Shawn and Autumn Hardesty, Spring and Summer Captain and Chef/Mate
Shawn’s love for the ocean began when he was only a few months old on the coast of North Carolina. Shawn grew up in Carolina Beach, NC where he learned to read the wind and waves and developed a passion to share his love of the ocean with others.
Shawn graduated from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in 2011 with a degree in Marine Biology. Shortly after college, Shawn moved to Nicaragua to pursue his love of the ocean and worked as a Captain and surf guide for NicaSurf tours.
Following a couple great years in Central America, Shawn moved back to the states to continue his life on the water. In doing so, Shawn has spent the past 5 years working aboard world class super yachts. In which time, he has obtained his USCG Captains License as well as his American Sailing Association Certification.
Autumn was born in Michigan where she grew up swimming in the freshwater of the Great Lakes. After high school she studied massage therapy and yoga in Costa Rica where she fell in love with the salty ocean and travelling to new places. In 2013, Autumn moved to Florida to become a yacht stewardess. A job that would take her to many exotic places, even all the way back to lake Michigan.
For the last five years, Autumn has worked on multiple world class yachts in which she collaborated closely with five-star chefs from around the world. Learning from her yacht chef coworkers, she has developed a passion for creating exciting and healthy dishes that create memories.
Shawn and Autumn met in September of 2013 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where they were both searching for their first superyacht jobs. A week later, they found separate jobs on different boats, starting three years of long distance dating. In December of 2016, they decided it was time for an adventure and decided to travel New Zealand for a year together in a campervan they renovated themselves.
Shawn and Autumn love to spend time on the water, whether it’s diving, snorkeling, surfing, paddling or sailing. They are excited to bring their captain and crew knowledge of charter yachts to give you a sailing vacation you won’t forget.
Brian Christiansen and Elena Gandillon, Fall and Winter Captain and Chef/Mate
Share in the unique experiences of the Virgin Islands that Elena and Brian craft for you sailing aboard the spacious, wind-powered vessel, Kelea.
With close to a decade of experience taking people “into the wild”, Brian shares his sense of adventure with guests. Raised in Utah and frequently found at sea, Brian is confronted with questions as to how he became an ocean-going captain. Most people forget there is a small ocean, the Great Salt Lake, in his desert home. His father taught him a love for all activities in and around water. Reading sea-faring novels from the golden-age of discovery inspired him to lust for the horizon and he eventually made his way aboard expedition ships plying all the planet's waters. Alongside working for National Geographic Expeditions, he operated specialty charters through the Lesser Antilles on his own sailing vessel. As a USCG 100ton rated captain, his attention to detail and professionalism are integral to safe operation of the vessel. As a fellow human with passions in outdoor pursuits, he is a perfect companion for fun activities if you want to try your hand at at anything from surfing and kiteboarding to freediving and kayaking. Holding a degree in film-making, working as a videographer and being a reward winning photographer; he can create, upon prior request, a media package of the events that make your trip remarkable.
Elena's spirit awakens in the open. After traveling to over thirty countries, her instinct draws her to beautiful and isolated places. Her love for nature led her from jagged mountain peaks of Switzerland into the deep blue of the Indo-Pacific. She became a PADI certified scuba instructor in Komodo so she can share her love of undersea life with others. Join her for some scuba diving or become certified while onboard and see what the hype is all about! Growing up in an international household, her culinary influences are mainly French and Swiss with added spice from her travels, specializing in creating heart-warming dishes from the simplest of ingredients. She aspires to cater her dishes toward individual diets and has perfected eco-friendly, plant-based menu selections. Placing great importance on the dining experience, speaking three languages, and versed in the art of conversation makes spending time with her a joy, no matter where you are from.
Elena and Brian met in Raja Ampat diving and sailing and are fully committed to spending every moment in each other’s company with their first love, the water. Blending luxurious yacht life and connecting with nature in easy grace, they ignite voyagers' passion for Caribbean beauty. Sailing in consistent winds on the azure waters of the Virgin Islands while visiting white sandy beaches with quaint hideaways is a perfect way to charter.
Come join them aboard Kelea for the wind-powered charter of a lifetime. You will go home with more than memories - you will have inspiring stories of rewarding experiences.
With Elena and Brian, you are guaranteed an unforgettable week. As a team, they are perfectly matched to make your tropical getaway magical.
All 7-day charters aboard Kelea include 3 dives for certified divers. Additional dives can be added based upon weather, itinerary and captain’s discretion.
TRY SCUBA / DISCOVER SCUBA DIVE
This is a course for non-certified divers. This allows you to get your feet wet and enjoy the thrills of diving. The course includes a small classroom setting and some basic in-water skills training. Once you have mastered these skills, you will continue to a beautiful, shallow reef dive at a maximum depth of 40 feet. These dives can also count towards an Open Water Scuba Certification but do not result in certification alone.
COURSES FOR CERTIFICATION
We recommend starting your course before you come by finding a local dive shop to complete your classroom and online learning along with your pool work. When you get to Kelea, we do your check-out dives for certification in the beautiful, crystal clear waters of the Virgin Islands.
Another option is for you to complete your basic certification course from start to finish with Shawn and Autumn! Please contact crew directly for availability and course requirements.
Yes - Inquire
Inquire for size and availability
Diving Costs information
***3 dives included in charter cost for certified divers***
Additional Dives*: $50 per dive, per diver - dependent on circumstances (ie: total # of divers, weather, safety, logistics etc).
Try Scuba: $150/diver, this course does not provide a certification upon completion
Basic Open Water Scuba Course: $300/diver (excludes book fee with online code)
Advanced Scuba Diver Course: $150 (excludes book fee with online code)
Nitrox Course: $100 (excludes book fee with online code and equipment rental)
*Additional dives are based upon weather, itinerary and at Captain’s discretion. Seven dives maximum during the charter week.
All dives and Try Scuba courses include tank fills, all gear including weights and dive lights, briefings and a licensed scuba instructor serving as your guide.
A Sampler from Elena's galley aboard KELEA
Omelette - Omelette fried with mushrooms, fresh tomatoes, fresh herbs, garlic, onion and zucchini
Scrambled egg wrap - Wrap filled with scrambled eggs, avocado, beans, spinach and a homemade sauce
Pancakes - Homemade fluffy pancakes (gluten free on demand) with topping of your choice
Smoothie bowl - Your choice of mixed fresh fruits, milk and topping with nuts, seeds and fruits
French toast - Homemade bread soaked in milk and sugar, fried in a pan, topped with fresh fruits and vibrant coulis
Breakfast sliders - Personal sandwiches with homemade bread, eggs, cheese, avocado and garlic aioli
Oatmeal - Fresh oatmeal served with fresh fruits, nuts, chia seeds and dry fruits
Mexican mix - Guacamole, cashew sour cream, mashed beans, grilled vegetables and chicken served with tortillas
Apple Martini - Vodka, Green apple schnapps, lime jus
Caipirinha - Lime, cachaça, sugar, soda/sparkling water (can be added fresh mixed fruits)
Any additional cocktails available on request
Winter 2023 to 2024
Rates are for 1 King berth suite, 3 Queen berth suites.
For 7 nights aboard: 8 guests - US$33,000
New Years Week
For 7 nights aboard: 8 guests - US$34,500
Charters outside the Virgins:
Regardless of whether or not a vessel may or may not include taxes in the vessel's listed charter fees for Virgin Islands charters, in general, no fees, port dues, nor taxes are included in the charter fee for any charter outside the Virgin Islands unless otherwise agreed.
All Inclusive.Cruising Permit: Paid by BoatLicenses: Paid by Boat