A Professional Captain And Crew To Serve You
MIKE O’NEILL (South African)Captain
Now into his 19th year as a charter yacht captain, Mike brings the Katharine program a wealth of knowledge and experience along with a professional attitude and meticulous eye for detail. Mike started his maritime career straight out of school by joining the Navy as a submariner where he served for 5 years before moving across to the Superyacht industry. In the early days he worked as an engineer before obtaining his masters license and has since taken command of some of the industry’s well know yachts such as “Penny Mae”, “Princess Mariana”, “Majestic” and “Lady Michelle” resulting in many highly successful charter seasons in the Mediterranean and Caribbean. He leads an experienced and seasoned crew aboard “Katharine”, ensuring guests experience the cruise of a lifetime. When not working, one will probably find Mike scuba diving or out taking photos ashore somewhere.
ROSEMARY FINN (South African)CHIEF STEWARDESS
Rosey grew up on and around the water in the coastal town of Knysna, South Africa. She learned to sail at an early age and fell in love with the ocean. Spending every spare moment on the water, hobby became passion and she began representing her country at international regattas. Entering the yachting industry after finishing high school, she spent the last three years aboard “Penny Mae” before joining “Katharine’s” program. In her spare time, you will find Rosey exploring her surroundings, hiking, sailing or enjoying the arts, drawing and painting.
SAMANTHA BLANE (South African)CHEF
Samantha was born in South Africa where sailing and a love of the ocean has always been a part of her life. She began her yachting career about 10 years ago in the Caribbean, previously on “Sunrise” as Sous Chef and then later joined “El Jefe” as Chef. Because of her passion for cooking she decided to further her career in the yachting industry as a Chef, completing her National Chef Diploma in 2009. After taking some time off after her Chef course, Samantha later worked as a Sous Chef in a 5 Star Safari Lodge in the Famous Kruger National Park. But, having a love for the ocean, she was soon back on the water as a sous chef on “Majestic” before joining “Tuscan Sun” as a charter chef in the Bahamas and most recently “Penny Mae”. Sam has now joined “Katharine” as Chef and looks forward to delighting you with her various creative culinary talents.
CATHERINE FINN (South African)PURSER
Catherine was born and raised in the coastal town of Knysna, South Africa. She completed a Bachelors of Commerce degree at Rhodes University before studying sports management at the University of Cape Town. Catherine spent a year in South Korea teaching kindergarten children English; which gave her the opportunity to immerse herself in the Korean culture and enjoy their traditional foods. The allure of the ocean then drew her to the Superyachting industry where she has spent several seasons cruising the Caribbean and Mediterranean. In her free time, Catherine loves gardening, hiking, travelling and drinking tea.
JESSICA MARBECK (New Zealand)2ND STEWARDESS
Jessica grew up in Auckland, New Zealand, where she lived until the age twenty-three when she decided to spread her wings and move across the ditch to Sydney, Australia. After a few years working within the hotel sales industry, the travel bug bit and Jessica packed up and headed off on a three-month tour around the Mediterranean. She came across the yachting industry during her travels and hasn’t looked back. In her spare time, Jessica enjoys anything and everything from hiking to watersports, and exploring new cuisines and destinations, as well as a cheeky glass of prosecco!.
JASMINE MEILLEUR (Canadian)STEWARDESS
Jasmine grew up in a small town, in the Prairies of Canada. The sales and service industry is where she began her career, looking to change direction, Jasmine recently discovered the yachting industry and, in her urge to explore the world whilst working, joined MY “Katharine”. In her free time, you will find Jasmine enjoying the outdoors, at the gym or watching her favorite sports.
AMY MURDOCH (South African)STEWARDESS
Amy was born and raised in the coastal town of East London, South Africa. She began her career in the cruise ship industry. After four years on board cruise ships Amy decided it was time for a change so she made her way into the yachting industry to experience a different way of life at sea. Since a young age, Amy has had a passion for traveling. She is constantly curious about new cultures and cuisines around the world. Amy has a love for learning new things and will never pass up an opportunity to go out and see the world. In her free time she loves to read, spend time with family, and explore.
ELLESSE DAWSON (American)STEWARDESS
Ellesse grew up surrounded by the water in the city of Norfolk, Virginia. She went to college at Virginia Commonwealth University and received a bachelor’s degree in fashion design and merchandising. While studying abroad in Florence, Italy, Ellesse quickly realized her love for traveling and adventure. After working in the fashion industry for a year, she decided it was time for a change. With her love for travel, the water and adventure, yachting was the perfect career path. Ellesse is very excited to start her new journey onboard MY Katharine. In her free time, you will find her exercising, drawing, reading, spending time with family and exploring new cuisines and cultures.
PHILIPPA “PIPPA” HALLOS (British)SOUS CHEF
Pippa grew up on the South Coast of England where the seaside and sailing are part of everyday life. She studied Civil Engineering at Bristol University however, quickly after graduating she decided that life on a building site was not for her, so turned to the yachting industry for a life of adventure. After a year as a stewardess on yachts in both the Caribbean and Mediterranean, she decided to pursue her life-long passion for cooking and train as a chef at Ballymaloe Cookery School in Ireland. Pippa has now joined Sam in the kitchen on “Katharine” as the Sous Chef. When Pippa is not in the kitchen, you will find her running, reading, travelling or eating.
NAYDEN MITEV (Bulgarian)CHIEF ENGINEER
Nayden was born in the small city of Shumen, Bulgaria, near the Black Sea. After graduating from an Economics College in 2000, he went on to graduate from the Bulgarian Naval Academy with a Master’s Degree in Engineering. His engineering career began in the Bulgarian Naval Force, serving on Fire Fighting ships for a few years before joining the Cruise Liner industry where he has worked on some of the largest cruise liners in the world. Joining M/Y Katharine is Nayden’s first challenge into the Super Yacht industry. Not only an engineer, but a family man too – Nayden has two sons (10 and 5 years old). In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with loved ones, fishing, swimming and playing football with his son’s.
JOHN MACKEY (British)2ND ENGINEER
John was born in Newport, Wales but raised in North East England from the age of 3. He has always been fascinated by science and pursued this passion by studying Chemistry at university. During his time at Newcastle University, he was introduced to sailing by a friend and loved it. He spent the first few years after university working in a laboratory before signing up for his cadetship on a commercial container ship. It was here that he first heard of the yachting industry and, given his love of sightseeing, decided this would be the perfect fit for him. Following his cadetship, John joined Vava II as a temporary second engineer before joining MY Katharine. In his spare time, John enjoys football and golf.
VLADIMIR NIKOLOV(Bulgarian) FIRST OFFICER
Vladimir was born near the Black Sea in Bulgaria. In 1998, he graduated from the Economic College, majoring in Accounting and Trade. Then, in 2003, he graduated from the Bulgarian Naval Academy with a Master’s Degree in Navigation. He worked as a deck officer on cargo vessels until 2007, whereafter he began his career in the yachting industry. For the last 9 years he has worked as a Chief Officer on various size yachts. In addition to his love for the water, from an early age, Vladimir was drawn to the spirit and philosophy of martial arts and is currently a black belt instructor of Aikido and Ju-Jitsu. Vladimir is a family man with a 7 year old daughter and a 3 year old son who live in the Canary Islands. He always has a smile on his face and approaches everything with a positive attitude.
MATTHEW BARRETTE (Canadian)2ND OFFICER
Matthew grew up in a small town in Emeryville, Ontario, Canada. His childhood days were spent outdoors engaging in various sports, in particular hunting and ice-hockey. Matthew joined the air force at an early age but shortly after joined yachting. His yachting career began in the engineering department but his love for the outdoors drew him to the exterior team. He has recently completed his Chief Mate certificate and hopes to run his own vessel in the near future. In his free time you will find Matthew watching hockey, playing a round of golf, diving and reading the daily news.
RONIE RIOS (Filipino)SENIOR DECKHAND
Ronnie was born in San Jose, Philippines. After graduating from Maritime School, he found his first job on Container Ships in 2007, a role which he enjoyed for 3 years. After that, in 2010, he began his yachting career onboard MY “New Sunrise”, where he has worked for the past 6 years. Ronnie loved cruising the Mediterranean onboard “New Sunrise” and particularly enjoyed spending time in Italy, with its tasty food and beautiful scenery. He is excited to join the “Katharine” program. His hobbies include playing basketball, football and swimming.
MARK SCALES (South African)DECKHAND
Mark was born in Johannesburg and grew up on the South Coast of South Africa. He spent a few years hand-rearing cheetahs and tigers in South Africa before moving to the United States in 2003. He has always had a love for the outdoors and pursued this passion by studying biology in the United States. After university, he spent several years working in bio-medical research and as a research facility manager before joining yachting in 2016. This is the ideal industry for him as he loves visiting new places and meeting new people. In his down-time, Mark enjoys rugby, soccer, surfing, diving and snowboarding.
NINA ORZECHOWSKI (South African)DECKHAND
Nina grew up between the mountainous Franschhoek winelands and the little coastal of Knysna, in the Garden Route of South Africa. Having always had a strong pull towards sport and the outdoors, she followed her passion by studying a Sport Science degree at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. Nina’s persistent desire to travel and explore the world coupled with her passion for sports and outdoors, recently drew her to the yachting industry where she has joined Katharine with an excitement to explore the world, meet new people and experience new cultures. Nina’s love for nature means you will often find her running, hiking or mountain biking in her spare time.