Captain: Brad Marquart
Brad Marquart grew up in a small Mississippi river town in Missouri. After completing a degree in Biology at a liberal arts college it was time for some adventure, and he left the Midwest for a new life on the ocean. He joined a commercial fisheries management consultancy in Alaska, working on fishing vessels to provide precise and timely data regarding fishery health directly to NOAA. After working aboard 12 large fishing and fish processing vessels operating out of Dutch Harbor and Juneau, he traded the Bering Sea for the Rocky Mountains and moved to Denver, Colorado. There he started as a bioenergy researcher developing alternatives to mining coal, before switching gears and becoming an environmental scientist liaising between the oil and gas industry and state regulatory bodies. However, his previous life on the ocean had left a mark.
Upon meeting Kristi, the new team set out to reconnect with previous careers on the water. Denver provides perhaps the most landlocked American Sailing School in the USA, and Kristi and Brad took every class they had time for. They left Denver for the east coast where they assisted with a sailboat delivery, and then took to new careers aboard a 74 foot charter ketch here in the Virgin Islands, which led to Brad earning his USCG 100-ton Master Captain’s license and moving on to operate charter catamarans. Now starting his fourth year in the term charter industry, Brad has also earned a nitrox scuba certification and enjoys sharing chef’s and guide duties with his wife. An innate naturalist, he loves identifying fish and watching their behavior. He loves life most when guiding snorkel and hiking excursions in the beautiful Virgin Islands and when winding down with our always-interesting guests after a memorable day.
Chef/First Mate: Kristi Marquart
Kristi Marquart has a diverse background within the charter boat and restaurant industries. Her culinary interest sparked at an early age in her family’s restaurant and brewery in Kansas, where she worked every position throughout high school and college. Eager to grow in the hospitality industry after graduating from KU, Kristi went on to manage three successful restaurant openings across the country with a company that believed in serving real food sourced from American farmers. She has always loved to cook for friends and family but it was her experience working alongside talented chefs and restaurateurs that ultimately groomed Kristi for her role as the chef aboard Sea Esta. Her cuisine style utilizes fresh ingredients that bring both color and flavor to the plate. She obtains high quality cuts of meat and locally sourced eggs, produce and seafood (when available). Her menus are made with her guests preferences in mind, and she loves the creative freedom of serving beautiful meals that become a conversation piece over the table.
Kristi also holds a USCG 100-ton Master Captain’s license, a bachelors degree in environmental science, a nitrox diver certification, and ten years of experience handling various boats along the coasts of California, Georgia, South Carolina, and throughout the entire Eastern Caribbean. This is her seventh season operating charter boats out of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Kristi & Brad are honored to call Sea Esta home and will ensure your vacation is the kind you smile about for years to come.