding to all the guests’ expectations.
Caro: Also finding the time for everything we need to do to prepare the perfect charter, everything from provisioning to maintenance.
How about the greatest reward?
Caro: Seeing the faces of smiling guests. We are in the business of providing happiness and happy memories, and the biggest reward is people coming back after the charter to thank us for making their stay unforgettable. Also, I love sharing recipes with guests from different parts of the world and they often share their home recipes with me in return which is always inspiring. Being part of this experience is our reward.
If you had the chance to choose your career path again, would you stay in the industry?
Jez: There are many appealing careers out there but overall I enjoy my job very much and if I had the opportunity to choose again, I wouldn’t hesitate to choose the same.
Caro: Yes—life is full of twists and turns but I have to say that we love what we do and a great perk is working with my husband (who is my best friend), which is not something that we would be able to get in a 9-5 job.
Caro, what influences your menu the most?
Caro: Apart from the guests’ preferences, most definitely the location! I am flexible and even when I have a proposed menu for the week, I will peek to see what the guests like more of, and each island’s markets inspire me to add local flavor to my dishes. When I’m in Corsica for example, I like to use the regional produce like chestnut honey, fleur d’oranger and fresh figs; when I’m in the Caribbean, I use their fresh spices and herbs and the excellent Grenadian chocolate, and chat with locals to know how they cook at home.
And what would you say are your most applauded dishes?
Jez: That’s a tough question because there are so many!
Caro: Again, this depends on the guests onboard—some groups prefer more subtle flavours while others prefer the vividly spiced. The two that stand out to me are the vodka-marinated confit of salmon, and the crisp-skinned Kurobota pork belly confit. Also, one night of the week is our Captain’s Table night when Jez prepares dinner, and guests often like to join in and help him. His hand-made pasta is popular with everyone!