Get to know the "Captain and the Chef"

About US

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MARTIN AND JO DEBANKS - CAPTAIN & CHEF TEAM

Martin and Jo have been employed in the Yachting Industry globally for the past 25 years. Their early years saw them running high end diving and adventure charters in such far flung places as Africa and the Middle East. From there a move to Mexico and the Sea of Cortez saw charters for the rich and famous added to their resume’s.They eventually settled in to a yacht with a Global itinerary specializing in Game Fishing and Diving. After over a decade and two circumnavigations they decided to make Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef their home bringing along their enviable skill set and experience to help provide charters of the highest calibre aboard MY Spirit. Their love of the ocean is evident in all they do, being so passionate in all water sports enables them to easily cater for the most discerning and adventurous of guests whilst still producing the luxury and service expected.

Cordon Bleu trained Chef Jo’s love of cooking materialized early in life thanks to her mother’s input, herself a lifelong chef. It was a natural progression to combine her love of food with her love of the sea. Alongside Captain Martin, with their oceans of experience and handpicked well qualified crew you know you are in safe capable hands.


JOEL ROCHFORD – FIRST OFFICER

Ever since Joel was a young boy, growing up on the Central Coast in New South Wales, he has been around boats. With his father being a Navy Officer, it seemed the maritime industry was in Joel’s blood. Seven years of yachting saw him extensively navigating the Mediterranean and United Arab Emirates on various highly successful charter vessels before being part of a build team to launch a new yacht out of the USA. Following his time spent in America, Joel decided to move back to Australia, where he made Cairns his home.

Joel is dedicated to making guests feel comfortable and ensuring that they enjoy their time on board, and by combining this and his passion for boats, water sports and spear fishing, it makes working on M/Y Spirit the perfect fit.

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PAUL ERNEST – CHIEF ENGINEER

Born in Whakatane, New Zealand Paul relocated to Port Douglas in 2009 to pursue a career on the water.Starting as a dive instructor in Port Douglas he then moved to the Mediterranean for a formative season in the super yacht industry. Missing the laid back Australian lifestyle he returned to Port Douglas to captain a crew that lived and worked on one of the top dive pontoons moored on the Great Barrier Reef.He has since worked on a variety of vessels from driving a 50 year old authentic Chinese Junk to an Engineer on a 50 meter luxury adventure cruise yacht exploring remote areas of the West Coast, Kimberly Region, Papa New Guinea, Indonesia and circumnavigating Australia.In 2016 he assumed the Chief Engineer role on board M/Y Spirit.He is passionate about all activates in and around the water and continuing down the marine engineering path on Motor Yacht Spirit.


DAINE HAMMOND – DECKHAND

Born in Durban, South Africa, Daine’s interest in the ocean was piqued early on, on his father’s sport fishing yacht in the Indian Ocean. Every school holiday was spent on board chasing Bill Fish around. After a stint in the UK Armed Services Daine decided to return to South Africa to pursue a career in yachting, taking his first step by returning to study. After attending Marine College in Cape Town he made his way to visit family working in the Marine Industry living in Cairns, Australia. From there he progressed to the commercial fishing industry before being lucky enough to find a place among the crew on board MY Spirit. Daine is passionate about fishing and diving and with this opportunity presented to him he plans on furthering his yachting career working towards his goal of becoming a Yacht Captain.

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JO ROBBIE – CHIEF STEWARDESS

A passion for travel and exploration led Jo to the super yacht industry 6 years ago. Prior to joining the yachting world, Jo’s deep love for adventure took her on an 8 month solo trip around Europe where she experienced 18 wonderful countries with the main highlight witnessing the Northern Lights in Lapland. During the 6 years cruising the Mediterranean, United Arab Emirates on various charter yachts and launching a new yacht out of the USA, Jo managed to proudly attain her Master of Yachts 200 ton License.

Following these years abroad, Jo decided to move back to Queensland and made Cairns her new home. Jo has a background in nursing, has her PADI Advanced Open Water Diving license and a love for all animals, great and small.

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If you'd like to book with us, or just have questions, contact us by phone or email!

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+61 408 503 339

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