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By Peter Stevenson MEMBERS of Volunteer Doctors Cyprus have treated around 350 people at their free clinic in Nicosia since it opened three months ago, while two more, one in Paphos and one in Polis are due to open today. Limassol also has a free clinic, which was opened only last month, and plans have been drawn ...
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SOME 10 days ago, foreign minister Ioannis Kasoulides raised expectations by announcing the possibility of a deal with Turkey for the opening of the fenced off area of Famagusta, for the return of its inhabitants. In exchange the Cyprus government would agree to the opening of Tymbou airport to direct flights. ...
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By George Psyllides PRIVATE auditors have expressed doubt the electricity authority (EAC) could be considered a going concern and have asked its board to draft a credible plan to tackle the problem, according to the auditor-general’s 2012 report on the semi-state company. Among other issues, ...
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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Swabbing the deck on a 300 million super yacht… ]

Swabbing the deck on a 300 million super yacht…

SO IS it, basically, just caravanning for the posh? That word yacht with its romantic vision of sails in the sunset is nothing like the mega rich world of the super yacht.

It’s Saturday night: I am in an Irish pub in downtown Athens watching Man United slaughter Arsenal in the FA Cup. Most of the place is stuffed with Arsenal supporters, but one lone lad is clapping as enthusiastically as me. He’s part of a group of bronzed good-looking guys, incongruous on this night when the city is being blanketed in snow.

They are on shore leave from a boat; it’s a common tale. But this is not just any boat, this is the Cypriot owned Esmeralda, one of the increasing band of privately owned yachts that sail our sea with as many crew as passengers. At 202ft, she just makes it into the top hundred, and at over €150,000 a week to charter she’s not going to be on everyone’s first list of ways to see the Med.

The lads in the crew are from all corner of the globe: Australia, Croatia, Britain. I find it hard to believe the numbers they are telling me about how much they earn, reckoning after a few pints it’s usual male blag, but I'm wrong. A quick reccy on the website informs that even as a basic deck hand you can earn $40,000 a year tax free, while as a captain of one of these of these vessels you can expect to take home up to $500,000. Most of these young men in their late twenties are taking home $100,000 a year they tell me. Silence I suppose comes at a price. I accept their offer of a drink.
But curiously there is a 3,000-crew shortfall for the coming summer season. So why aren’t we all queuing up to take to the seas to help the jet-ski set have fun on the water?

Well it seems it’s hard work, everything has to be oh so perfect: discretion is all. You will be wining, dining, helping the wealthiest businessmen, film stars and celebrities lead their lives without the preying lens of the paparazzi. Hearing what deals are being struck; what drugs are being taken; what sexual liaisons are being formed. You will be on duty 24 hours a day; you will be as clean as the swabbed deck, safety is paramount. And, of course, you go where they say: one month Cannes, another Monaco, another the secret locations in the Med with the whitest beaches for the most private moments. You have to be there to work the banana boat and serve the cocktails, to be seen and not heard. But most of all you have to be trained, this is the SAS of the yacht world, even the deck hand must know how to work GPS systems and plumb the sanitation, how to rig and use the radar, how to manage the hydraulics and cope with heart attacks.

Tonight as Chelsea take on Olympiakos I am curious to know if Roman will be there. His own naval fleet of super yachts is about to be enlarged with the delivery this year of M/Y Eclipse, the largest ever private yacht in the world, at 147m and a price tag of over $250 million. But the job specification might even daunt my Man Utd. supporting friend. It comes with a heli-pad and garage for two helicopters and an eight-man submarine. This puts a whole new spin on the phrase “going for a sail”. And I always thought Captain Nemo was just a fantasy; how wrong can you be…

(Source: Cyprus Mail)

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