VALHALLA CREW PROFILES
CAPTAIN – David Gies
Captain David Gies joined Valhalla and managed the interior refit and the organization of setting up a successful charter platform. David had most recently been on board the 150’ charter yacht Themis and prior to that, the successful charter yacht Sea Bear, a 124’ Christensen. David’s experience as captain spans over fifteen years and his time on board yachts has logged him enough miles to circumnavigate the world eight times. He has cruised extensively onboard charter yachts in New England, the Caribbean, and the Mediterranean. David is originally from Spokane, WA and now resides full time in Ft. Lauderdale with his wife and son. His casual personality and easy going attitude sets the tone for a happy and team oriented crew on board Valhalla. David believes in the importance of details, safety and fun to provide for the ultimate charter experience.
CHEF – Vanessa Swindle
Vanessa was born and raised in San Jose, Costa Rica and holds a BA in Hotel Business Management from the Universidad Latina De Costa Rica and a Diplome de Cusine from Le Cordon Bleu. She has enjoyed living in the U.S. for seven years from the beautiful coasts of California to the warm beaches of Florida. For fifteen years Vanessa has worked in many different aspects of the service and hospitality industry. Since moving to Florida, she has been cruising extensively in the Bahamas and Eastern coast. Her true joy is to provide a great experience through excellence in her service and create a memorable time aboard the Valhalla. Vanessa enjoys preparing healthy dishes or satisfying that sweet tooth that no one likes to talk about. So whether it’s a French style meal, a craving for American, Italian or Latin food, she is sure to find the flavor to satisfy your palate. Buen provecho!
FIRST MATE – Simon Ambrose
Simon has grown up fishing and surfing the East Coast of Florida from Jacksonville to the Keys. He has worked in various industries on the water from operations manager of a boat club to boat sales. He spent four years in the U.S. Virgin Islands as a captain running day charters and worked professionally on a charter fishing boat. He is an avid fisherman and has a passion for the water and Florida conservation. In his spare time, he enjoys fishing, hiking and spending time at the beach with his wife and mini dachshund.
ENGINEER - Blair Cook
Blair was born in Portsmouth, Virginia where he had his first taste of working on the water at a young age on the Chesapeake Bay. In the summers as a child he would work on crab boats and this gave him the taste of working on the water. He pursued this career and for the last twelve years Blair has been working and traveling the world on yachts. His travels have taken him from the North Sea to the Caribbean. Blair is very comfortable and competent on deck as well as the engine room and will be assisting where ever he can be of help to the crew team. He enjoys fine foods and drink, as well as surfing and trying new things.
STEWARDESS – Alicia Gatica
Alicia is originally from Guatemala. She moved to the U.S. at a young age and grew up in Phoenix, Arizona. Living in Arizona Alicia enjoyed the outdoor lifestyle; off-roading, camping, trail running, backpacking, yoga and improving the environment. Alicia volunteers on her time off for organizations that help children with disabilities, the Red Cross, food banks and community sporting events. Alicia started her yachting career on the West Coast traveling through the Pacific seaboard and crossing the Panama Canal into the Caribbean Sea. She has spent a few seasons cruising the Caribbean Islands, the Bahamas and the coast of Florida. Her hospitality skills have been honed for thirteen years while Alicia has worked in many aspects of the industry. Yachting has become her passion and her main objective is to make sure that guests aboard Valhalla have an unforgettable time.
an additional stewardess is being interviewed and will be hired soon