Our Team

Whale Channel, Great Bear Rainforest

get to know

our team

The Outer Shores team is a talented group of professional, enthusiastic, fun, and exceptional individuals who work both on board and behind the scenes to provide the best possible experiences and care to our guests.

Russell Markel

Founder/Owner/Captain

Matt Couchman

Mate

Sam Schaerer

Deckhand & Expedition Guide

Karyssa Arnett

Deckhand & Expedition Guide

Norelle Donahue

Chef

Ashley MacKinnon

Captain & Expedition Leader

Diana Newson

Chef & Logistics

Franco Elgueta Rivera

Deckhand & Expedition Guide

Emma La Fontaine

Deckhand & Expedition Guide

Zach Vanasse

General Manager

Jacqueline Randen

Captain & Expedition Leader

Liam Ogle

Operations & Logistics

Amaya Black

Deckhand & Expedition Guide

Courtenay Kohlhauser

Chef

Expedition & Operations Team

Our expedition team consists of Captains and Mates certified by Transport Canada. Ensuring the safety of our guests, crew, and ship is the paramount responsibility of our Captains, whom you will find spend a majority of their time engaged in vessel operations, navigation, route planning, weather monitoring, and, of course, sailing. But our Captains are also our Expedition Leaders, and they work closely with all the crew to weave together the best possible expeditions for our guests. Our Mates and Expedition Guides are true multitaskers, actively involved in vessel operations, shore excursions, inflatable boat excursions, and wildlife viewing, as well as on-board guest services and assisting our chefs.

We hope you’ll explore the biographies below to learn about the qualifications and experience of our Captains and Mates. From traditional tall ships to luxury mega-yachts, and from Canadian Coast Guard high-speed zodiacs to instructional sailing, our Captains and Mates have a wealth of experience working as mariners on the BC coast and around the world. And what they all have in common is their pride for our ship, the schooner Passing Cloud.

Culinary Team

Food, glorious food! Coastal exploration is hungry work, and that makes our expedition chefs very popular members of the crew. Each day aboard Passing Cloud, and at Outer Shores Lodge we break bread together, sharing great meals and lots of laughs. Our culinary team has cooked around the world, from luxury resorts in the Canadian wilderness to small-boat cruises in the Caribbean to fine dining destinations in Las Vegas and San Francisco. And all that experience comes in handy when working in a galley-sized space that stands at an angle when the Captain sets sail!

Our chefs embrace the challenge of cooking at sea and our lodge because they love to share the foods and wines of British Columbia in settings that few will ever see. And our chefs know that the next great find could be just around the corner sea asparagus, Dungeness crab, spot prawns, edible kelp, and more. Explore our chefs’ detailed biographies to learn more about their passion for food.

Expedition Specialists

Barb Beasley

Conservation Biologist

Spencer Wood

Food Web Ecologist

Volker Deecke

Killer Whale Acoustic Specialist

James Thompson

Photography Expert

Rebecca Martone

Senior Advisor and Science Coordinator

Al Mackie

Archaeologist

Vivian Pattison

Seabird Biologist

Graham Richard

Cultural Guide

Megan Humchitt

Cultural Guide

Expedition Specialists

A central feature of our expeditions is learning about the wildlife, cultures, and communities we visit from our Expedition Specialists. Expedition Specialists use their extensive training and deep knowledge to help our guests experience our expeditions through the eyes and insight of experts who have dedicated their careers to studying the places, wildlife, and cultures we visit. Expedition Specialists spend their days with our guests, leading interpretive shore walks, inflatable boat excursions, on-deck spotting, and wildlife discussions, and around the table in the main salon and in the great room at Outer Shores Lodge leading informal discussions (usually over dessert and a glass of wine!). Without exception, you’ll find that our Expedition Specialists are interesting, passionate, and inspiring individuals who will give you a lot to think about.

We hope you’ll take the time to read about the fascinating backgrounds of our Expedition Specialists below. Their experience ranges from marine biology and ecology to fisheries management, bear conservation, archaeology, anthropology, and killer whale acoustics. Enjoy!