Captain: Jarryd Vermaak
Captain Jarryd was born in South Africa. He grew up in Durban spending his days on the beaches with his friends. Jarryd studied Marketing and advertising after school while working for a successful restaurant/cocktail bar opening new franchises around South Africa. Jarryd entered the yachting world in 2009 as deckhand onboard a 188’ Feadship. Since entering the wonderful world of luxury yachting, he has crossed the Atlantic 5 times and cruised many different waters including the Mediterranean, Caribbean, US East coast and the Gulf of Mexico. His hard work, attention to detail and growing knowledge, along with strong communication and entrepreneurship skills allowed him to work his way up to Captain of very busy private and Charter programs. Jarryd first joined LADY J in 2015. His longevity and charter experience have allowed him to hone his skills to provide a five-star yacht program and experience to guests every time. He is very team and guest focused. He has a lively bubbly personality and gets on with all guests, always sharing a joke or two, making for a memorable charter experience that guests won’t ever forget. In his free time, Jarryd enjoys diving, water sports, traveling, and reading.
1st Officer: Paul Shelton
Paul was born in Durban, South Africa and grew up on the beach front surfing. In 2009 he moved to London and worked on the London underground as a Electricians mate before moving to the mediterranean to start his yachting career. Paul started working on classic sailing yachts and spent five years on a 109-year-old classic schooner. While onboard, Paul took part in over twenty classic sailing regattas in the mediterranean and Caribbean. Since then, he has worked on both sailing and motor yachts and worked his way up from deckhand to first officer. Paul had spent most of his yachting career in the Mediterranean but recently wanted to spend some time in America, which led him to Lady J. During his free time, he enjoys playing rugby, surfing and more recently took up learning to play golf.
Chief Engineer (Rotation): Michael Bishop
“Mikey” was born in Durban, South Africa where he grew up surrounded by water and was an avid surfer. He worked as a mixologist in cocktail bars in Durban before leaving to work as a Mechanical Mate for the London Underground Railway. After five years in London, he missed the ocean and moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida to begin his career in yachting. He began working as a deck hand, quickly finding his way to the engine room where he excelled. Nine years later he is an extremely talented engineer who plans to continue his education and attend more engineering courses during his free time. He currently resides in Mallorca, Spain with his beautiful wife and baby boy. Mikey considers himself lucky to work on a rotation schedule onboard Lady J so that he can also spend time with his family at home, where they enjoy hiking, swimming, reading, and surfing.
Chief Engineer (Rotation): Matthew Stallard
Matt is from Winchester, Virginia in the Blue Ridge Mountains. He grew up sailing in the Chesapeake Bay and sport fishing in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. After earning a degree in economics from the College of Charleston, South Carolina he decided to follow his love for the ocean and pursue a career at sea. He has been onboard yachts for 15 years. When not turning wrenches, Matt enjoys being in the mountains hiking and camping, or on the water paddling and fishing.
Chef: Anthony Horner
Anthony grew up on the Mississippi river in Driftless region of South West Wisconsin. He attended the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, where he obtained his bachelor’s degree in philosophy. During his time in University, he studied abroad in France where he volunteered on an organic farm. One thing led to another and next thing he was training in Gastronomy in France in an intensive culinary program focused on Gastronomic French Cuisine and Pastry, followed by an even more intensive internship. Anthony then travelled through Central America and Thailand. While he was traveling in Thailand he acquired his Thai cuisine certification. After a few years of travel he returned to the United States, and worked in a Spanish Tapas-Style Restaurant in Miami, which ultimately introduced him to find a culinary career in the wonderful world of luxury private yacht charters. While not whipping up culinary delights in the Lady J galley, Anthony enjoys training for Olympic distance triathlons, swimming, cycling, reading fantasy fiction and playing trombone and bass guitar. While Anthony considers himself a Jack of all trades in the galley, his strength lies in Mediterranean, Thai and Central American Cuisine. With his well-rounded culinary expertise, Anthony intends to wow guests with his international flavours.
Chief Stewardess: Natalie Edwards
Natalie was born in Sheffield, England. She is a fully qualified beauty therapist and in 2012 she took to the seas, working in the Spa onboard a cruise ship. She instantly fell in love with the ocean and travel and has never looked back, spending the last 10 years working overseas, from resorts in Greece and the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, to chalets in the French Alps, as well as on Richards Branson’s private island in the BVI’s. In 2016 she joined the yachting industry, starting out on a 262-foot motor yacht in the Med. She is friendly and outgoing with a passion for pulling out all the stops to provide exceptional service with a smile. She loves exploring new places and trying new experiences; in 2016 she completed her open water and advanced diving certificates in Thailand and in 2019 she completed her 200 hour yoga teacher training in Goa, India. She has recently spent 3 months travelling in South America where she enjoyed a mix of hiking and multi-day treks, and quiet days relaxing on beaches, cocktail in hand.
2nd Stewardess: Sophia Kazadi
Sophie is a girl from Boise, Idaho, who left to see what else the world had to offer. After graduating from college, she left on a solo trip to Australia, and then lived in the Netherlands for a short period of time before joining yachting. She enjoys trying new things, experiencing new cuisine, and making great friends along the way. She is a bubbly, outgoing girl who is always ready to lend a helping hand. Sophie enjoys all things about the water, with a long background in competitive swimming. She loves to relax on secluded beaches with a book and some good music. She has a silly and sassy sense of humour and can always be counted on for a laugh or a specialty cocktail that will enhance your taste buds.
3rd Stewardess: Gillian Giachinta
Gillian was raised in Leesburg, Virginia, developing a love for the outdoors, spending summers at the lake and winters skiing. She then attended the University of Tampa and obtained a degree in Biology. Her curiosity for the world and passion for the ocean led her to attend a Semester at Sea, where she travelled to multiple countries within Asia, Africa, and Europe while taking courses on the ship. This program sparked her love for living on the water and she knew she wanted to pursue a career at sea. Given her waitressing experience and adventurous, outgoing personality, yachting was an obvious avenue. Gillian is passionate about creating memorable experiences for others as they explore the world, making her a great fit for Lady J.
Bosun: Tyler Franks
Tyler was born in Memphis, Tennessee. He grew up playing on his high school basketball and golf team. Tyler then moved to Knoxville where he attended the University of Tennessee to study marketing. During his time there, he started up his own valet company which became very successful and is still going strong to this day. Throughout his life, Tyler has been boating on lakes all through Tennessee. Since then, he has been pursuing a boating career which brought him down to Fort Lauderdale, and eventually onboard Lady J. During his spare time Tyler enjoys playing golf, basketball, fishing, and spikeball on the beach.
Deckhand: Andrew Duckham
Andrew grew up in Pietermaritzburg South Africa and attended high school in Durban. After finishing school, he went to work as an apprentice mechanic which sparked an interest in engineering and that lead him into the world of yachting. Andrew is currently a deckhand and is doing engineering courses and working to become an engineer in the future. Although he is young, he finds great enjoyment in the yachting industry and continues to grow his knowledge whilst onboard lady J. He enjoys scuba diving and exploring new places he has not yet travelled to. Andrew keeps fit in the gym and has a passion for classic films. He grew up riding motorbikes in the bushes of South Africa and spent time exploring Lesotho. Andrew has recently taken up golfing with the crew.