THE CAPTAIN

The Captain, Maestro, and Keeper of STARFIRE…Captain Carl has mastered the art of orchestrating the perfect holiday.  Not only is he a man of many navigational talents who can sail you to the moon and back, he is also constantly motivating and leading his illustrious Crew so that the inner workings of the vessel remain unseen or heard by STARFIRE’s esteemed Guests.

To accomplish such a feat and to provide “effortless service”,  Captain Carl has meticulously picked the members of his crew, finding them at every corner of the sea.

Meet Captain Carl and STARFIRE’s Crew:

Captain, Carl Thomas Sputh (American, Age 41)

Carl was born in Indianapolis , Indiana in 1974. He has one brother, Ryan, who is a 200 Ton Captain. His father, Ted, is also a Sea Captain; one family, three men of the sea, and over 550,000 nautical miles of combined experience.

STARFIRE’s Captain spent a portion of his childhood on Water Island in the United States Virgin Islands, alternating with time spent in Indianapolis, Indiana. His recreational life was focused on water sports. He is a competitive, water and jet skier, a certified water ski instructor, and a certified rescue scuba diver. Captain Carl’s other interests include all types of snow sports and flying helicopters. In 2004, he completed the hours for his private helicopter license — a hobby that gives him as much joy as driving yachts.

After graduating from North Central High School in Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1993, he went to work in the yachting industry and became the Captain of a mega yacht at the age of 22. Three mega yachts later, Carl became the Captain of the prestigious M/Y STARFIRE . Captain Carl holds a 1600 Ton United States’ Coast Guard License with a 3000 Ton British License. He is certified in Advanced Radar, Shipboard Fire Fighting, and STCW trained. He also completed a six month Emergency Medical Technician course, which gives him the knowledge to handle a variety of ship health emergencies. His medical expertise expanded with a MedAire Advanced Medical Certification.

Captain Carl was the individual winner as “Best Captain of a Mega Yacht in 2001” at the Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show. This accolade was given for his ability to be a “can do” positive leader.

STARFIRE ’s Captain takes special pride in imparting his knowledge and love of the sea. In an effort to share his passion with others, he set up “The Captain Carl Sputh Seafaring Scholarship” at his Indianapolis high school alma mater, North Central. Each year, five fortunate students are sponsored to attend a sailing school course aboard the restored A.J. Meerwald Tall Ship in South New Jersey’s Delaware Bay. The scholarship recipients receive full tuition, all travel expenses – paid, $100 – a – day spending money — and this year, even foul weather gear donated by the outdoor sportswear company, Patagonia. Captain Carl enjoys the possibility that the experience may introduce some of these students to an entirely new career path they might not otherwise have discovered (in landlocked Indiana that is!).

Captain Carl’s motto for yachting is that “ there are no problems…only solutions , ” and he governs himself and his crew accordingly.

THE DECK CREW

You, as a Guest, might notice them climbing the mast to change the courtesy flag, polishing the stainless handrails to a blinding gleam, or assisting the Captain with moving the vessel… ultimately, the mission of STARFIRE’s Deck Crew is to provide you with safe passage from port to port in total comfort throughout your stay.

The Deck Crew can also be counted on for some fun in the sun. They will facilitate your entertainment with jet skis, wakeboards, kayaks, ski bobs, STARFIRE’s Hinckley tender or a cocktail on a secluded beach. They are the keepers of the hidden island gems… the secret beach hideouts.

First Officer,  Richard  Fuher (American, Age 41)

 

Richard grew up in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, and alas, his position as 1 st Officer on M/Y STARFIRE is not exactly typical of someone who grew up surrounded by snow – peaked mountains and 3 million acres of national forests! An avid snow skier since youth, Richard’s all – around love of the outdoors ultimately led him to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in 1991.

Richard spent his undergraduate years at the Merchant Marine Academy not only gaining his knowledge of marine engineering and navigation, but also participating as a Varsity member and Fleet Captain of the Offshore Sailing Team. He still enjoys racing sailboats in his leisure time; and yet, since his departure from the Academy, he has applied his skills & knowledge to a variety of professional marine positions on sailing and motor yachts.

After logging 130,000 nautical miles in deck and engine cadet positions on unlimited tonnage cargo ships, Richard eventually found his way to the yachting industry in 1996. He has since worked on many high – profile sailing and motor yachts, not only in First Mate and Engineer positions, but also as a Captain. With a U.S.C.G 1600 – Ton Upon Oceans Master ticket under his belt, Rich’s sailing experiences have taken him all over the world. From South America to Alaska, Egypt to Singapore, Turkey to Norway, and throughout the Caribbean and Eastern shores of the U.S., Richard has certainly made the most of his career at sea.

Richard obviously has a passion for sailing…but his talents don’t stop there. He is also a PADI – certified diver, and he shoots rifles, pistols, and shotguns competitively. His time off ship is spent with his wife Jemma & daughter Aniya , either in their native New Zealand or on the family ranch in Nevada, minding their Longhorn cattle.

First Officer,  Paul Duncan (Canadian, Age 35)

Paul grew up in Toronto, Canada, on the beautiful shores of Lake Ontario. Through high school Paul was both a lifeguard and a swimming instructor. At this time, he   worked at the Royal Canadian Yacht Club, which lead him to his career in the yachting industry.

At the age of 20, Paul headed south to the Caribbean. His first stop was Grand Cayman, where he worked on sailing catamarans.  After that he moved on to St. Maarten racing retired America’s Cup boats.

From the age of 23 Paul has worked his way up in the yachting industry, working on both sailboats and motor yachts, and has travelled extensively all over the world. Paul now holds a Master 3000 ton license and has been on Starfire for four years. His hobbies include surfing and sailing, as well as collecting rare maps and synoptic charts.  He is also a dedicated runner, having recently completed two Marathons.

 

Bosun,  Marcus Bay (Fijian, Age 33)

Marcus comes to us from Lami Town, Fiji. He grew up in a house on the water in the Bay of Islands with his three brothers and many friends whom he spent time sailing, surfing, diving, fishing and kayaking with. He attended school at the International School in Suma, Fiji, completing his IB Diploma and afterwards attended the University of the South Pacific studying Management and Tourism. At the age of 21, he moved to Australia and obtained his Bachelor’s Degree.

Marcus has traveled the South Pacific, including Australia, New Zealand, Tonga, Vanuatu and the Fiji Islands extensively by boat. His father operated a live aboard Dive Boat in Fiji as well as owning a Long Line tuna boat. So traveling the sea by boat has always been a part of his life.

He has completed courses such as his STCW, Certified 3 Transport and Logistics and Deep Sea Recompression Chamber Operator and wants to add more courses to his list when possible. Marcus has always been associated with the sea and boats and has a good feeling that this is the path he was meant to go down!

Deckhand Connor Staats (Canadian, Age 22)

Connor grew up in Ontario, Canada where he was exposed to an array of outdoor activities. He spent countless summers on Portage Lake enjoying all the activities this environment had to offer. He is an experienced slalom water skier, wakeboarder and wakes skater – he has been involved in these sports since the age of five.

Connor is a member of the Association of Ontario Snowboarders and raced competitively in snow board cross for eight years at a Provincial level. Connor studied at the Algonquin College Outdoor Adventure in Canada. On completing his studies he travelled to Honduras for three months where he gained his Diver Masters Certification.

Deckhand Tyler Vorster (South African, Age 21)

Tyler grew up on the sunny shores of Durban, South Africa. It was living on the ocean where he developed his love for fishing and diving. As a youngster Tyler body boarded professionally representing South Africa and competing across the globe.

Tyler completed his schooling at a technical college, here he developed a keen eye for the engineering field. He looks forward to utilizing his engineering skills as he builds his career in the yachting industry.

Tyler loves spearfishing, freediving, fishing and body boarding. He looks forward to sharing his experiences with our guests.

 

THE INTERIOR CREW

While onboard STARFIRE, you might perceive a hint of magic … your bed is always perfectly made, your clothes are always put away and your glasses are always in reach. Flowers and chocolate decorate your bed at night, a glass of champagne magically appears in your hand before dinner and your favorite song suddenly resonates throughout the sundeck.

What appears to be magic is the result of great collaboration between the members of STARFIRE’s spot-on team of Stewardesses.  It is their pleasure to accomplish the impossible on your STARFIRE holiday!

Chief Stewardess, Gemma Heyns (South African, Age 28)

Gemma was born and raised on a dairy farm in the Drakensberg Mountains, South Africa. Despite having grown up in the mountains, she has always loved the ocean. Gemma joined the yachting industry after completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing and Events Management & Interior Design. She has traveled extensively and lists tracking the gorillas in Uganda and climbing Machu Picchu as two of her highlights.

She is passionate about her job, loves to meet new people and is grateful for the adventures that work brings. In her spare time she enjoys reading, snowboarding, drawing and spending time with her family and friends. She takes great care in ensuring that her guests have a sensational experience while onboard M/Y Starfire.

Stewardess, Rachel Fullgrabe (Australia. Age 29)

 

Rachel grew up on a small farm in Canberra, Australia. She first fell in love with the idea of travelling the world when she went to visit her father in Brazil over 12 years ago. Later she moved to Sydney, where she earned her license as a real estate agent. Rachel lived in Sydney for the following four years selling waterfront property in the prestigious area of Northbridge and the Lower North Shore. An underlying passion to travel prompted her to take a year off traveling around the U.K. After being introduced to the yachting industry by a friend Rachel saw this as the perfect opportunity to follow her heart and explore the world. She joined a 50+ yacht based in La Paz, Mexico where she worked and lived for over 3 years. During her time in Mexico she learnt Spanish, developed a tolerance for spicy food and forgot what winter really feels like. Her hobbies include CrossFit, weightlifting, travelling, scuba diving and wake boarding. Rachel looks forward to a happy, full career in the yachting industry.

Stewardess/Masseuse, Christina Strizelka (U.S.A, age 26)

Christina grew up along the East coast of Florida, spending most of her time in Cocoa Beach and Fort Lauderdale. From a young age, she has been dedicated to playing sports, running track and weight lifting. She attended High Point University for Athletic Training, then pursued Massage Therapy at Florida School of Massage, while gaining experience in fine dining restaurants and luxury boutique hotels. Christina attributes her passion for adventure and hospitality for sparking her interest in yachting. She has worked in the Mediterranean and Caribbean as a Stewardess, Deckhand, and Masseuse. Christina is currently becoming certified in Personal Training and looks forward to pursuing Sports Medicine and Massage Therapy further in the future. In her spare time, she enjoys photography and riding motorcycles.

Stewardess Grace Heyns (South African, age 26)

Grace joins her sister onboard M/Y Starfire. Having attended the University Of Pretoria where she studied Marketing and Advertising, Grace pursued a career in the corporate finance industry. However, her love for the ocean and passion for travel led her to the yachting industry.

Having spent some time apart the Heyns’ sisters are excited to be working on the same team and eager to provide the best possible experience for guests. Grace has completed seasons in both the Mediterranean and Caribbean and looks forward to her time spent traveling the world.

 

Stewardess,  Victoria Shevtsova (Ukrainian, Age 34)

Vika was born and raised in Kharkov, Ukraine. She spent years training as a ballerina and loves to dance. She spent many years working as a flight attendant, flying all over Europe and Russia. She is an avid traveler, rating India and Milan as her favorites. She transitioned to yachting from air travel for a change of pace and scenery. Her hobbies include dancing, snorkeling and art.

THE CULINARY CREW

While pondering the idea of chartering STARFIRE, you might dream of white beaches, turquoise clear waters, a luxurious cabin and sun-soaking relaxation and fun.  Yet, when you leave STARFIRE all you can think about is getting that oh-so-divine recipe from STARFIRE’s talented culinary Chefs, Stuart and Jesse!

 

Special requests are always met with rave reviews.  STARFIRE’s Chefs will only be satisfied if they fulfill all of your personal dietary dreams.

Chef,  Stuart Chambers (Irish, Age 37)

Stuart hails from Cork, Ireland. Starting to cook at an early age, Stuart opened his first restaurant at the age of 18. Following a two year professional chef’s course, Stuart returned to college and completed a four year degree in business and finance.

After college, Stuart’s love of traveling and adventure brought him to work in up market ski chalets in Canada and France which in turn led him into the world of yachting.

Stuart has been in the yachting industry for seven years, working on sailing and motor yachts and as a personal chef for a famous Formula One driver.

His plans for the future are to remain in the yachting industry for a few more years before opening his own restaurant again. In his spare time Stuart enjoys sampling the local cuisine during his travels and loves to hike and snowboard.

Sous Chef,  Jess Mang (American, Age 34)

Jesse comes from Denver Colorado where she grew up and also attended nearby University of Colorado at Boulder. There she studied International Affairs and upon completion of her degree heard about the yachting industry through a family friend who was involved in marina development.

Jesse has now been in yachting for nearly ten years. She began as a stewardess and has now moved on to the culinary part of yachting due to her passion for food. Jesse enjoys skiing, running, cooking and travel. She is also in the process of receiving her private pilot’s helicopter license.

THE ENGINEERING CREW

As you first step onboard STARFIRE, you will briefly meet Nick and Colby, then you might only see them once more when you are just about to step off STARFIRE for the very last time. When you do, you might think to ask them where they have been for all this time… They will laugh and say “don’t mistake it, we have been around”.

STARFIRE is a technical wonder of mechanical, electrical and navigation systems.  Nick and Colby maintain every system so that you, STARFIRE’s Guest, remain safe and comfortable.  They rotate in a 24 hour watch schedule to make sure that STARFIRE is always running at a level of peak performance.

Chief Engineer, Nick Edwards (New Zealander, Age 31)

Although born in South Africa, Nick spent most of his childhood growing up in Auckland, New Zealand. There he received his Bachelors of Engineering, and then moved on to work for Fisher and Paykel Healthcare designing and building manufacturing machinery.

Nick also worked in Ireland for Johnson and Johnson Healthcare, installing and commissioning production machinery. Needing a change and missing the sea , Nick transitioned to the yachting industry. His interests include fishing, photography and kite surfing .

2nd Engineer, Colby Martino (American, Age 25)

Colby hails from the beautiful green mountains of Vermont. He grew up around several freshwater lakes where he has spent much time over the years. Colby’s mechanical interest began at a young age when working on equipment and miscellaneous toys over the years, this drove him to his next step where he graduated from Vermont Technical College, with an associate degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology. He then had an opportunity to join the yachting industry and has never looked back. After having an interest for many years, Colby successfully earned his FAA Private Pilot’s License (airplane). He is also a PADI certified Rescue diver, and also enjoys water skiing and wakeboarding, snow skiing, fishing, photography, as well as travelling and exploring new places. In his travels he has explored many places including; New England, Bahamas, Caribbean, The Panama Canal, Central America, and Southeast Alaska. Colby is very excited to be a part of the Starfire team, and help make sure you have an unforgettable stay with us.