Captain: Jason Bacon
Previous Yachts: M/Y SMERALDA (253ft) Dubai and Worldwide itinerary, M/Y ONE OFF (201ft), M/Y One More Toy (157ft)
Jason started his life on the water at the age of 5 racing small sailing dinghies. After racing for a number of years he taught these skills at the Olympic sailing school in Wales. At the school, he passed his Master of Yachts unlimited and with such credentials was able to join the Americas Cup Yacht, Stars & Stripes. With a passion for travel working on super yachts seemed a natural progression. Since then he has worked on multiple yachts and has 17 years of experience in the industry.
As a captain, he oversees every aspect of the yacht’s operations ensuring safety at all times and a comfortable cruising experience. He is adept at crew relations, continually maintaining a strong team environment to create the most memorable and service oriented experience for the guests.
Jason would like to take this opportunity to welcome you aboard M/Y Far Niente and introduce you to the rest of the crew:
Hobbies include: free diving, Wake Boarding, Sailing and kayaking
1st Mate: Trevor Lowe
Trevor started off driving boats before he could walk. As a semi-professional water skier he found his love for the water. He grew up in Durban on the East coas of South Africa, working as a life guard and surfing at any chance he could get. The love for travel and surfing is what got him into the yachting industry. With 12 years in the industry, He started off as a delivery skipper delivering 40-50ft sailing boats around the world. After captaining a 58ft catamaran in Seychelles for a year he moved onto super yachts where he has grown within the industry. Currently holding his Officer of the Watch 3000 ton he would like to progress to eventually be a captain.
Hobbies: Suring, fishing and spear fishing, diving, photography, cooking, wildlife, rock climbing and travel.
Chef: Benoit Mercier
Previous Yachts: MY SEANNA (185’), DESTINATION FOX HARB’R TOO(161’), SEAOWL (203’)
From Quebec, Canada, Benoit started cooking at an early age for his family where he would always prepare breakfast on the weekends. This led him to culinary school at the reputable École Hôtelière des Laurentides in Sainte-Adèle.
After his graduation, Benoit traveled to over 30 countries and has worked in some of the finest restaurants around the world. From Libya to Bermuda and France to Japan, Benoit worked with amazing chefs and in particular, the Michelin star rated restaurateur, Hiroyuki Hiramatsu in Tokyo, Japan where he learned the Feng Shui way and discipline to run a kitchen. He then moved to the yachting industry to challenge himself further.
Benoit has been an Executive Chef on yachts for over 15 years. He keeps up with the diet trends of today such as gluten-free, vegetarian, raw diets as well as creating his own super food such as chocolate, healthy preserves and protein bars. In January 2015 he graduated from the Integrative Nutrition School of New York as a professional coach in improving health and happiness through nutrition.
Hobbies: Tennis, Motocross, Chess and Gardening
Chief Stewardess: Chelsea Dwyer
Previous Private/Charter Yachts: M/Y Sea Bear (126ft) S/Y Knickerbocker (120ft)
Chelsea was born in Massachusetts and later moved to Wisconsin where she grew up. After attending Ripon College and completing her degree in biology and environmental studies, Chelsea moved to sunny Florida to begin her career in yachting. Coming from a long line of sea farers, both her father and grandfather being yacht captains, a career on the water had always been in mind. Chelsea has extensively cruised the Bahamas, Caribbean, and the New England Coast over the past 8 years, exploring each port with a passion.
She strives to make guests happy by providing the best quality service and experience for them. She offers the highest standards in all aspects of the interior and service. Chelsea is always eager to assist you in every way and to ensure the best yacht vacation possible.
Hobbies: Reading, hiking, yoga, exploring new places and meeting new people.
2nd Stewardess: Melanie Hittrich
Previous Yachts: M/Y Tsalta
Melanie is a Business School graduate from beautiful rainy Vancouver, Canada. She is fairly new to the yachting world, beginning less than one year ago, but has been in the hospitality industry her entire working life and thrives in excellent customer service. Being able to combine her love for travelling the world and creating unforgettable guest experiences, makes her a valuable crewmember as Second Stew onboard M/Y Far Niente.
Hobbies: Hiking, yoga, shopping, traveling, fine dining and wine tasting
Deck/Stew: Mary Cope
Previous Yachts: M/Y Australis
Born in Savannah, Georgia and raised on the Isle of Hope, Mary was influenced from an early age by the beauty of the ocean and it’s intercoastal waterways.
Convinced that the assurance of working outdoors was the chief criteria for furthering her education, Mary obtained a science degree in Biology and after university was employed by the International Riding Academy of Hilton Head, South Carolina. Oddly enough it was here that she was introduced to yachting, when one of her clients asked if she might be interested in a “change of scenery?” And a change it was, spending winter seasons in Asia or the Caribbean and summers in the Mediterranean, each port of call brought a heightened sense of excitement and adventure.
Mary now divides her time and work between the Equestrian and Yachting industries. She just recently finished a period of traveling southern Africa working in a number of the continent’s most popular horseback safaris. Her passion for conservation on land and sea is one that she enjoys sharing with guests and hopes to meet your every whim and desire where experiencing your pristine surroundings are
Hobbies: diving, paddle boarding, fishing and she soon hopes to graduate from wake-boarding to Kite boarding.
Chief Engineer: Stephen
Previous Yachts: M/Y Sycara V M/Y Sovereign
Stephen was born in the Cape Winelands and grew up in the small coastal town of Stillbay. He loves and respects the ocean, surfing and sailing from a young age. Stephen was schooled and apprenticed in boat building and elements of yachting design and gained valuable knowledge and skills working for well-known companies. After his studies Stephen started his yachting career, eventually going to sea as an engineer in the super yacht industry. He has now been sailing in waters like Bahamas, Caribbean, Florida/West Coast USA/Alaska/Canada, Mediterranean, and Indian Ocean/East Coast, South Africa for the last four years and currently upholds his MCA Y4 engineering license. As Chief Engineer onboard M/Y Far Niente, Stephen performs daily operations and maintenance for the safety of the vessel and smooth sailing.
Hobbies: Surfing, sailing, snorkeling/diving, wakeboarding, downhill skating, wine tasting, traveling and exploring.