Captain Laurance Ottley started sailing in his early teens,some would say a bit late for a Brit, progressing from dinghies to off shore cruising and racing in both modern and traditional vessels. After a career in the decorating trade he took up sailing professionally in 1996. For the next 6 years he was employed first as mate, then as captain, aboard the 30 meter traditional wooden sailing ship IRENE in the Caribbean charter trade.
From 2004 to 2006 Laurance was full-time captain aboard another period wooden sailing ship, Thames Sailing Barge Kitty, doing corporate charters with up to 46 passengers before moving into the super yacht sector. In 2008 he took command of the Hoek-designed 30 meter ketch APHRODITE cruising extensively in the Med and Caribbean with the owner and guests over a period of three years. 2012 presented the opportunity for Captain Ottley to return to IRENE on a voyage around theAtlantic with sail trainees and cargo as part of a sustainable transport initiative.
On land Laurance loves to be 'let loose in the galley'practicing skills he has learned from working with great charter chefs over theyears. Cycling is another passion. He rides road, cyclocross and mountain bikesand tours on two wheels. Last year he completed a 1,500km six week ride throughEurope including the Swiss Alps and Pyrenees mountain ranges.
Captain Ottley takes pride in his excellent crew managementskills and maintaining the vessels he commands to the highest possiblestandards to ensure owners and guests experience the fullest enjoyment whereverthey cruise.
After graduating university with a degree in Anthropology,Chef Bojana promptly opened her own restaurant. The seed for this abrupt change of direction was sewn while working her way through university in the family design business, managing a team of production staff. The restaurant venture offered her an opportunity to combine her artistic design flair, managerial skills and love of food culture. Known for its eclectic mix of Balkan and Mediterranean dishes the business flourished and became a night club as well as restaurant. Ten years later and Bojana was a Chef, night club owner, restaurant manager and entrepreneur.
She was also in need of a change of pace and a chance to broaden her horizons. Since she had sailed as a Chef on board a yacht Captained by a friend during charters a couple of times, yachting seemed like the perfect escape from the pressures of the restaurant business which she was able to handover to partners. Thus she has now completed two seasons temping on various yachts from 30-50m. She brings a wealth of modern and traditional culinary experience to Ree’s galley, and feels her role aboard to be a pleasure more than a job.
When not menu planning or searching for unusual ingredients for her latest invention, Bojana will be found practicing her Yoga, Reiki, or,indeed, singing.
Chief Stewardess Gaelle Andries is a Belgian who really knows her chocolates. She worked in high quality hotels and restaurants in London, Barcelona and Tenerife progressing through different departments including waitress and reception desk, finishing as the senior butler of a luxury boutique hotel. Seven years of experience gives Gaelle a very rounded and in-depth knowledge of the hospitality industry.
In May 2012 Gaelle joined her first yacht, the classic S/Y ZACA A TE MOANA, and traveled the Caribbean islands of St Lucia, Antigua and Guadeloupe. She loves visiting new countries and collects flags from places she has visited along the way.
In her free time Gaelle enjoys reading cooking books and practicing her cocktail skills. She makes a mean Strawberry Caipiroska!
The combined roles of Deckhand and 2nd Stewardess are ably handled by Marina Ribeiro, a French/Brazilian with the sea and sailing in her blood, having been raised while living aboard the family yacht as it cruised extensively during her formative years the Atlantic, Caribbean a Pacific. The family finally came to rest in New Caledonia, a French Pacific Island, where Marina attended high school and took her baccalaureate before being awarded a place at Canada’s prestigious McGill University where she read plant science.On graduation she took a job travelling all over Quebec province advising farmers on better environmental practices.
With all her academic talent and training you may be wondering how she acquired her considerable talents in bar and table service needed to work aboard a charter yacht. Well, like any self respecting student she part-paid her way through academia working in a bar/restaurant, though in Marina’s case she rose to the top in that field too and became a manager of a thriving Irish Pub/Restaurant by the time of her graduation.
In her free time Marina is as happy above water as below, spear diving for fish and lobster or interacting and practicing her linguistics kills with locals in the many places REE visits through the year. You could say she’s one of us.
South African Engineer Anthon Muller's working life started early on when as a school leaver he was recruited by his local bank. Here his aptitude for accuracy and arithmetic were put to good use as a teller for the bank's commercial customers. After the confines of the backroom but still only 18 years of age, Anthon bought himself a plane ticket to the UK and quickly found work in the tough world of the door to door salesman. His essentially honest and sincere nature evidently won him many good customers and after two years away from home he had made enough money to be able to return to SA and put himself into training as an electrical/mechanical engineer. After three and half years of academic and on the job training Anthon quickly rose through the ranks of his state's electrical company, becoming regional supervisor quality controlling the work of hundreds of other electricians, all by the tender age of 26.
The qualities that brought Anthon to that point are great self reliance and an acceptance that if a job is worth doing, it is worth doing well. Just the qualities needed of an on board Engineer where no two days are the same and quick and sometimes imaginative action is required to keep a yacht's services and equipment running smoothly whatever the circumstances.
When not working Anthon is a keen wake boarder and regular participant in triathlons. At home he keeps and maintains his own speedboat to facilitate his wake boarding so whilst his small craft seamanship is already very good, we are currently putting him through his paces in learning the ways of sailing a large yacht. He has a great way of assimilating all the important in formation very quickly so we have high hopes of making a sailor out of him in no time at all!