*22 permanent crew/ 24 when on charter*
Captain– Roy Hodges
USA. Roy started working in the marine industry at the age of 13 and had accumulated enough sea time for his first captain’s license at 19. He has steadily progressed from smaller vessels and licenses to vessels up to 240’. As Captain, Roy’s primary responsibility is for the safety of the passengers and crew. He also sees to it, that your trip goes smoothly and pleasurably. He is very proud of the fact that many of his crew have transitioned with him on his last four vessels. In Roy’s down time, he is a private pilot and enjoys motorcycles and offshore fishing.
Chief Officer – Johnny Chew
USA. After 14 years as a maritime professional, Johnny chose to join M/Y Laurel to further his career as a licensed master and to satisfy the ambitious goal of managing one of the greatest vessels on the water. Johnny’s focus onboard is to help facilitate a safe and memorable experience for all those who wish to call M/Y Laurel home. Though Seattle, Washington has his heart, Johnny is a self-proclaimed traveler, having been to roughly 90 countries at last count. He especially enjoys the never ending challenge of turning the foreign into the familiar. With that in mind, you’d most likely find him cruising off the beaten track, taking in the local cuisine, building relationships and documenting all the sights through his elementary but passionate knack for photography.
Purser – Stephanie Hodges
USA. Stephanie started working at Green Turtle Bay Marina in Kentucky while in high school and has been in the marine industry ever since. She and Captain Roy have been married for 20 years and have spent most of that time cruising the Bahamas and Caribbean. Stephanie has held her 100-ton captain’s license for 13 years. In her spare time she enjoys road cycling, skeetshooting, fishing, fashion, photography and puppies.
Chief Stewardess – Candice Goldstone
South Africa. Candice grew up in the small surfing town of Jeffrey’s Bay, and has always had a fun and welcoming outlook on life’s wonders. Growing up with a family in the boating industry, she discovered her love for the ocean at a young age, which led her to do an Atlantic crossing on a 44’ Catamaran. Her pleasant nature and eagerness is always available to provide you with world-class service to ensure you have an unforgettable trip. Candice’s enthusiasm to explore the world, gives her the opportunity to share her passion for the ocean and the many wonders it has to offer. She enjoys cooking, backpacking, and outdoor activities.
Second Stewardess – Rhia Hobbs
Australia. Being brought up near the famous Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia, a natural love for the ocean was instilled in Rhia at a very young age. After working for years as a travel agent at home, her longing to travel finally brought her to yachting in 2013. Rhia has worked on a wide variety of super yachts and has travelled all around America, the Mediterranean, the Bahamas and the Caribbean. A hippy at heart, Rhia loves yoga and is a qualified yoga instructor. Her happy, hospitable nature and eagerness to please will ensure your trip on Laurel will be one to remember.
Stewardess – Shani Davies
South Africa. Shani was born in Durban and grew up on the coast, which instilled in her a great love for the ocean. Shani completed a degree in Marketing and Media and left her career in advertising and as a photographer to join the yachting industry. She is extremely proud to be working on M/Y Laurel. In her spare time she enjoys traveling, the outdoors, yoga and fitness, diving and being an aspiring musician as she loves to sing, play the piano and the ukulele.
Stewardess – Mary Grace Jubelag
Philippines. Grace enjoys traveling to various parts of the world and is very excited to be working onboard M/Y Laurel! Her favorite experiences are cruising the Panama Canal and Caribbean. Grace takes great pride in providing excellent service and making sure to meet the guest’s needs. She is married to our Laundryman, James and they have a beautiful little boy. In her spare time she loves volleyball, reading, cycling, and spending time at the beach.
Stewardess- Kate Abel
New Zealand. Kate grew up in Tauranga on the east coast of New Zealand and loves the ocean and outdoors. She completed a degree in Accounting, Commercial law and Tax and has since worked as a qualified Chartered Accountant for the past four years. Kate is new to the yachting industry and is very much looking forward to exploring and traveling to new places. In Kate’s spare time she enjoys diving, the outdoors, keeping active and traveling.
Laundryman- James Fulgencio
Philippines. James has worked on many large super yachts over the years and enjoys travelling and meeting new people and learning from different cultures. His favorite destinations are the Caribbean and the Baltic. James likes to focus on catering to guest's needs so that they have an excellent sailing experience as well as excellent laundry! In his free time he loves to go mountain hiking, playing basketball and American football.
Stewardess- Heavenly Frady
USA. Heavenly grew up in a small beach town on the central coast of California. Hiking, surfing, skating and travel are her favorite things to do. She has spent the last couple of years volunteering in different countries around Europe, from working at refugee camps to feeding the homeless. She loves serving people and making them feel welcomed and at home. She plans to make a long-term career of yachting and is eager to transit the Panama Canal and to visit the South Pacific.
IN THE GALLEY
Head Chef – Patrick Matthews
Profile Coming Soon!
Sous-Chef – Simon Treller
NZ/Australia. Simon was born in New Zealand and grew up in Australia where he finished school and became an apprentice chef at the age of 17. Simon worked in a 5 star hotel in Christchurch for 6 years as he climbed the ranks from Commi to Sous Chef. Simon then moved to Whistler Canada and worked in a fine dining restaurant where the menu pushed for local, fresh ingredients. He returned to New Zealand, where he met his wife while working in a hotel together. Simon enjoys snowboarding and mountain sports. When he has down time he relishes taking time to enjoy local produce, restaurants and wine.
First Officer – Randy Holmes
Canada. Randy was born in Vancouver but moved to the Bahamas as a child where he would learn how to spearfish, free-dive and gained a respect for the ocean. He has sailed over 100,000 miles since starting in the industry 5 years ago. He has seen every island in the Caribbean as well as sailing a 50 foot catamaran across the Pacific Ocean to Fiji. Randy currently holds a Chief Mate 3000 certificate and is working towards his Masters ticket. He also has a background in finance and construction. In Randy's spare time he enjoys kitesurfing, free diving and backcountry skiing.
Second Officer—Wikus Botes
South Africa. Wikus played professional rugby for 7 years before an injury ended his career in 2012, which brought him to yachting—and he has never looked back! Wikus has been diving since he was 14 years old and today he is proud to say that he has done over 1000 dives all around the world and is a PADI certified Dive Instructor. Wikus is a qualified OOW 3000 GT and is working toward his Masters License. His infectious enthusiasm and sense of humor ensure and incredibly fun trip onboard.
Lead Deckhand- Francois Van Hoogstraten
South Africa. Francois completed a degree in Human Movement Science at the University of Port Elizabeth. He joined the yachting industry in 2002. He lived in New Zealand from 2004 until 2010 where he worked in sales and marketing in the Pharmaceutical and orthopedic industries. Francois played provincial squash and also competed for many years in surf lifesaving. Francois returned to yachting in 2014 and holds his Yachtmaster offshore 200t license.
Deckhand – Erjo Junatas
Philippines. Erjo, has been lucky enough to complete- two circumnavigations around the world. He has worked on the following vessels: M/Y Christina, M/Y Bullish, M/Y Gravitas 171’. As an experienced deckhand onboard, he ensures that the exterior of the vessel is looking pristine at all times. He takes a lot of pride in his work and specialized in paint and varnish. Erjo considers himself as the ‘Michael Jordan’ of Yachting as he is a big basketball fan. He enjoys cycling and music, mainly 80’s and 90’s. When available from his regular duties, Erjo is a qualified masseuse as well.
Deckhand- Brent Dick
Canada. Brent grew up in landlocked Calgary, Alberta where the ocean was not a common sight for him growing up. After trying many different areas of work, including running his own landscaping and painting company, Brent decided he needed a change of pace. Feeling a need to fuel his burning desire to see a broader picture of the world and meet new interesting people, the yachting industry seemed like a perfect fit. He packed his bags, leaving all his friends and family behind and embarked on a journey to work in the yachting industry. Laurel is Brent’s first vessel, and he is loving every minute of it.
Deckhand/ Dive Master- Andre Xavier
Brazil. Andre was born in the city of Recife, Brazil. He grew up living in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Nebraska, and California. He worked in trading and logistics and as a maritime agent. Andre then spent 3 years studying to become a diplomat, earning a Bachelor's Degree in International Relations/Post Degree International Trading; Diplomacy & Negotiations, but decided to have a change when his career path led him to the yachting industry instead. Andre is a qualified PADI Scuba instructor- and looks forward to take you diving! Andre speaks several languages: English, Portuguese, Spanish, French and Italian. He enjoys kite Surfing, Scuba Diving, Cross Fit, yoga, reading, hiking and learning about different cultures.
Bahamas. Andrew was born in Freeport, Grand Bahama and has spent the majority of his life on the sea, making him a natural fit for the yachting industry. He has travelled all over the Bahamas, fishing, sailing and diving. He is a recent graduate of Plymouth University in the United Kingdom, where he obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Navigation and Maritime Science. His ambition is to obtain his Officer of the Watch Unlimited License to continue his career in yachting. He enjoys rugby, cross-fit, kite-boarding, spear-fishing, deep sea fishing and diving.
Chief Engineer – Mark Mudge
USA. As a chief engineer with 20+ years of experience in the yachting industry, “Sparky” is committed to delivering the highest standards of quality and service during your time onboard. Growing up on the waters of Long Island sound in New England, he began his affair with the sea. After a few years away at college where he tried to replace the ocean with the beautiful mountains of Colorado, the desire to return eventually brought him back to Florida. With his big smile, easy going attitude and experience, his main goal is to deliver a wonderful and trouble-free experience during your time aboard Laurel.
Second Engineer – Ross Levet
New Zealand. Ross completed his apprenticeship as an electrician and lived in the UK for three years while working and travelling extensively before returning to New Zealand and beginning his career in yachting. In his spare time, Ross enjoys diving, playing tennis, travelling and renovating houses.
Third Engineer – Dylan Ross
New Zealand. Growing up in Tauranga, on the east coast of New Zealand, Dylan developed an attachment to the ocean. He pursued a career in aviation and is a qualified aircraft maintenance engineer. His love for travel led him to yachting where he can combine the two. In his spare time he enjoys travelling, fishing, diving, surfing, photography and videography.
Deck / Engineer – Paul Soper
South Africa. Paul, was born and raised in Durban, where he completed a degree in Finance management. After Paul finished his degree he worked for Red Bull as a brand and sales developer for 2 years. During his summer vacations he would work in Summer Camp USA in Maine and Massachusetts where he helped children excel in sport and other outdoor activities. He has a passion for all water related activities, outdoor adventure sports and most of all, his love for travelling the world, meeting new people and experiencing new cultures.