ADRIAN ROCHE - SOUTH AFRICAN
Joined Winter 2015
Nicknamed “Zulu”, Adrian hails from the kingdom of Zulu tribesmen, on the east coast of South Africa. Born and raised in the African bush, Adrian is sure to lighten up any conversation with tales of his colourful and untamed life growing up. From game capture to hunting for his next meal and fishing in the open water, he can tell a good sea story or two as he claims to have seen a few sea monsters along the way. Maybe he’s just been at sea too long? Yes, Nero has its very own Steve Irwin on board! Out of the wild and into the deep blue.
Adrian has since spent 15 years in the yachting industry making his way up the ranks and has commanded vessels, both charter and private, from 40 to 65 meters in length. Notably, he spent two years on board M/Y Mi Sueño, completing both Mediterranean and Caribbean seasons, and subsequently, he captained M/Y Nassima, another successful charter yacht on which he received amazing client feedback.
When he is not busy on board, Adrian can be found on the golf course, relaxing, or catching up on global affairs while listening to country music.
Adrian loves a challenge and working under pressure. He is without doubt a fantastic, hands-on Captain who places great emphasis on crew dynamics and a happy and safe work environment, making for a superior guest experience.
Adrian will ensure that your experience on board Nero will leave an indelible impression.
Previous yachts include: M/Y Nassima, M/Y Mi Sueño, M/Y Sea Bird, M/Y Lady Lau, M/Y Sunrise, M/Y Happy Days, M/Y Barbara Jean, M/Y Sea Jewel, etc.
DAVID PIDGEON - NEW ZEALAND
Joined Spring 2014
David was born in Auckland and is the oldest of 6 children. He started sailing as a teenager with the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron Youth Training Programme and studied Law at the University of Auckland. David practiced as a commercial lawyer for 4 years before returning to University to study for a Master of Commerce degree. In 2002, he discovered the yachting industry in the South of France and decided to pursue a career in yachting.
He started as a Deckhand on M/Y Va Bene and then advanced to M/Y Lady Ann Magee as Chief Mate in 2007. After qualifying as a Yacht Captain, he joined M/Y Meamina in 2010 as Chief Officer/ Relief Captain before joining M/Y Nero. David has 12 years' experience on charter yachts and he Captained M/Y Meamina on charter in the Mediterranean, Caribbean, and Maldives, as well as for an Atlantic crossing and two crossings with armed security in naval convoys from the Suez Canal to the Indian Ocean.
Prior to yachting, he competed in Ironman triathlons and occasionally played golf. David now enjoys following football, cycling, and Formula 1.
RELIEF CHIEF OFFICER
ADAM NAUGHTON – AUSTRALIAN
Joined Winter 2016
Growing up on the south east coast of Australia, Adam was involved in various water sports from a very young age with holidays spent aboard family-owned sailing and cruising boats. Water skiing, Wake-boarding, jet skiing and surfing were prominent hobbies for Adam growing up. During High School, Adam worked part-time on small sailing and motor yachts, as well as game fishing boats. Simultaneously, he honed his musical talents as harmonicist and bass drummer for an undiscovered soft rock band. Ten years ago, Adam obtained his first full-time position on board a Pacific ocean-cruising yacht, and since then, he has been enjoying yachting and all aspects of living and working on the seas.
Adam joins Nero as Relief Chief Officer.
LEE EASDON - BRITISH
Joined Spring 2016
Lee grew up in the small fishing village of Padstow in Cornwall, England. Living so close to the sea, Lee’s passion really flared for fresh season. He started his training at the famous Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant in Padstow, where he worked for 5 years, and then progressed to work at 1 and 2 Michelin starred restaurants.
Lee has a wide repertoire, which has been expanded through travelling and working in restaurants around the world including Australia, Japan and South East Asia. His specialties are in Asian, Seafood and Modern British cuisine. Lee has worked in the super yacht industry for over 4 years on yachts from (37m -120m) in the Mediterranean. Moreover, he worked at a 5* private chalet in the Swiss Alps where he cooked for the crown Prince of Demark.
Aside from the Culinary Arts, Lee enjoys travelling the world, and has a passion for diving and photography.
NATALIE ZEELIE - SOUTH AFRICAN
Natalie grew up and went to school in Cape Town, South Africa where she was always very sporty. She competed in Water Polo at a national level five times. The focus, determination and hard work involved taught her to be very strong, especially in becoming a female chef. Food has always been a huge passion of hers, having grown up within a food-cultured family.
It led her to study at world-renowned chef school, Silwood School of Culinary Arts. One of her ultimate dreams is to eat at Massimo Bottura's acclaimed restaurant, ‘Osteria Francescana’,in Italy.
Natalie is always up for new and exciting experiences that come her way, which is why she has embarked on a career in yachting, so that she is never too far from her next adventure!
JILLIAN LAYDOO - TRINIDADIAN
Joined Spring 2017
Languages: English, basic Spanish
Jillian originates from the tropical island of Trinidad, best known for its cosmopolitan culture and festive carnival. She holds a Master of Science degree in Clinical Psychology and worked in the therapeutic field in the beauteous island of St. Lucia for 3 years. In order to pursue her passion for travel and adventure, she made the bold career change to yachting in 2013.
Her problem solving skills, calm demeanor, warm personality and enthusiastic attitude helped her rise through the ranks quickly to Head Housekeeper on the busy charter yacht M/Y Lauren L (90m). Not one to shy away from a challenge, she then took up a Head Housekeeper/Asst. Purser role on M/Y Samar (77m). She now joins M/Y Nero as Purser where her aim is to make each guest experience a most unparalleled and memorable one!
In her spare time, when not out and about soaking up the culture and history, Jillian enjoys getting wrapped up in a good motivational book and practicing pilates.
CLAIRE SZEKERES – BRITISH/AUSTRALIAN
Joined Spring 2016
Languages: English, basic French and Spanish
Claire hails from London, England. Her love of travel started at a young age travelling to and from her father’s native Australia. She began sailing recreationally as a child on the Solent and continued at University with friends. Claire began working in Hospitality as a teenager for a small catering company in London, and progressed to a silver service agency working in hotels, castles and palaces. She was also a private Nanny for over 5 years in the UK, Sweden and Switzerland.
In 2010, after finishing her studies, Claire discovered the yachting industry and has never looked back. She loves having the opportunity to visit so many exotic locations and to impart her knowledge to guests. Previously, Claire worked as Chief Stewardess on M/Y Utopia (72m), and as second stewardess on M/Y Sapphire (73m), M/Y Harle (45m), and M/Y Perfect Persuasion (45m). This is Claire’s third season on M/Y Nero. Her affable, vibrant and nurturing personality, combined with her extensive repertoire makes for an undeniably exceptional guest experience on board.
Hobbies include: cooking, cycling, knitting and cross stitching.
ELIZABETH HARVEY - BRITISH
Joined Winter 2017
Languages: English, basic French
Elizabeth grew up on a farm on the East Coast of Australia. After High School, she worked as a dance teacher and in the fashion industry. Her desire to travel led her to embark on a yachting career and a life at sea. For the past 6 years, Elizabeth has been working on board Motor Yachts, and is a connoisseur in cocktail making and wine. Elizabeth has a keen eye for detail and will go the extra mile to make your stay on Nero a comfortable and enjoyable one. In her spare time, she enjoys yoga, diving, sailing, surfing and winter sports.
ALEXANDRA ZADERER - SOUTH AFRICAN
Joined Spring 2015
Languages: English, German, Afrikaans
Alexandra was born in Cape Town and is a qualified somatologist. Before studying, Alexandra’s desire was to travel the world. Not surprising that upon graduation, she pursued a maritime career and worked as a Beauty Therapist on cruise ships. She later fulfilled a goal of becoming the Head Therapist at the popular One & Only Spa
in South Africa. After a few years, Alexandra searched for a new challenge which led her to manage a 5 star guesthouse with great fervor and creativity. This is Alexandra’s fifth season on Nero. She takes great pride in her work and seeks to ensure that guests are happy and relaxed. Alexandra loves to be in nature and is passionate
about animals. She also enjoys great food, ballet dancing and is very interested in the arts and culture.
AMY HERON - NEW ZEALANDER
Joined Summer 2016
Amy began her yachting career over four years ago in New Zealand. Having a few good years in Hospitality under her belt and the ability to think on her feet, Amy headed to the yachting industry. Her first role as stewardess on a 15m motor yacht gave Amy a taste of yachting life and its high pressured environment. She then decided this was indeed the career path that she wanted to follow.
Amy boasts some impressive achievements whilst studying in New Zealand and Canada. These include Captain of the football and cricket teams, a member of the rowing and athletics teams, cross country representative and netball coach to name a few!
Prior to joining Nero, Amy worked on M/Y Elandess (60m), M/Y Elysian (60m), and smaller motor yachts in New Zealand.
When not busy on board, Amy enjoys kayaking, rowing, swimming, travel and photography.
CHRISTIE BROWN - SCOTTISH
Joined Autumn 2016
A native of Scotland, Christie joined the yachting industry in 2012, after a number of years working in the Hospitality industry as a seasoned waitress and bar tender. Her previous yachts include M/Y Force India (50m), M/Y Apogee (63m), and M/Y Redemption (40m), working aboard in the role of stewardess. Christie is an accomplished
entrepreneur, having successfully designed her own online clothing line. Her other interests include music, having completed a course in music venue management, learning to play the guitar and hunting for new artists to listen to. She also enjoys water sports (especially surfing) and cooking.
CHANDRE ROBINSON – SOUTH AFRICAN
Joined Winter 2016
Languages: English, Afrikaans
Chandré grew up in various parts of South Africa. Never staying in the same place for a significant amount of time ignited her love for adventure, travel and meeting new people along the way. Her yearning for adventure is what led her to seek a career in yachting. Chandré has eleven years of experience in the Hospitality industry, four of which she has worked aboard yachts in both the interior and deck departments. She has also worked as an online English teacher, and in events management. Her sunny disposition and ‘get-it-done’ attitude together with loving what she does truly means that you will be well taken care of whilst on board.
When not attending to her duties on board, Chandré enjoys hiking, volleyball, traveling, all water activities, photography and fire poi dancing.
CHIEF ENGINEER - ROTATIONAL
FERNANDO DUMAGPI - FILIPINO
Joined Build China 2007
Fernando is one of Nero’s longest standing crew members. He has a Class 1 Marine Engineering degree. After his studies, he became an engineering cadet on board commercial cargo ships. He stayed on cargo ships for 9 years progressing to a Motorman and then to a Port Engineer. He then worked as a third Engineer on board
large commercial cruise liners, a part of the ‘V-Ships’ fleet. Later, he was promoted to second Engineer, and in 2007, made the move into the super yachts industry. He spent a year on board M/Y Lauren L (90m) as second Engineer prior to joining M/Y Nero in 2008. He was a part of the Nero build team in China, and in 2010 was
promoted to the Chief Engineer’s position. Three of Fernando’s favorite pastimes are singing karaoke, playing basketball and fishing.
CHIEF ENGINEER - ROTATIONAL
FELIX DE LIRA - FILIPINO
Joined Winter 2010
Our Chief Engineer has worked on board Nero for 3 1/2 years. He gained many years of experience at sea, working as a third Engineer for Stena line in the Baltic Sea, on an oil rig in the North Sea, and on a cable-laying vessel across the Atlantic. After gaining further sea time on livestock courier ships, he decided to use his extensive marine engineering knowledge in the more luxurious industry of yachting! Felix loves the excitement and possibilities of meeting people from all walks of life. His hobbies are reading books, cooking and playing basketball.
SECOND ENGINEER - ROTATIONAL
CESAR TALIMAN - FILIPINO
Joined Spring 2014
Cesar was born in Mati, Davao Oriental, Philippines, as the youngest in a family of seven who cherish a simple, provincial life. He began a career in the marine industry on a commercial cargo vessel in 2001. After six years, he transitioned into yachting as Fourth Engineer on M/Y Monkaj (78m) on the recommendation of fellow engineering
yachty). Cesar advanced to Sole Engineer on M/Y Totally Nuts (37m), before joining M/Y Nero, where he has called home for the last 3 years. Cesar loves taking trips, playing basketball, biking and swimming. In his spare time, you can catch him baking or fishing.
RAUL CELMAR - FILIPINO
Joined Build China 2006
Raul is from Cebu in the Philippines. He has a degree in Electronics and prior to working on super yachts, had spent 10 years as an electrician on board commercial vessels cruising worldwide. He was a member of the original M/Y Nero building team in China in 2006 and has been working on board for 9 years now.
He is the administrator of all the IT and communications systems on Nero. In his spare time, he enjoys karaoke, water sports and Sky TV.
WARREN VAN VUGT - SOUTH AFRICAN
Joined Winter 2016
Growing up in South Africa next to the ocean developed Warren’s affinity for water sports. Armed with his broad skill set, he is keen on teaching novices his tips and tricks for having a fun and safe time with the array of water toys. Prior to joining the yachting industry, Warren worked in construction, and so can also turn his hand to plumbing and basic electrical work. His previous yachts include M/Y Life Saga (42m), M/Y Aquila (50m), and M/Y Déjà Vu (50m). Warren joined Nero for the 2016 Caribbean season and holds the philosophy that life on the water is a happy life! In his spare time, Warren plays water polo and is a strong swimmer. He is also a talented fire spinner, having performed for high-end functions and event companies (great for those beach BBQ’s).
CALVIN JANOS - SOUTH AFRICAN
Joined Summer 2015
South African born Calvin is a professional tennis coach, having spent two years teaching children and adults in schools and tennis clubs around Cape Town. Prior to that, he was a tennis coach at a summer camp in the USA. Calvin is also a qualified lifeguard. He maintains an active and fit lifestyle playing 5 aside football, doubles and singles tennis, and running half marathons. This is Calvin’s fourth season on board Nero. Previously, he also worked as deckhand on M/Y Yalla (47m).
SHAUN DALTON - SOUTH AFRICAN
Joined Autumn 2015
Languages: English Afrikaans
Shaun hails from the interior of South Africa, away from the coast. Nevertheless, he still spent many weekends at dams and lakes, taking in all the water sports he could from a very young age. Prior to working on Nero, Shaun obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture that he hopes to one day incorporate into the yachting scene. While studying, Shaun took up DJ-ing and still likes to entertain crew with his impromptu DJ sets, thus ensuring that his passion for music follows him wherever he goes. Shaun's mission is to make your visit as fun and exciting as possible!
LYLE CELMAR - FILIPINO
Joined Autumn 2009
Born in Cebu City in the Philippines, Lyle obtained a degree in Electrical Technology. His first job was as a cook in a famous restaurant in the Philippines, called ‘Jollibee’. After graduating, he worked in a Keppel Shipyard in Cebu City as an electrician. In 2009, Lyle joined M/Y Nero as an assistant electrician. During the charter season, however, he is an invaluable hand on deck. In his spare time, Lyle likes playing basketball, listening to music, and watching movies. He especially loves cooking during the low season when he gets to show off his culinary skills to the other crew members.