Mariner Crew

 

Meet Arjen Töller

Arjen Töller

Captain

Arjen began sailing at the age of 10, and worked as a sailing instructor before sailing on the 3-masted bark Stedemaeght. He attended the Enghuizen Maritime School receiving certification as a Master of Ocean-Going Sailing Vessels with Merchant Naval Endorsement and all STCW 95 courses.

Arjen was involved in building the Brazilian Naval ship Cisne Branco and sailed the ship for a trial run to Porti Mao. He has extensive experience sailing in the Baltic Sea, North Sea, English Channel, Irish Sea, Bay of Biscay, North Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. In 2007, Arjen and fellow Captain Robert Postuma purchased the Danish research ship DANA and converted it into the majestic three-masted topsail schooner Gulden Leeuw.

Meet Robert Postuma

Robert Postuma

Captain

Robert comes from a seafarer’s family and has been sailing since the age of 5. He attended the Enghuizen Maritime School receiving certification as a Master of Ocean-Going Sailing Vessels with Merchant Naval Endorsement and all STCW 95 courses. Robert began his professional career on the 3-masted bark Stedemaeght followed by the topsail schooner SODADE.

He has extensive experience sailing in the North Sea, Baltic Sea, Irish Sea, Bay of Biscay, North Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. In 2007, Robert and fellow Captain Arjen Töller purchased the Danish research ship DANA and converted it into the majestic three-masted topsail schooner Gulden Leeuw.

Meet Mike de Jonge

Captain, Class Afloat

Captain

My name is Mike. I was born in the province of Zeeland in The Netherlands, surrounded by sea and lakes. I grew up with sailing and surfing, at the age of 8 I owned my first dinghy. I have been sailing since then. After finishing Grammar School I studied Cartography, and graduated as an engineer.

In 1991, I decided to make a career change, and studied at the Enkhuizen Nautical College and other schools to obtain the certificate Master all ships 3000GT worldwide. I returned to sailing, now on tall ships.

I have been a captain on several ships since 1993, and from 1998 I am the owner and captain of the two masted schooner ‘Stortemelk’. Marly and I sail charter and training trips, mainly on the North- and the Baltic Sea.

Besides sailing our own ship in the summer season, we regularly work on other tall ships in winter, did several ocean crossings, for instance for the School at Sea Projects on Regina Maris in 2008 and 2013.

A tall ship is like a real world. It is fascinating to see a group of different people working and living together, all motivated to make a successful journey. Skills and talents, which are very useful at sea, but certainly also ashore, are developed along the way.

Meet Jeroen Peters

Jeroen Peters

Captain

Jeroen Peters, living in Groningen Netherlands, went to seafarer school in Enkhuizen, and has been sailing professionally since his 18th birthday. He possesses a Master all ships unlimited trading area and is fully STCW qualified.  Jeroen has extensive experience in sailing tall-ships, yachts and cargo ships. He enjoys sailing with trainees a lot, and likes to be involved in all educational and social activities on board.  His hobbies include hiking, reading, riding his motorcycle and computers/networks.

What makes you most excited about teaching/ working with Class Afloat? 

My excitement for going on Class Afloat again is because I’m really happy to be on board the Gulden Leeuw working with the students again and being able to make new friends.  I’m also very excited about the itinerary, and seeing new places.

What is your best advice for having a great adventure?

My advice for a great adventure is not to plan too much, but carefully look around you and see what adventures are lingering around you, the best are usually quite close!

What is one of the most valuable lessons you’ve learned to date?

The most valuable lesson so far: It’s hard to imagine for an experienced person that a lot of stuff you do and decide about is easy for you because you have done it before, most of the times it is not easy and straight forward for someone with less experience.  Being able to empathize with less experienced people and teach them the small and big tricks is a hard but a very well respected skill that I’m still trying to improve big time!

If you could have anyone as a dinner guest – living or deceased – who would you choose?

I’d love to have dinner with my grandma, she would have loved my sailing adventures and she passed away too early.

Meet Shala McDonnell

Shala Mcdonnell

Bosun

I grew up in the Pacific Northwest of the US. I love working with my hands, working as a team, and also any excuse to get dirty. I happened into the world of tall ships having never worked on a boat before, and 3 years later I have never been more fulfilled (and oftentimes dirty).

Living/working on a boat is a special experience that puts things into perspective in a way that I imagine not too many other experiences can.

What makes you most excited about teaching/working with Class Afloat?

The opportunity to pay it forward, showing the students all the things I have learned from life aboard ships, and to help keep traditional seamanship alive.

What port are you most looking forward to?

All of them. Theres no better way to travel than by sail.

If you could have anyone as a dinner guest – living or deceased, who would you choose?

Anthony Bourdain, He had such rich perspective on life and we both really, really love food.

Among your friends or family, what are you famous for?

My inner child, bringing joy to others brings me joy.

What would be your spirit animal?

Bobcat.

Meet Nicholas Canaparo

Nicholas Canaparo

Deckhand

My name is Nicholas James Canaparo My family name is Canaparo. Canapa is the Italian word for Hemp, so my family used to make a lot of rope. I enjoy just about any job or adventure where I have to take a rope along. From mountaineering, to sailing, to working as an arborist and guide, I have spent years of my life on the sharp end of a rope.

I grew up in the Bay Area sailing and hiking in the mountains when I wasn’t competing or training as a gymnast. Through this I first learned to embrace the uncomfortable and understand perseverance. I am mindful of the teaching and work each day to “love (my) neighbour as (my)self.” It is a humbling experience each day, and I am walking the road less traveled as a result. I received a degree in Adventure Education, and have been working in the field of adventure/experiential based education since 2013. I love working with young adults in the wilderness’ of the world.

What’s something you’ve been meaning to try but just haven’t gotten around to it?

Paragliding off a mountain after summiting.

What makes you most excited about teaching/working with Class Afloat?

There is an intentionality toward relationships that occurs on a boat rarely seen. There is an identity that forms around shared accomplishment rather than shared identity. I am excited to teach with Class Afloat because of their reputation as an organization whose identity is to serve wherever they are in their journey, both as a crew and as individuals. I have seen how they encourage their students to pay it forward, mentoring their students in the heart of servant leadership. I am excited to join the team.

What is your best advice for having a great adventure?

It isn’t an adventure until something goes wrong.

What is one of the most valuable lessons you’ve learned to date?

I learned this when I was three years old: This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine. This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine. This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine. Let it shine. Let it shine. Let it shine. We just need to be reminded and remind others of it over and over, and pray for the eyes to see it in others and ourselves.

Meet Cecile Thevenin

Cecile Thevenin, Deckhand at Class Afloat

Deckhand

I don’t really know where my passion for the sea came from but I am so happy that this is now my life. I enjoy dropping anchor in unexpected places, discovering new countries, sailing in different parts of the world. I like being outside, also on land, hiking the mountains. I’m crazy about the heights. I feel so free just running on the paths, being on top of a volcano, on top of a mast, observing far away what’s around me. I’m very excited to cross the Atlantic again, I’m sure we’ll have a lot of fun and some good sailing.

What port are you most looking forward to?

I think Senegal and Suriname, as they are both countries in continents I haven’t been to yet. I think it will be very different from what we are used to seeing and I am very curious about how it’ll look like, the people, what we are going to eat there, etc.

What is your best advice for having a great adventure?

Just don’t plan things too much. Get yourself lost. You will find some treasures you would have missed by following the main path. Keep a part of surprise and freedom so you have the choice to decide at that very moment if you want to follow this way or that one.

What is one of the most valuable lessons you’ve learned to date? 

Never give up. If you work hard, you’ll get what you want. Just keep dreaming and do things that you like. Don’t get into a routine. There’s so much to see and to discover around. Always say yes to something you’ve never tried yet, that could be your single chance.

What is the best single day on the Calendar?

The 21st of June. Summer day, the longest day of the year and also Music day!

Meet Alexandra Mantha

Alexandra Mantha, Medical Officer at Class Afloat

Medical Officer

As part of a life goals assignment during my year aboard the S.V. Concordia in 03/04, I set out that I would one day return to Class Afloat as crew/staff. This year, I am excited to check that goal off my list. I currently live in Kelowna, British Columbia and work as a general practitioner in inpatient and emergency medicine. When not travelling abroad, I spend my free time backcountry skiing, mountain biking and hiking around the west coast.

What makes you most excited about teaching/working with Class Afloat?

I am excited to combine my passion for travel with medicine.

What port are you most looking forward to?

I am looking forward to visiting the beaches of Fernando de Noronha, Brazil.

What is your best advice for having a great adventure?

Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone.

What is one of the most valuable lessons you’ve learned to date?

Be confident in yourself and the decisions you make.

Among your friends or family, what are you famous for?

Always having my next trip planned before the last one ends.

Meet Tijs Koopmans

Tijs Koopmans, 2nd Officer at Class Afloat

2nd Officer

My name is Tijs, I first started sailing in 2010 when I started my studies in Naval Architecture, and I was sold straight away. After passing for my bachelor’s degree, I went to England to get my RYA Yachtmaster licence, and later on to Enkhuizen to get my qualifications to sail around the world on tallships.

What’s something you’ve been meaning to try but just haven’t gotten around to it?

Ever since I started my studies in naval architecture, I wanted to build a sailing ship myself. In the beginning I thought it would be a sailing yacht, but after sailing on some classic sailing vessels I changed my plan a little bit.

What port are you most looking forward to?

Fernando de Noronha, leaving Africa and sailing for a long time with no land in sight, and then all of a sudden an island dead ahead. I’m quite excited to sail this leg of the voyage. Plus sailing across the equator is something I haven’t done before.

If you could have anyone as a dinner guest – living or deceased, who would you choose?

My mother, without a doubt. She passed away when I was 16, and I would love to talk to her about all the exciting things that happened so far in my life, and about the things that might still happen in the future.

What is your best advice for having a great adventure?

Any adventure that you go on becomes better when some friends tag along.

Meet Marly Laemen

1st Officer, Class Afloat

1st Officer

My name is Marly. My ‘career’ started with studying economics, finishing the study in 1994 to be a teacher. Studying Anthropology after that was based on the curiosity to see the world and learn from other cultures. This was followed by travelling and working through Asia and Australia/New Zealand. Coming back to the Netherlands I worked as a teacher before I returned to sailing on tall ships. I discovered sailing during my studies, enjoying it from the start.

Since 1997 I have worked on tall ships sailing in the Baltic, North Sea and Canary Islands on traditional schooners up to about 40 meters. Since 1999 I have sailed together with Mike de Jonge on the 40 meter 2 mast sailing schooner ‘Stortemelk’. We sail about 180 days a year. Being  first mate, I am involved in navigation, but also in the organization of daily life on board, maintenance, bookings, administration, ISM, and working with/teaching the guests/groups we sail with. In 2001 I finished the first part of Nautical College in Enkhuizen (endorsement until 500 GT in a restricted area). In 2007/2008 I continued my nautical study and upgraded my endorsement to 3000 GT worldwide , including sailing vessels.

During the season of 2008/2009 and 2012/2013 I sailed as 1st Mate on the Regina Maris/ School at Sea Project, from the Canary Islands to the Caribbean, Panama and Suriname. I was also engaged in the organization of the educational part of this sailing project.

Meet Quinten Boot

Quinten Boot, 2nd Officer

2nd Officer

Hello everybody! I’ve spend most of my life in two areas: Rotterdam and the Danish south sea. That’s because I grew up, for a time, on a Dutch schooner sailing with passengers in the Baltic. Then, after high school, I spend most my days in maritime college, finishing up my Bachelor in cargo shipping. After that I roamed the planet a bit, working here and there and traveling a bunch, ending up as a raft-guide on the Ocoee river in Tennessee.

I returned last summer and choose to jump back into sailing. I’m very much looking forward working with such an inspiring project as Class Afloat and getting back into the profession I grew up in.

What port are you most looking forward to?

Rome: I read a lot about the Roman Empire and I would love to see the ruins of the city that had such a major influence on our western civilization.

If you could have anyone as a dinner guest, who would you choose?

Graham Hancock: I’m a big fan of history and I’ve gotten very interested in the alternative approach that Graham puts towards the ancient cultures and stories.

What is your best advice for having a great adventure?

A great adventure is all about diving into the unknown and being open for the unexpected, negative or positive. So that means: Travel without plans. And choose the paths in life which seem to give you doubts or make you anxious.

What book impacted you the most?

Fingerprints of the Gods by Graham Hancock. The structures of the ancients are truly wondrous.

Meet Natalya Levit

Natalya Levit

Deckhand

I’m from Moscow, and neither my family, no surrounding had nothing to do with tall ships or sailing whatsoever. No idea, where as a child I got a dream to become a tall-ship-sailor, except perhaps from the books. A dream that I soon started to think as “never-come-true”: I had no idea, that such things as Tall ships still exist. It what only much, much later, with the childhood far behind, when, with Russian frigate Shtandart I suddenly found out, that they really do! And since than, for more than 10 years already, that’s what my life is all about. Wood and rope and canvas, harness and fid and sailmakers palm and steering wheel, Baltic and North and White Seas, and, finally, Atlantic!

What’s something you’ve been meaning to try but just haven’t gotten around to it?

Kiting, hang- and paragliding, windsurfing.

What book impacted you the most?

Books of Vladislav Krapivin, the author, who gave me the passion for sails.

Among your friends or family, what are you famous for?

Travelling – like the first question on the phone most probably will be “where are you now?”. Having zillion of tools – in whatever activity I’m into, no matter rigging or cooking. Knowing, where to find stuff – should it be a screw (of certain type) on the ship, or info in internet, or island on the map.

What would be your spirit animal?

Many years ago, on the training dedicated exactly to this question, the answer I got was ‘a bat’. Though that was before sailing period, so – could your spiritual animal ever change? I still very much like to hang somewhere high – even if not upside down…

Meet Leslie Scott

Leslie Scott

Cook

There isn’t enough calendar days in the year to accomplish everything that I want to do so I respect the time that is given to me and cherish each moment on the high seas. I see myself as an explorer and look forward to one day being able to circumnavigate the globe.

What port are you most looking forward to?

Morocco will be a new port for me and I can’t wait to immerse myself in all the different spices it has to offer. One of the greatest opportunities I’ve been given is the to learn cultures through their food; an old family recipe, a new spice, these are all gifts that I am excited to share with others. I think Julia Child and Anthony Bourdain did it right – by keeping the old family recipes alive we share a history together. When we all sit down to the table and break bread together, there is nothing more powerful than that.

Meet Oliver Savary

Olivier Savary Crew Id And Bio Photo Copy

Medical Officer

Hi! I learned to sail as a kid and always had an eye for tall ships. More recently I’ve traveled around the world, with a specific aim at exploring marine environments through activities such as surfing or scuba diving. When I’m not on the road, you’ll either find me climbing some rock or at your local clinic!

What’s something you’ve been meaning to try but just haven’t gotten around to it?

Skydiving. Much faster way to get down from a big wall climb than walking or repelling!

What is your best advice for having a great adventure?

Never think your idea is too crazy! Just make sure you’re aware of the risks before undertaking it.

What is one of the most valuable lessons you’ve learned to date?

Never underestimate mother nature.

Meet Ximena Di Vanni

Ximena Di Vanni

Cook

Hi! My name is Ximena Di Vanni and I was born and raised in Santiago de Chile. Since a Young age I have always been interested in different places and cultures which has led me to extraordinary voyages. Once I discovered the ocean life I have been drawn to come back time and time again. I have worked as a cook on private yachts, sailing vessels and recently on the first expedition vessel to reach the 5 deepest points on all 5 oceans.  I love cooking and working on the galley, so its a dream come true to be able to travel the world and do what I love.

What is your best advice for having a great adventure?

There are really no formulas for a great adventure, but always remember to be open to new experiences, be bold but cautious, and most importantly, remember to be thankful to those who surround you because they will determine a great part of your adventures present and future.  Never forget rule number one: be in love with life.

Meet Patrick Patterson

Patrick Patterson

Engineer

Hi I’m Pat the engineer. I split my time between sailing, snowboarding, and backpacking; sometimes a combination thereof, occasionally a little whitewater kayaking. I dropped out of graduate school in 2010 and bought a small sailboat with plans of sailing off into the sunset never to return. After I promptly ran out of money, I started sailing professionally first in the Pacific Northwest, then the South Carolina low country, and eventually in the Indian Ocean on a large container ship. I’m now looking forward to working with Class Afloat and embarking on my next adventure at sea.

What’s your best advice for having a great adventure?

Life is what happens while you’re making other plans. Just go with it dude!

Meet Tyler Calderwood

Tyler Calderwood

Cook

Tyler was born and raised in Bangor, Maine and spent every summer on Penobscot Bay.  He fell in love with maritime history and culture. Following a 2 year culinary arts degree and countless jobs in the industry, he joined his first boat in 2016 as a cook. He looks forward to travelling the world with Class Afloat!

What makes you most excited about teaching/working with Class Afloat?

I am excited to undertake a new challenge, as well as to meet other people with similar interests.

If you could have anyone as a dinner guest – living or deceased, who would you choose?

I would choose Marco Pierre White – he’s simply a good man with tons of knowledge.

What is one of the most valuable lessons you’ve learned to date?

That the best way to be is honest and patient.

What port are you most looking forward to?

Looking forward to Cuba! I want some cuban honey.

Meet Adriaan DeVries

2nd Officer

2nd Officer

Adriaan learned sailing as a small boy and worked in a greenhouse during high school. He Bought a sailboat in Los Angeles and sailed with it in Mexico, Sea of Cortez where it is now. Adriaan attended Enkhuizer Zeilvaart School, and worked on a couple traditional sailboats before traveling to Central America, where he volunteered at his friend’s project, building a traditional wooden boat in Costa Rica. Messing around with boats and being out on the water with them, and sharing that experience with others is one of his biggest passions.

What’s something you’ve been meaning to try but just haven’t gotten around to it?

Learning to scuba dive and surf!

What is your best advise for having a great adventure?

Go traveling without a return ticket.

What makes you most excited about teaching/working with Class Afloat?

To inspire young people by teaching them sailing on a traditional tallship.

What is one of the most valuable lessons you’ve learned to date?

To always do what makes you feel the happiest.

Meet Alfredo Carlos Vassile Tolosa

Alfredo Carlos Vassile Tolosa Possible Bio Photo

Engineer

I have a very long story with the sea. I am coming from a sailor’s family. I started walking in a ship where my dad was working. I love the sea. It is my life. Also being a cadet long time ago when I was young, I was doing my first miles on a merchant ship.

What port are you most looking forward to?

On this itinerary, Lisbon, Portugal. I dream of sailing to Greece one day.

What is one of the valuable lessons you have learned to date?

Never shout on the boat. Try to be quiet and always think about everything that you have to do.

Among your friends or family, what are you famous for?

For my family of course.

What book impacted you the most? 

The Secret

Meet Leticia Taylor

Leticia Taylor Bio Photo

Cook's Mate

Hi, My name is Leticia and I am from Salt Spring Island, B.C., Canada. Salt Spring is the largest of the Southern Gulf Islands and is a very adventurous and free place. It’s a tight knit community where adventurers thrive. I grew up swimming in the ocean and lakes, hiking up mountains, and exploring the Southern Gulf Islands by kayak and sailing.

7 years ago I went sailing on a tall ship for the first time on the Pacific Grace and I fell in love with it! Since then  sailing on the Pacific Swift with SALTS and Lord Nelson with jubilee sailing trust. It was not just the sailing I fell in love with though, it was experiencing the community and friendships on board, as well as with the communities we visited. Over the last 7 summers sailing with SALTS I have learnt a lot about about the value of friendship, kindness, a good adventure, and our environment. My goal for this adventure is to provide a positive space to inspire our crew to become not only a community, but a family.

What is your sprit animal? 

Hummingbird! The humming bird teaches you appreciate living and help you focus on positivity in life. As well as their brightness and endless supply of energy many people believe that they can help guide and support through life’s challenges.

What book has impacted you the most?

Island Born by frank burnaby. True story by local salt spring author about sailing the world and all the challenges that come along with it. It’s also a cute love story!

What port are you most looking forward to?

Madeira!!

What is your best advice for having a great adventure?

Lots of snacks, good people and taking the time to enjoy the little things.

Meet Tristan De Silva

Tristan De Silva

Greenhand

Hey Everyone, I’m Tristan De Silva, a 29 year old Bermudian who’s spent most of my life sailing or on the water in some capacity. Golden Lueew will be my first real taste of a traditional tall ship and I cannot wait to join! Once upon a time I was pretty good at rock climbing, I believe the world would be a much better place if more people listened to Hendrix and I have a passion for working with young people.

What would my spirit animal be?

Would definitely have to be the Cahow or “Bermuda Petrel”. It’s an endemic species of bird that spends most of its life at sea. They are known only to make landfall in Bermuda, they’re incredibly fast fliers and they’re just generally the coolest bird ever. Don’t worry, you’re all gonna hear me talk more about them over the next few months!

What book impacted me the most?

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. A story of a man chasing adventure and life set in 1980s Bombay. Several elements of the book impacted me but the philosophical bouts between Lin and Khaderbai changed my whole outlook on things!

What makes me most excited about teaching/working with Class Afloat?

Getting back to my climbing fitness and getting aloft, as much as possible! More importantly I’m super excited to learn how to sail a new boat and join a new team. I guess the itinerary isn’t too shabby either!

What is something I’ve been meaning to try but just haven’t gotten around to it?

I feel like this is a pretty generic answer but, has to be sky diving. I used to spend a lot of time climbing up to great heights. I feel like it would be great to go the opposite direction a heck of a lot faster.

Meet Kevin Ludwig

Kevin Ludwig

First Officer

Hi my name is Kevin and I come from Germany. My passion for sailing started in 2011 when I first boarded the Gulden Leeuw. Since that moment I became a sailor and during the past 9 years I have worked on many different sailing ships in different sailing areas.

Before my career as a sailor started I worked in Germany as a plumber. I studied at the seafarer school in Enkhuizen for my nautical licenses. I love to be out on sea and to work with students and teach them how to sail and maintain a ship and share my experiences with them.

Meet Mona Shah

Mona Shah

Cook

“Wake up and live! Make every day count towards something epic.” Meet Mona!

Mona Shah is currently a cook who has runaway to sea working on British Antarctic survey marine vessels. Throughout her life, her focus has always been community and people development. Now she’s happy to contribute to environmental science and sustainability in her own way by cooking for teams of people whom facilitate environmental and marine research programs in remote polar regions. Luckily, she is on sabbatical and now part of the extraordinary education program that is Class Afloat!

Mona has been involved in some incredible project to date, combining her interest in community and youth development. Examples include:

  • Designing and building eco sanitation toilets in rural South India with Raleigh International
  • Ploughing paddy fields and fish farms, terracing hill slopes to build sustainable agricultural environments in north Borneo Malaysia to help recover from effects of soil erosion, landslides and slash and burn rainforest deforestation
  • Slum dwelling redevelopment/regeneration in Dinajpur, Bangladesh building resilience and sustainable housing in flood and earthquake prone zones. Worked alongside REDR and Engineers without Borders and SAFE

What makes you most excited about teaching/working with Class Afloat?

An extraordinary program for extraordinary people.

What is your best advice for having a great adventure?

Smile  every step  and  rise to the challenge.  Take a moment to breathe and  take in your with  heart all that surrounds you.

What is the best single day on the calendar?

Feb 29th. Bonus day, yay!

Among your friends or family, what are you famous for?

Improvising and problem solving.

Meet McKinley Halpern-Reiss

Mckinley Halpern Reiss

Deckhand

Born in Vermont but raised around boats, I have always had a passion for sailing. Growing up I wanted to find a profession that allowed me to sail and travel at the same time. More recently I found tall ships and fell in love with the tradition as well as the educational aspects! I’ve finally found a platform and company I believe in that allows me to continue my passion in addition to working with people who are excited to learn. I am very excited for this coming semesters and look forward to seeing you all there!

What would be your spirit animal?

A Yak

If you could have anyone as a dinner guest – living or deceased, who would you choose?

Leonardo Da Vinci

What is one of the most valuable lessons you’ve learned to date?

Take the time to appreciate the foliage

What book impacted you the most?

The Pearl by John Steinbeck

Meet Matthew Hudson Smith

Matthew Hudson Smith

Greenhand

What port are you most looking forward to?

I love traveling, so I’m looking forward to all the ports. But I’m most looking forward Havana, Cuba because it has only recently opened up to Americans and the Azores because it’s a small place in the middle of a huge ocean.

What makes you most excited about teaching/working with Class Afloat?

I’m looking forward to teaching people through sail training and being able to be with the same group of students over several months.

I’m also very excited about crossing the Atlantic.

What is your best advice for having a great adventure?

Just go with the flow.

What is one of the most valuable lessons you’ve learned to date?

I was going camping with friends a little over a year ago and my car broke down. We were in the middle of nowhere. Fortunately,  a car happened to be passing by and stopped. The man took me to a friend of his who works on cars. It felt like southern hospitality even if it was New York. Later, waiting for our ride to our campsite, my friends and I opened a few beers, making the best of a complicated and funny situation. And, we had a great camping trip while my car got fixed. So, have fun with what you’ve got.

Meet Deyan Blochliger

Deyan - Engineer

Engineer

My name is Deyan and I’m a 33 year old Machinist from Basel, Switzerland. I enjoy mechanics and travelling amongst many other things, so what better way to combine those, then to be an Engineer on a ship? Although from a landlocked country, I’ve developed a great love for the oceans and I deeply enjoy the simplicity of the life at sea.

What port are you most looking forward to?

Havana, Cuba

If you could have anyone as a dinner guest – living or deceased, who would you choose?

Sir David Attenborrough

What is your best advice for having a great adventure?

Go with the flow!

What would be your spirit animal? 

A Gecko

Meet Jan Willem Tetteroo

Jan Willem Tetteroo

1st Officer

Meet Ida Lagenskov

Ida Lagenskov

Deckhand

Sailing was definitely love at first sight. After going sailing with my aunt once, I was hooked and it very quickly became all consuming in the best possible way. If I’m not sailing for work, I’m sailing for fun or competing and at the end of the day I go home to my boat where I live.

I love everything ropework, especially splicing and coiling, to me it’s the best kind of meditation. I enjoy going back to the basics of sailing with these traditional ships. I have worked at the Vikingship Museum and I’m trained as OS from Schoolship Georg Stage, so I feel the most at home wherever it smells of tar.

What makes you most excited about teaching/working with Class Afloat?

Being on deck with the students, to see them develop their skills as well as develop in themselves, as I believe ships teaches so much more than sailing.

If you could have anyone as a dinner guest – living or deceased, who would you choose?

I would love to sit down for dinner with my Grandma, and catch up on what’s happened since she passed away. I would like to hear her stories of sailing and I would tell her about my life at sea and about the wonderful adventures I’ve had so far.

What is your best advice for having a great adventure?

Find something that excites you, be right on the edge of your comfort zone. And remember that you’re not scared, you’re excited.

What is one of the most valuable lessons you’ve learned to date?

“The difference between dreams and reality is action”

Meet Cody Nguyen

Cody Nguyen

Cook's Mate

What’s something you’ve been meaning to try but just haven’t gotten around to it?
I’ve wanted to try snowboarding/skiing. I’m also not the biggest fan of the cold.

What makes you most excited about teaching/working with Class Afloat?
I’d have to say being on the open ocean again.

What port are you most looking forward to?
I would say Cuba, I’ve always wanted to go. I’m incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to travel here.

If you could have anyone as a dinner guest – living or deceased, who would you choose?
I would probably have dinner with my grandmother. I would love to be able to talk to her and share everything that I’ve done with her.

What is your best advice for having a great adventure?
Go for it, enjoy every bit of it and do it right. Don’t be afraid to have fun!

What is one of the most valuable lessons you’ve learned to date?
Hard work pays off.

What is the best single day on the Calendar?
Christmas Eve. I love being able to gather with all my family and friends I call family.

What book impacted you the most?
I can’t really say, but I like to read anything involving cooking. Love trying new techniques and making things in different variations.

Among your friends or family, what are you famous for?
Either being the world traveler (thanks CAF) or being an amazing cook!

What would be your spirit animal?
Platypus. It’s meaning is letting you know that no matter what others think, you must always express who you are. Plus you must do this without hesitation in any
circumstance. It is important for you to realize that real friends will always accept you for who you are. Also, your family will also love you as you are.

Mariner Crew Testimonials

Renee Martyna
Maybe the most seminal experience of my life.... Class Afloat was the point at which there is now a ‘before’ and ‘after’. Inspired me toward a career with the UN and now, a passion project working with global knowmads. Grateful to my fellow floaties!
Renee Martyna, Class Afloat Alumni(1/2)
Port program
The biggest take away from Class Afloat was learning how to work with and lead people in almost any situation. Furling sails in a storm, 2-4am watches and full days in the galley, working with the same people day in and day out you learn a lot about those people - and yourself.
Student Survey, 2017-2018(2/2)