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Meet Our 2016 Alpha 4, Charlie 3, Foxtrot 3 & Sierra 3 Leadership Team!

By wpdev August 9, 2016

DSC_0115 (1)Curtis Crooke, Co-Program Director
Curtis is entering his senior year at Georgetown University studying Government and Economics.  When he’s not studying or interning on Capitol Hill, Curtis spends most of his time on the water as a member of the Georgetown University Sailing Team.  He returns for his second year as a staff member after sailing with Sail Caribbean for four years as a student and intern, attaining his Divemaster along the way.  In addition to diving and sailing (which he’s been doing since he was nine!), Curtis enjoys traveling, photography, watching sports, and always being outdoors in warm weather.

DSC_0139 James “Ish” Alexander, Co-Program Director

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!

Clodagh Somers, Fleet Captain


Clodagh has just completed a Masters in Architecture at University College of Dublin. She comes from a sailing family, beginning to sail yachts when she was just 10 and in time became a dinghy instructor. She taught firstly in Ireland, then Spain, before crossing the Atlantic to teach in the BVI. She grew up sailing her family’s yacht around the Irish Sea, with longer trips to the south coast and sailed a 70ft Clipper from Spain to Dublin. In 2014, she completed her day RYA skipper certification and goal for the next year is to earn her Yachtmaster.

DSC_0027Ciarán Gibbons, Captain of Spyglass

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!

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Mark Kennedy, Captain of I Am Free

Mark has just completed his third and final year in Colaiste Dhulaigh, achieving a Higher National Diploma in Outdoor Adventure Management. This is where he trained as a power boat, 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 and where he developed his love for sharing his skills and knowledge with his students and learned how to develop their true potential.

DSC_0038Alyssa Fabyan, Captain of Venture

Growing up in Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA, Alyssa began sailing at the age of six. She has always loved the sea. She graduated from Roger Williams University in 2015 with a degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Psychology. Since then, Alyssa has spent the past year getting her USCG Captain’s License, teaching English in Thailand, and backpacking through Southeast Asia. She is wicked excited to spend another summer in the Caribbean with the most amazing people and her favorite boat snack: mango jam with cream cheese and crackers!


Emily Graf, Mate of I Am Free

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.

Courtney Sarik, Mate of Spyglass


As a true outdoor adventurist, Courtney joins us for her very first year! She grew up in Northern Virginia and graduated from George Mason University in 2013 with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Intelligence Analysis. Courtney fell in love with sailing when her twin brother (also a new team member!) took her on a sailboat for a stormy, thrilling sailing experience for the first time back in 2010. It hooked her on sailing and she has been teaching it every summer since. Her true love for the outdoors and inspiring and teaching youth is what has brought Courtney to us. Ever since she could walk, her feet were on skis and snow, and she is fond of experience teaching skiing in Killington, Vermont over the past few  years. The most rewarding part of teaching is seeing the same passion and excitement she has shine in her students.  On days off, she’ll go sailing, kayaking, hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, swimming, skiing…you name it, she’ll try it!

DSC_0126Grace Hanson, Mate of Spyglass

Grace studied marine biology with a minor in thanatology at the University of Rhode Island. She has done research in the BVI focusing on coral reefs and fish behavior. Her passion for marine biology knows no bounds and she is happiest while on the water!



DSC_0105Liz Jones, Mate of Venture

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.

DSC_0153Aoife Smeaton, Provisions Manager

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.


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.