Captain Keith and Chef Annette, “AJ,” have a love of boating, diving, and entertaining and enjoy sharing these experiences with others. They made a commitment 5 years ago to create a strategy to exit their land-based life and find a way to live their life on the water and find an opportunity to enrich others’ lives by sharing this wonderful adventure. Now they are Captain and Chef of the M/Y Outta Touch. They are excited to share with guests the adventure of yachting in the beautiful spectacular Virgin Islands. They will guide guests as they explore the underwater world, discover amazing places ashore and recreate or relax aboard, enjoying extraordinary hospitality and unparalleled culinary experiences. Come join them for the adventure of a lifetime!
Captain Keith learned to sail Sunfish and Hobie Cats with friends on Big Stone Lake in South Dakota. He grew up fishing, waterskiing, and boating on the lakes in SD. Keith is an accomplished freshwater and saltwater angler and certified PADI Divemaster.
He discovered his passion for sailing keelboats and catamarans in the BVI. In 2002, he put a picture of a Jeanneau 43 Deck Salon on his refrigerator and eighteen months later, he bought a sister ship of the one depicted on his fridge! He earned his first Captain’s license in 2005 and began delivering yachts coastwise and roundtrip to the Caribbean. He dreamed of becoming a superyacht skipper. Keith is in his sixth year of skippering charters in the Caribbean. Keith enjoys leading guests on spectacular SCUBA dives, sharing the thrills of watersports, leading hikes, and sharing historical highlights of the islands.
Keith also has a background in the hospitality industry and loves to entertain. Whether manning the grill or the bar, Keith takes immense pride in delivering an exceptional experience to guests. He is an accomplished amateur “Sous Chef” and Mixologist, and oenophile. As the Captain, he finds joy in leading a great crew while serving and helping others.
Having grown up on the coast of North Carolina, AJ spent her youth on and in the waters of the Atlantic coastal area. She began her diving adventures at the age of fourteen and became a PADI Dive Instructor at the age of twenty-two. Sharing the underwater world with seasoned divers, new divers, and students is a lifelong passion. In addition to her years of diving she has also crewed on fishing charters.
Sailing and boating was major part of her life while growing up. She spent years pleasure boating and crewing on deliveries with her uncle, enjoying pleasure boating crewing on boat deliveries up and down the Eastern Seaboard. Most recently she has become an extremely competent sailor while crewing on deliveries from Annapolis to St. Martin, the BVI’s to Bonaire, and Annapolis to Charleston, SC. Her calm demeanor and “can do” spirit assure that all on board feel safe and are able to enjoy the experience.
AJ spent her college years working her way through school in the restaurant industry. This ignited a passion in her for food preparation, exploration, and presentation!! She was also involved in the opening of an extraordinarily successful restaurant in Charlotte, NC. In 2021, AJ attended the prestigious Ashburton Cookery and Chef’s Academy. She won First Prize in both the entrée and dessert categories at the VIPCA Charter Yacht Show in St. Thomas, USVI in 2021. These experiences and her natural Southern Hospitality will insure you enjoy a fabulous culinary experience during your yachting adventure!!
Niko (Nicholas) Caldellis:
Having grown up in the Pacific Northwest, Niko’s love for adventure and the outdoors came at a young age. With the abundance of mountains, rivers, lakes and the great ocean it is difficult for one to stop exploring the Northwest. Camping, hiking, fishing, boating and snowboarding are some of his favorite activities to mention a few. He has recently been trying to spend as much time as possible in the water, freediving, scuba diving, and spearfishing. His passion for boats and the ocean stems from fishing and crabbing with his family in the Puget Sound. As a young child, crab boils, salmon, cod, and halibut fresh from the waters of the Salish Sea were quite frequent during summer break. With Niko’s Greek family culture and food being the center of any gathering, he also very much enjoys cooking. Some have said that his cooking is good enough for him to put on a chef jacket and pursue his passion for food.
When Niko is not cooking or spending time in the outdoors, you would probably find him working on one of his many toys or projects. He restored a beautiful 1958 18ft classic wooden boat, learning by trial and error. He built an overland vehicle out of a not so well running or maintained 1994 Ford Bronco. It’s now equipped with a bed, solar power, fridge, and all the camping equipment you could possibly need. He has always been fascinated with mechanics and how things operate. I guess you could say that holding the flashlight as a child for his dad while working on vehicles shaped him into who he is today.
Niko’s boating career kickstarted in 2014 with an Atlantic crossing from Antigua to Palma de Mallorca. Once he was opened to the world of different cultures, working and traveling on boats was an easy decision for him to pursue. After spending a few seasons working on yachts in the Mediterranean, Niko returned to Seattle and worked for a boat detailing company learning the proper way to maintain a boat. Following this, he managed a boat rental company in Seattle instructing people how to safely operate and navigate boats on the water. He was also one of the lead mechanics to keep all the boats operating to their full potential. Further, Niko has worked on all types of yachts in Alaska, West Coast, East Coast, and all around the Caribbean. He has worked his way up from Deckhand to Deck/Engineer to Mate and now Engineer/Mate. He also holds his 100-ton US Coast Guard captain’s license, with plans to upgrade to a 200-ton license.
Niko’s wide range of experience and worldly travels gives him the knowledge and confidence to give charter guests the best experience they could have under his watch. With his relaxed demeanor and outgoing personality, he is sure to be well liked among all guests and crew.
Samantha (Sammie) Elston:
Born and raised in South Africa, where she had the pleasure of growing up with her siblings and cousins. On the weekends they would enjoy spending time (tubing/jet skiing/knee boarding) on the water at the Vaal River. She also had many great experiences camping and exploring at the coast line with her family. She did my junior open water one scuba course at 13, as she wanted to explore the ocean on another level.
After matriculating, she waitressed for 6 months, then went into teaching at a pre-school, and decided to study Montessori, as she has a passion for working with children, to help them discover themselves and guide them to their full growth and potential. Having pursued this career for 10 years she felt the need to make a monumental change and take a leap of faith to join the Yachting Industry, which has taught her many new skills and life lessons.
Sammie’s Yachting adventures started in Italy, Viareggio as Sole Cook/Stew on a 46m M/Y during the crazy time of Covid in 2020, the yacht was for sale, she took care of all interior cleaning, crew meals, tending to guests, sea trials and made sure potential buyers were comfortable and had a great viewing of the vessel. The yacht sold after 5 months of being there, the owners then asked her to join their yacht in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on a 55m M/Y. She continued her position as Sole Cook/Stew there for 6 more months then the yacht headed to San Juan, Puerto Rico where the owners moved on board to live permanently, with 4 beautiful Labradors. Her position changed to 2nd Stewardess, she later joined a new yacht in West Palm Beach, Florida to gain some experience as a Galley Hand/Stew on a 63m M/Y.
Yachting has really opened her eyes and heart to how much she truly has a deep love and great respect for the ocean. Having found a new passion for yachting she would love to share the enthusiasm and eagerness she has with all her guests and crew.