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 Miss You
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!

Allie Faulkner
Mate of Miss You, 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.

Courtney Sarik
Rotating Captain
Manassas, VA

Growing up in Northern Virginia, Courtney enjoys all elements of the outdoors. She graduated from George Mason University in 2013 with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Intelligence Analysis. This coming fall, she will start her journey at medical school to become a Physical Therapy assistant. Her true love for the outdoors lies not only within her own adventures but also in inspiring and teaching others. Ever since she could walk, her feet were on skis and snow, and in the summers, she would backpack and sail. As a certified ski instructor, ASA sailing instructor, PADI OW Diver, and a licensed USCG Captain, Courtney is always looking for the next skill that she can learn and teach. On days off, she will go kayaking or hiking, but truly loves to bake up some incredible desserts!

Marina Chissus
Rotating 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”.

Zosha Wiktor
Medical Officer
Avalon, California

Growing up in sunny California, Zosha has always been in love with the outdoors, especially the ocean. As a pesky travel bug inspired by her passions, she studied abroad in New Zealand and continued on to travel through Southeast Asia where she got her PADI Master Diver certification in Indonesia. She graduated with a BSc in Marine Biology from University of California, Santa Cruz. Following graduation, Zosha started her career in outdoor education working for Catalina Island Marine Institute as a Marine Science instructor. At CIMI, she teaches students about the ocean and conservation while leading guided snorkel, kayak, and hiking expeditions. On days off, you can find Zosha camping, freediving, or rock climbing. She is so excited to share her passions and stories with others.