Captain - Bill Kurtz
Languages Spoken: English
Bill was born in Illinois between the cornfield and the beanfield. His parents moved to south Florida when he was 10 years old. He hit the ocean running. Fishing, surfing, at first. Then sailing, windsurfing, waterskiing, scuba diving were daily activities while growing up.
He was first offered a mates job on a 56' Hatteras and obtained his Captain license. He was the build Captain on the 116' Margaux, which was a very popular charter yacht. He chartered Margaux for several years throughout the Bahamas, and Caribbean in the winter, and New England in the summer. When his family started to grow (wife plus three children) he left the Charter side of yachting for private motor yachts: 118' Alcor, 112' Ubiquitous, 96' Ches Soirée, 112' Attitude. He loves the Bahamas and all it has to offer, but most of all enjoys showing guest's all the treasures and his secret favorite spots. Captain Bill welcomes you and your guests to a fun, active vacation aboard 112' BELLA CONTESSA.
Rotational Captain - Lee Berry
Education/Certifications: USCG 200grt/500GT Master VHF, Advanced Firefighting, Medical Care Provider STCW, AAA (AffAirAction), Multidimensional Yacht Security Training, Proficiency in Survival Craft & Rescue Boats, PADI Open Water
Lee was born and raised in South Africa. His desire to travel led him to the yachting industry, which led him around the world in every possible direction. He met his wife in Newport, RI, they married on the sundeck of a yacht, and now reside in South Florida with their beautiful children.
Lee entered yachting in 1995 as a deckhand/mate on M/Y ALLURE where he stayed on board for 10 years. He has since been on vessels ranging from 45-198 ft and carries with him extensive knowledge of The Bahamas, Florida & New England cruising areas. He has the ability to create fun-filled itineraries for families and is keen on providing a one-of-a-kind experience for all guests.
In his spare time, Lee likes to build furniture, remodel the house & raise his family. He loves all types of fishing from bass fishing in the local canal to spear fishing and big game fishing.
Lee can’t wait to welcome you on board 112’ BELLA CONTESSA for a vacation like no other.
Rotational Chef - Jaime Jaramillo
Education/Certification: STCW, ENG 1, Security Awareness Professional Chef Diploma, Managers Serv Safe, Advanced Diploma in Mechanical Technology, Pursuing Cicerone Certification
Languages: English, Spanish, Basic Portuguese
Watching his grandmother in the kitchen for several hours a day, chef Jamie developed a deep passion for cooking at an early age. After graduating from culinary school at the Art Institute in Ft Lauderdale he began working in fine dining and country clubs in Boca Raton. He then became interested in the sourcing of his produce and decided to move to New England where he discovered the true sense of locally sourced and farm-to-table dining. Upon returning back to sunny Florida, he embarked himself in the Gastro bar scene working at the rebel House in Boca becoming executive chef of 3rd & 3rd in Delray Beach for almost 4 years. Following his restaurant ventures he decided to become a private chef as well as a consultant chef before entering the yachting industry in 2018.
He has since worked on board M/Y AQUA LIFE, M/Y KIKI KAI, M/Y ENTREPRENEUR and more. He strives to make all meals from scratch using the freshest ingredients available. Chef Jaime is passionate about artisanal bread baking, fermenting, pickling, curing and smoking. He also has great knowledge of beers, wines and scotches and enjoys pairing them with his food. Chef Jamie can cook a wide range of cuisines and has no problem catering to specific requests such as low sodium, vegetarian, gluten-free, and kosher. Chef is eager to facilitate his extensive fine dining service to provide the ultimate high-end experience for guests on board BELLA CONTESSA.
Rotational Chef - Gillian Wrightson
Education/Certifications: Bachelor’s Degree - University of Maryland College Park, IYT Superyacht Chef, Ships Cook, Supervisory Food Safety at Sea level 3, USCG 100Ton, Tow Endorsement, STCW with PDSD, PADI Open Water, Master Court of Sommelier, ENG 1
Languages Spoken: English
Gillian currently resides in beautiful Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Prior to yachting she worked for Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants holding a variety of Managerial and Director positions for their restaurants. Chef Gillian is qualified to prepare many styles of cuisine, but her passion lies with Asian fusion. She enjoys challenging herself with constantly trying out new styles and flavors, aiming to work with the freshest ingredients that each culture provides. Chef Gillian has experience in preparing Vegan, Kosher, Gluten-Free,
Vegetarian, Whole 30, Pastry, Thai, Japanese, Mediterranean, Indian, Italian, Seafood, Mexican, French, and Caribbean
cuisines. She has cooked for up to as many as 27 heads on board including pescatarians and low sodium diets. When you can’t find Gillian cooking amazing meals on board, you can find her rollerblading, cycling, scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, SUP Hiking, traveling, or enjoying great food and wine. Chef Gillian is excited to welcome guests aboard her table for a flavorful fine dining experience.
Stew - Anneline “Lynx” Duffield
Nationality: Zimbabwean and American
Education/Certifications: Elementary Seamanship, Food Hygiene Certificate Level 2, Proficiency in Designated Security Duties, WSET Level 2, STCW Basic Safety Training – Revalidated, Mixology and Bartending Masterclass, ENG1
Languages Spoken: English
Anneline has been in the yachting industry since 2015 becoming a dynamic and well-rounded stewardess. She has worked on both motor and sailing yachts, holding the capability to get the ground running on any type of vessel. Anneline completes all duties to the highest of standards ensuring a comfortable experience for all guests. She loves putting together themed nights and decorative accents that allow her to express her creativity and enhance the guest experience. Prior to yachting, Anneline was a head poker dealer and a manager of a 5-star lodge.
Having grown up in Zimbabwe, she has a great love for the outdoors and enjoys spending her time doing yoga, running, and hiking outside wherever possible. She enjoys keeping fit but is just as comfortable with a good book when exercise is not possible.
Anneline can’t wait to continue her yachting career while providing a once and a lifetime experience aboard 112’ BELLA CONTESSA.
Mate - John Thompson
Languages Spoken: English
Education/Certificates: Bahamian Captain's License
John was born in Nassau, Bahamas, his family lives in Deep Creek, Eleuthera, a small coastal settlement, which farming and fishing are the mainstays of the area. John has 9 brothers and 2 sisters Growing up around the sea, fishing and diving was always and still is, his main interests. By the time he was 16, he was working as a mate on a fishing boat. After winning a few local tournaments, he had proved himself as a mate. Through his 20's John fished all over the Bahamas and got his Bahamian Captain's License at 25 years old. He started running sport fishing boats for various yachts between 40' to 100'. John is interested in all sports, but basketball and the Miami Heat will always be his favorite. John's passion is fishing and loves to teach people about the fish, diving and boating. His best qualities are honesty, patience, knowledge of the ocean and his outlook on life. His motto is "One day at a time". John truly considers the Bahamas as the best place on earth and brings a wealth of knowledge to 112' BELLA CONTESSA.