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Meet Our 2016 Early Alpha Leadership Team!

By wpdev June 12, 2016
Staff members driving a boat.
written by Social Media Coordinator, Ryan Smith

James “Ish” Alexander, 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!

Alyssa Fabyan, Captain of Meursault


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!


Curtis Crooke, Captain of Montlouis

CurtisCurtis 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.


Emily Graf, Mate of Meursault


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.

Grace McKenna, Mate of Montlouis


Grace was born and raised in Baltimore, MD, where she volunteered at the National Aquarium and hiked every trail in Patapsco State Park. She is pursuing bachelor’s degrees in Marine Biology and Environmental Studies at Northeastern University in Boston. She plans to study abroad next fall in Friday Harbor Labs in the San Juan Islands and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. The only thing Grace loves more than the ocean is encouraging others to love the ocean too. There’s no doubt she will be working in outdoor and environmental education for a long time.

Lauren Stewart, Captain & Medical Officer


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 is currently in her third year of university at the Richard Ivey School of Business in Ontario focusing her studies on Leadership, specifically character development. Having sailed in the Caribbean, Mediterranean, and Pacific, her passion for sailing has deepened and led to the achievement of her Yachtmaster last summer in Spain.

Aoife Smeaton, Fleet Captain


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.


Kyle Sarik, Rotating Mate


As a self-proclaimed pirate, Kyle joins us for his first year from Northern Virginia where he attended George Mason University and graduated in 2013 with a degree in Criminology, Law, and Society and a minor in Psychology. He currently works at Edge Tech Labs as a Technical Engineer and eagerly awaits the launch of their newest product due in 2017. His passion for the outdoors and learning new sports is what draws Kyle to Sail Caribbean. From skiing down the most extreme slopes of the Northeast, to almost every water sport he can find out there, Kyle has tried them all. His love for sailing began in 2010, when Kyle first achieved his ASA 101 certification, and he has been a part-time sailing instructor ever since!

Emily Knudson, Provisions Manager


Emily graduated from Augsburg College in 2015 with degrees in Environmental Studies, English Literature, and Spanish.  Since graduating college, she has worked as a wilderness canoe guide for urban youth, led a three month college canoe expedition down the Mississippi River, and moved to Quito, Ecuador to practice spanish and plan her next adventures.

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.