Tuesday, Aug 16th

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Hotseat - Don Carlos Arndell

832_hotseatCaptain of the Mirabella catamaran, St. Maarten-born Don Carlos Arndell is the father of 18-month-old daughter Gennaia, whom he adores and loves with all his heart. He takes people on daily trips to do fun and exciting stuff such as snorkelling in St. Maarten's therapeutic turquoise waters. Guests get a chance to savour his skills, while enjoying the views from the ocean as well as an open bar, snacks and sandwiches. He also sails Mirabella guests on private cruises with all the trimmings they can imagine and for all sorts of occasions. He is super excited for Mirabella's latest venture – taking party goers for a nice Salsa Sunset Cruise to enjoy an evening of dancing, dining and imbibing, which will culminate with an exciting after party at La Bamba. The catamaran will be transformed into an entertainment hub for the Salsa Sunset Cruise every Tuesday through the end of April (good weather permitting). The 28-year-old Arndell gives Out 'N About insight into his world and life at sea in this week's Hot Seat.

How would you describe yourself?

An ocean-going freak is probably the best way I can describe myself.

Where were you educated, what did you study and why?

I attended Sundial School in Philipsburg, where I graduated in Business Administration.

When (and how) did you discover your love for captaining vessels?

When I was in the first and second grades at Oranje School, I could see the ocean from my classrooms. I remember spending a lot of time wondering what was going on out there in the water. I felt as if the ocean was just pulling me in.

How long have you been the captain of the Mirabella (and how did it come about)?

I've been driving this catamaran for about three years now. I was hired by the previous owner.

What is it that you like about being a boat captain?

What I love about this field is the simple fact that I get a chance to be on the ocean most of the day.

On average, how often are you at sea? And where do you sail the Mirabella to?

On average, I am on the Mirabella catamaran about five times a week. We sail the Caribbean Sea coast of St. Maarten.

What have you captained prior to the Mirabella?

I have captained many boats. One of the most enjoyable was a 70-foot luxury yacht and a Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull (SWATH) vessel. A SWATH is a twin-hull ship design that minimises hull cross section area at the sea's surface. It minimises a ship's volume near the surface area of the sea, where wave energy is located and maximises a vessel's stability, even in high seas and at high speeds.

If you could sail to any destination in the world, where would it be and who would you take with you?

I would love to sail the world and take whoever thinks they would enjoy it.

What differentiates you from other boat captains?

The difference between me and most captains is that I am laid back and when it is time for work, I am always there together with the crew getting dirty and cleaning.

Challenges of being a boat captain?

The challenges include taking care of the problems of the crew and passengers. You become sort of like a counsellor.

What is especially awesome about the ongoing Salsa Sunset Cruise?

The Salsa Sunset Cruise will be one of the best experiences one can have because St. Maarten is one of the few sunsets to die for, and watching it from the ocean is extra special.

Worst day at sea?

For me, any day on the sea is a great day. So I have no bad days.

What would you say to encourage other youngsters to take up careers in this field?

My words of encouragement for youngsters would be: "If you like it or think of it then just do it."

How can the marine industry be improved for vessels and captains like yourself?

I see no immediate need for improvement.

Your hobbies?

My hobbies are diving and boating.

Pet peeve?

I strongly dislike unhappy, negative people.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

In 10 years, I see myself still being on the ocean.

Biggest fear?

My biggest fear is one day not being able to do anything.

What is your favourite type of music?

I love deep house lounge music.

If you could invite three famous people (dead or alive) for dinner, who would they be and what would you cook for them?

I would invite my late mother Julia Marcellin, reggae singer the late Bob Marley and English businessman Sir Richard Charles Branson. And I would cook for them whatever we would be able to stuff on a barbecue grill.