Operating in the Caribbean
As a child, Ish anxiously awaited the arrival of summer when he would head to his grandparents’ cottage in Ontario. The waters of Lake Huron became the playground where Ish learned to sail his grandparents’ 16’ Wayfarer. On any given sunny summer day, he could be found out on the lake struggling to untangle himself from a rat’s nest of lines or being caught by a sneaky gust that caused him to capsize. Those first few years with the Wayfarer served as a foundation for a great passion for sailing. After graduating from high school, Ish attended Prescott College in Arizona where he fed an insatiable appetite for the outdoors. College orientation, a 3-week backpacking trip through a canyon in Arizona, opened a whole new world of outdoor pursuits and possibilities. Over the next 4 years, he filled his spare time with surfing, backcountry skiing, white water rafting, rock climbing, stargazing, campfire-ing, and howling at the moon! A desire to sail in salt water persisted, even in the desert. Ish satisfied his salt water cravings with a job living and working aboard sailboats in the British Virgin Islands. Over 6 summers with Sail Caribbean, a summer camp for teens, Ish served as captain, fleet captain, and program director. He was able to also fulfill his aspiration to work on a commercial salmon fishing boat in Alaska before finally realizing his lifelong dream of leading unforgettable charters for guests in the Virgin Islands. His time in the VI has given him outstanding knowledge of the local culture and natural treasures to be enjoyed here. He has a deep love for these beautiful islands and the surrounding waters and is excited to share this passion with each and every guest who comes aboard.
Julia has dedicated much of her time and passion to preserving and protecting these very wild places that she has grown to treasure. Julia gained certifications as a Scientific Diver, presided over UF’s chapter of the National Surfrider Foundation, and volunteered for the Association of Reef Keepers where she cleaned the beaches and waters of the BVI and worked to conserve marine sea turtles. Julia has spent three summers with Sail Caribbean. There, she has served as captain, sailing instructor, dive advisor, and marine biology teacher. With each summer spent in the BVI, Julia has grown in her knowledge and appreciation of the sea, marine life and the culture of the islands. Her experience complements her Wilderness First Responder and Rescue Diver certifications in safely sharing her passion and enthusiasm for outdoor recreation with people of all ages and experience levels. All this, however, pales in comparison to Julia's love for food. A strong believer in food being the ingredient that binds us all together, Julia works hard to create a menu that excites and unites each group of guests she encounters, whether at home with friends and family or on the job. An appreciation for coupling meals with the right ambiance and a love for fresh & local ingredients motivates Julia to bring adventure and exquisite flavor to the table for each meal.
Ish and Julia met in 2017 working for Sail Caribbean, a summer camp that runs three week trips at sea for teens aboard sailboats in the BVI. Their fondness for one another steadily grew throughout the summer, as they filled their days teaching their students sailing, SCUBA diving, marine biology/conservation, and leadership skills. They immediately bonded over their shared appreciation for the deeper things in life ... the beauty of a nighttime sky, the unifying power of music, the significance of the friendships closest to us. After only knowing each other a few days, they found themselves staying up late eagerly exploring bilges and engine rooms together, trying to understand their systems, or taking the dinghy out to remote spots to marvel at the phenomenon of the bioluminescent plankton in the sea below. They quickly realized their motivation to thrive in this industry was intrinsic and thus began their quest to become term charter crew. Due to their genuine passion for sailing these waters and their deep love of human connection, Ish and Julia excel at making each guest feel welcome and comfortable while unveiling the awe-inspiring beauty and adventure that these islands have to offer. Ish and Julia foster a relaxing environment onboard and prioritize customizing each charter to the guests' specific interests in order to create trips that groups will warmly cherish for a lifetime. Their enthusiasm, work ethic, and personable nature make them a great team as they continue to follow their passion for hosting unforgettable charters in their favorite place in the world!
We hope our delay in sending this note to you does not diminish our gratitude or the joy we experienced for the seven days we sailed the Caribbean on Soterion with Ish and Julia. Every moment was magical as we enjoyed the special quality of your beautiful catamaran and the completely enjoyable company of your Captain, Ish, and First Mate and Chef, Julia. We couldn’t have been more comfortable with such luxurious space and copious amenities. The perfect weather with strong winds, choppy waters, and abundant sunshine was an added benefit. And yet, it is Ish and Julia that made our experience most fun and memorable. In less than an hour, we knew that we were in experienced, capable hands and that getting to know our two hosts would be an absolute delight. As chef, Julia was 100% successful in meeting the challenge of our daughter, Julie’s, unusual dietary restrictions. She presented one beautiful and delicious meal after another that the three of us thoroughly enjoyed. The meals seemed effortless despite the hours she spent in the galley, often with Ish at her side as sous chef or as clean-up assistant afterwards. The way they worked together as the sailing crew was even more impressive. They seemed to read each other’s minds, and their nimbleness running from one part of the boat to the other was enviable. Their partnership as sailors and hosts was a joy to watch, and we’re grateful to have been the beneficiaries of their skill, attentiveness to us, and utterly charming personalities. They also met the challenge of my fall and associated back pain with great concern and care, which made me feel safe and comfortable. We feel as if no words can do justice to their contribution to our absolutely perfect sailing experience, but we hope in some way this conveys our admiration of them and our gratitude for their efforts to care for us in every way possible. They each are very special individuals, and we are privileged to have had the opportunity to get to know them and spend time with them on your extraordinary sailing vessel. They definitely do the magnificent Soterion proud.
Joan and Harry