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 int he 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 superyacht 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 the Atlantic 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 the years. Cycling is another passion. He rides road, cyclo cross and mountain bikes and tours on two wheels. He once completed a 1,500km six week ride through Europe including the Swiss Alps and Pyrenees mountain ranges.
Having been on board SY REE since May 2013, Captain Ottley takes pride in his excellent crew management skills and maintaining the vessel she commands to the highest possible standards to ensure owners and guests experience the fullest enjoyment wherever they cruise.
Mate Soren Knight
Our easy-going Aussie Mate, Soren, hailing from the sailing paradise of the Witsunday’s in Australia’s tropical Queensland has been involved with watersports since he was old enough to walk. After serving a full apprenticeship with the family carpentry/joinery firm specialized in bespoke houses for the well-heeled, he took to the road with his perfect skillset for yachting. His competence will inspire your confidence and his quick and dry down-under wit will keep you smiling.
Chief Stewardess Svenja Katinka Bohm
Born in Germany but raised in Namibia from her teens, its fair to say Kati has lived a very full life. Her service skills where honed during her years looking after high end safari Park guests. When the time came to leave Africa and explore the rest of the world it was her athleticism that paid the bills after she entered to movie industry as a stuntwoman. Credited with dozens of Hollywood productions this career lead to a second one as personal trainer and dietary adviser. A relative newcomer to professional yachting this move has nevertheless been taken in her stride with an impressive sailing CV already accumulated in a few short years. A safe pair of hands for sure.
Lars hails from Texas but his family roots are Swedish. A lifelong sailor, he paid his way teaching sailing for seven years before gaining his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. On graduating Lars tried to settle down working for a test engineering company for a number of years until the call of sea lead him to acquiring his own yacht and embarking on a year long voyage with a revolving cast of volunteer crew he organized to help offset the bills. After this, career at sea was a logical and desirable step and yacht engineering the obvious way in. Lars is our technology geek and currently his new toy is a drone he will be using to capture our adventures along the way.
Akané’s cuisine is the meeting or the clash between the French terroir and Japanese artesian delicacy. Her French butcher father and Japanese mother influenced and shaped her taste buds in the heart of Burgundy. After studying art and architecture it is through her travels that Akané has discovered her culinary passion. Cooking became the perfect art to express her own creativity.
Akané has spent the last 10 years travelling the world gaining valuable, multi-national experience, enhancing her repertoire by meeting and learning from new chefs, experiencing new flavours, fragrancies, colours and textures. Akané has been a nomadic chef, constantly looking for new inspiration to develop her skill-set, with her knives always well packed in her backpack. She has been trained and nurtured by talented and starred chefs in Tokyo, London, New York, Paris and recently Lima. Her last stopover of 3 years in Iceland has led to a developed knowledge of Scandinavian new Nordic cuisine.
After a decade of devotion for cooking in restaurant, she has left kitchens and stoves to cook for luxurious adventure tourism company in Iceland. It is her first time on sea but she is ready to affirm her style and to share with us her knowledge and the treasures acquired from her travels.
Deck/Stewardess Melissa du Toit
27 year old South African Melissa is firmly an outdoor girl, a competitive horse rider from her youth she has more recently traded the turf for the surf by including scuba, Kitesurfing, and sailing amongst her passions. After graduating with a degree in History, politics and marketing nothing as mundane as settling down to an office job would do when the world was waiting to be explored. An easy learner, Mel has collected all the skills needed to find work along the way including high level service training, which combined with her naturally happy disposition and self-confidence makes her a real asset to the Ree team.