Crew profile

Captain: Orlagh O'Donoghue (Ireland)
Chef/First Mate: Cassie Pepin (USA)

Captain: Orlagh O’Donoghue
Born and bred in Ireland, Orlagh has always had an unwavering passion for the outdoors, and travel. Being able to horse ride since a very young age, Orlagh was never seen without muddy boots and a horse somewhere nearby. At every opportunity Orlagh would leave Ireland to compete on her horses abroad. This led her to see new cultures and sparked an interest to want to travel further.

Starting her first job as an air hostess for Emirates airlines in her early 20s, she predominantly worked in premium cabins for over five years. That provided her the chance to experience many countries and vast cultures. After spending so much time in the air she started to miss the ocean and nature, so she took some time away from flying. After discovering her passion for sailing it was an easy decision to make the change but had to throw herself entirely into sailing and spend all of her time and energy to complete her Yachtmaster in the UK. She ended up swapping her wings for her sails and spent a summer working for a charter company, offering sailing trips around Greece. She naturally fell in love with sailing and knew that this is what she wanted to pursue as a life and career.

Four years in, Orlagh has been working as a professional captain in the Mediterranean and Caribbean, having also completed some ocean crossings across the Atlantic and spending her last winter as a sailing instructor in the BVI.

• RYA Yachtmaster Offshore (CE)
• RYA Cruising Instructor
• VHF SRC Radio
• STWC95
• ENG1
• Power Boat Level 2
• RYA Diesel Engine Maintenance
PADI Rescue Diver
• 200 H YTT

Chef/Mate: Cassie Peppin
Originally from Florida, Cassie grew up on the water. Spending the weekends at the beach, grilling out with friends and family fostered her love for entertaining. Growing up as the oldest of six, she is overqualified at managing multiple personalities and wrangling a group. She was the go-to girl for family birthday cakes and over the years has been more than happy to use her family for countless hours of recipe testing. After college, Cassie began working in DC as an events planner, and while her love for entertaining helped her excel in this position, she still yearned for something more. Deciding to take a year off to backpack through Europe, Cassie ended up on a sailboat trip with friends in Croatia and that was it. She knew she had to find a way to stay, and when the staff on board asked if she knew how to cook, she said yes – and never looked back.

During the pandemic when the tourism industry slowed, she took that as an opportunity to advance her career by taking a year off from working on boats to attend culinary school in New York. Cassie then landed a job as a line cook at a well-known southeast Asian restaurant in Chinatown while attending school, learning from some of the best chefs in the industry and fine tuning her own skills on the line, she gained priceless experience during her year on land. She now brings this professional training to yachts all over the world, from the Mediterranean to the Caribbean to French Polynesia – and now to her newfound home on sailing yacht Elysian.

• STCW95
• ASA 101 & 103
• ServSafe Food Protection
• Manager’s Certification
• Level 2 Food Safety & Handling
• PADI Advanced Open Water Diver
• Full Clean US Drivers License
• ENG1