We are delighted that, returning for another season, is the Elizabeth G team from 2018 of Chris, Nigel, Alexa and Craig. We would also like to welcome new Wildlife Guide, Cathy Harlow, Chef Morag Slesser and Bosun Amy Gallagher for 2019.
Skipper Chris Ireland has cruised with us for many years and is well qualified to skipper Elizabeth G, with a Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate of Competence and also commercial diver, engineer and first aider. Years of experience in the Hebrides allows Chris to manage his vessel safely while ensuring guests enjoy the full cruising experience that the west coast has to offer. His enthusiasm for the wildlife and natural surroundings is apparent, revelling in the fact that every cruise is different.
Skipper Rob Barlow is owner of Hebrides Cruises but also Skipper of Elizabeth G and Emma Jane. A qualified skipper and engineer, and a member of Tobermory Coastguard Team, Rob has been cruising the west coast of Scotland for 40 years. He has accumulated a vast knowledge of the geography and wildlife of the area which he is only too pleased to pass on to Crews and guests. He will also happily dive for scallops to serve up for dinner!
Chef Morag Slesser has dual passions - cooking and sailing - so she is perfect for Hebrides Cruises! Morag knows the west coast of Scotland really well having sailed her own boat around the islands for the last 20 years. She is a graduate of the Edinburgh New Town Cookery School and believes in sourcing local ingredients wherever possible, enjoying adapting her cooking to guests' interests and tastes. Morag knows all the best local producers in the Hebrides, from island fishermen to cheesemakers and vegetable farmers. She has learned that to keep a good supply of chocolate cake and tasty tray bakes handy is not only great for keeping guests happy, but is something that fishermen will gladly swap their catch for!
Wildlife Guide Nigel Spencer has qualifications in mountaineering and photography and is experienced in technology and identifying wildlife, all of which mix well together for providing services as a guide– guests who need photographic advice while on board take note! Nigels mission is to provide a safe, educational, inspirational and fun experience for guests both on shore and on board
Wildlife Guide Alexa Kershaw has a Masters degree in Ecological Management and has worked as a researcher, guide, campaigner and consultant on a wide variety of marine mammal research projects, including visual and acoustic surveys in the Baltic Sea, photo-id of cetaceans in South Africa and New Zealand, and an aerial survey of the Great Barrier Reef. She is a keen wildlife photographer, passionate about conservation, and combines cetacean research with her love of guiding and sharing knowledge of the marine environment.
Wildlife Guide Cathy Harlow is a linguist and qualified wildlife and hiking guide, with experience guiding in the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions, Madagascar, the Azores and more recently the Hebrides. She got her sea legs while guiding on a whale watching boat in Norway's Lofoten Islands for three winter seasons and has contributed to the photo ID catalogue of Icelandic Orcas. With a passion for wildlife and wild places, she is looking forward to sharing her enthusiasm for cetaceans, birds, flora and geology with guests.
"Guest" Wildlife Guide,Sam Udale-Smith returns for another season for two cruises in May and October to wow guests with his wildlife knowledge and photography skills. Sam has volunteered and worked towards wildlife conservation all around Scotland, with the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust on Mull, as well as the RSPB in the Cairngorms and the Flow Country. A keen photographer and hill walker, with a particular love for our oceans and their wildlife, Sam spent time over the last two summers conducting land-based cetacean watches around the north coast of Scotland. He can't wait to get back on a boat and share some great wildlife encounters with our guests.
Bosun Craig Robinson has an indepth knowledge of the west coast of Scotland, is an experienced mountain guide has a degree in physical Geography and Geology and is STCW qualified. We are delighted to have Craig on board Elizabeth G, he is always eager to please our guests with no request ever any trouble.
Bosun Amy Gallagher is a qualified Divemaster with STCW and Powerboat level 2. She has a degree in geography and has worked within diving and environmental sciences within the UK, Portugal, France and the UAE. With a keen interest in exploring new places and wildlife, she has camped around the west coast of Scotland and it's Islands. She loves meeting and working with new people and cannot wait for her first season aboard the Hebrides Cruises!