CAPTAIN – STEVEN FRENCH
Certificates/Education: Marketing Degree, Master 500, Chief Mate 3000
Steven aka “Frenchie” grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa. He spent most of his late teenage years playing professional rugby for the Natal Sharks in Durban and enjoying water sports with family and friends. Steven has a deep passion for hospitality and turned his focus to the yachting industry in 2007 where he started his career as a junior deckhand on large Superyacht, 235’ KOGO in the Mediterranean. Steven spent eight years on this vessel and traveled the world while systemically working his way up to Chief Officer. Steven has also worked onboard 269’ ALPHA NERO, 153’ DAYBREAK, 126’ T-ZERO, and more. Captain Steven has been running SWEET ESCAPE's successful busy program since 2020, always making sure guests have the best experience while ensuring the safety of everyone onboard. Steve is extremely passionate about fitness and living a healthy lifestyle, and never fails to fit in a workout and a power-packed smoothie, even on a busy day!
Amy was born and raised in Taiwan where she went to school for art and movie. She was also a project manager where she manages watersport projects for one of the biggest sports supply companies in Europe for 4 years. She was also a passionate language instructor teaching all three languages to both locals and foreigners. Her passion for surfing, diving, spearfishing, yoga, and traveling the world inspired her to join the industry. Amy started her yachting career in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and has since then worked on three different 40+ meters boats in various locations including the Mediterranean. With much drive and determination, she has progressed in the industry and is excited to serve as chief stewardess onboard SWEET ESCAPE. However, it hardly ever feels like work because she gets to do what she loves every day: meet & build relationships with amazing people, explore the world, and make unforgettable memories for her guests.
STEWARDESS - HEIDI LAKSTIGALA
Before working in the yachting industry Heidi was a scuba instructor in Maui, Hawaii where she lived for five years. She also had the amazing opportunity to host large events and concerts for Mick Fleetwood. She has been in the yachting industry for four years, but in the overall service industry for 13 years and counting. She loves that yachting gives her the ability to develop and refine her service skills. Born in San Diego, California, and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Heidi always seems to find herself close to the ocean. She enjoys spending time outdoors and doing anything active like running, surfing, free diving, hiking, skiing, fishing and most importantly traveling. Heidi has been exploring the world since she was 20 years old and has so much love for adventure and meeting amazing people along the way. She cannot wait to get to know all the guests and cater the experience to their needs so the trip is nothing short of extraordinary.
Samantha was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela. Growing up she participated in dance groups and worked as a Spanish voice-over actress. After finishing high school, she studied modern languages at the central university of Venezuela until 2014 when she decided to change her career path to yachting. Samantha enjoys all aspects of the job but loves serving guests, creating tablescapes, and mixing beautiful handcrafted cocktails. Over the last 9 years working onboard different vessels, she used her time off to study and developed a growing passion for anatomy and movement. She has taken various courses to become a certified yoga teacher, personal trainer, and aerialist. She loves when she is able to share her skills with the guest and crew alike. Yachting has allowed Samantha to meet people from different cultures and backgrounds, travel to incredible places, be a part of great adventures and learn valuable lessons she will always carry with her on her future endeavors.
CHEF - SHERI FRIEND
Sheri brings new meaning to “culinary excellence” and has trained at various institutions such as at the Culinary Arts Institute of Vancouver, Notter School of Pastry Arts, and T.A.F.E. Technical College Australia/Culinary Arts. In addition, she has diplomas from Italy, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, and India. During her 20-year career in yachting, Sheri has pleased the pallets of many yacht owners, charter guests, and crew from all around the world with her knowledge and expertise of the culinary arts. Her passion for “making people happy with a memorable dining experience” and her overall zest for life makes her the perfect “chef”. Whether it be for incorporating the tradition of old world cultures, or the gastronomy of France and Spain to the infusion of countries from afar, Sheri is a real pleasure to have onboard. She is looking forward to creating a unique and unforgettable dining experience for the guests!
Growing up in Durban, on the east coast of South Africa, surrounded by lakes and the ocean, Calvin became passionate about sailing, diving, and fishing from a very young age. When it came to pursuing a career, unsurprisingly, he decided on yachting where he could enjoy his greatest passions every day! Calvin started his yachting career in 2018 on smaller sailing yachts where he gained a lot of experience before he moved on to bigger motor yachts. Cal has worked on busy private and charter yachts including 236' AZTECA, 146' GLADIATOR, and others. With his previous charter experience, great personality, and lovely sense of humor (his words), Calvin is sure to make your experience onboard very memorable!
DECKHAND - LEE KENDALL
Lee grew up in a small village called Kommetjie at the tip of South Africa where he developed a deep connection with the ocean. He spent most of his time surfing, snorkeling, fishing, and hanging with the locals. After high school, Lee started work as an outdoor activity instructor in the UK where he realized what he wanted out of life. Lee's enthusiasm, bubbly personality, and good listening skills bring the best out of people and motivate everyone to enjoy living in the moment. He easily adapts to most situations and helps people feel at ease because he genuinely cares about everyone. Lee loves nature, surfing, hiking, going on different adventures, and he constantly trying new things. Lee has a deep love for creating films, video editing, and socializing to genuinely learn about others. But most of all, Lee has always had a passion for being a part of the yachting industry. Lee shows great initiative with guests and will go above and beyond to ensure an unforgettable stay onboard SWEET ESCAPE.
DECKHAND - JG HUISAMEN
Johannes Gideon Huisamen (“JG”) comes from the northern part of Pretoria, South Africa. JG spent his younger years modeling for brands back home, and he also worked in his father’s business as a salesman. Despite growing inland all his life, JG always loved the ocean. With a little help from a friend, he decided to pack his bags and enter the world of yachting. JG initially spent about 6 months working as a temporary crew member on SWEET ESCAPE. However, his hard work, determination, positive attitude, and cheery disposition allowed him to secure a full-time role on SWEET ESCAPE, making his dream come true! He has been a vital crew member for almost two years now. JG cannot wait to welcome you all onboard and make sure everyone has the time of their lives on SWEET ESCAPE!
Pick Up Locations
2 x C32 Caterpillars 1650hp each 2011
2 x John Deere 75kW 2011
Bahamas, USA - Florida East Coast
Bahamas, USA - Florida East Coast
HD 4K Technology TV�s , internet KVH plus cellular and Wifi boosters installed, control-4-home entertainment system, hard drive movie server,