Meet the Crew

Meet the Crew: Suchet, Captain on SY Meta IV

It's a common saying that we always want what we don't have; for Suchet, this was the ocean.

Along with his nine brothers and four sisters, Suchet was born and raised high up in the Thai mountains, as far from the ocean as you can imagine. He didn’t have electricity or warm water, only lanterns and cold showers.

His house was isolated, no neighbours within shouting distance, and no town within reach. His family was poor and could hardly afford primary school education for their children. Most of the time they lived off the land – even their medicine came from the land, a lesson Suchet would remember later in life.

At the young age of fifteen, he had his first taste of ocean life. As a reference from his sister's boyfriend, Suchet was given his first job working as a deckhand on a longtail fishing boat that left every morning and returned at night with the day's catch. But this didn't last too long.

Suchet was conscripted into the army. Once he had completed his service three years later, he returned to the ocean where he found work on a ferry. Little did he know that this was the beginning of a new life. One certification after another, he finally obtained his Captain's license.

At the age of twenty-seven, Suchet became the captain of a large oil tanker; a few years later he was captain of a drilling ship. At some point, an old friend appeared and introduced him to the world of leisure cruising. At that stage, Suchet was thirty-eight years old.

As life was settling down for Suchet, Thailand experienced political upheavals. While angry mobs rioted, Suchet found himself back on land, helping those sick and injured from the fighting working as a doctor with his knowledge of traditional medicine.

And then he met the crew of Meta IV. He joined us immediately as a first mate and worked his way up to finally become our flagship's Captain.

Suchet has now been with Burma Boating for two seasons. When asked what he likes most, Sushet says, “I love the ocean, I like things that are peaceful and simple. I enjoy the fresh seafood, the ease of finding food in the ocean, and more than anything, I enjoy bringing guests out onto the boat, and seeing their joy."

Suchet is a man of few words, but he has experienced much and has faced what many have not. Ultimately he has been able to achieve what he had dreamed of since he was a little boy: a life at sea.

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.