CAPTAIN | Calin Bujgoi
(Rotational with Chief Stew Sonia Doucet)
Originally from Romania, Calin decided to trade in a degree in psychology for a life at sea twenty years ago, choosing New Zealand as a new base. His experience includes crossings of Pacific & Atlantic oceans as well as exploring parts of the Tasman, Caribbean, Mediterranean, North, Norwegian and Barents seas. Calin is an avid sailor and owns a sailing yacht which he loves taking to more remote and unique destinations. With over ten years’ experience on superyachts alone and a Master's 3000 GT license he now can't wait to welcome you on board Pure Bliss and together with the rest of the team make your holiday an unforgettable one.
CAPTAIN | Jim Kassel
(Rotational Captain with Chief Stew Erin Kassel)
Jim grew up on the waters of Sydney, Australia, the son of a US naval officer and holds his US Coast Guard 3000-ton master’s license among other professional Engineering, Deck and Diving certifications. Jim has extensive cruising experience throughout New England, the Bahamas, the Mediterranean, Caribbean, South America, Central America, Australia, Alaska, and Canada. He takes a special pride in imparting his knowledge and love of the sea and has a passion for adventure whilst curating the perfect itinerary. He is passionate about maintaining a service-oriented work ethic onboard whilst constantly improving on the safety culture instilled in the crew. Along with his love for the Ocean, he has had a long-lasting affair with the Rocky Mountains, which is where he can be found biking, hiking, and skiing when not on board.
CHIEF ENGINEER | Gerardo (Gerry) Vaca
Gerry is originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina where he studied Electronics before joining the superyacht industry back in 1999. Since then, Gerry worked with well over 7 different yacht manufacturers and his knowledge of Italian yards makes him a valuable asset on board Pure Bliss. Yachts have taken Gerry all over the world, From West Coat US to Hong Kong, the Maldives to Thailand, Singapore and beyond. Currently, Gerry resides in the Northern Beaches of Sydney, Australia. Gerry enjoys most sports, reading, flying, being surrounded by Nature and staying active (he’s always keen to go for a swim!). With a Y3, Yacht Master, PADI rescue diver, Industrial Automation, mechanical skills and Jet Ski instructor certification, Gerry aims to ensure that the vessel and all her associated systems are kept in perfect functioning condition to best accommodate your stay on Pure Bliss.
ENGINEER | Niel Holmes
Neil is from the windswept coast of North Wales where at an early age he took an interest in engineering and secured a cadet ship at Andrew Weir shipping and his gateway to the oceans. He later signed on with Tramp shipping which frequently took him through the Polynesians Islands where the idea to transition into yachting took hold. After accumulating a tremendous amount of sea time and experience and gaining his Y1 Chief Engineer CoC, he made the switch to yachts and never looked back. Neil appreciates the rotational schedule so he can enjoy a life balance, spending time with his young daughter and also being able to give 100% when on the job. Neil runs a scrupulously tight engine room and he will ensure all systems are maintained and operational so you can rest assured your time aboard Pure Bliss will be most comfortable.
FIRST MATE | Edwen (Ed) Gomez
Ed is originally from the vibrant and fascinating country of Honduras. With rainforests, ancient Mayan sites, and a Caribbean coastline it was easy for Ed to join the tourism industry after completing his Business degree. Fascinated by the underwater life and driven by his sense of adventure, he developed into a competent diver and held many roles leading diving excursions and dive training programs. With over 5000+ dives and over 12 PADI certifications under his belt, he became an expert at introducing adventure-seekers to the magic of the underwater world. After having worked in marine tourism for 8 years, Ed decided to transition into yachting where he knew his hard-working mindset, enthusiastic personality and fascination for the sea would be appreciated. Ed loves meeting new people and truly enjoys helping them step out of their comfort zone to enjoy the water and all her beauty.
BOSUN | Quinn Mulvihill
Quinn grew up in New Jersey, spending his summers at the Jersey shore and winters driving up to Vermont for snowboarding trips. If not at the beach or on the mountain, you could find Quinn recording music or skateboarding. While working towards his associate degree, Quinn traveled as far west as Colorado working music festivals for an event company. After finishing his degree, he discovered the world of yachting, and he immediately moved to Fort Lauderdale to immerse himself in the industry. Whatever your outdoor needs shall be, Quinn will be happy to help you conquer the wake surfboard or learn how to maneuver a jet ski whilst onboard Pure Bliss.
CHEF | Fernando Jeffrey
(Rotational with Captain Calin)
Fernando joins Pure Bliss as a highly experienced Chef both on and off the water! Originally from Argentina, he now calls Mallorca home. With 15 years of experience in the culinary world, he has worked in multiple 5-star hotels and restaurants across Europe and South America. He joined the superyacht industry in 2013 first on private yachts and subsequently on busy charter yachts. Gifted with excellent cooking skills and a natural inclination to please, he loves adapting to your culinary wishes. With his gentle personality and the English humor of his father, you will want to take him home with you!
CHEF | Michael Machado
(Rotational with Captain Jim)
Michael is Toronto born, an honors graduate of the Canadian Food and Wine Institute. Chef Michael has over 10 years’ experience working in various 5 star restaurants and managing large scale catering events in hotels and wineries, including Peller Estates Winery and Queen’s Landing in Canada's Wine Country - Niagara-on-the-Lake. He is always striving to create mouthwatering menus and tasty dishes to leave your palette begging for more! Chef Michael has worked onboard various private and charter yachts ranging from 130-260 feet. His favorite culinary styles include Japanese, French, Italian, as well as Indian, Lebanese, and Latin Cuisine. Michael aims to provide a memorable experience for guests onboard and is receptive to any dietary restrictions. For a peek at what you can expect from Chef Michael please look into his online portfolio at https://michaelmachado.info.
CHIEF STEWARDESS | Sonia Doucet
(Rotational with Captain Calin)
Sonia was born and raised near Paris but set out to discover the world at an early age, working her way around the globe in places such as, Ireland, USA, Australia and New Zealand. A born nomad and explorer by nature, she joined the superyacht industry 10 years ago after several years in the hospitality and tourism sectors. Home is her newly acquired 47ft sailboat that she enjoys taking off the beaten track. In her spare time, she enjoys the outdoors particularly hiking. When not keeping active, she loves learning new languages or simply digging into a good book. Sonia has extensive experience on yachts ranging from 35m to 80m, in both the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. She is thrilled to welcome you on board and look after your every need!
CHIEF STEWARDESS | Erin Kassel
(Rotational with Captain Jim)
Erin grew up on the waters of the Chesapeake and embodies the charm and hospitality of the Bay. Travel and adventure run deep for Erin, growing up in a military family she spent her early years in Panama, Hawai and California before settling in Colorado managing restaurants in a ski resort. A career on yachts came natuarally with her childhood years on boats in the Chesapaeke Bay, her hospitality background and her keen sense of adventure. A smile comes easy for Erin and she thrives on making the magic happen and keeping everybody safe. When not on board, Erin can be found camping out west or in her mountain getaway in Colorado spending time and planning adventures with friends and family.
SECOND STEWARDESS | Dianne Varga
Dianne is from Toronto, Canada where she studied journalism. It wasn’t long before the cold winter sent her away to the warm waters of the Mediterranean where she joined the world of superyachts. The corporate world called her back and she spent the past 6 years working for large companies as an Executive Assistant. However, her passion for travel led her right back to yachting and with no regrets she left it all behind to join Pure Bliss. Dianne loves meeting new people and always ensures that guests are truly enjoying their stay onboard. You will be enchanted by her kind ways and willingness to please – or perhaps more by her delicious Espresso Martini! An ideal day for Dianne includes nature walks, hot yoga and enjoying the sunshine.
STEWARDSS | Sofiia Skorokhod
Sofiia is originally from the spectacular port city of Odessa in Ukraine where she studied tourism. Shortly after graduating she became inspired to become a hairdresser which turned out to be her passion for many years. She excelled and became a lead trainer for coloring specialists in an accredited hair academy. Her successful hairdressing career combined with her tourism studies eventually led her to working on board a Disney cruise line before transitioning into the exciting world of yachting where she has found a new passion for hospitality. She looks forward to making you feel most welcome on board with her easy-going wit and warm smile.
Sofiia values time for self-education as well as staying fit with martial arts, roller blading, beach activities and water sports.
DECKHAND | Emanuela (Manu) Libra
Manu is originally from Italy. Growing up in a city between an explosive volcano and intense Ionian Sea. She loves being surrounded by Mother Nature’s smells and enjoys hiking, skiing, cycling and of course sailing. Manu was a self-employed woman when in 2012, her passion for sailing led her to cross the South Pacific Ocean. It was during these 8 months that Manu decided to spend the rest of her life on the sea. Her career in yachting has taken her across Polynesia and Australia to the Middle East and Europe. She is qualified as a Yachtmaster offshore as well as an Engineer and have assisted many refits and rebuilds. With her wonderful personality, Manu is looking forward to making sure you have the best “Pure Bliss” experience.
DECKHAND/ STEWARD | Deon Saayman
After 11 years in the hospitality industry Deon joined the luxury cruise ships for 2 and a half years then decided he needed to take it to the next level – the superyacht industry. He joined Pure Bliss in June of 2020 and never looked back. Deon is from a small wine region called Durbanville near Cape Town, South Africa. He enjoys playing rugby, cricket and tennis. Deon is a proud South African, knows a lot about wines & mixing cocktails and can’t wait to welcome you on board Pure Bliss for an unforgettable time on board.