Azulia II
Crew profile

Captain: Richard Coning (USA)
Chef/First Mate: Ekaterina Cherkez (USA)

Growing up on the east coast sailing and the ocean were a large part of Rich’s childhood. After an offshore sailing trip to the Caribbean at age 18, he was convinced that a life at sea was where he belonged. After meeting Ekaterina a few years later, they purchased their own sailboat and cruised the east coast, Bahamas, and Caribbean. In between cruising on their own boat they slowly began picking up jobs on yachts to fund their travels. This led to a full time position as a captain and chef couple in charter catamarans in the Caribbean. Rich has a great eye for detail and is very passionate about yacht maintenance, sailing, and entertaining guests. Kate is an excellent mate helping in all aspects of sailing, all while delivering fantastic meals from the galley. She is very passionate about using local quality ingredients in her meals, fitness, and daily Pilates.

Captain: Richard Coning
Captain Rich hails from a small coastal town on the Atlantic Ocean. Growing up on the ocean, he has spent his entire life on the water. He was introduced to sailing after high school, when he crewed on a boat headed for the Virgin Islands. Immediately he was hooked and spent the next two years sailing and surfing the Caribbean. After meeting Kate, the two of them purchased and rebuilt their own boat to cruise the islands. A few years later he decided to pursue sailing professionally. After obtaining his 50 ton masters license with the UCSG, Rich and Kate have worked on boats along the East coast, Caribbean, and Mediterranean. With years of  experience sailing together and an extensive knowledge of Virgin Islands waters, you will be in great hands. Rich’s main passion in life is being in the ocean and enjoying the outdoors. As an active member of the Surfrider foundation, he is always looking for ways to live a more sustainable life.

He looks forward to sharing his passion for water sports with guests, whether it’s tracking down waves along Tortola’s north shore, stand up paddle boarding, or wakeboarding. His favorite part of the day is entertaining guests with craft cocktails and tales of the days adventures while the boat effortlessly sails off into the sunset.

Chef/First Mate: Ekaterina Cherkez
Growing up in a landlocked city in Russia, the idea of sailing the ocean had never crossed Kate’s mind. It wasn’t until a summer exchange program brought her to the Atlantic coast where she met Rich. Now married for 9 years and after many sailing trips on their own boat, she couldn’t imagine life any other way. With a degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from San Diego State University, her fresh culinary style reflects throughout a healthy fare. She channels all her incredible energy and brilliant ability to think outside the box into creating delicious masterpieces for guests to enjoy.

Having had the opportunity to travel the world, including Egypt, Thailand, Greece, and Italy, she has had the chance to sample many of the world’s cuisines. She takes great delight in sharing these flavors with you. Mediterranean and Asian inspired dishes enriched by quality produce and locally sourced fresh ingredients is the mainstay of her cooking. Vegetarians and vegans are very welcome with Chef Kate! Kate seamlessly marries her talent in the galley with her natural ability to entertain. She is very flexible with a lively, outgoing, and bubbly personality. Kate aims to make your vacation as enjoyable and as fun as possible