Bravo 3 – Day 1 & Meet Our Staff

Posted Wednesday, August 8th, 2012 at 9:50 am

Bravo 3 Trip Update Day 1

Bravo as a program has been highly successful over the summer, and today new crew members came to join us here at Hodges Creek Marina for the final program of the summer, Bravo 3. On arrival all students were greeted by an overly excited welcoming committee of staff who couldn’t wait to meet their new family. Some students arrived one by one, others in huge groups, but they eventually all found their way to their home boats, Sao Jorge and Vivaldi, which will be home to the 24 new students. Once everyone was settled in, a dinner of pizza and vegetables was served and eaten before sitting down for the famous Mike Talk. A well-deserved rest was enjoyed by all, even if with the excitement of tomorrow’s first sail to Cooper Island!

Meet our Bravo 3 Staff:

Eric von Aschwege, Program Director

This will be my second summer with Sail Caribbean. I started as a Mate during Early Bravo and was Captain on the Delta Program for the remainder of the season. I started sailing when I was 5 years old with my dad and the local sailing program, and enjoyed annual cruises to Maine on our 39 ft sloop. I’ve enjoyed being in the outdoors since I was little, and now share my passion for sailing and the outdoors with others. I have a BA in Outdoor Leadership (ODL) from Warren Wilson College and also studied psychology while there. In training with the ODL department, I learned about group dynamics, leadership in a wilderness setting, and took particular interest in risk management and developing new programming. I got my Scuba certification during my sophomore year of school, but much prefer snorkeling. I’m currently trying to develop a sailing program that works with active service members and veterans. I worked with several youth programs throughout my training in Outdoor Leadership, facilitated programming for local school groups, and led outdoor trips for college peers.  I grew up on an island just north of Boston, and have always enjoyed studying the natural history and marine biology of the New England area. Working with the students is a great opportunity – not only am able to become a more competent sailor and educator, but it is incredibly rewarding to watch the students take charge and sail the boat on their own. There’s nothing like taking a step back and having the students read the weather and take down sail anticipating a coming squall without my needing to say a word. As a captain I enjoyed the responsibility of running a vessel and being a role model for my students. They teach me as many lessons as I teach them. Lastly, nowhere else am I able to work with and learn from staff members of such high caliber. I’ve been Mountain Biking about as long as I’ve been sailing. I also enjoy maritime and colonial history, as well as woodworking and even building and restoring flintlock rifles on the side. Something funny you should know about me…I enjoy listening to and making puns, as well as accent jokes… Do they have trees in Canada? Yessir, between da twos and da fours.

Ryn Steck, Provisions Manager

This past May, I graduated from Hamilton College where I concentrated in environmental studies. I spent a semester abroad in Madagascar studying biodiversity and natural resource management. Highlights definitely included studying rural fishing communities and marine protected areas for an independent study project. I have been snorkeling since I could swim and received my first scuba certification in 2009. I started sailing when I was 7 years old and fell head over heels in love with the wind and the water. I spent my summers sailing at camps and later became a sailing instructor and camp counselor. While attending Hamilton, I hiking, camped, kayaked, and canoed my way through the Adirondacks as an Outing Club Officer and a pre-orientation, outdoors trip leader. In past summers, I’ve lead hiking trips in the Berkshires and in Colorado and now I can’t wait to make my way down to the Caribbean! My experiences sailing as a teenager were some of the most transformative experiences in my life; conquering the wind and the waves can make a girl feel fearless! I hope to inspire others to challenge themselves and experientially develop a love of sailing and the environment. I am thrilled to work for Sail Caribbean this summer because I am confident that each program whether through sailing, diving, service, or science; fosters personal growth and provides the opportunity for the adventures of a lifetime! My interests include photography and art, watching documentaries, rollerblading, and growing sprouts.  Silly fact about myself? Although I’m a huge fan of fruit, it took me 21 years to get over my irrational fear of bananas. I had my first bite last year and now, I eat them all the time!

Sara Stone, Captain

This will be my first summer at Sail Caribbean. I am entering my senior year at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH where I have designed my own major. I am studying a combination of anthropology, ethics, engineering science, philosophy and biology and I hope to apply this to my interest in global health and international relations.
In past summers I have worked as a Sailing Instructor and have earned my US Sailing Level 1 Instructor license and small boating license. I have been sailing for as long as I can remember – I grew up on the water in Marion, MA and have spent every summer cruising and racing around Cape Cod, the Elizabeth Islands, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. I also earned my Scuba certification in the BVI when I was in high school. I love children and have spent summers working with them, most recently as a Sailing Instructor/Camp Counselor with the Tabor Academy Summer Program, and in previous summers as an au pair in France! Sail Caribbean combines three of the things I most enjoy – being on a boat, working as a member of a team, and working with teens. What better way for me to spend my summer?! I love to do anything outdoors! Sailing, swimming, hiking, camping, you name it. I also LOVE to travel – especially to places where I don’t speak the language – it is an added, exciting challenge! Something you should know about me… I used to be a runway model!

Jess Arms, Mate

This will be my second summer with SC. Last summer, I worked on the Charlie and Bravo programs. I held the position of Mate/Divemaster. As a WFR with other medical training as well, I was also the lead medic for my fleet. This summer I will be returning as a dive instructor. I earned a B.S. degree in Recreation and Parks Management from Frostburg State University (located in Maryland). I am a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor. I also have an interest in emergency medicine. My medical certifications include PADI Emergency First Response Instructor, Red Cross Lifeguard, and Wilderness First Responder. I am trained as an EMT . Diving related jobs I have held in addition to Sail Caribbean include working as a Divemaster for Florida Sea Base, which is where I received my divemaster training, as well as working as a diving instructor and mate for Taino Divers. Taino Divers runs out of Rincon, Puerto Rico, and dives sites on the western coast of Puerto Rico. A great thing about this establishment is their partnership with SUDS (Soldiers Undertaking Disabled Scuba), an organization that enables wounded veterans to obtain dive education. The other position that I have held working with teenagers was a guide with Wilderness Ventures. I lead youths on backpacking trips and mountain based excursions in the Teton Wilderness of Wyoming. While living in Puerto Rico I had an opportunity to be part of some interesting environmental service through the Surfrider Foundation. I participated in projects locating and removing debris from reefs, as well as assisting in research for a environmental restoration project. There are many elements that bring me back to Sail Caribbean. I relish in the Sail Caribbean culture and the people that I am surrounded by. Getting an opportunity to teach and influence teenagers is clearly part of it. I am so passionate about diving, marine life, and the ocean; it’s a privilege to share this knowledge with others that are excited and impressionable. It makes me happy to know that I can play some part in molding the futures of the next generation of divers and spokespeople for ocean conservation. The staff are amazing and diverse people; and inevitably, wonderful bonds are created amongst us. Some of my other interests are surfing, skiing, playing/writing music, cooking, bike touring, ultimate Frisbee, laughing hard, and dancing badly. Something else you should know about me..In my perfect world, life would be a musical. People would break out in song a couple of times a day to illustrate whatever was taking place. And more importantly, a spontaneous synchronized dance would break out from time to time, in public, where everyone somehow seems to know all the moves – awesome.

Kat Stanley-Whyte, Captain

I am 19 years old and am currently studying in Aberdeen doing a BSc in Sports Science and Exercise. I’m in my first year and loving it. I have been sailing all my life as it goes with the family. I got my Dinghy Instructors, First Aid and Powerboat license at the age of 16 but was coaching with my home club since I was 12 helping out with all the little ones. I am also a life guard and life saver and have my NPLQ, Life Support 2 & 3, Award of Merit and my Bronze Medallion. I was in the Scottish sailing squad by the age of 10 in an Optimist and then progressed through the RYA system in Toppers, 420s and I’m finally in a Laser Radial. I was selected for the World team in 2008 for the Laser 4.7s and travelled to Croatia, and later coached the GBR team at the 2010 Worlds in Thailand. This year I’ve been one of the head coaches for the Scottish sailing squads in their winter season. I spent my gap year out in Australia coaching the AUS and Victorian state teams as well as beginners with the Boatshed in Melbourne. I have also sailed in one of the old Volvo ocean yachts around Sydney Harbour. I have never been scuba diving but I love swimming and am really keen to learn. I love photography and have lots of old cameras at home. In my spare time I keep busy sailing, swimming, playing field hockey, tennis, running track, surfing, snowboarding, and skiing. Something funny you should know about me… I have a scar on my arm from a Lion given to me when I was travelling in South Africa.

Steph Bouillion, Mate

During the school year I work as a Biology and Physics teacher in Plano, Texas and am currently in school to become a fire fighter/Paramedic. I went to school at the University of Kansas and graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas with a degree in Biology, Psychology and Sociology. During that time I spent 6 months in Ireland on the ocean shore and at the local zoo studding both marine and land animals.
I have always been a fish stuck on land. I grew up boating and jet skiing, swimming, and lifeguarding. The water has always been my favorite place to be. Living in Texas it is mostly the pool and the lake, but I love the ocean as well. I took sailing lessons last summer and very much enjoyed it. Diving has become my new love ever since my first day out. I have advanced through the ranks to a rescue diver and love being out photographing the underwater world.  Weather on the water, in it swimming, or under it, I am at home in the water. As a high school teacher and manger and lifeguard instructor at the local pool, I work with teens every day. It is a joy seeing them learn and grow, knowing that I am investing in the world to come. I have also spent many previous summers at young life camp working the water front and the ropes courses. I have heard wonderful things from friends of mine who have worked for Sail Caribbean. It is amazing what they get to do with these kids and the activities that the kids get to take part in. Also I have heard nothing but glowing statements about the kids and other staff. I am looking forward to working with the kids and my fellow staff. It will be a thrill this year to be a part of the magnificent sail Caribbean staff for the first time. In my spare time my hobbies are Triathlons, Lifeguarding, Mt. Biking, baking,  and photography. Something funny you should know about me…I have a very squeaky high pitch laugh, I sneeze in multiples of 3, and my favorite animal is a squirrel.


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