A muscular and handsome powerboat swooshes Philippe, Lolo and me, and a week’s worth of luggage, toward the 80-some-meter megayacht that awaits us off the north shore of Sardinia. Perched on the craft’s leather seats, we slice through the salty waves of the Med, our bare feet skimming the teak floorboards as pure sunshine rains down on our exposed skin.
Joining us on this Rolls Royce of a tender is a fourth passenger who carries a briefcase. Johnny is a yacht broker from London. He’s a debonair, young Richard Branson, early 40s with a closely cropped beard and perfect teeth. He’s not staying the week, he explains after a suitable duration. He simply has business onboard with our host, the owner.
Johnny loves his job. As the four of us lunch on the yacht’s top deck with the owner, his wife and his sister, the yacht broker explains why time aboard a megayacht is the greatest holiday of all. One thing remains by far the most important aspect of any superyacht experience, he says, and that thing is privacy. What happens onboard . . .
Stays on board. That is, of course, what he means to say.
As the rosé wine flows and lunch moves into its third hour, the owner and his wife begin to pop up and down from the table as more guests arrive. Johnny chats about his work. Where else, he asks rhetorically, can you meet with the world’s dealmakers and tycoons in such a relaxed setting? With a broad flourish of his outstretched arm, our eyes are again directed over the edge of the glorious yacht.
He has a point. Tenth-story corner office, this is not. Pinstriped suits, plastic Evian bottles, and stale filter coffees with creamer sachets are notably missing, too. Anchored here off this rugged, shrub-strewn coastline, we watch sailboats and yachts glide past us on a perfect expanse of emerald waters. We sip more rosé, luxuriating in our surroundings as ample sunlight filters through an arching white canopy to kiss our bare shoulders.
There’s no way I could write my [auto]biography, Johnny says. If I did, I’d be . . .
Killed. That is, I think, what he means to say. Shot or murdered or taken out in some grisly fashion.
We get the point. Life aboard a megayacht is more secretive than a weekend in Las Vegas. In this cloistered vein, French Lessons shares what we responsibly can about our week on a superyacht in the Mediterranean. Behind each snapshot are those proverbial thousand words.
On a megayacht there are small luxuries, like printed newspapers, and perfectly wrinkle-free sheets.
The swimming pool – a must on a boat of this stature – has a surprisingly expansive view . . .
. . . as does our cabin.
The playground gets bigger on a megayacht . . .
. . . as do the bottles of wine.
Beach parties, thrown by a most-attentive-ever crew, have never been so sumptuous.
The Mediterranean’s stunning scenery is reflected in every corner.
Come to think of it, the neighbourhood isn’t too shabby either.
After a week aboard a superyacht, the toughest job is remembering to collect your shoes on the way home.