Ondrej Cizmar

It’s an honour to be nominated on this award. Especially because until few years ago I didn’t know that working on superyacht is a thing. I am from Slovakia (a country without sea) so let me tell you briefly my story and how I decided to become a Superyacht Captain and live my @superyachtdream 😉

I went through many different jobs from being a bus driver, dog sledding musher in northern Norway, bicycle mechanic, shop manager etc. I enjoyed each of my jobs and always learnt a lot, but despite this, I never saw any of these jobs as a career.
But as I was getting closer to my 30s I started thinking more about my future, career, life etc. I couldn’t find out what I really want to do long term. I need a challenge to be able to develop and move forward and to keep on learning, otherwise I felt I would start to feel stuck on one place. Which after all, I had done in each job before.
While working as bus driver in Norway I couldn’t focus on my future, so I decided to leave my job and go to Spain to study Spanish language. I needed a fresh new environment, new thoughts to figure out my future….and there it came.
I met a couple in my Spanish class from Australia. They had spent 15 years working on Superyachts, and after hours of talking with them I knew that this was what I wanted to do.
It was not ‘just’ a job, but a proper career. I love the sea (and I am not saying that as a cliché on every green yachtie CV). I am qualified as a ‘Dive Master’ and I am really interested in Ocean protection. I have spent a lot of time at sea and diving. It just felt right and ticked all the boxes. I saw the potential to use my language skills and the possibility to progress in a career and most importantly, continue learning for the rest of my life (or seafarer career:) where I would never stop learning.

I had to do some research, orientate myself in all the different courses and certifications (which wasn’t easy at all) and then just went for it. I took all my savings, found a fast track course with as many additional modules as I could do, and then booked the courses in the UK. I spent 6 months back to back between studying and mile building to do my RYA Yachtmaster Offshore ticket as well as AEC 1+2, EDH, HELM, Celestial Navigation… you name it. I passed all my exams first time and after this hard but rewarding 6 months I found my first job on a 37m commercial Motor Yacht as a deckhand.
After my first season I went back to school and did my GOC GMDSS, ECDIS, YM Ocean passage and oral exam…
and ended up working in Thailand on another amazing 47m yacht as Bosun. After my work in Thailand was done, I continued with learning and currently finished HELM management level course and working as First mate on 30m MY. I really love the whole process, learning every day and trying to finish as many OOW3000 modules as possible.

I feel that I have finally found my career and I am on the way to become Superyacht Captain and to hopefully inspire other ‘green’ yachties like myself.