Dirk and Nina-Sue both grew up in the Cape wine lands of South Africa only 10min away from the Atlantic ocean. Having known each other for 7 years their journey started at a traditional South African BBQ over a glass of Chenin Blanc. Most of their childhood memories is on the coast surfing, fishing, diving and eating lots and lots of crayfish. The ocean has always been a place that made us feel humble, inspired and salty all at once.
Dirk and Nina-Sue together started one of the most wonderful jungle adventures sailing in Panama, Bocas Del Toro, the thick rain forest and the San Blas Islands with the Kuna tribe culture and traditions. They made their way through the Panama Canal into the Pacific where they had a very special experience doing whale watching charters.
Captain Dirk has been sailing professionally for 8 years, in which he has done 7 Atlantic crossings and more than 70 000nm. He started diving at a young age of 12 and got his Dive Masters in Mozambique where he worked as Dive Master for a while before returning to the sea. With a strong sense of marine engineering, Dirk spent the last year as a maintenance manager for a BVI charter company and hopes to finish a marine engineering ticket in the next couple of years. He loves teaching guests sailing. Being a surfer, he has had great success teaching guests how to skurf behind the tender. Although he is a keen fisherman he is not the biggest one on the boat, that would-be Nina-Sue.
Chef Nina-Sue grew up on a wine farm with a big family who have always been passionate food and wine lovers. On the farm, they not only had grapes but also fresh organic vegetables and there was always space for an herb garden and a good harvest. Her dad has always been a good fisherman so a fresh tuna or yellow-tail was a treat.
Nina-Sue attended a top-notch cooking school in South-Africa where she earned a culinary certificate. She also studied dramatic arts and worked in the entertaining industry for a while before she started traveling the world and sailing the seas. Nina-Sue is an advanced diver and absolutely in love with the underwater aquatic wonderland life. Dirk and Nina-Sue are both super exited to be onboard Elysium, she is a true beauty! They have a saying..mi casa su casa..”my home your home”!