||Gareth Schwegman, South African
Gareth Schwegman Captain(rotational)
Captain Gareth Schwegman was born in South Africa and grew up around the yachting industry. His love of the ocean and seamanship skills was honed in his native South Africa on family sailing excursions off the coast of Durban and Mozambique. His father’s sailing school, which specializes in mega yacht crew training, also played a role in Gareth’s decision to join the yachting industry and obtain his captain’s license. Gareth began his yachting career as a deckhand in 2001 and in 2005 became a captain on the Belle de Jour. Prior to VivieRae II Gareth was the captain on VivieRae another Nordhavn owned by Bob and Sandy Giles. Gareth has been the captain for Bob and Sandy Giles since October of 2012. He was instrumental in the build process of VivieRae II and is responsible for many design ideas that were incorporated during the build process to make sure that VivieRae II was completed to the highest standards.
Gareth is married to Carolyn and they have two boys Josh and Ethan. Carolyn was the chef on the former VivieRae until they had their second child. “Caro” as she is referred to and the boys are welcome visitors to the boat and Mike and Teri have almost become there aunt and uncle.
Gareth holds his MCA Yachtmaster Offshore 200 ton license, MCA Yachtmaster Ocean, MCA Navigation and Radar, MCA General Ships Knowledge, MCA Advanced Sea Survival, and Marshall Islands Endorsements for Offshore and GMDSS certificates.
Gareth has extensive cruising experience in the Caribbean, Central America, and the West Coast of California to Alaska and the entire east coast to New England. Gareth is happy to answer any questions you may have and looks forward to leading guests of M/Y VivieRae II to new discoveries.
Jay Mooneyham - Captain(rotational)
Jay comes to Vivie Rae from Jupiter, Florida. From a very young age, he developed a deep love and respect for the ocean and have spent most os his life on the water. Whether it is an early morning freedive to gather lunch, an exploration of a new coral reef or a trip out to a favorite fishing spot, if it happens on the ocean he is ready to go… Even if the expedition goes no further than a sandy shoreline. Jay began his yachting career sailing the Bahamas and Caribbean. Evan as a young deckhand who saw most of the islands from behind a buffing wheel, the energy and excitement of pulling into a new port was a bug he couldn’t get rid of. Now, after years as captain, that feeling has grown. It is a feeling that he see with each new charter. Jay holds his USCG 200 ton Master license, MCA MOY 200 ton Unlimited, ENG 1, STCW 95, TWIC and PADI rescue diver certificates.
Whether we drop anchor in an unknown bay or return to an old favorite, sharing the promise of fresh memories and new adventures with wonderful people never gets old. It has been Jays lifelong dream to share his passion for the ocean. Whether it is with the saltiest sailor of a guest, or the newest addition to the chartering family, he takes pride in working hard to ensure each experience is one that won’t be forgotten.
Briar Meades Chef
Briar is from New Zealand, she grew up with her father, a Chef, so naturally a passion for food was quickly instilled into her at a young age. Under his guidance she developed many skills and then Briar furthered her knowledge and skills from her eldest sister who also became a Chef.
After high school Briar moved to Western Australia and spent the next two years living and traveling around Australia. She then settled back home in New Zealand and began her culinary training at The New Zealand School of Food and Wine. Briar worked as a Corporate Catering Chef at a law firm for 2 years before moving to a new venture at Misters Cafe. There she developed a holistic approach to cooking as it was a gluten free, refined sugar and dairy free establishment. Most recently Briar was the sole Chef onboard M/Y Andrea VI for two years, cruising the East Coast of America and the Bahamas.
Briar has attained her level three certificate in Culinary Arts, level three Certificate in food safety and hygiene, STCW 95, and has her open water SCUBA certification.
Briar looks forward to catering to all your culinary needs.
Matt Cowie Mate
Matt grew up in both Australia and New Zealand, he is an avid surfer who leads a healthy lifestyle and loves life on the water. Growing up near the beach helped shape Matt into the ocean lover he is today, he loves to surf, fish and dive in the world’s most beautiful destinations.
This is Matts sixth year in the yachting industry and so far the job has taken him to some of the most beautiful places on the planet with extensive cruising of the Mediterranean, the Middle East, The Maldives and most recently the Bahamas and the east coast of the United States.
Matt has several certifications including RYA Yachtmaster, Offshore RYA, Powerboat level II, Approved Engine Course, Open water SCUBA diver, Diploma in Fitness (AUT University New Zealand) just to name a few.
Lauren Maestas- Stewardess
Lauren was raised in a small New Mexico town. She studied dental hygiene but only to realize traveling was in her veins. She moved to Spain to become an au pair where her love for children and foreign lands made it a perfect fit. In time Lauren worked at a large even company in Madrid. She was able to host lavish events all over Europe, and as many cities were near the sea, she discovered yachting. With a passion for travel, people and the sea, yachting is her dream career. When not busy pampering her guests, Lauren loves to spend time designing event set-ups, exploring fashion and creating new cocktails. Lauren is looking forward to treating you to a wonderful vacation.
Jean de Ridder- Deckhand
Raised in South Africa, Jean was a natural fisherman and hunter from a young age. Yachting came naturally to him as he spent most of his days on the water. At the age of 18 Jean moved to the United States to pursue his dream in yachting. In his spare time Jean enjoys deep sea fishing, wakeboarding, kite surfing, and flying his drone. He is also an accomplished archer having won many international competitions. He is PADI Dive Certification. Jean is keen to share his love for water sports and fishing with you!