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Meet Our Alpha 2 Adventure Leadership Team

By wpdev July 11, 2017

Alex Polli
Program Director
Northport, NY

Alex spent the past year living in the San Francisco Bay Area working for a non-profit which provides free home repair for low income homeowners. She spent almost every weekend sailing on the bay or hiking in all of the beautiful parks California has to offer. Alex graduated from Penn State University in 2016 with a degree in Psychology. She sailed for the Penn State Sailing team for all four years and served as Commodore in 2015. Having lived on the water all her life, Alex grew up sailing since she was 7 and attended Sail Caribbean as a student from 2008 until 2012. In September, Alex starts her Master’s degree in Education with a focus in School Counseling at Seattle University.

Aoife Smeaton
Fleet Captain
Dublin, Ireland

Leaving Ireland in 2014 after graduating with a BSc in Zoology, Aoife has spent the past few years traveling between the USA, the Caribbean, and Canada. This year’s highlights include working as a ski instructor during the winter at an adaptive ski school in Banff National Park, and hand raising 7 wolf puppies at a nonprofit wildlife education facility this spring. After a 4th summer at Sail Caribbean, Aoife plans to move to Vancouver in September.

Richard Thomsom
Captain of Montlouis
Oban, United Kingdom

Growing up on the west coast of Scotland, Richard began sailing at age 5. He enjoyed yachting trips to explore the Hebrides and a childhood that revolved around water sports, including racing with the local sailing club. Richard discovered a love for teaching sailing in 2014 when he worked as a sailing instructor in Massachusetts. He loves being around the water — a day on or in it is always a great day! He enjoys windsurfing, water-skiing and kayaking, while other (non-aquatic) interests include painting, photography and piano. In 2016, he graduated from the Architecture Faculty at the University of Edinburgh, and completed his RYA Day Skipper Sailing Certificate. He currently lives in Germany and is very excited to begin at Sail Caribbean this summer!

Adam Grant
Captain of Grand Plaisance III
Ballivor, Ireland

Adam has 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. The only thing Adam likes more than being outside is writing about himself in the third person!

Sarah McMeikin
Mate of Montlouis
Victoria, Australia

After graduating Charles Sturt University in 2015 with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science, Sarah moved to the small ski town of Revelstoke, BC, Canada, where she currently resides. Sarah fell in love with the Caribbean island life and oceans surrounding them when completing her Divemaster in Roatan, Honduras in 2012 and has since undertaken a Marine Park Ranger Internship on the small Dutch island of St. Eustatius. Although growing up in the mountains in Victoria, Australia, she has a passion for the ocean as long as she can remember. She loves to travel, sail and cook and is excited to share knowledge and new experiences with like-minded people!

Erika Florian
Mate of Grand Plaisance III
Southington, CT

Erika is in her third year studying Nutrition & Dietetics at Montana State University in Bozeman. She grew up ski racing in the winters and sailing in the summers. Erika is a certified Wilderness First Responder along with a Rescue Scuba Diver, and hopes to further her education in the medical field. 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!

Allie Faulkner
Provisions Manager
Austin, TX

Allie Faulkner grew up in Austin, Texas and now attends the University of Texas at Austin as a marketing student within the McCombs School of Business. Allie grew up going to the beach for family vacations, and after vacationing in Tortola the past couple years, she fell in love with the beauty of the BVIs. Allie has lots of experience working with kids as she has been a counselor at two different summer camps, worked at the nursery at her church and is currently a nanny for three fun girls. After graduation in two years, Allie plans on attending culinary school and hopes to work on private boats as a chef and one day own her own restaurant. When she isn’t working or studying, Allie loves exploring all Austin has to offer with her friends.

Marina Chissus
Staff Boat Mate
Seldovia, AK

Marina was raised in the waterfront town of Seldovia, Alaska, off the road system, only accessible by plane or boat.  As her name implies, Marina “Rina” has always loved the water, from swimming to kayaking and sailing with the family on their 32 foot Westsail on Kachemak Bay. During her past student experience on SC’s Foxtrot program, she discovered a new love — to be “under the sea” scuba diving. She returned to the BVIs to pursue her professional diving career. Rina has now received all her PADI dive certifications, all the way up to her PADI Dive Instructor certification from our Sail Caribbean Divers. Introducing boating and diving – making an impact on kids’ lives the way Sail Caribbean did for her – it’s just where she wants to be! Rina is even counting her boat “sea” days and working towards getting her captain’s license! When she’s not diving, she loves to cook, snack on great food, fish (as a self-proclaimed fish whisperer), travel, play volleyball, enjoy camping and campfires, sew, hang out with great friends, and watch Disney movies with her cat “Stitch”.

Andrew Dyer
Eugene, OR

Having grown up exploring the deep green forest and the high snow-capped peaks of his native state of Oregon, Andrew carries an excitement for nature and an eagerness to share its treasures. From passions ranging from photography and videography to sailing and diving, he offers a wide range of life passions. Andrew is currently completing his associate’s degree from Lane community college, he’s majoring in multimedia design. Finding himself right at home at Sail Caribbean, Andrew is greatly anticipating the adventures that await.

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.