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Meet Our 2018 Early Alpha Adventure Leadership Team

By wpdev June 7, 2018

Curtis Crooke
Program Director

Curtis graduated from Georgetown University in 2017 and began 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 fourth 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.

Mark Kennedy
Fleet Captain

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.

Adam Grant
Captain of Mayotte

Adam is an outdoor education guide, having worked in the outdoor industry all over the world and for the last 5 years in Australia and Ireland. He has worked for various summer camps and has instructed kayaking, sailing, windsurfing and rock climbing. Adam grew up in Ireland and has a diploma in outdoor education in which he learned various skills required to teach using the medium of the outdoors, with 5 years of yacht sailing with a day skipper license. For the past year Adam has been working in Australia providing outdoor education for schools across the country.

Erika Florian
Captain of Tintoret

Erika is in her third year studying Nursing at Montana State University in Bozeman. She grew up ski racing in the winters and sailing in the summers on the East coast, & is now living out west in Bozeman, Montana. Bozeman is an outdoor activity mecca; she is an avid backcountry skier, ski racing coach, rock climber, mountain biker, she will do virtually anything to get outside. Erika is a certified Wilderness First Responder along with a Rescue Scuba Diver, and hopes to further her education in the medical field to eventually become a travel nurse. 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.

Kyra Benforte
Mate of Mayotte

Kyra grew up in New York City and currently attends the University of Richmond in Virginia where she is a rising Senior. She joined us as a student on Bravo, Foxtrot, and Delta. For the past two summers, Kyra was a Mate on both Tango and Foxtrot, after completing the Echo college-age program. Kyra is majoring in Leadership and Italian Studies and spent the past fall studying abroad in Perugia, Italy.

Terence O’Brien
Mate of Mayotte

Terence builds his personal philosophies on three grand pillars: discipline, regiment, and hard work, tireless hard work. With a lifetime of sailing and a strong background in Outdoor Adventure Education, Terence comes to Sail Caribbean standing on the peaks of these three pillars and striving toward their highest pinnacle of cultural conception, Captain Ron.

Asha Tanna
Mate of Mayotte

When Asha saw divers cleaning the shark tank in the newly opened London aquarium twenty years ago, she was mesmerized. During a holiday to Mexico that same year, she qualified as an open water diver and has been exploring the world’s oceans ever since. Asha’s first career has been as a journalist spanning two decades covering some challenging and exciting stories in entertainment, news, sport, politics and technology. But environment and conservation has always been a passion. Asha also has a masters in primatology (study of monkeys and apes) and carried out her research in the east African rainforest of West Uganda. She is very passionate about the health of our planet on land and underwater. She is now forging a second career as a scuba instructor. Who doesn’t want to get paid for doing the hobby they love so much?

Claire Lennarz
Mate of Tintoret

Claire is finishing her second year at the University of Virginia where she is majoring in architecture. She grew up in Williamsburg, VA, but has spent her summers racing Optimists and Lasers in regattas up and down the East Coast. For the past three summers, she has shared her love for racing by coaching Optimists on the Chesapeake Bay. On her days off during the summer, she was able to enjoy water skiing, wake boarding and paddle boarding with her family’s three water-loving dogs! 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!

Ryan Tydd
Mate of Tintoret

Ryan is a fun loving, energetic and highly motivated PADI Dive Instructor from Australia. Ryan began diving 3 years ago and truly loves the opportunity to share his passion with as many people as possible. Surprisingly, Ryan did not grow up anywhere near the ocean but instead grew up on a large farm in outback Australia. From a very young age, he was helping out around the farm doing a variety of jobs including driving tractors, riding horses and looking after livestock. At the age of 12, he left the country and moved to Newcastle Australia, where he studied at Warners Bay High School. In 2010, he joined the Australian Army where continued his studies to become an electronics technician and spent the next 6 years fixing armored vehicles. As a farewell celebration from the military, Ryan conducted his open water course where he discovered his true passion of exploring the underwater world and continued his studies to become a dive instructor. Ryan then worked for 12 months on the Great Barrier Reef in Cairns Australia. When he is not on the water, he loves being out in nature and enjoys activities such as hiking, rock climbing, four-wheeling and camping.

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.