Profiles

Q&A with First Mate Britt Daniels

10 June 2020By Laura Shaughnessy

Written by

Laura Shaughnessy

Laura Shaughnessy has been the managing editor at Dockwalk since February 2018. Having grown up among the cornfields, she is ecstatic to be among the boats in the yachting capital of the world. Armed with a bachelor’s degree in communications and a master’s in journalism, 15 years of experience with newspapers, magazines, and the online world, Laura has joined a great crew. When not writing about superyacht crew, she’s hanging out with her husband and their German Shepherd, working on house projects, or binging on Netflix.

First Mate Britt Daniels

Name: Britt Daniels
Position: First Mate  
Yacht: S/Y Alihilani catamaran
LOA: 19.8M/65'
Years in current position: 1
Years in industry: 1.5
Previous vessels: Ocean Quest, Ocean Discovery
Nationality: American

My goal on board is captain, as well as to pursue my nonprofit and sail around the world promoting ocean conservation —and women in science working to support each other and try our best to make the ocean healthy again.

If I wasn't working on a yacht, I'd be doing something in the world of marine biology, which I went to college for. My dream would be to work at the Kanaloa Octopus farm.

The hardest part of my job is probably being a woman in a “man’s” field. Luckily, I work with some of the most supportive men I’ve ever met but sometimes it can be frustrating to get comments about being a girl while raising the sail.

My advice to those looking to get started is to do your research, ask around if you can about the company, and use that feedback in making your decision. 

My advice for those looking to impress on the job is to be happy about the amazing adventure you’re about to start. Have a positive attitude — it will take you further and you will get way more out of the experience. If you are not sure about something, ask questions, show up to work on time with a strong work ethic, and you will kill it. 

Extra skills are super helpful in this field. The more you learn about the boat and waters you’re on, the more you can improve.

The most important thing I’ve learned is what amazing humans I get to work with. Your crew basically becomes your family. They’re always there to support you, have your back on tough days, and celebrate the good ones.

My most significant achievement is learning how to free dive. 

How I got my start in yachting: I studied marine biology and originally came to Maui to be a marine naturalist on a boat. I met one of my current captains through a mutual friend and thanks to him, I got this killer opportunity to work on a yacht.

The best part of my job is undoubtedly the beautiful humans I get to work with; however, seeing the whales every day is amazing! We get to watch the sunset and sunrise with the humpback whales and it never gets old.

My best tip is to be patient. Learning everything takes a lot of time, so try to not be hard on yourself. You’ll never know everything, so keep an open mind and love your job because it’s a great one!  

This column originally ran in the June 2020 issue of Dockwalk.

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