Staff & Crew

Assisting our students to pursue their goals and
discover their passions.

Leadership Team

  • David Jones

    David Jones

    President

    David Jones

    David Jones

    President

    Before joining Class Afloat in July 2011, David served 15 years as Director General of the World Youth, Student & Educational (WYSE) Travel Confederation and ISTC, based in Amsterdam. Representing 550 student and youth travel companies in 120 countries, the membership provided international experiences to more than 10 million young independent travellers each year: study abroad, backpackers, volunteers, adventure travel, language education, cultural exchange, au pair, work abroad, student flights and the International Student Identity Card (ISIC), as well as hosted WYSTC, an annual conference for up to 1,000 specialist youth travel professionals.

    He started his life-long career in student services when elected President of the student union at the University of Toronto. After graduation and a year spent travelling around the world, he became Executive Director of The Canadian Federation of Student - Services, operating student service programs including: Travel CUTS, a specialist student travel bureau that grew into a $100 million operation with 70 offices serving 500,000 young Canadian travellers each year; Canadian Programming Service - a national speakers bureau; The Student Work Abroad Programme; The National Student Health Plan.

    David has held many positions on travel industry bodies, including:

    • Vice President, UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Affiliate Members Board
    • Board member, Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA)
    • Chairperson, European Travel Action Group (ETAG)
    • Member, the UNWTO Committee on Sustainable Development of Tourism
  • Megan MacLeod

    Megan MacLeod

    Head of School

    Megan MacLeod

    Megan MacLeod

    Head of School

    Class Afloat is pleased to announce the appointment of Megan MacLeod as our new Head of School.  Megan will oversee the delivery of our academic curriculum, port programming, community and sail training aspects of the Class Afloat program.   

    Megan comes to the Head of School position with many years of Class Afloat experience and a deep understanding of the program potential from a faculty and ship life perspective.  She taught sciences as a Class Afloat faculty member from 2010 – 2014 and was appointed Shipboard Director in her last year aboard.  While teaching on land over the last two years she has furthered her professional interests in leadership studies and curriculum development while continuing to serve as an Academic Advisor to Class Afloat.  She brings a global perspective to the program from her teaching experiences in China and Australia.  

    Driven by a passion to engage young people in activities that allow them to develop their leadership skills and full potential as global citizens, Megan believes that sailing the world on a traditional tall ship will allow our students to gain the life skills required for success in 2016 and into the future.   

    When not pursuing her pedagogic passions, Megan has trained, coached and competed as a sprint kayak racing athlete.   We know that she will bring the same energy, focus and success to her new role as Head of School that she has brought to the hundreds of students she has sailed with at Class Afloat over the last 5 years. 

  • Stacey Benoit

    Stacey Benoit

    Administrative Assistant

    Stacey Benoit

    Stacey Benoit

    Administrative Assistant

    Stacey has been a part of the Class Afloat team since 2008 in the role of Administrative Assistant. After graduating from Mount Allison University with a French major and a German minor, Stacey spent a year living and working in France.   

  • Arden Jobling-Hey

    Arden Jobling-Hey

    Director of Admissions

    Arden Jobling-Hey

    Arden Jobling-Hey

    Director of Admissions

    Based out of Toronto, Arden joined Class Afloat in 2017 as Director of Admissions and is thrilled to be in a role where she can encourage youth to step outside their comfort zone and into the world of experiential learning.

    True to Class Afloat's mission to help youth discover the world while they discover themselves, Arden has spent time studying and working abroad in Tanzania, France, Germany and the UK. She holds a BSocSc in International Globalization and Development from the University of Ottawa and an MA in International Communications and Development from City University, London. 

    Questions about Class Afloat? You can reach Arden at ajoblinghey@classafloat.com 

Faculty & Shipboard Administration

  • Cody Alderson

    Cody Alderson

    Shipboard Director

    Cody Alderson

    Cody Alderson

    Shipboard Director

    Teaching: Math 11

    Prior to joining Class Afloat Cody worked as a House Parent, teacher and Service Program Coordinator at Rothesay Netherwood School in New Brunswick. He was born and raised in Atlantic Canada and attended the University of New Brunswick for his Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Education and Master of Education degrees.

    While his formal academic training is in mathematics and biology, Cody has taught a variety of courses including general science, all levels of math, environmental science and IB Theory of Knowledge. Cody comes to this position with a great deal of experience in boarding schools, having spent his entire adult life working or living as part of a residential life team.

    Cody is a campfire guitar player who loves to play and watch hockey, read, run and explore with his dog, Buzz. He is looking forward to connecting with the whole crew as they explore the world together and to hopefully pick up a few new phrases as he tries to learn a second language!

  • Fabrice Barbier

    Fabrice Barbier

    Faculty

    Fabrice Barbier

    Fabrice Barbier

    Faculty

    Teaching: Math 12, Physics 11, Physics 12 & Acadia Astronomy

    For the past 11 years, Fabrice has lived in the U.S.A and in Belgium where he taught mathematics, chemistry and physics at the École internationale Montgomery and Bâton Rouge International School. During that time, Fabrice also worked as a Care Assistant at the Cope Foundation, Life Centre, College Grinds Cork and Cogan International College in Cork City, Ireland. His interests and skills however, are not limited to mathematics and natural sciences but extend to philosophy, sociology, history and music.

    Over the past few years, Fabrice was involved in various alternative and/or cross-disciplinary educational projects aimed at providing the students with a wider view of knowledge and studies in general. These projects also gave students an opportunity to reflect about themselves and their own personal experience, and to help them acquire the life skills they need to live successful and happy lives. 

    Fabrice draws inspiration from the progressive educational movement and is committed to using a non-frontal and non-directive approach to help his students become more autonomous and responsible as students and individuals. 

  • Doris LaChance

    Doris LaChance

    Faculty

    Doris LaChance

    Doris LaChance

    Faculty

    Teaching: Chemistry 11, Chemistry 12 & Pre-calculus 12

    I'm Doris LaChance. I'm a prairie girl, born and raised on a grain farm in Northern Alberta. Last year I took part in the Class Afloat adventure and found that I was able to easily adapt to the ship life. Apart from the constant motion and the lack of level surfaces, living on the Gulden Leeuw is very similar to farm life; If you look around there's always more work to be done, and you have to be self sufficient to an extent.

    Previously I've also worked for in secondary schools, mostly in french, all in Alberta, teaching mostly science and math and other courses. I've even worked for a week at a wilderness summer camp where we let the kids play with fire! Outside of schools I have many interests. I knit, read, bake, play the piano and flute, hunt, snowshoe and ski in the winter, bike and swim in the summer. Of course I spend most of my free time on the farm, helping my mom in the garden or my dad with odd jobs. I have six nephews which I adore, and whom I get all riled up and then send back to their parents with a smile.

  • Lloyd Francis

    Lloyd Francis

    Faculty

    Lloyd Francis

    Lloyd Francis

    Faculty

    Teaching: Political Science 12, Global History 12

    Over the past 5 years, Lloyd has been working as a high school teacher in a remote community on the Arctic Circle in Nunavut Territory. During this time, he has gained an appreciation for Inuit culture and traditions. Lloyd loves the great outdoors and has been able to explore parts of Canada’s Arctic with his classes, seeing all kinds of wildlife such as narwhal, caribou and polar bears. He has experienced temperatures of -65 degrees Celsius! Luckily, it will not be that cold anywhere Class Afloat is sailing.

    Lloyd completed a Bachelor of Arts in History, Political Science and English from Cape Breton University and a Bachelor of Education from St. Francis Xavier University. While teaching full time, Lloyd recently completed a Master of Education in Leadership and Administration, also from St. Francis Xavier University. Lloyd has been with the Canadian Forces for more than ten years, working with youth through the Canadian Air and Army Cadet programs.

  • Siobahn McLoughlin

    Siobahn McLoughlin

    Faculty

    Siobahn McLoughlin

    Siobahn McLoughlin

    Faculty

    Teaching: Oceans 11, Biology 12, Sociology of Community & Acadia Marine Biology

    Growing up in rural Ireland, I have always had an intrinsic love for the great outdoors. As a teenager, I was inspired by the literary works and cultural significance of W.B Yeats, and Irish landscape artists such as Paul Henry. My third level education began with a year at the Limerick school of Art & Design.

    Intrigued by the brilliantly bright night sky over Ireland, I have always had a mind to consider, explore and discover, and knew that I needed to investigate my subjects on a deeper, scientific level. I commenced a Bachelor of Science degree in Earth & Ocean Sciences at the National University of Ireland, Galway, unlocking my mind and imagination to a world of discovery. My favourite module was ‘Sediments and the Biosphere’, through which geological and paleontological evidence are used to reconstruct the environments of the past, in turn serving as indicators for future climate change. I remain truly fascinated by the way in which all of the answers are there before our eyes, unlocking them is a fine art, one by which I remain a lifelong learner.

    After graduation, I embraced the opportunity to travel the world; reading the landscape, telling its story and teaching fellow travellers about the secrets held within whatever landscape we were setting our sights on. At that point, I knew I was a teacher. The path to becoming a teacher came later, and as way leads on to way, I was offered a golden opportunity to study for a PGCE while teaching in the picturesque landscape of Lake Geneva, Switzerland. After 5 years, the heart’s call to travel echoed once more, and I found my feet on the pink sandy beaches of beautiful Bermuda, toes dipped in the Atlantic Ocean. As my serendipitous path continues, a week upon the Spirit of Bermuda Tall ship brought me to this magnificent opportunity to combine all of my passions, while teaching aboard the Gulden Leeuw.   

  • Marilyn Tourangeau

    Marilyn Tourangeau

    Faculty

    Marilyn Tourangeau

    Marilyn Tourangeau

    Faculty

    Teaching: English 12, French 11/12 & Acadia Communications

    Prior to joining Class Afloat, Marilyn was teaching English, Social Sciences and Physical Education at De La Salle, a French art school in downtown Ottawa. She was co-organizer of the outdoor education program which allowed students to discover activities such as canoeing, kayaking, white water canoeing, hiking, and biking as well as discovering survival techniques for the Canadian wilderness. She first discovered her love of the outdoors while camping as a child and now takes pride in introducing friends, family and students to the art. Over the last years, she has had the opportunity to drive from one Canadian coast to the other. While travelling, her favourite activities have been kayaking with whales and snorkelling with seals.

    On the Gulden Leeuw, Marilyn will be teaching English, French and Communication courses. As a Franco-Ontarian, she is excited to share her culture and language with any student who is willing to learn. Be warned, she is unapologetic about her love of tacky French songs.

  • Rhiannon White

    Rhiannon White

    Faculty

    Rhiannon White

    Rhiannon White

    Faculty

    Teaching: English 11, Acadia Sociology & Acadia Recreation Leadership

    Hello! I’m from a city near Niagara Falls, Ontario and attended teachers college at Brock University. Teaching is the family business in the White family; my mother, sister, 4/5 aunts/uncles and 3/4 grandparents are/were all teachers. I love teaching because every day is different! I love travelling alone and with groups. Travelling has helped me grow into a more confident person who takes risks and initiates conversations. I’m extremely excited to be joining what I’m sure will be an amazing staff and crew this year!

    P.S. The picture is me on top of the Great Wall of China. The day we went it was so misty you could barely see the wall, and my hair and clothes were soaked. Although we were disappointed at first, we all ended up laughing about it as we climbed up (me in my bare feet, because my shoe’s squeaked)!

Professional Maritime Crew

  • Arjen Töller

    Arjen Töller

    Captain

    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, Robert and fellow Captain Robert Postuma purchased the Danish research ship DANA and converted it into the majestic three-masted topsail schooner Gulden Leeuw.  

  • Robert Postuma

    Robert Postuma

    Captain

    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.  

  • Dominique Geysen

    Dominique Geysen

    Captain

    Dominique Geysen

    Dominique Geysen

    Captain

    Dominique has been sailing since a young age, enjoying a life on the ocean ever since. His professional life took shape with various roles in the maritime industry. After managing his own charter agency for seven years, Dominique focused the development of his work, study and expertise on oceanic sailing, regattas and diving.

  • Jeroen Peters

    Jeroen Peters

    Captain

    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.

  • Philip

    Philip

    First Officer

    Philip

    Philip

    First Officer

  • Sophie Baviere

    Sophie Baviere

    First Officer

    Sophie Baviere

    Sophie Baviere

    First Officer

    Sophie is one of Class Afloat's longest standing maritime crew! Hailing from Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, Sophie is the First Officer on board the Gulden Leeuw.  Sophie originally studied architecture in Paris, but as she started sailing tall ships at the end of her studies, she took a gap year in the French Navy and realized that she liked sailing very much.  After a few other sailing experiences, Sophie decided to combine both her architecture diploma with her sailing passion by becoming a naval architect for small vessels and sailing boats.  Sophie also decided that she wanted to go higher in ranks onboard ships and simultaneously studied at a seafaring school that specializes in traditional sailing vessels in the Netherlands.  From trainee to deckhand and then to officer, Sophie has sailed on several other vessels: in the French Navy; topsail schooners Etoile and Belle Poule, and yawl Mutin; and in the Dutch fleet the ketch Tecla, top sail schooner Wylde Swan, the Bark Europa, and now the three-masted topsail schooner Gulden Leeuw.  From a very young age Sophie has been very well-travelled - now it is in her blood and she can't imagine not doing it!  Sophie enjoys meeting new people and getting to know them during their time on board.

  • Collin Li

    Collin Li

    Cook's Mate

    Collin Li

    Collin Li

    Cook's Mate

    Although originally from New York, vacations in the Caribbean and summer trips to the beach spurred in me an interest for the sea. After graduating from the University of Miami with a degree in Marine Biology, I continued on to work aboard the schooner Roseway and made a goal for myself to transfer tall ships until I have sailed the world. Using my degree, experience on vessels, and scuba instructor’s license, I found myself working in Australia, Thailand, Taiwan, the Caribbean, and various locations in the U.S. over the years. Whether it be sailing on a ship above, blowing bubbles beneath, or listening to the crash of the waves beside, the born and bred city boy is never too far from the ocean.

    Q&A with Collin:

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

    Space exploration, but you know, busy doing Earth things these days.

    Question: What is your best advice for having a great adventure?

    Leave every great adventure with a fantastic story to tell your grandkids.

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

    Man, like a compass needle, will waiver before finding his true north. 

    Question: What would be your spirit animal?

    Some friends call me Caramujo, which is Portuguese for snail. At first I hated it, but over time I’ve seen why, and maybe you will too!

  • Francois Boyer

    Francois Boyer

    Cook

    Francois Boyer

    Francois Boyer

    Cook

    The first thing I would have to say is that I love food, this is what lead me down this road. My dad would let me cook dinner and do my homework later,  as a kid this would make me happy to not do my homework. This really made me love cooking at a young age, ever since grade three I said I wanted to be a chef. I have studied at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in the Professional Culinary Program. I have also worked in renowned restaurants such as the Old Vines restaurant at Quail's Gate winery and Mission Hill Winery. 

    Q&A with Francois:

    Question: What port are you most looking forward to?

    I am really excited to finally get to Russia.

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

    It's a hard choice between Augustus Escofier, Paul Baucus, and Anthony Bourdain.

    Question: What is your best advice for having a great adventure?

    Get yourself lost in the middle of the city and try to find your way back home. You will find a lot of amazing places on the way .

    Question: What book impacted you the most

    Perks of Being a Wallflower.

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

    With family and friends I am quite known for ginger beef and my crispy potatoes.

    Question: What would be your spirit animal?

    I believe that I would be a bear, big, loud, soft and gentle all in one .

  • Samuel Pen Thorsteinsson

    Samuel Pen Thorsteinsson

    AB

    Samuel Pen Thorsteinsson

    Samuel Pen Thorsteinsson

    AB

    After my grandfather took me with him to restore a small wooden boat, it has been difficult for me to leave the thoughts about boats and ships behind. From working on a small boat, I moved quite soon into working on whale watching ships in Northern Iceland (one of my home countries) and then onto container ships. In the last few years I have mainly been working here and there around boats and ships and now look forward to the next adventure. Those adventures of mine I like to photograph, therefore for my camera will definitely be seen on a regular basis on our journey.

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

    Buy myself a boat, live in it and travel the world.

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

    There are so many things that I am excited about. But the one that I am 
    the most exited about is working in a team, getting the ship from port 
    to port.

    Question: What is your best advice for having a great adventure?

    Go for it. If there is an opportunity, there is no reason for missing 
    it. Be open for new adventures.

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

    To be the calm and patient one.

  • Adriaan Devries

    Adriaan Devries

    2nd Officer

    Adriaan Devries

    Adriaan Devries

    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.

    Q&A with Adriaan:

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

    Learning to scuba dive and surf!

    Question: What is your best advise for having a great adventure?

    Go traveling without a return ticket.

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

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

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

    To always do what makes you feel the happiest.

  • Sophie Hencke

    Sophie Hencke

    Greenhand

    Sophie Hencke

    Sophie Hencke

    Greenhand

    My name is Sophie and I’m 21 Years old. I come from Denmark and I went on my first sailing vacation when I was two years old and have been sailing ever since. After I finished high school in 2017 I went sailing with the Danish full rigger, Training Ship DANMARK where I discovered my passion for tall ships. 

    Q&A with Sophie:

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

    I have always wanted to learn Spanish so I would like to go to South America for a longer period of time.  

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

    I would have dinner with one of the officers from Training Ship DANMARK because she’s one of the reasons that I’m here. 

    Question: What is one of the most valuable lessons you've learned to date?

    That you should appreciate your surroundings and take one day at a time. 

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

    For being very open-minded and adventurous. And many people remember me for my laugh. 

  • Shala McDonnell

    Shala McDonnell

    Bosun

    Shala McDonnell

    Shala McDonnell

    Bosun

    I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and have always loved the outdoors. I love doing things with my hands, painting, drawing, cooking, gardening. I happened into the world of tall ships 2 years ago, having never worked on a boat before, and I completely fell in love with it. The blood sweat and tears of it all, the simplified stripped down lifestyle, the travel. I have never been more fulfilled, and I am excited to share that with the people around me!   

    Q&A with Sharla:

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

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

    Question: What port are you most looking forward to?

    All of them because they are all new to me and I love immersing myself in other cultures.

    Question: 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.

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

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

    Question: What would be your spirit animal?

    Bobcat 

  • Sanne Koenen

    Sanne Koenen

    AB

    Sanne Koenen

    Sanne Koenen

    AB

    I grew up on a (canal) boat in The Netherlands, so I learned to swim and sail from a very young age. I think that's where my passion for anything related to water started. It's therefore not surprising that, after a gap-year in Australia where I learned to SCUBA dive, I went to University to study Water Management and Marine Ecology. Instead of looking for a job, however, I decided I wanted to sail for 1-2 years first. It's now over 3 years ago that I graduated but I am still sailing because I love it so much more than the idea of sitting at a desk staring at a computer screen. 

    Q&A with Sanne:

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

    Cross an ocean. 2 years ago I set out to do so on a yacht of a friend, but the plans changed and we didn't get past the Canary Islands.

    Question: What port are you most looking forward to?

    All of them, because all of them (except for Amsterdam and London) are new to me. Any arrival at a port where you've never been is exciting. If I had to choose just one, it would be St. Petersburg, because it's the one I can least picture in my head.

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

    Cees Dekker, the grandfather of my mother's cousins, who was one of the last captains to sail around Cape Horn on sailing (cargo) ships. 

    Question: What would be your spirit animal?

    A dragon.

  • Brie Coulombe

    Brie Coulombe

    Medical Officer

    Brie Coulombe

    Brie Coulombe

    Medical Officer

    Hi! I am so excited to return to Class Afloat as a staff member in January 2019. I completed my fist year of university with Class Afloat aboard the SS Sorlandet during the 2010-2011 year. After trying different things like moving to Halifax, and joining a circus school, I moved back home to Edmonton, AB to start the Psychiatric Nursing program at MacEwan University. After completing my psychiatric nursing program I returned to further my education and obtained my Bachelor of Science in Nursing at University of Alberta. I am a Registered Psychiatric Nurse and a Registered Nurse and I have been working with Edmonton’s Emergency Department Mental Health Teams for two years. I can’t wait to take a quick break from the hospital and go back out to sea, meet amazing people and visit incredible ports.  

    Q&A with Brie

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

    The community that forms on the ship with Class Afloat is not only amazing to witness but be apart of. I am most excited to form new relationships with students, staff and crew and observe as everyone grows and changes throughout the experience. I also cannot wait to watch sunrises at sea again as I have found they are unrivalled. 

    Question: What is one of the most valuable lessons you've learned to date?

    It’s a very cliche saying, but I’ve always been told by those closest to me that you can do anything you set your mind to and I have found this to be true for myself. Determination, commitment and of course a little help from friends and family, can allow you to overcome even your biggest fears.

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

    I am famous for being a crazy cat lady, I should probably have a certificate for it. I spoil my cat beyond belief. I also continue to buy and collect books despite an overflowing bookshelf but I do plan to have my own library room one day. 

    Question: What would be your spirit animal?

    Definitely a cat. Any type of feline actually, be it big or small, fluffy or not. 

  • Leslie Scott

    Leslie Scott

    Cook

    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.

    Q&A with Leslie

    Question: 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.

  • Callista Koster

    Callista Koster

    2nd Officer

    Callista Koster

    Callista Koster

    2nd Officer

    Hi! I’m Callista, and I'm 48 years old. When I’m not sailing I live in Amsterdam. I studied Business Administration and worked as a manager and teacher for different kind of organizations. In my spare time I went to Maritime College and that’s how I became sailor. Looking forward to meeting you all!

    Q&A with Callista

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

    Learning how to play the guitar.

    Question: What is your best advice for having a great adventure?

    Just do it!

    Question: What is the best single day on the Calendar?

    The 5th of December because then it’s Sinterklaas! I’ll explain later what that is about….

    Question: What would be your spirit animal?

    A turtle: in Polynesian culture the turtle is the navigator that helped people navigate the seas to new undiscovered lands.

  • Christian Barmettler

    Christian Barmettler

    Engineer

    Christian Barmettler

    Christian Barmettler

    Engineer

    Growing up on a farm in the Swiss countryside I had a free childhood. I was always curious of what lays behind the mountains and took every opportunity to travel. One of those opportunities brought me sailing and somehow my life turns out to sea again and again. Love the freedom and strong bonds created between sea and sky.

    Q&A with Christian

    Question: What port are you most looking forward to?

    St Petersburg, Russia

    Question: What is your best advice for having a great adventure?

    One foot in front of the other... body will follow!

    Question: What is one of the most valuable lessons you've learned to date?

    I know that I know nothing.

    Question: What book impacted you the most?

    "Buntschatten und Fledermäuse" by Axel Brauns

  • Nathan Engel

    Nathan Engel

    AB

    Nathan Engel

    Nathan Engel

    AB

    My name is Nate Engel. I grew up in northern Minnesota. I've lived an adventurous outdoor lifestyle and always loved the water. Sailing, Camping, Hiking, Swimming, Fishing, Kayaking, Climbing, Biking, and more. My first tall ship experience was in 2010 on Bark Europa and I would never be the same. I loved the adventure, the traveling and the life of a sailor.

    Since then I have sailed on ships of all sizes from simple Sloops, Ketches, and Schooners to Brigs, Barks, and Full Rigged Ships. This past year I've sailed from from one end of the world to the other, Canada to Antarctica. Sailing has changed my life, and I look forward to seeing where else it will take me.

    Q&A with Nathan

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

    Get my own boat and sail around the world! I am already enjoying sailing, traveling, exploring, and life everyday. I know I will get around to this someday, but no rush.

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

    That's tough, its all going to be incredible. Discovering new places, new faces, learning new things, working and living with new friends, becoming a team, sharing my love for sailing and traveling, and going on an amazing adventure together.

    Question: What port are you most looking forward to?

    I can't chose just one. Anywhere I haven't been is somewhere I hope to visit. I love discovering new places.

    Question: What is your best advice for having a great adventure?

    Go with the flow, be open minded, try new things, don't have expectations, and be spontaneous! You'll miss out on amazing things if you are busy making plans.

    Question: What is one of the most valuable lessons you've learned to date?

    Slow down! Life can be fast and crazy. Take the time to enjoy the little things around you. Small details, coluors, smells, and sounds.

    Question: What is the best single day on the Calendar?

    For me life is best when I lose track of the days and the time. I know I'm having a good time if I don't know the date.

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

    Being adventurous and fearless! Climbing aloft to furl in 60 knot winds, fighting tangled lines with the ocean poring over the rail, crossing the Drake in 10 meter seas... I live for this stuff, but to others seems a bit crazy.

  • Jesse Wiegel

    Jesse Wiegel

    Bosun

    Jesse Wiegel

    Jesse Wiegel

    Bosun

    Jesse comes to Gulden Leeuw from the Pacific Northwest of the United States, where he began his sailing career aboard the historic schooner Adventuress, having most recently sailed two seasons as Chief Mate and Maintenance Coordinator. Other vessels Jesse has put time into as deckhand, bosun, mate, or rigger include Clearwater, Pride of Baltimore II, Lettie G. Howard, the full-rigged ship Wavertree and the barque Picton Castle. He is also a Lead Sailing Instructor for the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School.

    Jesse is a licensed Master with the United States Coast Guard and holds Wilderness First Responder medical certification amongst other credentials. When not plying the seas, Jesse can be found deep in the forest, hunting succulent mushrooms for his stew, or spinning a partner at a local Contra Dance.

    Q&A with Jesse

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

    I have been intending to try living somewhere that isn’t floating. I hear it’s grand.

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

    I love working with programs that give responsibility for vessel operation to students. Observing the transformation students go through as they apply new skills is a big part of my compensation.

    Question: What port are you most looking forward to?

    I have never been to Europe, and the idea of sailing into the English Channel and up the Thames excites me beyond belief - to see places of historical significance from our unique perspective aboard a ship is so special!

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

    I’m going with a fictional character, and that character would be Leslie Knope from the brilliant show Parks and Recreation.

    Question: What is your best advice for having a great adventure?

    Don’t worry too much about where you’re going to sleep tonight.

  • Tasmina Begum

    Tasmina Begum

    Cook's Mate

    Tasmina Begum

    Tasmina Begum

    Cook's Mate

    I really love what I do. On my days off from work you can find me in the kitchen cooking up a different meal every time! I love my family, friends, and my dog Ollie! I'm usually full of energy, so I always like to go on adventures and try new things whenever possible!

    Q&A with Tasmina

    Question: What is your best advice for having a great adventure?

    Start your day early, and enjoy the little things!

    Question: What is the best single day on the Calendar?

    I really love Christmas day! And, the overall Christmas spirit, and the time spent with family!

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

    Known for being witty, and sassy!

    Question: What would be your spirit animal?

    A tiger!

  • Nicholas Canaparo

    Nicholas Canaparo

    Greenhand

    Nicholas Canaparo

    Nicholas Canaparo

    Greenhand

    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.

    Q&A with Nicholas

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

    Paragliding off a mountain after summiting.

    Question: 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.

    Question: What is your best advice for having a great adventure?

    It isn’t an adventure until something goes wrong.

    Question: 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.