Captain Dan Szymczak has been enamored of the sea since his grandfather, a fisherman and clammer, first showed him a chart of Long Island Sound. Dan spent his youth in southern Connecticut on both fresh and saltwater kayaking, sailing, and fishing. His love of water sports, craft cocktails, and trivia will help make your vacation unparalleled.
While teaching English literature and public speaking at several colleges in New York City, Dan couldn’t help but feel the desire to be on the water, and this led to his career in yachting, working on a schooner in Manhattan. He then transitioned into eco-tourism, where he wowed guests by driving them to see cracking glaciers and breeching whales in Southeast Alaska and mega pods with thousands of dolphins in the Baja peninsula. He’s also an accomplished expedition leader, leading hikes to spot local wildlife, and he has extensive knowledge of both birds and sea life alike.
Chef Elise Lindbergh
Elise was initiated into the culinary world by her food-centered family. As a child, she would help cultivate the garden, and her family would invite friends to join them in the spacious kitchen to help make homemade pasta. Elise’s father then would select the best tomatoes and basil leaves from the garden to make the sauce. Everyone would then gather outside to enjoy the meal as the sun was setting. This was a beloved social event. Elise’s devotion to food blossomed, and at the age of 14 she started a baking business where she would be commissioned to bake elaborate specialty fondant cakes. She continued this business throughout high school. While studying anthropology and philosophy at Bowdoin College in Maine, she started selling her homemade hummus and cooking weekly meals with her friends. After she graduated, she received a scholarship to attend an 8-week culinary course in Virginia, taught by recognized Swiss Master Chef Rolf Strub, and under the direction of Chef Antwon Brinson. Her culinary interests are informed by her world travels, which include a 9-month stay in India, a month in Nepal, and multiple stays in Europe and Central America. She further honed her culinary skills in the three seasons she worked in the Caribbean as a yacht chef.
Her cuisine is strongly influenced by Asian, French, and Central American methods, ingredients, and philosophies of food. She believes a meal should be both a social event and an experience that titillates all of the senses. Her food is flavorful, colorful, and uses the freshest ingredients. She prides herself on making her own bread, pastries, sauces, and fermented goods to enhance every meal and make every dining experience homemade. She wakes up well before sunrise and uses time as her specialty ingredient— allowing her bread to rise, sauces to marinate, and flavors to infuse. Your meals on board will both excite you and nourish you. Elise’s dishes are exquisite; some of them can be found on her Instagram page, @galley_of_Elise.
Additionally, Elise is as comfortable at the helm as in running the galley: she holds a 200gt Master of Yachts Unlimited ticket, which includes celestial navigation— please ask her about constellations!