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.
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 activities 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.
COURTNEAY ROUTLEDGE – CHIEF STEWARDESS
Growing up Courtenay and her family were always on the water. Over the course of three years school breaks were spent on their family cruiser moving the boat from its home on the Gold Coast to Port Douglas. After a few months of exploring that part of the Reef and coast the family would cruise up ready for the next lot of holidays. Courtenay knew from that moment she belonged at sea.
Six years ago Courtenay started working on boats in the Whitsundays as a deckhand/ tour guide, then joining the superyacht industry in 2015 where work has taken her around the Mediterranean, Fiji and the East Coast of Australia. She is also a Dive Master and passionate dingy and monohull sailor. Other passions include photography, travel and swimming.
Proud to be in this beautiful part of the world, it is Courtenay’s pleasure to give you a luxurious and memorable yachting experience.
JADE PUAN - SECOND STEWARDESS
Growing up in the Cook Islands off New Zealand, Jade has always had a love for the ocean and a passion for travelling. This passion took her to Australia where she fell in love with Cairns and the relaxed lifestyle of oceanside living.
Jade enjoys being active and involved in many sports like out-rigging, touch football, netball and basketball and is furthering her new love of water sports.
This is Jade's first yacht and she is looking forward to making sure you have an amazing holiday onboard Spirit.
If you'd like to book with us, or just have questions, contact us by phone or email!