October 01, 1993 at 04:00 AM EDT

Models are forever saying how tough their job is. So we decided to find out for ourselves. And after accompanying Rachel Hunter on a daylong photo shoot off the coast of Catalina Island, Calif., for her 1995 swimsuit calendar, we’re not buying it. Oh sure, the heart-stopping 24-year-old New Zealander faced the usual supermodel drudgery: swimsuits to wiggle into and out of (12 altogether, an itsy-bitsy green thong being the biggest crew pleaser), makeup to prepare, hair to style and restyle, poses to strike and hold. But there was also lots of downtime that could qualify only as, well, fun. Like the four-hour cruise to the island and back on the 70-foot yacht Disappearance, provided by the day’s sponsor, Body Glove, makers of fashionable action and water-sports wear. The commute gave Hunter the chance to soak up some rays, snuggle with craggy hubby Rod Stewart, 48, and clown around with photographer Kal Yee under a cloudless sky. The temperature hit 75 degrees-and stayed there. Rough? Right. It wasn’t until 1:30 p.m. that everybody started to work in earnest. Sort of. Pose a little, play a little-that was basically Hunter’s routine. She even got to show off her form at the helm of a Jet Ski, while Stewart, in snorkeling gear, was content to explore a nearby reef. And then came the Boy Scouts. No kidding. A group of them accidentally eased near the yacht in a rowboat. Ever true to their motto-”Be prepared!”-they were ready, willing, and able when invited to join Hunter for a photograph. The assignment, alas, was not plum for everyone. Several members of the entourage spent most of the day wiped out by seasickness on the choppy voyage out. ”I didn’t think anyone was going to return,” Hunter said, giggling. Luckily, neither she nor Stewart was too upset by the roiling waters, a fact the aging rocker attributed to experience. ”We’re old sea dogs,” he joked. ”It’s all in a day’s work.”

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