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Meet the SmartYacht crew: Captain Alvaro

SmartYacht is proud to work with crews that are not only very knowledgeable and competent in all matters maritime, but also highly motivated to work hard every day to keep the yachts in mint condition, and to create memorable experiences for our owners and vacation club members whenever they step aboard.

Meet Álvaro González Gainza, our captain of the majestic L`Aventure 2 harbored in Palma de Mallorca, who talks about his passion for his job, what keeps him busy on the boat during and off season, and shares some insider tips for the Balearic Islands.

Being at the helm of a boat is the dream of many little (and big) boys… how did you become a captain?

It was by accident really. I was originally a photographer, studying and working for some years in many different places, until I was asked to go to Southern France to live aboard the yacht of my boss, and work as a deckhand in my spare time. During that month, I realized that my new passion was living on and being in touch with the sea. So I decided to change my profession from photography to becoming a maritime captain. It took me several years for the training and to get my license, but I knew I was on the right path.

What does a typical day aboard L´Aventure 2 during a trip with guests look like? What are your responsibilities and duties?

My main responsibility is to look after the safety and comfort of the guests aboard the L'Aventure 2. That means ahead of a trip, I make sure that everything around navigation, weather forecasts, anchoring and docking, ordering all provisioning needed and organizing the mooring berth´s booking at the requested ports of call, is taken care of to create the best possible experience for our clients. I also handle all mandatory paperwork, cleaning of the yacht and organize the work of the stewardess.

Once our guests are aboard, a typical day starts with checking that all systems and levels in the engines and tanks are correct. Weather forecast checking is also mandatory, not only for safety reasons, but to find out which beaches and beautiful places can be enjoyed at their best on this particular day. Deck cleaning is done every morning and every evening when the yacht has gone back from a day out at sea. This is very appreciated by the guests because it is a hard job. I´m also in charge of on- and offloading the tender boat and jet ski as this can be dangerous in certain conditions, as is the delivery of guests ashore. Sometimes by request I drive the tender when guests want to use one of the many toys.

Watchkeeping while cruising and anchor watch are very exciting to me as it is the nicest part of my job. I also help the stewardess with a few duties as her work is usually very intense.

In brief my job is to ensure that our guests have a holiday that they would like to repeat.

What keeps you busy, if there are no guests aboard?

Maintenance, maintenance, and maintenance.

What’s your favorite spot aboard the yacht?

The flybridge is very comfortable, sunny and spacious. You also get a nice breeze and a great view up there.

What are your favorite places and routes in the Mediterranean and on/around Mallorca?

Palma is a great city. Last year, it was rated as one of the best city to live in the world! I certainly agree with this vote. Palma has many options for restaurants, monuments and nightlife. Mallorca is a beautiful place for yachting with hundreds of little sandy coves to anchor in, the famous calas. Formentera and Ibiza are the nicest islands. The water at Formentera is the best I´ve ever seen and Ibiza has got a lot to do and there is always a protected area from wind that can be visited. Menorca is a wild and less crowded island, very interesting and ideal to get away from the stress. So I guess I like the Balearics in whole!

What was the craziest experience you made with guests in your captains career?

Animals at sea are always a big experience to see. From dolphins to whales, moon fish or birds. One day while I was working aboard another vessel, thousands of swallows had a rest on the boat for a day. They even landed on me and our guests; I remember having up to eight birds on me. We were all amazed!