We are delighted that James, Lynsey, Georgina, Peter and Caroline are all back on board for the 2019 season. We have also two new faces are very pleased to welcome to the team Will Smith, who will share Wildlife Guiding duties with Lynsey & Georgina and our new Bosun, Pauline Wright.
Skipper James Fairbairns is a skilled and qualified Skipper with the Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate of Competence and is second coxswain of the Tobermory Lifeboat. In the winter he is an instructor and examiner for Yachtmasters, an advanced powerboat instructor, a first aid instructor and VHF assessor. James has been a Skipper for the past 18 years in the west coast of Scotland and his marine and wildlife knowledge is impressive with a passion for the conservation and protection of the marine wildlife he encounters.
Wildlife Guide Lynsey Bland is a qualified geologist with a passion for wildlife and the Hebrides, especially whales and dolphins. She volunteers with the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust assisting with updating the photo ID catalogues and taking part in cetacean research surveys. She will continue to collect data on board with Hebrides Cruises and will work closely with HWDT to develop their marine wildlife sightings app, which was launched in the summer of 2017.Lynsey is our main Wildlife Guide on board Emma Jane.
Wildlife Guide Georgina Kelly has a Masters Degree in conservation and animal behaviour. She has worked as a wildlife guide on a whale-watching boat and volunteering with the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust. She trained as a Marine Mammal Observer and is a member of the MMOA, working towards limiting the impact of industry on whales, dolphins and seabirds. She is a specialist in seabird ecology and while RSPB Warden, at the Skerries reserve in the Irish Sea managed the long-term research programmes. Georgina is our relief Wildlife Guide for Emma Jane.
Wildlife Guide Will Smith is an ecologist with a particular passion for marine wildlife. He has guided groups in various locations such as outback Australia, but also closer to home in the mountains of Snowdonia. A keen cetacean watcher, Will has also spent several summers living in a lighthouse on a remote Island studying Arctic Terns, amongst other seabirds. He has spent a great deal of time at sea looking for wildlife, both above and below the water- never missing an opportunity to get up close and personal with cetaceans, sharks and turtles. Having visited the Southern, Pacific and Mid Atlantic Oceans, his favourite place is the West Coast of Scotland, and believes that the scenery and wildlife found here is as exciting as anywhere else in the world.
Chef Caroline Chilton-Bates, is a former Royal Naval Officer who therefore enjoys being on the water. Caroline is a graduate of Ashburton Cookery Academy and a registered nutritional consultant with an MSc in Personalised Nutrition and a Diploma in Nutritional Science. However our guests will be most pleased to know that her meals are not only full of flavour but also feature a little bit of naughtiness or well-earned afternoon treat after a shore excursion.
Chef Peter Ingram is an experienced professional chef who has worked in London, Scotland, Switzerland, Nepal and Australia, exploring foreign food cultures and developing a rich repertoire of flavour combinations. He likes to weave a little magic into his food, always using the finest ingredients, providing menus that are tasty, but also healthy and nutritious. Peter has high energy and is always positive and willing to go the extra mile for our guests.
Bosun Pauline Wright, from Cumbria, has been travelling and exploring from an early age. A wish to see and do different things took her around the world, thinking it would be for two years. Some 37 years later she is still taking on new adventures and will join us for her first season. Working on private yachts and in private homes, for most of those years, she will make sure our guests are well looked after.