Ron was captain of the Pirate's Lady (a Blackbeard Cruises vessel) for 8 years prior to leading the crew of the Aqua Cat. He is also a NAUI instructor. Ron is from Richardson, TX. He graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in Chemistry. Ron really enjoys riding his motorcycle, hunting and eating goldfish crackers.
Des is from Port Elizabeth, South Africa where he grew up loving the ocean. He began his career on the Aqua Cat in 2005 as a dive instructor. Previous to working on the Aqua Cat, Des was an instructor in South Africa and Thailand. On the Aqua Cat he worked his way up to first mate before becoming the captain on the Cat Ppalu in 2010. He was promoted captain on the Aqua Cat in 2012. Des enjoys remote control planes, motorbiking, barbequing and beach combing on his time off the Aqua Cat.
John hails from Oak Ridge, TN and has been with our company for many years. John started as a chef on the Cat Ppalu in 1994 and then traveled extensively thru the Caribbean on all types of vessels. He is excited to be on deck with the Aqua Cat. He enjoys fly fishing, biking and cooking. You would never guess that he played Bass Clarinet in a Philharmonic Orchestra!
Chuck came to Blackbeard's in 1987 and has been a fixture on one of the boats ever since! He is from upstate NY but loves Colorado, where he owns a home. He is 1 of 8 children and has tons of great childhood stories to share. His latest passion is riding his motorcycle on his time off to visit, explore and unload.
Kelly is one half of the sister combo we have here on the Aqua Cat. She has been with us for over 5 years and is originally from Lima, Peru. Her bright smile, and cheery attitude will make your morning coffee taste that much better. She helps Kirk on a daily basis with preparing the delicious treats, and meals, that will make your wetsuit just a little bit tighter.
Mia was born in Toronto, ON Canada and has a degree in English and International Studies. She is a master Scuba Diver Trainer with many specialty courses to offer! She loves diving and sharing diving as an instructor. Prior to working on the Aqua Cat, she taught diving in the Dominican Republic and has done some great diving all over the world. you can keep up with her at www.divewithmia.com. When she is not diving, she loves to nap and is taking up kite boarding too!
Janine Slott Nielsen
Janine was born in Vredendal, S Africa and grew up on a diamond diving mine which is where her love of diving began. She was certified in 2006 and did all her training in SA. She has worked on many different islands and cruise ships before joining the team on the Aqua Cat. Her hobbies included DIVING, surfing, kite boarding, fishing, kayaking, snorkeling and many more outdoor activities!
Tom joins us from South Africa. He is an instructor that loves the water. His easy going way is perfect for our passengers.
Mark is originally from New York. He was the captain of the Cat Ppalu for 6 years prior to leading the Aqua Cat team. He is also a PADI instructor. In the past, he has worked as a chef and personal fitness instructor. He graduated from Dutchess College, and is also quite a skilled marksman with a pole spear. He is President of Blackbeard Cruises overseeing all maintenance operations and crew.
Diego was born in Sao Paulo, SP Brazil and has a degree in International Business. He is a Master Scuba Diver Trainer with 13 years as an active Dive instructor with many specialty courses to offer! He loves diving and sharing diving as an instructor. Prior to working on the Aqua Cat, He worked on several Dive Centers and 2 Marine Parks (Fernando de Noronha and Abrolhos) in Brazil and also in the Mexico Caribbean. When He is not diving, He loves to Travel, play Soccer and Beach Volleyball!
Mark is our newest member of the dive team!