#humansofyachting – Emmeline Gee
The yoga instructor, massage therapist and entrepreneur on why she thinks she has the best job in yachting.
I have been practicing yoga since my early twenties and eventually did my teacher training six years ago. I was 33 when I joined the yachting world, which is quite late, but I grew up by the sea on Torbay and sailed from a young age, so it felt very natural for me to be on a boat. I’ve also been a massage therapist for eleven years and I think that combination helped make it easy for me to find work. My first trip was on a 72-metre charter yacht called Kogo and I stayed on board for nearly three years. We did summers in the Med and Caribbean winters – it was a great yacht to work on.
After that I went freelance and eventually set up Angels on Board. It grew very organically and now we are in the fifth year of business – we do massage, beauty, yoga and fitness. Since being freelance I’ve worked on probably 15 yachts at different times – it’s been really interesting to see so many yachts and witness how they all operate. I’ve worked with everyone from Californian tech CEOs to big families spanning four generations.
I honestly think I have the best job in the industry. When you get a busy, stressed out charter guest, everything builds up to them being out on deck on the massage table. When that time finally comes – that’s the moment when their holiday really starts. That’s really rewarding for us.
Teaching is also super fun – on a boat you really have to be innovative and flexible. I’ve taught everyone from young children to an eighty year-old who loved his daily yoga session. I also worked a number of times with a regular charter guest who was really enthusiastic about yoga and saw her progression from a beginner to advanced yogi. It was really satisfying to have such a keen student. I also introduced her to acroyoga which was great fun – we would practice it on different yachts she chartered in various exotic locations.
Emmeline at work on board
Emmeline at work on board
The most interesting trip I did was probably on Kogo when we went up the Amazon. It took us three days to travel up to the mouth of the river, and a day or two before we even reached it, the sea started to turn brown from all of the sediment. The cloud formations there were unlike anything I’ve ever seen before – just the most incredible skies. I was able to go paddle boarding one day – that was exciting because there was always that possibility that if you fell off you’d get eaten by piranhas!
With massage, the memorable moments tend to be when I’ve set up the table on deck at sunset and everything is very beautiful and calm. On one trip in the Maldives, we set up on a deserted beach. We took the table over by jetski which was fun! As it happened, the guests changed their plans so I had an hour on my own little deserted island. Bliss.
I’m in a unique position in that I have guests open up to me. I’m able to get to know them. The surprising thing is that everybody, no matter how rich they are, has the same worries, the same health problems, the same issues. We are all just human beings.”
Get a taste of the superyachting good life at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show from 31 October to 4 November.