Sitting in my reclining chair on the porch eating sweet perfumed papaya from the garden. The day is slowly waking as the Thai sun just clears the house across the road. Birds chirp, chickens crow, dogs yap and the heat builds. Last year’s busy med season of relentless back to back charters is a distant memory. The boat I work on is a 50m motor yacht owned by a billionaire from Yorkshire. 12 crew, 12 guests, 1 chef and an owner who wants his boat making money which means the summer is a cooking marathon. But for now I’m on leave and that’s been extended as the boat is out of the water in Marseille with engine problems: Gourmet chef surplus to requirements! I am starting to worry about cash as it has been nearly five months off. There’s been a few temp offers, but as the coronavirus pandemic builds and countries start to close their borders, jobs are being snatched from under me. Today 17th of April I should be starting on a boat in Imperia, Italy but the borders are now closed and I’m thinking it’s not such a good idea anyway. An email pings on my phone, a captain in the Maldives has got my details in front of him and would I be able to fly in 2 days from Bangkok to Malé for a one month gig. Russian owner will be joining next week and the chef has to go home for an emergency. After negotiating terms including full insurance in this new era of dangerous travel I frantically book my flight from Buriram to Bangkok. The captain secures a flight from Bangkok to Malé and after speedy packing of my knives, whites and travel essentials I’m ready to go. On what must have been the last flight into Malé before lockdown I’m feeling a little frazzled but excited to be working again and off on another exciting adventure. After a few problems locating a missing stamp in my passport and convincing the immigration I would not be setting foot in the Maldives I’m through. Hassan meets me with the obligatory name card and I’m taken 50m to the Dock where the tender is waiting. Hienz and Stephan welcome me on to the speedboat and we’re off on a short bouncy ride to the main yacht. After meeting all the crew, a lengthy induction, a tour of the galley I’m shown to my bunk (obviously the new guy gets the worst) without a porthole. Exhausted: Tomorrow I start cooking. Tomorrow’s menu?