Captain: Grant Heunis
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 12 years onboard his previous yacht, he is excited to head up the Elysian team bringing with him a world of experience from running such a busy charter yacht.
Grant began his career as a deckhand and worked his way up the ladder giving him an invaluable understanding of each position onboard. He holds the MCA Master 3000 Ton License.
Grant has extensive cruising experience in the Caribbean, Bahamas, East Coast of the USA, Mediterranean, Adriatic and Aegean waters. Adding to his skill set he is a PADI rescue diver and an RYA Jet Ski Instructor. A keen sportsman, having competed at the provincial level in water polo and surfing in South Africa, he enjoys the outdoors, 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, organization, and training ensures an impeccable vessel, and that a professional and motivated crew is on hand to pamper you all through your time onboard.
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 recently gained his MCA Master Yachts Unlimited 3000 Ton License and has Captained Elysian across the Atlantic several times. He has ten years of experience in the private yacht industry; five of which have been as a Chief Officer on some of the most elite yachts on the water 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 ft wide.
Passionate about water sports you might be lucky enough to witness him wakeboarding behind the yacht from time to time. Some of his other hobbies include golfing with friends, fishing, and hunting.
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.
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 full time that he started looking for a permanent position as a deckhand.
Prior to all 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 20 states. He has sailed all around the Caribbean and won 3rd place in the St. Barth’s Bucket sailing competition. Nic loves being outdoors 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 5 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 Rendezvous, a 2-star Michelin Restaurant on the island of Capri. She enjoys cooking all cuisines particularly Mediterranean and Asian flavors. 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 as 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 was hired before even 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 been brought up to make the most of any opportunity to explore the great outdoors. Her love for travel led to a career as a flight attendant in her early twenties. It is through this that she discovered the yachting industry 5 years ago.
Prior to Elysian Jen played an integral role in the launch of Delta’s largest 50m Super Yacht, M/Y Arianna and she takes great pride in providing exceptional guest 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 anything that she can assist you with
2ND STEWARDESS: BRIAR LEMBERG
Briar was born in the South Island of New Zealand although she moved to Australia at a young age. Like any typical Australian she loves the beach and all sports involving the water.
Briar grew up around yachts and marinas amongst a family of keen sailors and competed herself from an early age. Following high school Briar completed a degree in Marketing and Advertising while working part time in the hospitality industry. Realising this was her true passion, an opportunity arose to combine her love for the service industry and the ocean, and 2012 saw the beginning of her career in Yachting.
In recent studies Briar received distinction for her WSET Level 2 Award in Wine and Spirits. She loves to create unique and exciting experiences for her guests onboard and we are beyond excited to welcome her into the Elysian family
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. She intends to continue to discover the many different cultures, taking her smile and charismatic energy where ever she goes! Elysian is Tammy͛s 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 traveler.
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. Emma is excited to share her knowledge and experiences with us and we just love her sweet Irish accent!
HOUSEKEEPING STEWARDESS: KAHLA MANTHORPE
Although 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 High 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 tiny 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 desert for the water Kahla is excited to start her new adventure as part of the Elysian crew.
CHIEF ENGINEER: STEVE FURLONG
Steve discovered the yachting industry in 2010 after serving for 12 years as a weapons engineer in the Royal Navy, specialising as a Sonar maintainer on Nuclear powered submarines.
Steve completed his Y4 exams in his final year in the navy and came to yachting seeking new challenges and a new career. He has since worked on several yachts ranging from 45m – 87m expanding his systems knowledge while gaining sea time and progressing up the Certificate of Competence ladder.
Steve has recently completed his Small Vessel 3000 GT 9000 KW CoC which is a Y1 equivalent but still considers every day a school day - taking any chance to get his hands dirty and continue his learning on each new vessel.
Steve, is an avid football fan and holds season tickets at Manchester United FC, proudly supporting the team both home and away. Also, a passionate snowboarder taking to the slopes whenever he can. Steve has one grown-up son, Daniel who has acquired the same passion for adventure; he is currently travelling the world with his wife, Francesca. We are excited to welcome Steve into the Elysian family and look forward to sharing the many highs and lows of supporting Manchester United.
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 to being an assistant guide from the 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 just 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
Cameron left South Africa to travel after completing a cricket scholarship at university level and 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: JOSH SHARENBERG
Josh discovered the industry in early 2017 after meeting our House Keeping sweetheart Kahla in one of Australia’s underground mines. Kahla already had plans to pursue a career as a stewardess and Josh was up for the challenge - having met each other operating rear dump trucks and bulldozers, it should come as no surprise they are making the most of the open sea and continued adventure.
Josh comes with a refrigeration, air conditioning and electrical engineering background from his time spent working on large iron ships and tugboats docked in his hometown in Australia. He was also the Emergency Response Officer during his time in the mines. In his down time Josh enjoys playing guitar, surfing, Aussie rules football and good coffee.