We are delighted that Skippers James and Ritchie and Wildlife Experts Lynsey & Will are all back on board for the 2022 season. We are also very pleased to welcome Chefs Philippa and Jordan who will be aboard this season. Our new Bosun Ashleigh, is dedicated to supporting the crew and providing excellent hospitality for guests and a great addition to the Emma Jane team for 2022.
Skipper James Fairbairns is a skilled and qualified Skipper with the Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate of Competence and was the second coxswain of the Tobermory Lifeboat for 13 years. During the winter he is an instructor and examiner for Yachtmasters, a first aid instructor and VHF assessor. James has been a Skipper for the past 19 years on the west coast of Scotland and his marine and wildlife knowledge is impressive. His passion for the conservation and protection of the marine wildlife he encounters is evident in his ability to locate wildlife and pass on his knowledge to the guests onboard.
Skipper Ritchie Darby is very well qualified with all the necessary Certificates of Competences to Skipper Emma Jane. He is a very professional Skipper who has a wealth of experience cruising our waters. He is also a very keen photographer and is often the first person to spot the first whale or dolphin of the day! Unlike James' addiction to tea, Richie's addiction to chocolate biscuits will distract him from finding beasties - so don't tempt him! Ritchie is passionate and knowledgeable about the wildlife of the Hebrides and is an excellent addition to our team.
Wildlife Expert 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 Expert 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.
Steward Ashleigh Conlin is a keen learner who is STWC qualified and also holds a recent powerboat level 2 licence. She has experience working in the hospitality sector and likes to ensure guests are happy with the service aboard. In her free time she enjoys Yoga and Scuba Diving and would like to hold a certificiation in both in the future.
Chef Philippa Brown (Chef Pea) is a British chef with a global influence. Starting her career at a busy events company in London she honed her skills producing top end food in tasty bite size form for events with the likes of Landrover, H&M, Trinny & Suzanna, Gucci, various private families, large corporate events and weddings. As well as this Pea has baked for a series of farm shops, cooked at Michelin star restaurant St Johns of Farringdon and more recently sailed the world cooking for the owners and crew aboard superyachts. Having cooked in Norway this Christmas and just back from another cooking gig in the Bahamas, Pea looks forward to welcoming guests aboard the Emma Jane and helping to make their stay (and their meals!) an enjoyable time.