Captain: Grant Heunis
GRANT HEUNIS - CAPTAIN
Grant grew up in East London, South Africa and joins the Elysian family from a well known and successful charter yacht - M/Y Passion. Having spent twelve years onboard, he was excited to join the team and venture into new waters bringing with him a world of experience from running such a busy chartered vessel.
Grant began his career as a deckhand giving him an invaluable understanding of each position onboard. He gained his MCA Master 3000 Ton License in 2012 and took over as full-time Captain of M/Y Passion. Having acted as a relief Captain for some time already, this was a smooth transition for Grant, and he has since exceeded all expectations in the role.
Grant has extensive cruising experience in the Caribbean, Bahamas, East Coast of the USA, Mediterranean, Adriatic and Aegean waters. Grant is a qualified PADI rescue diver and RYA Jet Ski Instructor. A keen sportsman, having competed for his provincial team in water polo, he enjoys the outdoors, surfing, keeping fit and hiking.
A combination of qualifications and experience from these various backgrounds ensures a well-developed sense of safety and security while at the same time guaranteeing a fun-filled vacation onboard.
Grant’s strong emphasis on planning, organisation and training ensures an impeccable vessel, and that a professional and motivated crew is on hand to pamper you all through your time onboard with us.
“At all times if there is anything a member of the crew can do to make your stay more enjoyable, please do not hesitate to ask!”
CHIEF OFFICER: DUDLEY SALT
Dudley grew up with his twin brother on a hunting farm in Namibia and takes any opportunity to return home and spend time with his family. Dudley has recently gained his MCA Master Unlimited 3000 Ton License and has captained the Elysian across the Atlantic twice this year. He has ten years of experience in the private yachting industry; 5 of which have been as a Chief Officer on some of the most elite yachts including M/Y Satori, which won Best Interior and Exterior in the 50m category at the 2012 World Super Yacht Awards.
Dudley's most memorable experiences include cruising through the Corinth Canal, a four-mile long canal that is less than 70 feet wide. Passionate about water sports you might be lucky enough to witness him wake-boarding behind the yacht from time to time.
SECOND OFFICER: NICK LICHTWARK
Nick crew up in Mairangi Bay on Auckland’s North Shore. In 2010 he left his job as an apprentice builder and headed to the Mediterranean in search of a career at sea. He spent three years working as a deckhand on large yachts before joining a 50m yacht based in Florida. This, of course, provided the perfect opportunity to work and study at the same time. Nick currently holds his Chief Mate 3000 Ton license and thoroughly enjoys his time in the classroom expanding his seamanship and navigational knowledge. His favourite cruising location is the North East of the United States, dodging through lobster pots around Maine.
Nick loves all watersports and as a teenager, his time was devoted to windsurfing. As a member of the New Zealand team, he was lucky enough compete in regattas all over the world. We feel very fortunate to have his skills onboard Elysian and look forward to embracing the Caribbean winds!
BOSUN: NICHOLAS CHAPLIN
Nic's yachting career started as a hobby, sailing around South Africa on a 40ft sailboat for a year. It wasn't until his friends told him about getting into the industry that he started looking for a permanent position as a deckhand. Before this, Nic studied at the University of Stellenbosch where he gained his degree in Finance and Honors in Strategic Management.
Nic has traveled extensively throughout Africa, Europe and America where he has visited over twenty states. He has sailed all around the Caribbean and won third place in the St. Barths Bucket sailing competition. Nic loves being outdoors and keeping active with fishing, hunting, diving, cycling and of course sailing.
HEAD CHEF: GEMMA AYRES
.Gemma is from the Northern beaches of Sydney, Australia and has been working in the yachting industry for five years. She is a culinary trained chef and particularly passionate about health and nutrition; recently completing a course at Plant Lab Culinary, using plant and superfoods for ultimate nutrition.
A recent career highlight for Gemma was working at Rendez-Vous, a 2 star Michelin Restaurant on the island of Capri. She enjoys cooking all cuisines although particularly passionate about Mediterranean and Asian flavours. Gemma loves to travel and is always exploring local food markets, bringing back ingredients and seasonal produce to experiment with in the galley.
Aside from her love of cooking, Gemma loves cross-fit, scuba diving and hiking. She holds her Advanced Open Water and Nitrox Diver Certificates and Bachelor of Arts in Media and Communications
SOUS CHEF: SUZANNE BEZUIDENHOUDT
Suzanne was born and raised in South Africa and the eldest of three children. Her caring and nurturing nature comes from her love for her family, second only to her love for her chosen career;
“I love my job and everything along with it - the adrenaline rush of service, the perfection on every plate, the quiet solitude of the kitchen in early morning preparations. Food is life, and I get to live it every day.”
Suzie discovered the world of yachting in 2015 through a friend and hired before setting foot in the yachting capital of Antibes. Once you have tasted her food, you will understand why she was snapped up without so much as a job interview. She has worked alongside Head Chef Gemma Ayres on a previous yacht, and they are both excited to be back together cooking up a storm in the galley of Elysian.
CHIEF STEWARDESS: JENNA MENTINK
Growing up in the beautiful South Island of New Zealand, Jen has always made the most of any opportunity to explore the great outdoors. Her love for travel brought to a career as a flight attendant in her early twenties for Richard Branson’s most popular airline Virgin Blue. It is through this that she discovered the yachting industry five years ago. Prior to joining Elysian Jen played an integral role in the launch of Delta’s largest 50m Super Yacht; M/Y Arianna. She is passionate about providing her guests with exceptional service at all times.
Always up for a new challenge Jen is a qualified Bikram Yoga Teacher, holds her Medical Person in Charge and Medical Care at Sea Certificates as well as her Open Underwater Dive Certificate.
As your Chief Stewardess onboard M/Y Elysian Jen is dedicated to making your stay as relaxing and as enjoyable as possible. Please do not hesitate to ask if there is any way that she can assist you.
2ND STEWARDESS: AMY EATON
Growing up in Australia’s sunniest city - Perth, Amy has always made the most of its outdoor lifestyle. Surrounded by world-class beaches and home to an abundant array of marine life it is no surprise that Amy feels right at home on the ocean. Leaving a career in the Finance Sector to travel America, Amy discovered the yachting industry by accident during a visit to Fort Lauderdale.
Since joining the industry, she has been lucky enough to cruise the Mediterranean, Caribbean and East Coast of America, taking every opportunity to explore the different cultures along the way. Documenting her travels through her love of photography, Amy is always ready to discover new places.
With her infectious smile, she is a fun and energetic member of the crew that is dedicated to providing exceptional guest service and is rumored to make the best Bloody Mary in town. Should there be anything at all that Amy can assist you with, please don’t hesitate to ask.
3RD STEWARDESS: TAMARYN STROVER
Tam was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and has felt a connection to the ocean for as long as she can remember. After studying Law and completing her degree at the University of South Africa, a good friend introduced her to the yachting industry. Needing a break from the books and a self-confessed neat freak; she couldn’t pass up the opportunity to combine her love of the ocean and travel.
Keeping fit is another passion and Tam has found that running and hiking is a great way to appreciate the beautiful scenery in each new travel destination. Her family resides all over the world - from South Africa to the United Kingdom, and America, and she intends to continue to discover the many different cultures, taking her smile and charismatic energy where ever she goes!
The Elysian is Tammy’s second yacht since starting her career one year ago, and we are excited to teach her the ropes onboard!
HEAD OF HOUSEKEEPING: EMMA MCKERVEY
Emma grew up in the North West of Ireland as the youngest of three girls. She left home at the age of 18 to gain her degree in Geography at Leeds University in England. After finishing her studies, Emma decided it was high time to explore herself; and so began her first adventure - pouring pints in the French Alps, while taking to the slopes on her days off.
While enjoying the transient lifestyle, warmer weather was on the horizon, and in 2013 Emma discovered the yachting industry through a fellow traveller. Gaining her experience onboard both sailing and motored yachts Emma, has made the most of each opportunity to explore destinations such as Costa Rica, Colombia, Caribbean and the Mediterranean.
New to the Elysian family, Emma is excited to share her knowledge and experiences with us and we just love her sweet Irish accent!
HOUSEKEEPING STEWARDESS: KAHLA MANTHORPE
Brand new to the yachting industry Kahla is from Australia and grew up on boats with her family - her father is a Captain so life was literally on the water!
After leaving the school she worked a few hospitality oriented jobs before setting her mind to go and work in the mines of Australia. In 2012, she got the call-up and was offered a position as a dump truck driver! Yes - that is right this time 163cm frame has been driving these massive vehicles of which she doesn’t even reach the hubcap. This has been her life for the last 4.5 years - now she’s traded the dessert for the water Kahla is excited to start her new adventure as part of the Elysian crew.
CHIEF ENGINEER: LINCOLN BELL
Link is from the sunny land of Australia and despite his love for travel, relishes any opportunity to return home and spend time with his family.
Link has been in the yachting industry since 2009 after completing his Marine Mechanics Apprenticeship with All Marine Services in Brisbane. He holds his Y1 Chief Engineer License and has enjoyed taking on a mix of permanent positions, relief engineer positions and refit management positions for many well-known yachts in the industry. An experienced and hands-on engineer we are pleased to welcome him to the team.
Link and his partner have plans to circumnavigate the world in a sailing yacht - having grown up in a family of experienced sailors and fisherman. He enjoys all aspects of living and working on the water and has personally owned two boats himself.
2ND ENGINEER: IAN FAY-HILTNER
Ian was born and raised in Southeast Alaska where he grew up in a floating house in the bay at the bottom of the ski area road. Both parents were wilderness guides which naturally lead to him assistant guiding from the young tender age of six. He spent most of his childhood on the water or in the mountains; camping, fishing, skiing or snowboarding and claims he had a monster truck tyre as a crib and yellow Labrador as a babysitter. All of which is entirely believable once you meet him and it would appear not much has changed - it’s just done on a larger scale; he still has lab’s but now he drives the monster trucks.
Ian discovered the yachting industry by chance - meeting the right person at the right time. He now holds his USCG Engineering 6000hp License has a degree in Power Technology.
With his love for the water and great outdoors Ian is a PADI Scuba Instructor and a Wilderness First Responder.
DECKHAND: DANIEL MURRAY
Daniel has been in the yachting industry for a little over a year having learned the ropes onboard Lady Leila before joining Elysian.
Growing up with the spectacular ocean views that South Africa has to offer Dan had never known that a career on the high seas was even possible. As a child, he spent many holiday’s traveling with his family to places such as Thailand, Mauritius and much of Europe, opportunities he is extremely grateful for and which added to his desire to travel as an adult. While his two older brothers have settled into a life in South Africa Dan is carving his own path in the yachting industry and is excited continue his adventure with the Elysian Family.
DECKHAND: CAMERON MACASKILL
New to the industry Cameron’s yachting career is just beginning. Having left South Africa to travel after completing a cricket scholarship at university level Cameron has been waiting for the right job to come his way, first gaining experience onboard a 62m Feadship cruising through the Baltic Sea.
Cameron is from a small town in Zulu-Land, South Africa. The youngest of 3 brothers, he is a keen diver and a self-confessed sports fanatic. We are all excited to welcome him into the Elysian family and have no doubt he will quickly earn his stripes amongst the deck team.
DECKHAND/3RD ENGINEER: ALEX EATON
Born and raised in Western Australia Alex has always had a great passion for the outdoors. Perth is a vibrant and energetic city that offers a truly unique experience with both expansive parklands and stunning beaches literally at your doorstep.
After leaving school Alex undertook an apprenticeship at a local Butcher and quickly progressed to Store Manager. After 11 years in the industry, and with the glistening view of the ocean in front of him, it was time to hang up the carving knife and travel the world.
Starting out in America, Alex was introduced to the yachting industry and soon discovered his passion for engineering. He has since taken every opportunity to gain hands-on experience and obtain his certificates in both Engineering and First Aid.
A friendly and approachable member of the crew please don’t hesitate to ask if there is anything Alex can help you with.