Captain: Peter Nord
Peter acquired many of his maritime skills at an early age while sailing and maintaining boats with family and friends in the North Eastern U.S. After college, Peter moved to the mountains of New Hampshire but couldn’t ignore his urge to try to make a living at sea. He attended the Chapman School of Seamanship in Florida in 1981, and upon graduation, began his career aboard a 141’ Feadship bound for Europe. Since then, Peter has held almost every crew position on yachts around the world, eventually becoming a captain for the first time in 1989. Peter has worked extensively on boats in The United States, the Bahamas, the Caribbean and the Mediterranean as both Mate and Captain, and was 1st Officer on board a 190’ Feadship during a circumnavigation in
the mid-1990’s. He hopes that his experience, his excellent crew and the beautiful yacht Highlander can all help contribute to making this your best holiday ever!
First Officer: Jeremy Nichols
Jeremy is from Hawkes Bay, ‘the fruit and wine region’ of New Zealand. After completing a degree in commerce and working in advertising, he went overseas and discovered the yachting industry in 2006. Since then, Jeremy has worked on a number of yachts sailing in New England, Caribbean, Bahamas, Mediterranean and the Red Sea. He currently has his Chief Mate 3000t license and hopes to complete his Masters license in the near future. Jeremy is a PADI Dive master and has been diving in various locations all over the world, with his favourite spots being in Egypt and Saba
Island. In his downtime he enjoys playing tennis, golf, water sports, aerial videography and watching the mighty New Zealand rugby union and league teams.
Second Mate: Fanie Oosthuizen
Fanie was born in Zimbabwe but grew up in a small town called Nelspruit, on the border of Kruger National Park in South Africa. He was working as an equipment analyst in a paper mill, when in 2000, an engineer friend introduced him to the yachting industry. Fanie has worked as an engineer on a number of yachts, and has extensively sailed the Mediterranean, Caribbean, Indian Ocean and Asia. He currently helds the Y3 engineering qualification and plans to progress up the ranks to obtain his Y2 certificate by the end of 2014. When Fanie is not sweating it out in the engine room, he is an avid fresh and saltwater fisherman, diver and golfer.
Bosun: Andrew Dick
Andrew originates from Hawkes Bay, New Zealand – he grew up by the ocean, which piqued his interest in surfing, and he was only a short drive from the mountains to snowboard. After completing his Bachelor Degree in Geography, Andrew joined the yachting industry in 2008 as a means to travel the world and meet new people. He has worked on various-sized private and charter yachts sailing the Mediterranean, Caribbean and New England areas. When he is not working, Andrew enjoys watching rugby, playing tennis, golf and photography. Post-yachting career, Andrew would love to pursue his interest in the property industry in New Zealand, and enjoy the relaxed lifestyle that his home country has to offer.
Deckhand: Joahn Odendaal
Johan hails from Upington, a town in the Kalahari Dessert, South Africa. He embarked on a yachting adventure in early 2013, after wanting a ‘sea change’ from his career in advertising. Johan is a natural-born people-lover, coming from a service background after working for his family-run hotel for many years. Johan loves being in the water and is keen to help guests in all water-related sports. He would eventually love to pursue his interest in writing and become a published
Deckhand: Matt Tayler-Smith
Matt hails from a small farming town called Addo in the Eastern Cape region of South Africa. He completed a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Logistics at University, and then went on to play rugby professionally for the Eastern Province Kings. Matt joined yachting in 2013 as he was keen for an adventure and wanted to work and travel to see the world. After his yachting career, Matt would like to move back to work with his father and brother on the family farm, and eat his mother’s home-cooked meals every night. When Matt is not scrubbing the decks, you will find him in watching rugby, playing golf or swimming in the ocean.
Chief Stewardess: Heather Benson
Heather grew up in the Great Lakes region of beautiful western Pennsylvania. She joined the yachting industry in 2010 after meeting her now-fiancé and Chief Engineer aboard M/Y Highlander, Fanie Oosthuizen. Heather has always had in an interest in food, which led to her attend culinary school at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, France, learning classic European cooking. She has travelled extensively throughout the Mediterranean, which has led her to become an expert in all aspects of its ingredients and flavours. Heather also completed further training at the Ashburton Chef Academy in Devon, England, where she was trained in a wide variety of cuisines such as Latin American, Indian and Asian. When she is not in the galley, you can find Heather on the golf course trying out-putting Fanie.
Chief Stewardess: Jenny-Lee Cecconi-Watkins
Jenny was born in Antibes on the French Riviera and is of mixed heritage – her mother is Welsh-Italian. She has been in the yachting industry since 2009 and has worked on a number of private and charter yachts in the Mediterranean, Caribbean and Mexico. In her spare time, you will find Jenny cruising in her new Dodge Challenger on the streets of Florida. She also loves horse riding after previously competing professionally in the sport. Jenny also loves kick-boxing and working on her new company, designing custom-made beach bags for the super yacht industry.
Second Stewardess: Jessica Wade
Jessica comes from a small town in rural South Australia. She has been sailing the seven seas in the yachting industry since 2010, with her adventure taking her to the Mediterranean, Caribbean, New England and Japan. She graduated from University with a Bachelor of Science majoring in Hydrogeology, as well as a Diploma in Journalism.
Before joining the yachting industry she worked as a journalist for a regional newspaper for four years, but grew tired of the daily office grind. During her spare time she loves going to the beach, reading, tennis, yoga and playing the piano. Her dream is to one day own a black grand piano in a cliff-top house by the sea.
Third Stewardess: Nicole Edwardes
Nicole is a bubbly spirit on board M/Y Highlander, hailing from Cape Town in South Africa. After completing a three-year degree in fashion, she embarked on an adventure in yachting almost 18 months ago. When she is not serving guests canapés and cocktail, Nicole will be exploring her surroundings, taking a keen interest in the local shopping malls and restaurants. When her adventure in yachting comes to an end, Nicole has ambitions to move to New York and work for a large fashion retail company.
Fourth Stewardess: Andee-Marie Rathy
Andee-Marie hails from British Columbia on the west coast of Canada. After completing a Diploma in Sales and Marketing, she worked for a cable company in Canada for two years. She joined the yachting industry in Florida, USA in October 2013 after looking for an adventure. Her goals are to travel the world and meet new people from all walks of life. Andee-Marie is a ‘social butterfly’ and loves to mix with people of all ages and is an outgoing and fun crew member. During her spare time, Andee-Marie loves to do anything active whether it is yoga, gym, running, boot camps and she also enjoys all water sports. She also plans to complete her PADI Diving certificate and
yoga-teaching certificate in the near future.