Darrel grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he spent his time prowling the suburban jungles and raising his pet lion, Chaos. He also managed to actually finish school, and holds degrees in actuarial science, accounting and company law, as well as being a lieutenant in the South African National Defense Force.
In 2003 he decided to sell his house, quit the rat race, and go to sea. He moved to Cape Town in South Africa, to upgrade his sailing qualifications. After several months of sailing some of the roughest waters on the planet, he finished his qualifications, and holds a commercially-endorsed Royal Yachting Association Yachtmaster Ocean Skipper's ticket.
He has lived and sailed in the Caribbean for the past six years, sailing on a variety of vessels in the charter industry (from beautiful and graceful Oyster sailboats, to a 118ft motor yacht). He has extensive sailing experience throughout the Caribbean, and knows where to find the best bars on most islands; essential knowledge for a charter-boat captain. His sailing adventures have taken him from sailing the Eastern US coastline, all the way through the Caribbean chain, and down to Venezuela and Columbia. In his travels he has swum with dolphins, had a 40-foot humpback whale breach right next to (and almost land on) his boat, and sailed through a hurricane. He is keen to experience two of these three things again. He is an experienced and seasoned sailor, with over 30,000 nautical miles in his log book on multiple yacht types.
Darrel is a keen water sports fan, and loves to water-ski, wakeboard, kite board and dive. He loves any excuse to get out on the water, and would be more than happy to get involved with any of the water-sport activities offered on the boat.
Chef Lisa Mead joins Viaggio with a very deep and wide breadth of experience together with some highly placed recommendations. She trained in Queensland, Australia, where she originates from, and after qualifying, went on to cook in a variety of restaurants.
For the past 15 years, Lisa has been a Chef in Australia, the Mediterranean and Caribbean. She has created Epicurean delights on a variety of luxury yachts, 5 star villas and numerous high quality restaurants. Her wide experience in this industry is extraordinary. Lisa also spent time in Asia, where she gained valuable experience with local cuisine. Whilst in Asia Lisa also learned to speak conversational Malaysian, Indonesian & Japanese.
With glowing references from around the world, Lisa has also had the opportunity to cook for some fascinating people during her career including celebrities, Royalty and heads of State.
In her spare time, Lisa dedicates herself to her other passion as an artist, and has exhibited her paintings in galleries throughout Australia and the British Virgin Islands.
First Mate & Stewardess Ashley McGowan joined Viaggio as First Mate & Hostess in 2009 after leaving the Bitter End Yacht Club where she was Assistant Water Sports Director.
Raised in Ontario, Canada, Ashley sailed at her family's lake cottage every summer and skied all winter. Racing the circuit at Sturgeon Lake Sailing Club where she was head instructor and race coach, Ashley climbed to an overall 17th in the infamous CORK Regatta, sailing Laser 2s.
Ashley is the true definition of a water baby and was able to swim before she could walk, so it seemed inevitable she would work on the water and already has extensive experience. She is CYA certified, a certified diver, US Sailing certified in basic keelboat sailing and is one exam away from having her BVI Boat Master License. Ashley was also the event director for the Pro-AM BEYC Regatta and enjoyed many a day teaching both adults and children to sail having been head sailing instructor in various yacht clubs around the globe. Marine biology is also a passion for Ashley, who has undertaken the catching and tagging of sea turtles, reef checks, sea grass studies and fish ID surveys.
In her spare time, Ashley enjoys music, sports and her real passion of sailing.
Come join Viaggio and her crew for a cruising vacation of a lifetime in the Caribbean's British Virgin Islands.