Captain John developed his love for boating from the shores of Lake Erie in Sandusky, Ohio. He began sailing competitively and fishing from his earliest years. The passion followed him to Connecticut along with a love of all competitive sports. Two weeks after finishing at The University of Connecticut his professional yachting career began. Captain John started as an engineer in the industry, ultimately supervising the construction of three vessels as an owner's representative. John has spent thirty years now as a professional yacht crewmember. He has cruised extensively in the Atlantic, Pacific and Caribbean oceans, making friends with locals and guests all along the way. Captain John holds many certifications to make your charter fun and safe. He has a 1600/3000 Ton Master of Oceans License. Celestial navigation, medical training, firefighting and ship's security are a few other pertinent qualifications.
FIRST OFFICER / DIVE MASTER
Born in Brazil, Gui decided to explore the world at the age of 21, spending 4 years in London and 10 months cycling around Europe, later finishing his Environmental Engineering degree. After a few years of office work, Gui felt the yearning to travel once again and the yachting industry fit him perfectly. With over 10 years of yachting experience, Gui has cruised the Mediterranean, Caribbean, South Atlantic and North Sea. He has been a Dive Instructor since 2005 and is proud and happy to lead all dive operations onboard motoryacht Lady J. Gui is experienced in deep, drift, and night diving. He speaks Portuguese, Spanish, English, Italian and “un peu” French. When not organizing Lady J’s dive gear to perfection, Gui can be found dreaming of the sailing boat he would like to own to circumnavigate the world.
Simon was born and raised on the beautiful island of Jamaica, on the north coast, surrounded by rivers and ocean, which instilled in him a passion for swimming and water activities. Simon found his love for engineering through racing cars at a young age and was persuaded to pursue a career in marine engineering by his older brother—a chief engineer on merchant vessels. After completing his studies, he worked with his brother on oil tankers until he was encouraged by a friend to try the private yacht sector. Simon has worked onboard well-known yachts such as Perseverance 2, Elysian, Tutto le Marrane, and Sovereign. He has crossed the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and has cruised the Caribbean and Mediterranean Seas. In his spare time Simon enjoys playing football, water sports, pool, tennis and table tennis.
From an early age Francis collected fond memories of family gatherings revolving around the dinner table. His love for exploring the world and his inquisitive nature have enabled him to excel as a chef, gaining knowledge and experimenting with flavors and techniques from many different countries. Having lived in London was invaluable to Francis and provided the opportunity to work in top Michelin restaurants and high-pressure kitchens where attention to detail, timing, and only the best ingredients were used—all of which elevated his culinary abilities. You may wish for lunch to be served in an informal family style and prefer a 7-course formal dinner—whatever your preference or dietary requirements, Francis is at hand to deliver your culinary desires.
Ania hails from Poland and spent her childhood summers on the Baltic Sea. She moved to coastal New England in her teens where boating and skiing became top hobbies. Attending University in Rhode Island, Ania earned her Master’s degree in International Hospitality and Tourism Management. She embarked on a career in fine dining, managing some the finest restaurants and hotels in the Northeast. In 2009 after spending a season freelancing overseas, she discovered her desire for exploration. Soon after she decided to join the yachting industry full-time and apply a decade of her professional hospitality and silver service experience managing interior teams. Her curiosity for new places, cultures and cuisine paired with her love of the open sea have made yachting a perfect career path for Ania.
Dimitry was born and raised in southern Connecticut, the eldest child of Russian immigrants. An avid athlete growing up, he spent most summers sailing competitively along the U.S. Atlantic seaboard. Following his high school graduation, Dimitry enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Infantry and successfully completed 2 combat tours in Iraq and the Persian Gulf. After military service, he studied at UConn and worked in manufacturing before relocating to South Florida where he entered the yachting industry in Spring 2015. Dimitry has worked on yachts from 60–74m, and has been fortunate to cruise the Mediterranean, eastern Canada, Central America, Alaska, South Pacific, and SE Asia. He enjoys all facets of boating life and the thrilling aspects of yacht charters. He looks forward to lending his seasoned experience and passion for world-class service as part of the Lady J crew.
Ana grew up in Mexico City where she studied professional makeup artistry and pursued work at a top TV station as makeup artist for VIP Latin talent. She developed a passion for working with high profile clients, and has been featured in various magazines and TV shows. Ana moved to Fort Lauderdale to pursue a yachting career and has worked with high profile yacht owners while also enjoying the fast-paced environment onboard busy charter yachts. With a diploma on molecular mixology she enjoys making unique cocktails and drinks, creating beautiful table decorations and giving guests the ultimate luxury yachting experience.
CASSIDY VAN ZYL
Growing up in Durban South Africa, Cassidy has always known the ocean as her home, her first memory being the waves hitting her toes and the smell of sea salt in the air. After studying jewelry design and manufacturing in Cape Town, a place where the Indian Ocean meets the Atlantic Ocean, her passion for beautiful aesthetics was formed. She then set sail towards the Greek Islands where she fell in love with the yachting industry which provided the perfect blend of work while being close to the water. Cassidy prides herself in hosting amazing experiences for yacht charter guests and looks forward to helping create an unforgettable holiday for all onboard Lady J.
DECKHAND / DIVE MASTER
Born in Pennsylvania, raised in Colorado, and a graduate from Sierra Nevada University (Nevada), and Hawaii University, Damon has always loved nature and traveling, setting out on a fabulous 2-year camper-van adventure that led him from Pennsylvania to Costa Rica right after college. Having worked in high-end resorts as activities coordinator and water sports instructor, Damon arrived in the yachting industry experienced in paddle boarding, surfing, kiteboarding, free-diving and a myriad of water activities. Damon has completed multiple Atlantic crossings, delivered yachts all over the Caribbean, and recently sailed from the United States through the South Pacific to Australia, accumulating over 20,000 open ocean miles. His professionalism, dedication to safety, and desire for adventure will ensure an amazing charter vacation for all Lady J guests.