a valuable hostess

Hanna Smith

We recently met Hanna Smith, a young girl, aged 23, who proved to be an experienced professional. Hanna grew up on the west coast of Scotland until she left school and went to the University of Edinburgh to study Mathematics for 4 years!

This summer she worked with us as a hostess on our Flotilla experience which is a cooperation of Kiriacoulis Mediterranean and Nautilus Yachting. We received a lot of positive comments from our clients, so we wanted to find out more about her. We also discovered her Instagram account and her Vimeo channel.

Would you like firstly to talk a little about you?

I’ve spent the majority of my life involved in water based sports including swimming, water polo and sailing. With swimming, I competed up to national level until deciding to become a swimming coach and teacher. When I was younger I was also a member of my local sailing club where I did dinghy sailing. Last year I decided I wanted to get back into sailing so I completed several courses including my RYA Day Skipper. At university I continued with swimming but decided to also take up water polo club which I ended up being treasurer of for 2 years. I also have a great interest in cooking, travelling, socialising and the outdoors.

Everything on board is under control

What was the motive for a young girl like you to work as a hostess in our flotilla of sailing yachts?

The role as flotilla host was a perfect opportunity for me to combine my skills from previous jobs with a sport I love. I was very keen to improve my experience and ability in sailing and there is so much potential in that when your job and home is on a yacht. Also, as flotilla host, you’re constantly meeting and getting to know people from different places and backgrounds. This was perfect for me as I love working with people and it was an amazing opportunity for networking and learning from some inspiring individuals. Also, as I had recently graduated, I was looking to do something out of my comfort zone and be able to experience new places.

Sunbathing time with some friends

How was your experience with the flotilla in the Saronic Gulf of Athens?

I loved the opportunity to live and work in Greece. The warmth and friendliness of Greek culture was great to experience first-hand. Everyone I met and worked with around the towns in the Saronic Gulf were so accommodating and welcoming which made my job so much easier. If we ever had a problem, there was always someone we could get in touch with that would be able to give us advice or help. Also, it was great to have such a mixture of sailing! I learnt so much trying to sail in light winds and knowing what to do if it picked up a bit more. You can’t plan the weather but it’s great being able to just enjoy what’s in front of you.

Playing with the kids in safe waters

How do the groups of people experience this way of yachting (flotilla)?

I would really recommend this type of sailing holiday as the people who came on flotilla seemed to love the laid back, stress free nature of other people planning the trip for you. Flotilla holidays are great as you get guidance on what locations are good, whether ports are busy, what the weather will be like, assistance mooring the boat and help if any problems should arise. So whether you’re a rusty sailor or had tones of experience this is a great help when you want to relax on holiday and don’t know the area. As well as this, there is a sociable aspect to flotilla. Over my time working on flotilla I met lots of great people and many of them I was sad to say bye to at the end of the week. Each week the dynamic was different but everyone was friendly and there for the same reasons; to have a great time and enjoy their holiday.

Having fun with the flotilla group

What do you feel is your best memory from this summer experience in Greece?

Personally, my best memory of flotilla was socialising with the different guests each week. In particular, I had a lot of fun when we would play games in the water when we were anchored in bays and got our inflatable toys out. It was such a good atmosphere when everyone was relaxed and having a good time. Watching people trying our paddle board could sometimes be amusing. The less balance people had the more laughs that were enjoyed by everyone involved!

Before the splash

Do you think there is a secret for enjoying the holidays better or it is a matter of luck?

I think the secret to enjoying the holiday is embracing it. If you get stuck in with everything going on then there’s so much fun to be had. However, if you’re looking for a more peaceful and relaxed holiday, that’s okay too! There is something for everyone and you can get involved in as much or as little as you’d like. It’s your holiday so all you need to do is relax, enjoy the sailing and the holiday can be however you want it.

A beautiful moment of sailing

Which is the “key” that keeps the clients happy?

The customers were always really happy if I was just there to help and could answer their questions. People weren’t very demanding. If I was there to help; make sure they knew how to plug into electricity or get water, show them where the shop is or where was good to swim, then they really appreciated this. It sounds really basic but I got used to common questions or problems people had, so this meant I could anticipate them and ensure the smooth running of everyone’s holiday.

Flotilla mooring at Spetses island

What are your plans for the future?

That’s a good question! At the moment I’m just enjoying being back in the UK and catching up with friends and family. I’ve just started looking for jobs where I’m able to my analytical skills from my mathematics degree in either Manchester or London. However, this job on flotilla has shown me how much I love working with people so I want to avoid being stuck behind a computer screen as much as possible. My goal is to always be doing a job that I find fulfilling and to be surrounded by positive and encouraging people.

As well as this, I aim to keep up sailing as a hobby as much as possible. I love being on the water, turning the engine off and going where the sails take you.

Hanna created the following 3 minute video that shows joyful moments from her experience with flotilla groups