Our heroine, Penny McKenna, explains her unusual career path.

“I inherited my father’s fiery temper and my mother’s bat-like hearing. I swear she could hear me opening a candy wrapper a mile away. My freckles and red hair came from Nana, as well as her calm ability to listen and observe without being noticed. That got me into trouble more than once as a kid - but hey, if you don’t eavesdrop you don’t learn the best stuff.

“As an adult, I learned a lot about human nature by cooking at a local diner while putting myself through law school. When things got slow, we’d watch people and guess about their lives based on their clothes, mannerisms and speech. That proved helpful in my career at the D.A.’s office. But what I learned there - that the good guys lied as much as the bad guys - ruined my life. Let’s just say I had to get out of town in a hurry.

No matter the size of the boat, every yacht chef knows dessert is key to crew morale!

No matter the size of the boat, every yacht chef knows dessert is key to crew morale!

“I live and work as a chef on a superyacht now, further molded by experiences. I’m a product of the high seas, fearless when I need to be, but respectful of what fear can teach me. I appreciate true North, true wind, and true friends. I’m on board 24/7, at the owner’s beck and call with little time for vacation and even less time for a personal life. I’ve come to trust the crew around me based on their actions, in good weather and bad. Those who don’t perform, don’t last. I’ve sailed all over the world – the Caribbean, the Med, Rio. It’s a big world, and an even bigger ocean.

“I love life on the open ocean. But it changes people. Brings out the best in some, making them hyperaware of those around them and enhancing their team skills. In others it brings out the worst, as if the boundaries that usually keep propriety in place on land disappear with the horizon, ramping up their self-interest. For them, the lines between truth and fiction, right and wrong aren’t just blurry, they’re non-existent.

“And here’s the bottom line. When I left the prosecutor’s job, I’d hoped to leave that world behind – I was done with criminals, liars and thieves. I was wrong.”

So now the question is, what does Penny do about it?