Many of you have sailed time and time again with us, often on the same sailing yacht you love. One of the treasured experiences guests share with us is meeting and talking with our Captains—the masters of our yachts. They’re an integral part of the Windstar family and hold a special place in our guests’ memories whether it be welcoming our guests on our yachts, talking about the yacht’s navigational devices with them on the bridge or simply saying hello during the voyage. And now it’s time to say goodbye to our Captain Andrew Walsh, who is retiring after 19 years with Windstar. Captain Walsh, who resides in England, has sailed three of our yachts–Wind Star, Wind Spirit and Wind Song.
What drew you to sailing and working with Windstar Cruises?
After sailing on a passenger ship in the mid 70's, I attained a Master's License and then moved around to improve promotion prospects. I worked on container ships as Master for 8 years and happened to see a Windstar yacht with its distinctive masts and sails. They looked remarkable and so when I saw an advertisement that jobs were available through Viking Recruitment in Dover, I jumped at the chance.
What will you miss most about working on a Windstar sailing yacht?
I will miss a lot of friends among officers, crew and passengers. Whilst there clearly has to be a hierarchy on board, the “team” effort was strong and the atmosphere friendly.
What's your fondest memory on Windstar?
There have been many over the years, but the finest aspect of working on Windstar is that people seek you out to say ‘thank you’ at the end of a week on board. In most jobs, your efforts probably go unremarked. Sometimes what may seem to have been a very small thing for me leaves a lasting impression on a passenger. What for us is commonplace is in fact a holiday of a lifetime for many.
What was your favorite itinerary to cruise?
The Greek Islands and Turkey is a nearly perfect area to operate. It has good weather, strong port destinations and something for everyone.
What are the most interesting questions from guests when they visit the bridge?
The most interesting are the funny ones. The passenger knows what they mean but somehow the question comes out wrong. The most frequently asked by a very long way is “how much power is coming from the sails and how much from the engine?” I wish I had a dollar for …. etc. etc.
When at sea, what do you miss the most about life on land?
Family and friends and landmark events that you would like to have shared with them.
When on land, what do you miss most about life at sea?
Variety being the 'spice of life' I enjoy waking up to a different view each day. The seasons in the garden however are some compensation.
We want to thank Captain Walsh for his years of leadership and loyal service, and for all the memories he has shared with both staff and guests. Though we are sad to see him leave and will miss him, we wish him the best on this new chapter of his life—retirement.
If you’ve sailed with and met Captain Walsh, please share your experiences or leave a message for him in the comments section.