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As Captain and Chef, our Job was to Control Every Aspect of a Charter, but...

Updated: Feb 27, 2020

“I do,..” “bark,” “bark”

Ahhhh, dreamers…. The ultimate, romantic Caribbean vacation can only be bested by one extremely personal occasion --- a wedding on a yacht. Who can’t agree with that???

A three-day charter with bride, groom, witness, and preacher in tow had both Winston and me prepping early on our 90’ yacht, captain and chef prepared to deliver the ultimate in intimate romantic nuptials.

We meticulously arranged for the ultimate cake and scented flowers, videographer and island music, bottles champagne plus luscious hors d oeuvres. Knowing the importance of this day, we spoke to the bride in advance and charted a course specifically to her liking: “Honeymoon Bay” off St. Thomas for the ceremony (naturally, who wouldn’t want to get married there?), the island of St. John for the sunset toast and dinner, then ditch the preacher and witness to snorkel and beachcomb in the seclusion of the BVI for the next two days.

Sound like a dream come true?  Well…hold your breath.

The guest list was simple… bride, groom, witnesses and preacher.  All went according to plan.  Then, regrettably, one other uninvited guest showed up. Well, he didn’t exactly show up; he was just present on every single frame of the expensive videographer’s meticuoulsly designed wedding video. A large, extremely boisterous black lab, who just happened to be living on a sailboat anchored in Honeymoon Bay, evidently protested the union.

Win & Cyn

That black lab barked continually throughout the entire otherwise romantic ceremony, so much so that, at Winston’s suggestion, the couple remarried as soon as we could move the yacht to the next quiet bay. Its name: Hassel Island.

Hopefully, this second setting didn’t doom the marriage to hassles for the rest of time! All in all, the bride and groom were great sports. They gave us a double gratuity for saving the day, or the video at least. One more example of the mantra we learned to live by when working on yachts: if it’s on a boat, anything could go wrong.

Winston Hovey and Cynthia Zvanut Hovey transformed their desire to simplify their lives and be free of all their “stuff” into a mutual second career in paradise, first running a pirate bar and then as crew on megayachts. Their new book, "There's a Yacht More to Life," spans 25 years of their adventurous career makeover. For more information contact Winston and Cynthia at

NOW AVAILABLE..Our new book, There's a Yacht More to Life

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