With the culinary focus on some of the world’s top charter yachts shifting to lighter, organic fare, charterers are also seeking healthier options for playtime. Guests have begun to request toys that require a bit more stamina than waterslides and tow-behind inflatable bananas.
The FlyDive (flydive.com) is becoming increasingly popular as surfers, snowboarders, kiteboarders, windsurfers and skateboarders feel a connection with the motion and the challenge of being able to do tricks. Stand-up paddleboard yoga is becoming popular as well.
One of the cooler active water toys to hit the scene is the inflatable rock wall. The 22-foot version carried aboard 131-foot (40-meter) Westport W is making a big splash with charterers. The unit is made by FunAir (funair.com) and promises a water landing if guests lose their grip or footing.
The wall “is a fun challenge for the young at heart,” says Lara-Jo Houghting, charter manager at Churchill Yacht Partners (churchillyachts.com). “You can work up a sweat—and work off the chef’s decadent calories—as you tackle the wall. The reward for reaching the top is a waterslide down into the tropical turquoise waters.”
Chef Veronique “Vee” Addy is a natural in the galley in more ways than one. Not only did she climb the competitive ranks to head charter chef aboard a superyacht in less than five years, but she’s also brought wellness to the forefront of luxury charter with a passion for healthful cuisine.
Born and raised in Montreal, Canada, Addy’s life took a dramatic turn in 2012 when she deserted life as she knew it to travel to New Zealand for a year, with nothing more than a dream of learning how to sail. Today, Addy has several ocean crossings under her apron, not to mention the enviable position of chef aboard 160-foot (48.7meter) Bilgin Clarity, where she loves to practice and promote healthy living to the highest culinary standards.
Addy realized she was a natural in the galley while making pancakes on her maiden sailing voyage—a rugged hike in less-than-favorable sea conditions aboard a 34-foot sloop from New Zealand to Fiji. A 6-foot swell knocked her batter all over the sole, and she salvaged the meal in short order. “As a chef [on a yacht], everything happens quickly,” she says, “so you need to be efficient in everything you do.”
Her passion for sailing led Addy to her first charter job, as a stewardess. “I loved being in the galley with the chef, always watching and asking lots of questions,” she says. “A certified health coach and a graduate of ‘juice master’ Jason Vale’s Natural Juice Therapy course, I would do juice detoxes on the boat for the guests and crew. They loved feeling healthy and energized at sea, and they would say, ‘Vee, you must become a chef!’”
Sometimes it’s all about whom you know. After Addy completed her formal training at Ashburton Cookery School in the United Kingdom, an old friend from her previous crew job called one day out of the blue. “They said, ‘Vee, we need a chef, and they want to eat healthy.’ I got the job.” On charter, Addy is keen to promote her leanings toward clean cuisine. “There’s a real connection of everything you eat with mind and body; it’s all related,” she said. “Food goes so much further than just the taste. It affects your energy, your mind—so many diseases