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.
CLAYTON KERR – CHIEF ENGINEER
Growing up in Rockhampton, the Beef capital of Australia, Claytons journey through life was set out to continue working as a stockman in North Western Queensland for his earlier years. However, after discovering a love of engines and all things engineering he moved to Cairns to become a trade qualified heavy diesel technician with the local caterpillar dealer. This saw him through 9 years with Caterpillar as a field service technician gaining extensive knowledge and skills with anything and everything from heavy mining equipment to luxury Super Yachts in the South Pacific. Over the years a natural love for the ocean and interest of the maritime engineering industry developed, driving Clayton to gain his engineers certificates and pursue a career on luxury yachts. His knowledge of motor yacht Spirit began in 2016 refit period where he conducted both main engine overhauls, and eventually continued on to become the Chief Engineer.
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.
Caitlin’s first experience of travelling by sea was at the age of 17 when she joined an exhilarating ten-day voyage down the east coast of Australia on a Tall Ship, the ‘Young Endeavour’. Following this experience, she pursued sailing as a leisure activity and joined a yacht club involved in ocean racing.
A career in the Super Yacht industry was always on the horizon and in 2016 Caitlin experienced her first Stewardess position which was on a 60-metre motor yacht based out of France. Caitlin joined MY Spirit in 2017 as Deck/ Stewardess which led to taking on the Chief Stewardess role. We waved Bon Voyage to her after 1 year as she embarked on a working holiday to the Mediterranean as Chief Stewardess on a 45 metre sail yacht, then continued her adventures to South America. We welcome Caitlin back onto MY Spirit, returning with her experience and much endeared enthusiasm.
You will find Caitlin smiling, bubbly and always happy to help. She enjoys exchanging tales or adventures and remote places and looks forward to contributing to your memorable experience while on Spirit.
JESS THACKRAY- SECOND STEWARDESS
Growing up in Cairns, Jess has always had a love for the ocean and a passion for all things marine. Having her Father in the marine industry this passion was ignited at a very early age and took her to start working onboard day reef vessels departing out of Cairns whilst still completing school. Ten years later she has been given the opportunity to commence work in the Superyacht industry and has loved the experience it has provided. Jess enjoys an active lifestyle and being outdoors such as hiking and of course water sports including free diving & scuba diving.
This is Jess’ first yacht and she is looking forward to making sure you have an amazing holiday on board Spirit.
If you’d like to book with us, or just have questions, contact us by phone or email!