Cass Colman, Program Director
The true definition of a nomad, Cass has spent the past 14 years not having a specific residence, but rather a large backpack. She has worked as a sailing instructor in the US, New Zealand, Australia, Mexico, Canada, Croatia, and Greece, and for National Outdoor Leadership Schools since 2003 in programs such as sailing, hiking, sea kayaking, canyon courses and cultural sections.
Clodagh Somers, Captain of Meursault, Provisions Manager
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.
Curtis Crooke, Captain of Montlouis
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.
Ben Goldsmith, Mate of Meursault
Ben started to sail at age 5, as his parents would strap him into a PFD and sail the Hudson River on their 27′ Cape Dory. At age 9, Ben spent seven years attending Shattemuc Sailing Academy as a student and then another seven years as an Instructor. Ben is currently the Skipper of Sea Scout Ship Shattemuc, where he and the Scouts maintain and sail a 1929 Alden Triangle Sloop. Ben has been active as an EMT and firefighter in his hometown’s volunteer departments for five years. He recently completed the National Outdoor Leadership School’s Wilderness Medicine and Rescue semester, where he obtained his Wilderness First Responder certification and re-certified his Emergency Medical Technician License. Ben spent 56 days in the backcountry embedding and implementing these skills. He respects the intuitive, graceful, and beautiful nature of the sport of sailing. Ben is passionate about ultimate frisbee, photography, his cats, and singing. He is exited to teach his students various (appropriate) sea shanties, some of which he has written. After being in the desert for over two months, Ben is excited to get back to his natural stomping “ground” on the water.
Liz Jones, Mate of Mont Louis
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.
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.