• Alex Polli

    Sail Caribbean Program Director
    Third Year

    Northport, NY

    Alex spent the past year living in the San Francisco Bay Area working for a non-profit which provides free home repair for low income homeowners. She spent almost every weekend sailing on the bay or hiking in all of the beautiful parks California has to offer. Alex graduated from Penn State University in 2016 with a degree in Psychology. She sailed for the Penn State Sailing team for all four years and served as Commodore in 2015. Having lived on the water all her life, Alex grew up sailing since she was 7 and attended Sail Caribbean as a student from 2008 until 2012. In September, Alex starts her Master’s degree in Education with a focus in School Counseling at Seattle University.

  • Aoife Smeaton

    Sail Caribbean Fleet Captain Provisions Manager
    Third Year

    Dublin, Ireland

    Aoife graduated from University College of Dublin in 2014 with a degree in Zoology. Aoife spends most of her time surrounded by as many four-legged friends as possible. Her passions are animal and human behavior, development, and learning. She spends her time working as a dog trainer, teaching puppy classes and helping people understand their canine family members. She also spends time working with socialized foxes and wolves at an education and research center in Indiana.

  • Beta Eaton

    Sail Caribbean Program Director
    Fifth Year

    Philadelphia, PA (soon to be Washington, DC!)

    For summer 2017, Beta returns to Sail Caribbean for her 5th summer since 2012! This year, as a member of the Leadership Team, Beta will train and support the staff in their development and the overall programming for students in the BVI. In past summers, Beta has served as a captain on Foxrtrot, Charlie, and Tango, Program Dircector of Chavo and Tango, and Sail Caribbean’s Community Service Coordinator, a role which she will also continue this summer. Beta grew up sailing in Maine, and has sailed up and down the East Coast, both offshore and locally. During high school and college, she studied oceanography while sailing from St. Maarten to Jamaica. As a high school science teacher, Beta puts her sailing and teaching skills to use with students in Sail Caribbean’s hands-on experience!

  • Betsy Flournoy

    Sail Caribbean Photographer
    Sixth Year

    Boulder, CO

    Betsy has been a Program Director, Fleet Captain, Provisions Supervisor & Manager, and Mate on the Bravo, Charlie, Sierra and Foxtrot programs. She has been working as a photographer since 2009 and graduated from the Rocky Mountain School of Photography in Missoula, MT in 2010. She also graduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in Photography and Graphic Design in 2013. She currently works as the Project Director for a documentary film called RiseUP The Movie, in addition to directing the associated event, RiseUP The Summit. Outside of work, she loves sailing, climbing, mountain biking, horses, Batman, and adventuring around the world.

  • Brad Stephens

    Sail Caribbean Operations Coordinator
    Third Year

    Chicago, IL

    On a whim to change up his surroundings to a place more suitable to a beach bum like himself, Brad moved to Costa Rica in 2013 and became a Scuba Instructor. As a hard worker with a goofy edge, he resonates with Sail Caribbean’s objective to create experiences that can kick up a person’s passion. Brad enjoys learning a lot about boat mechanics with us, as one of our dedicated OPs staff.

  • Brian Chambers

    Sail Caribbean Divers PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer

    Brian has been diving and surfing since he was 12, after building a home and raising his family in a Central American Rainforest, he joins our team to share his passion for “first experiences”  with divers of all ages.

  • Ciarán Gibbons

    Sail Caribbean Captain
    First Year

    Dublin, Ireland

    Ciarán is currently studying Outdoor Adventure Management in Dublin, Ireland. He has a wide range of experience in the outdoor industry from kayaking to windsurfing to hiking, but his real passion is sailing! He spent the summer of 2015 working with Cal Adventures in Berkeley as a sailing instructor and has a lot of youth camp experience in a wide range of sports. He is always looking for a new adventure – having skydived, bungee jumped and cliff dived to name a few! – and is very excited to be part of the Sail Caribbean team this summer!

  • Courtney Sarik

    Sail Caribbean Captain
    First Year

    Manassas, VA

    Growing up in Northern Virginia, Courtney enjoys all elements of the outdoors. She graduated from George Mason University in 2013 with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Intelligence Analysis. This coming fall, she will start her journey at medical school to become a Physical Therapy assistant. Her true love for the outdoors lies not only within her own adventures but also in inspiring and teaching others. Ever since she could walk, her feet were on skis and snow, and in the summers she would backpack and sail. As a certified ski instructor, ASA sailing instructor, PADI OW Diver, and a licensed USCG Captain, Courtney is always looking for the next skill that she can learn and teach. On days off, she will go kayaking or hiking, but truly loves to bake up some incredible desserts!

  • Curtis Crooke

    Sail Caribbean Program Director
    Third Year

    Washington, DC

    Curtis graduated from Georgetown University this past May and is now beginning work as a Legislative Correspondent for the Congresswoman to the US Virgin Islands.  But nothing can keep him away from Sail Caribbean.  He is returning for his third year as a staff member after sailing for four years as a student and intern, attaining his Divemaster along the way.  In addition to diving and sailing, Curtis enjoys traveling (he has been to all fifty state capitals!), watching sports, and hanging out outdoors in warm weather with flip flops and a pair of Chubbies.

  • Dale Daku

    Sail Caribbean Divers Captain PADI Master Instructor
    Eighth year

    Tortola, BVI

    Originally from Canada, Dale began teaching in Malta in 2005 where they called him “Tabasco”. He’s been with us since 2008 and we’ve yet to find a hot sauce that he couldn’t eat.

  • Daniel Warburton

    Sail Caribbean Divers PADI Open Water Instructor

    Australia

    Meet Daniel soon.

  • David Peters

    Sail Caribbean Divers Captain PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer
    Second year

    Tortola, BVI

    David was born in England and has been teaching since 2011. He is a photographer and also an avid sailor and surfer.

  • Emily Graf

    Sail Caribbean Mate PADI Open Water Instructor
    First Year

    Albuquerque, NM

    Emily started diving in 2013 and quickly developed a passion for marine life. Growing up in New Mexico (a state with no oceans), she is grateful to have been introduced to the ocean in such an exhilarating way! Emily obtained her B.A. in Environmental Studies at the University of Redlands in California, and worked as an environmental consultant for many years before she discovered her affection for scuba diving and marine life. She loves to travel, experience new cultures, observe wildlife, and laugh a lot! Scuba diving has become one of her biggest passions along with yoga, mountain biking, and bird watching. Emily hopes to inspire people to love and conserve our oceans by sharing what she has learned about the magical underwater world.

  • Emma Ascher

    Sail Caribbean Divers PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer

    South Africa & England

    Emma has been teaching and filming for the last three years in South Africa and Thailand. She is an avid underwater videographer who loves documenting what she sees with her camera whenever she can and looks forward to what the Caribbean has to offer!

  • Erika Florian

    Sail Caribbean Captain Mate
    First Year

    Southington, CT

    Erika is in her third year studying Nutrition & Dietetics at Montana State University in Bozeman. She grew up ski racing in the winters and sailing in the summers. Erika is a certified Wilderness First Responder along with a Rescue Scuba Diver, and hopes to further her education in the medical field. She has traveled all over the globe — from teaching English in Cambodia, to serving two months aboard a tall ship, to being appointed as a Watch Captain teaching coastal sailors the skills of offshore sailing. Her favorite motto is “Learn to live, live to learn” and is excited to share all of her experiences with you both in, out, and on the water!

  • Frances Doran

    Sail Caribbean Divers PADI Open Water Instructor Office Manager
    Second year

    Tortola, BVI

    Fran is from the UK & started diving in 2013. She loves sailing, surfing and all types of watersports. She also has a soft spot for salt & vinegar crisps.

  • Hannah Lintott

    Sail Caribbean Divers PADI Open Water Instructor
    Second Year

    England

    Meet Hannah soon!

  • Helena Conway

    Sail Caribbean BVI Office Manager
    First Year

    Waterford, Ireland

    Helena was born in Switzerland and her first love was the mountains. But having moved to Ireland at the age of 10, she soon discovered that the sea was also her calling. She loves outdoor sports, so if you’re looking for her, you’ll find her hiking volcanos, climbing sheer rock faces or snowboarding down a mountain. Helena graduated with a law degree from Univeristy College Dublin in 2011, but has worked in marketing in both Paris and London. Having spent the last 7 months backpacking through South America, she has spent her entire trip immersing herself in the culture, meeting locals, salsa dancing (or trying to!) and taking photos of adorable alpacas.

  • James “Ish” Alexander

    Sail Caribbean Program Director
    Fourth Year

    King of Prussia, PA

    Ish graduated from Prescott College in 2015 with a degree in Psychology and Adventure Education. His degree came after spending a busy four years tramping and camping around the Arizona desert and much of the western United States. While in school he kept himself busy surfing, skiing, rafting, rock climbing, stargazing, camp firing, and dancing! Upon his return from the Caribbean at the end of last summer he embarked on a three-month road trip that took him from Philadelphia to San Diego, and then up the coast all the way to Juneau, Alaska! Since arriving in Alaska he has been spending his time hiking, exploring the local glaciers, and working as a teacher at the high school!

  • James Catling

    Sail Caribbean Divers PADI Staff Instructor

    England

    James has been diving since 2009. His favorite underwater activities are side mount diving and protecting the reefs from lionfish. His favorite abovewater activity…a walk on the beach at sunset.

  • Jen Borderud

    Sail Caribbean Program Director
    Fourth Year

    Santa Barbara, CA

    Born and raised in California, Jen is most at home when close to the sea. She came to us as crew on the Echo program in 2011, and went on to study psychology at Williams College where she played varsity basketball and volleyball. Since 2013, Jen rose from Mate to Captain to Program Director of our Delta, Foxtrot and Tango programs, and worked year-round guiding Sail Caribbean’s program development in 2015. She’s spent the past year in San Francisco working at an outdoor gear store and training for a 250-mile backpacking trip along the John Muir Trail in August.

  • Justin Savage

    Sail Caribbean Divers PADI Open Water Instructor

    Meet Justin soon.

  • Karrina Stead

    Sail Caribbean Divers PADI Staff Instructor
    Second year

    Paraquita Bay, Tortola, BVI

    Kina started diving in 2004, and enjoys all marine life and teaching all diving courses, but she is truly passionate about tea.

  • Kim Stolte

    Sail Caribbean Divers PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer

    Kim is a retired RN and mother of three boys. She’s been diving for 10 years and working as a Dive Professional since 2015.

  • Kit Arton

    Sail Caribbean Divers Captain PADI Staff Instructor
    Seventh Year

    Tortola, BVI

    Kit has been diving since he was 10 years old, and has been a dive instructor since he was 18. Before moving to Sail Caribbean Divers in 2010, he worked as a dive instructor on the South coast of England, and also taught snowboarding in Canada. In his spare time he loves to rock climb around the various cliffs of the BVI.

  • Kyra Benforte

    Sail Caribbean Mate
    First Year

    New York City, NY

    Kyra grew up in New York City and currently attends the University of Richmond in Virginia. She joined us a student on the Bravo, Delta, and Foxtrot adventures. Kyra won the award for “Most Likely to Break Into Dance!” at the ending ceremony of her Delta adventure. She has sailed extensively throughout the BVI and Italy, and is an expert snorkeler!

  • Lauren Rowsey

    Sail Caribbean Captain
    First Year

    Austin, TX

    Lauren (aka Rowsey) graduated from the University of Texas at Austin last fall with a major in Marine and Freshwater Biology and a minor in Russian and Eastern European studies. She has loved the ocean since infancy and currently lives in a small Texas beach town researching how fish breathe and swim after exposure to oil. Rowsey loves to travel anywhere with a beach and play in the water with all types of sea life including her spirit animal – the California sea lion. She plans to attend graduate school to pursue a Master’s degree in Fish Physiology and Ecology, but only after spending more time in outdoor education teaching others how awesome the ocean is!

  • Lauren Stewart

    Sail Caribbean Captain
    First Year

    Lake Huron, Canada

    Growing up on Lake Huron in Canada, Lauren has enjoyed everything that has to do with water since she was a little girl. Sailing, paddle boarding, wind surfing, beaching, you name it — she was born for the sea! A lover of travel and adventures, she enjoys learning about different cultures. Outgoing, fun-loving and down to earth, Lauren recently graduated university at the Richard Ivey School of Business in Ontario focusing her studies on Leadership. Having sailed in the Caribbean, Mediterranean, and Pacific, her passion for sailing has deepened and led to the achievement of her Yachtmaster in Spain and Gibraltar in 2015.

  • Lindley Barrow

    Sail Caribbean Program Director Marine Science Director
    Third Year

    Madrid, Spain

    Originally from North Carolina, Lindley graduated from University of Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2010 with a degree in Environmental Studies and Marine Science. She enjoyed working as a science camp coordinator for the university’s Planetarium and Science Center for three years. In 2013, Lindley moved to Costa Rica for six months to pursue a career as a scuba diving instructor. Since then, she has found ways to incorporate her passion for scuba diving with her experience in education by teaching scuba and marine science with Sail Caribbean. Lindley is currently teaching English and Science in Madrid, Spain and loving the Spanish way of life. She enjoys traveling and spending time outdoors.

  • Lindsay Walsh

    Sail Caribbean Mate
    First Year

    Centerport, NY

    Lindsay just finished her first year at Siena College studying Marketing. Growing up on Long Island, she spends a majority of her time on the water. She grew up sailing for her yacht club and spent summers sailing with her local beach. She even was on her high school’s sailing team for three years. Lindsay has a passion not only for sailing but for scuba diving as well, having gained her Advanced Open water certification through her previous years as a student at Sail Caribbean.

  • Liz Deveau

    Sail Caribbean Captain
    Second Year

    Revere, MA

    Liz grew up in a small town on the North shore of Massachusetts where she began sailing at 8 years old. She was on the sailing team at the University of New Hampshire where she earned degrees in Marine Biology and English Literature. Liz is joining us for a second summer, escaping the bitter cold, rough seas, and floating ice packs of the Bering Sea where she works during the rest of the year in fisheries management data collection through NOAA.

  • Liz Jones

    Sail Caribbean Mate
    First Year

    Austin, TX

    Liz, also known as just “Jones”, grew up in the heart of Austin, Texas. From childhood, Liz loved to be outside and, with the encouragement of her parents, spent all her free time exploring the natural environment. She grew to be an avid hiker, climber and camper, above all cherishing her family’s weekend trips to the Texas coast. There, she discovered her love and enthusiasm for the sea. During a gap year after graduating high school, Liz had the opportunity to participate in a 3-month-long backcountry expedition with the National Outdoor Leadership School, during which she was able to backpack, rock-climb, sea kayak and, finally, sail: a life-long dream! This experience only cemented her plans to begin studying marine biology and working towards a career in outdoor education. Liz is currently doing just that, and fulfilling her dream of living near the ocean, at the University of California, Santa Cruz. When she’s not outside taking advantage of the beautiful campus, Liz enjoys playing the guitar, cooking and writing.

  • Mark Kennedy

    Sail Caribbean Captain Fleet Captain
    Second Year

    Dublin, Ireland

    Mark is a professionally trained instructor and tutor in many adventure activities. Achieving a Higher National Diploma in Outdoor Adventure Management during his 3 years in college. This is where he trained as a powerboat, sailing, kayaking, windsurfing, climbing and mountaineering instructor. He has worked in the Desolation Wilderness in Eldorado County, California, where he lived in a tent for three months and delivered leadership programs to students of all ages through the medium of true wilderness. This was a life changing experience for him, it is where he developed his love for sharing his skills and knowledge with his students and learned how to develop their true potential. After having an amazing summer as a captain at Sail Caribbean in 2016 Mark is extremely excited to get back at it this season.  In the times Mark was not out teaching and adventuring over the remainder of the 2016-2017 year he worked as a Data technician in Dublin airport installing and maintaining the extremely complex network of communications and security equipment.

  • Melisande Rowe

    Sail Caribbean Divers Dive Director
    Eighteenth Year

    Brandywine Bay, Tortola, BVI

    This Texan chose scuba fins over cowboy boots as Sail Caribbean’s Dive Director and master scuba instructor. Melisande put her know-how into practice to develop an outstanding program of dive education for Sail Caribbean’s teen summer scuba adventures. Melisande concentrates her managerial efforts solely on Sail Caribbean Divers, our year-round dive operation in the British Virgin Islands, which holds PADI’s highest ranking as a 5-star Gold Palm Instructor Development Dive Center.

  • Melissa Hart

    Sail Caribbean Divers PADI Staff Instructor

    Canada

    Melissa started diving in 2011 in Alberta, Canada, but got distracted by amazing underwater life and started sharing the passion with divers as soon as she could become an instructor.

  • Mike Harrington

    Sail Caribbean Captain ASA Instructor
    First Year

    Gorey, Ireland

    Growing up in Ireland, Mike became a Sailing Instructor in 2007.  Having taught in Ireland for a few years, he discovered he could use his instructor certifications as an international passport to travel and adventure.  Since then he has enjoyed working in the US, Australia and Canada.  Graduating in 2014 with a BSc in Environmental Biology from University College Dublin, Mike decided that real jobs were for grownups and moved to Whistler, BC to become a ski instructor.  He is looking forward to seeing what the Caribbean has to offer this year!

  • Mike Liese

    Mike Liese

    Sail Caribbean Founder/Director
    Thirty-Sixth Year

    Northport, NY

    Mike Liese is a sailor – he grew up on the waters of Long Island Sound. He’s also a father, grandfather, educator, and most of all a mentor. After obtaining his Masters in Education from Penn State University, Mike spent the next 17 years in education, first as a high school teacher and later as director of the Alternative School Program at Harborfields HS in New York. In 1979, he made a life-changing decision to combine his passion for teaching with his love of sailing – Sail Caribbean. More than thirty years later, Mike remains committed to his original vision of empowering young people to reach heights they might never have thought possible.

  • Mike Rowe

    Sail Caribbean Divers PADI Course Director
    Fourteenth Year

    Brandywine Bay, Tortola, BVI

    Mike is the BVI’s only resident PADI Course Director, PADI’s highest certification level. He makes the toughest tasks seem easy and his enthusiasm for the job is infectious. As a PADI-certified Course Director, Mike is “an instructor of instructors”, having certified well over 800 dive professionals. With more than 25 years in the dive industry, we consider him invaluable.

  • Oliver Bierman-Lytle

    Sail Caribbean Program Director
    Fourth Year

    Denver, CO

    After earning a Biology degree from Kenyon College, Oliver travelled the world; sailing from Singapore to Indonesia, studying coral reefs in Bali, and teaching ecology and running a sailing program in Abu Dhabi. Oliver is currently teaching high school Biology, Marine Biology, and Environmental Science and Sustainability at Brunswick School in CT. There, he is also developing a high school program providing students with the opportunity to work alongside researchers in the field as they study the complex life history of Great White and Tiger Sharks; an effort to develop global conservation policies to protect these keystone species.

  • Paul McCormack

    Sail Caribbean Captain Mate
    First Year

    Dublin, Ireland

    Paul has been studying Outdoor Adventure Management for the last three years, training in sailing, windsurfing, whitewater kayaking, powerboating, mountaineering and rock climbing. Last summer, Paul spent three months in the backcountry of California and the Sierra Nevada mountains. While working in California, Paul taught sailing, windsurfing, and kayaking to campers from all over the United States, and was also involved with backpacking trips into Desolation Wilderness. Paul also worked around the island of Ireland and the French Island of Corsica. He is very excited to have a great summer of sailing with all!

  • Rachel Lawns

    Sail Caribbean Divers PADI Staff Instructor

    England

    Rachael learned to dive with her dad in 2003 and has a passion for being on the sea (above or below). She is committed to exploring the underwater world and one day hopes to have trained “Fang” the Great Barracuda to do her every bidding.

  • Richard Thomson

    Sail Caribbean Captain Mate
    First Year

    Oban, United Kingdom

    Growing up on the west coast of Scotland, Richard began sailing at age 5. He enjoyed yachting trips to explore the Hebrides and a childhood that revolved around water sports, including racing with the local sailing club. Richard discovered a love for teaching sailing in 2014 when he worked as a sailing instructor in Massachusetts. He loves being around the water — a day on or in it is always a great day! He enjoys windsurfing, water-skiing and kayaking, while other (non-aquatic) interests include painting, photography and piano. In 2016, he graduated from the Architecture Faculty at the University of Edinburgh, and completed his RYA Day Skipper Sailing Certificate. He currently lives in Germany and is very excited to begin at Sail Caribbean this summer!

  • Ryan Green

    Sail Caribbean Divers PADI Open Water Instructor

    England

    Ryan has been diving since 2004 and has made a reputation for himself with bright pink fins that fit snugly on his size 14 feet. Fins, who needs ’em? Maybe that’s why the trunk fish is one of his favorite fish.

  • Ryan Smith

    Sail Caribbean Social Media Coordinator Program Consultant
    Second Year

    King of Prussia, PA

    Ryan loves making Sail Caribbean’s extraordinary adventures visible to the public on social media. During the summer, she works hard to keep everyone connected with daily trip blogs and plenty of stunning media. After graduating from Penn State in 2015 with a degree in Public Relations and French, she joined us for her first summer in the British Virgin Islands, followed by the big move to SC Headquarters ‘on the Island’ to work full time. When she’s not neck-deep in media files, you’ll find her kicking back with some jams and her trusty kitty sidekick, Lucy.

  • Tyler Hart

    Sail Caribbean Divers PADI Staff Instructor

    Canada

    Tyler is an outdoor enthusiast, loves teaching people and exploring the world. His secret hobby is dirt-biking!

  • Will Steward

    Sail Caribbean Program Director
    Fourth Year

    Haslemere, United Kingdom

    Having just completed his Master’s degree in Marine Biology from the University of Southampton, Will has a passion for anything to do with the ocean. Be it sailing, scuba diving or trying to find his favorite underwater creature (nudibranchs!), it’s safe to say Will is in his element working with Sail Caribbean! Having gained his Divemaster qualification in Fiji, he went on to work in Zanzibar before coming to the BVI where he gained his Instructor qualification with Sail Caribbean Divers.

The Sail Caribbean Team

You’ll learn from talented expert instructors who will become your mentors and friends. Look forward to high-energy, action-oriented people who are definitely FUN to be around! With a variety of backgrounds and interests, they are enthusiastic about teaching you what they know. But Sail Caribbean staff will not only teach you – they will empower you! Imagine having a teacher, parent and friend who is always there for you at every challenge making it fun, and cheering you on at each success. Our leaders are those kinds of people. They’ve worked with teens before, but they don’t consider it work at all – they love it!

Alex Polli

Program Director

Aoife Smeaton

Fleet Captain Provisions Manager

Beta Eaton

Program Director

Betsy Flournoy

Photographer

Brad Stephens

Operations Coordinator

Brian Chambers

PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer

Ciarán Gibbons

Captain

Courtney Sarik

Captain

Curtis Crooke

Program Director

Dale Daku

Captain PADI Master Instructor

Daniel Warburton

PADI Open Water Instructor

David Peters

Captain PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer

Emily Graf

Mate PADI Open Water Instructor

Emma Ascher

PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer

Erika Florian

Captain Mate

Frances Doran

PADI Open Water Instructor Office Manager

Hannah Lintott

PADI Open Water Instructor

Helena Conway

BVI Office Manager

James “Ish” Alexander

Program Director

James Catling

PADI Staff Instructor

Jen Borderud

Program Director

Justin Savage

PADI Open Water Instructor

Karrina Stead

PADI Staff Instructor

Kim Stolte

PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer

Kit Arton

Captain PADI Staff Instructor

Kyra Benforte

Mate

Lauren Rowsey

Captain

Lauren Stewart

Captain

Lindley Barrow

Program Director Marine Science Director

Lindsay Walsh

Mate

Liz Deveau

Captain

Liz Jones

Mate

Mark Kennedy

Captain Fleet Captain

Melisande Rowe

Dive Director

Melissa Hart

PADI Staff Instructor

Mike Harrington

Captain ASA Instructor

Mike Liese

Mike Liese

Founder/Director

Mike Rowe

PADI Course Director

Oliver Bierman-Lytle

Program Director

Paul McCormack

Captain Mate

Rachel Lawns

PADI Staff Instructor

Richard Thomson

Captain Mate

Ryan Green

PADI Open Water Instructor

Tyler Hart

PADI Staff Instructor

Will Steward

Program Director