Meet the Crew: Evan, First Mate on SY Sunshine

With his distinctive English accent, many people think Evan is from the UK. In fact, he was born in a small village in the Irrawaddy delta, close to Yangon, which at that time was still Myanmar's capital. The village had about 200 houses and his parents were rice farmers, just as everyone else in the area. Evan was a bright kid and managed to find his way to high-school in Yangon. 

He was 18 and looking for a job, when his roommate introduced him to Peter. Evan had seen foreigners before: His village was Christian, and once a group of Jehovah's Witnesses passed through. He had never spoken to foreigners. But that day the doorbell rang and Peter stood outside. Peter had started building his yacht Sunshine in Yangon a few months earlier. It was the time of constant power cuts, Myanmar was almost completely disconnected from the rest of the world, but a bit of the old colonial charm was still alive. Peter remembers his first encounter with Evan like this: "I went to his home and his roommate Joshua opened the door. There was a tiny and shy boy hiding behind Joshua. He didn't speak a word, but Joshua convinced me to hire him." 

A few days later, Evan started his work in the shipyard. At that time, the generals didn't allow foreigners the use of walkie-talkies. The project's office was a 10-minute walk away from the workshop, so Evan's first job was to run from the office to the boat and back to report what was going on. He stayed until Sunshine was launched in 2003. 

"I had no idea what to expect, so I expected nothing", Evan says. "I had never been to the beach, never seen the sea, never seen a sailing boat - Sunshine was the first boat I ever stepped onto." But that day was his introduction to sailing.

A few months later Sunshine went on her first big voyage to France. After three months at sea, the yacht and the crew arrived in the French port of Cannes. The city was just hosting its annual film festival, the port and the surrounding waters were full of huge super yachts. "We had never seen any boats like that and we asked, what kind of strange-looking fishing boats they were." 

Evan has been on Sunshine ever since. "Sailing is now so much a part of me, I couldn't even imagine to stop", he says. On board, he's the first mate, in charge of navigation and steering. 

Click here to read more about Sunshine and her history.