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Alpha 2 & Tango 2: Meet the Staff!

By wpdev July 8, 2019
Written and edited by Meredith Evridge

Get to know our team! We are excited to welcome four boats of new faces!

 Oliver Bierman-Lytle – Marine Science Director

Seventh year!! After earning a biology degree from Kenyon College, Oliver traveled the world; sailing from Singapore to Indonesia, studying coral reef health in Bali, and teaching coastal ecology while running a sailing program in Abu Dhabi. Oliver returned to the USA to pursue his passion for education. After being trained in Sun Valley, Idaho in classroom teaching and outdoor education, Oliver found his way to the Brunswick School in CT. Oliver teaches high school level biology, marine biology, and environmental science & sustainability. Outside of the classroom, he leads students into the back country in VT. He has helped develop a research program where students join a science team in the field as they are trying to crack the complex life history of White Sharks. This is an effort to develop global conservation policies to protect these keystone species.

 Adam Grant – Land Operations

Adam has been in the outdoor education industry for the past eight years, and has been with Sail Caribbean for the last three as a fleet captain, captain and in the 2019 season as a member of the on land support crew.

 Tim Caruso – Mate

Originally from New York, Tim is currently pursuing a BA in Film and Screen Media in Cork, Ireland. A diver from age 13, Tim has learned to Sail and Dive with Sail Caribbean, earning his Rescue Diver and Divemaster certifications over three years. Sail Caribbean opened up a world of exploration to Tim, encouraging him to study abroad in Ireland. Recently, Tim has returned from a year of study at Leeds Trinity University in England. He has been working on a number of short film projects and is eager to start his final year of college in September.

 Julia Malone – Captain

Born and raised in a family that regularly moved homes and always cherished the outdoors, Julia became infatuated with and very accustomed to the lifestyle of outdoor adventure. Whether it was riding mountain bikes, hiking trails, or snorkeling and diving oceans with family or friends, she learned that she needed to pursue a longterm life and career in the great outdoors. Julia is now finishing up two bachelor’s degrees from the University of Florida – one in Environmental Science and the other in Psychology. She is currently certified as a Scientific Diver and plans to use her degrees and Scuba certifications to conduct underwater research and translate the results into effective work for environmental nonprofit organizations. Returning for her third year at Sail Caribbean, Julia is excited for another summer full of sailing, diving, learning, and lots of adventures!!!

 Jack Delaney – Captain

 Jack is originally from Cork in Ireland but has spent the last 3 years studying in University College Dublin. He gets his love from the ocean from his father who worked at sea for over twenty years as a Marine Engineer. He was introduced to sailing at age 12 and has since sailed various boats primarily focusing on dinghies. Having spent the last two summers working at a sailing camp on Cape Cod, Jack is very excited for a change of scenery and to share his love for sailing with everyone he meets. 

 Ish Alexander – Captain

Born and raised in Philadelphia; 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. Since graduating from school he has kept himself busy surfing, skiing, rafting, rock climbing, stargazing, camp firing, and dancing! Over the last couple of years he has split time between the BVI, Arizona, California, and Alaska! He is excited to return for another summer with SC before hopefully moving down to the islands full time in the fall!

 Hannah Tyrell – Office Manager

Hannah is a student at Trinity College Dublin where she studies Business and Politics. Hannah spent her teenage years in Washington D.C, since this move Hannah has loved travelling and meeting new people. She has visited Thailand, Rwanda and South Africa in her past two summers. Hannah can’t wait for her next adventure in Tortola.

 Anastasia Babicki- Mate

Growing up next to the beautiful Delaware River in rural NJ, Stasia has always been a fan of water and the natural world around her. Stasia moved to the warm south for college to sail, explore, and to always be able to go outside (even in the pouring rain). She just graduated from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg Florida with a double major in Environmental Studies and Spanish. During her time in college, she became a WEMT for the college and joined the rugby team. At Eckerd, she has fallen in love with coastal wetlands and mangroves. She hopes to go to graduate school in the future for environmental philosophy and to teach others about the importance of the natural world. Stasia’s love for the ocean definitely grew when she was a camper at Sail Caribbean participating in the Foxtrot and Sierra clubs when she was younger and looks forward to inspiring campers just as she was inspired.

 Mark Kennedy – Land Operations Director

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, 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 experience as a captain at Sail Caribbean in 2016 and fleet captain in 2017, 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 2017-2018 year, he worked with an Irish based company called Irish commercial charter boats where he crewed and skippered various boats of all shapes and sizes throughout the Irish Sea.

Luke Weller – Dive Instructor

From good ol’ Blighty, Luke is one of our esteemed dive instructors. Having been a former accountant/financial strategist with seven years experience in multi-billion dollar conglomerates, he traded his fast paced, materialistic lifestyle for one of adventure above and below the aquatic wonder.  Every now and then, Luke likes to take a break and for a little trip such as cycling across continents or walking the length of countries.  In his spare time, Luke dabbles in soccer, golf, snowboarding, skydiving and rock climbing.

 Jen Borderud – Sailing Staff Director

Jen is a proud Southern Californian that refers to freeways and interstates by saying “the” and then a number. She has worked at Sail Caribbean since 2013 after doing the Echo Program as a college student in 2011. She has a B.A. in Psychology from Williams College in Williamstown, MA and since graduation has made a pretty strong commitment to never having to experience winter ever again. She has worked in international, outdoor, and adventure education for almost seven years and shows no signs of going to med school like she always told her parents she would. She has led and managed surf programs in Costa Rica, study abroad semesters in Panama, and trail crews in various regions of America. She also boasts average competency on an acoustic guitar and she cannot play Freebird or Wonderwall. Going into her seventh season with Sail Caribbean, she still feels incredibly lucky to get to return to the BVI and the many friendly faces and places it holds. The saying holds true that there may indeed be nothing better in life than messing about on boats.

 Claire Lennarz – Captain

Claire is finishing her third year at the University of Virginia where she is majoring in architecture. However, she spent the past semester studying abroad in Italy! She grew up in Williamsburg, Virginia, but spent her summers racing Optimists and Lasers in regattas up and down the East Coast. For three summers during high school, she shared her love for racing by coaching Optimists on the Chesapeake Bay. On her days off during these summers, she was able to enjoy water skiing, wake boarding and paddleboarding with her family’s three water-loving dogs! This past summer, however, she was thrilled to join the Sail Caribbean family and come on board as Sail Staff. In Charlottesville, when she escapes from the A-School, Claire frequents the farmers market, local concerts, and enjoys discovering new restaurants. This summer, she can’t wait to share her love for sailing and other water activities with all of you!

 Riley Addison – Mate in Training

Growing up in California on the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, Riley has always known the outdoor life. His introduction to ocean sports began in the cold water of northern California. In the last two summers, his jobs on Catalina Island have included work as a kayak tour guide and working at a local SCUBA shop. Seven months were spent sailing an old schooner in the Bahamas, and he has sailed on two offshore transits. His hobbies include rock climbing, off-road cycling, diving and photography.


 Ava Zockoll – Mate

From a beach town in New Jersey, Ava has always stayed close to the water and considers it her happy place. She attends Florida State University pursuing a Global Club Management major and will start her junior fall abroad in Panama City, Panama! At school, Ava is a member of the FSU Sailing Team and works for a biodiversity center focused on conservation and education. After completing the mate-in-training program last summer, she went on to be a mate and joins us again excited to see the other “MITs” complete the program and grow to take on mate and captain positions. With high energy, a love of spending good times with better people and a passion for marine conservation, Ava can’t wait to take on her second summer and make amazing memories with the SC fam!


 Will Steward – Fleet Captain

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.

 Andrew Arter – Program Director

Arter grew up on the coast of Maine and has been sailing his entire life. After graduating high school, he sailed from Maine to the Bahamas with a friend. Previously, Arter worked as the keel boat sailing coach for the Portland Yacht Club. He is also an avid J24 racer. He holds a US Captain’s license with sailing and towing endorsements. Currently Arter attends the University of Maine and is studying Mechanical Engineering and Math. During the summer, he enjoys sailing the coast of Maine and spending Saturdays with the boys.

 Andrew “Powell” Forshaw – Mate in Training

Powell is an avid outdoors-man. His passions include surfing, fishing, diving, and of course sailing. Powell learned about the Sail Caribbean program from a friend and discovered his passion for sailing and living on the sea over the summer of 2017. He was excited to earn his sailing and diving certifications, but his favorite memory was the overnight sail to the leeward islands. Powell is still a keen power boater and fisherman but he envisions a lot more sailing in his future. 

 Lakia “Kia” Frett

Born in the USVI, Kia grew up on Tortola. She attended community college there to study biology, and then went away to University of Central Florida to study Health Service Administration. Returning to Tortola quite recently, Kia now spends her time going outside of her comfort zone as much as possible!


 Kyra Benforte – Provisions Manager and Medical Officer

Kyra grew up in New York City and graduated from the University of Richmond in Virginia in May. She joined us as a student on Bravo, Foxtrot, and Delta. For the past three summers Kyra was a Mate on both Tango and Foxtrot and a Provisions Manager for Foxtrot and Charlie, after completing the Echo college program. After the summer, she plans to spend time traveling and then begin her post-grad career.


 Jackie Bonifiglio – Mate

Jackie is a year graduated from Eckerd College where she majored in environmental studies with a focus in marine biology. She is originally from Northern Virginia where she grew up exploring the outdoors and taking interest in the environment. As she traveled abroad to explore and study in Honduras and Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, her passion for environmental conservation and marine ecosystems flourished. Her love for nature and the ocean led her to work with the Coral Restoration Foundation planting young corals throughout the Florida Keys reef system. In the last seven months she lived aboard a traditional brigantine as deckhand for the Los Angeles Maritime Institute where she taught inner city youth topsail programs. Jackie just recently completed her PADI dive master with the Sail Caribbean Divers upon arriving to the British Virgin Islands this summer. She is looking forward to sharing the beauty of sailing and the underwater world with her campers along with making new friendship and lasting memories this summer.

 Meredith Evridge – Social Media Coordinator

Originally from Alaska. The name “Meredith” means Protector of the Sea, so she has never strayed too far from the ocean. She is looking forward to learning how to sail while she maintains Sail Caribbean’s social media and keeps all the parents in the loop. Meredith specializes in one way tickets to places she has never been, to live and work. So far, she has tried out Germany, Costa Rica, Laos, and the BVI (!) and she can’t wait to see where she ends up next. For the last year and a half, she has been a trip leader to high school students, working programs in Laos, Thailand and the US. She is currently working on her degree in Communications. She likes to be outside and feel the wind in her curls. She is curious about everyone she meets, which is why traveling has never gotten boring!

Mike Liese Mike Liese – Founder and Director

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 seventeen 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.

The greatest challenge during the program was staying entertained during the quarantine period. Not being able to leave your boat and not having a phone, which was a crutch against boredom, it was difficult at first to stay entertained.