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callista - crew profile
captain: roland schaeffer (zaf)
chef/first mate: vanessa kerster (uk/zaf)

Captain Roland and Chef/First Mate Vanessa, both vibrant and energetic, hail from Cape Town, South Africa. They have known each other for 20+ years and were married in February 2010. Previously, Captain Roland worked in the corporate environment, ending at the pinnacle of his successful career managing his own business servicing the dental and medical industry. Crew of 3 aboard crewed charter yacht in the BVI, CallistaIn between, he followed his passion for the sea by obtaining his RYA Yacht Master Offshore – subsequently receiving his RYA Yacht Master Ocean certification. Roland has delivered yachts professionally, doing numerous trans-Atlantic crossings (amongst others) accumulating in excess of 100,000 Nautical Miles. The majority of these deliveries were for the TUI group (Moorings/Sunsail).

Roland's first transatlantic blue water passage in 2004 brought him to the shores of the Caribbean. It was during one of those yacht deliveries in 2005 that Roland came across Tradewinds Cruise Club and worked as a Charter Captain managing a Privilege 48ft catamaran in and around the Caribbean windward islands, operating primarily out of Jolly Harbour in Antigua, going on to work with Vanessa on numerous and larger catamarans for Tradewinds Cruise Club in 2012 and then into the private sector in 2013. His other passions include kite surfing, cycling, scuba diving, free diving and fishing.

Vanessa holds a diploma in fashion design but soon discovered that the hospitality industry is where her passion lies. For years a deli and coffee shop owner in the heart of prestigious London-Marylebone Lane- and prior to that, spent many years in the restaurant industry all over the world, from South Africa to Honduras to Europe. Having worked in the food and hospitality industry for so many years ensures without a doubt that your expectations will be exceeded. The guest book is testament to Vanessa's great skills in the galley. Her creative flair and ability to cater to challenging dietary requirements is nothing short of incredible. Vanessa tends to lean towards a very healthy al fresco style preparation. (Roland is kept very busy on the grill!)

In 2010 Roland and Vanessa decided to put their individual skill sets together. They sold their respective businesses and embarked on a plan to work on yachts full time. They contacted Tradewinds Cruise Club with whom Roland has had a long standing relationship. The rest as they say is history.

Both growing up in South Africa has taught Vanessa and Roland to appreciate and indulge in numerous outdoor activities, whether it be hiking, skiing, river rafting, kayaking or scuba diving to name a few. Vanessa and Roland are both qualified PADI Dive Master/Rescue Divers. Roland is a qualified PADI OPEN WATER INSTRUCTOR and will be offering Discover Scuba Diving for non certified divers onboard SV CALLISTA! Their guests can be sure they are in very safe hands! There is NO certification on a DSD course. In addition Roland is an instructor in wreck, deep, navigation, drift, Fish ID, nitrox scuba diving specialities. Vanessa is a trained ASHTANGA yoga instructor.

The flavour of Roland and Vanessa's charters lends itself towards getting off the beaten track, finding paths less travelled but also feel very comfortable offering an itinerary which includes lively beach bars and popular locations. They are open to lifestyle charters of more than one week thereby allowing the freedom to island hop. The grill is utilised a lot, providing a healthy outdoor style of food preparation and still managing to retain a feeling of luxury. Roland is a South African citizen and Vanessa carries both British and South African citizenship. Their home language is English however speak fluent Afrikaans. Both are non-smokers.

deckhand/steward: hugh white (zaf)
Roland and Vanessa are joined by a 3rd crew member, deckhand/steward Hugh White, an active young man from South Africa, to help keep everything shipshape, that you always have a refreshing drink in hand and make sure someone is always available for water sports. Hugh is also a qualified Yachtmaster and keen scuba diver with his PADI Advanced Open Water certification.

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