Your skipper and crew will be suitably trained, qualified and experienced. Our skippers all hold minimum qualification of Yachtmaster. Their primary responsibility is the comfort and safety of all passengers. We have several skipper and crew operating on different dates. You are most likely to meet Derek and Nicola...
Derek Gordon, Owner / Skipper
When Derek first visited St Kilda in 2006 he was both fascinated and inspired by the remarkable islands. In 2013 he founded "Go to St Kilda", the first ever day trip service from Skye to St Kilda. Derek is dual qualified MCA Master 200 and RYA Yachtmaster Offshore and annually engages in additional maritime training. Derek's experience operating boats has given him the opportunity to gain an intimate knowledge of the coastline around Scotland's islands and mainland. Skippering responsibilities have also taken Derek all the way around Ireland including visits to Skellig Michael, by sea from central London to Skye, north to Orkney, and along most of the canals and other navigable inland waterways in Scotland.
Nicola Boulton, Guide
Nicola is our resident crew member and guide and has been with us since 2014. Nicola has been on powerboats since she was 11 years old so feels very at home on the sea. After earning her degree in Zoo Biology Nicola decided to become a wildlife guide to give her opportunity to inspire others about wildlife, the environment and conservation. She is more than happy to share her knowledge and passion for wildlife. In 2015 Nicola was involved with the Pilot Whale stranding at Staffin on Skye following which she became a Marine Mammal Medic with BDMLR. In 2016 Nicola completed her Large Whale Disentanglement Course and is now one of only ten Level 3 Marine Medics in the whole of Europe! Nicola speaks Spanish, and has a love for wildlife and landscape photography too.
John has worked with the National Trust for Scotland’s cruises calling at St Kilda, and more recently as Expedition Photographer on ships visiting Antarctica & Greenland. He is happy to share any tips to help passengers create strong images from their visit to St Kilda. John is also an experienced folk musician/dancer within the Gaelic music world, having performed and taught internationally.
Dave is a trained teacher and has spent a career in outdoor education, working with people in all shapes and sizes of craft. He currently runs an adventure activity consultancy and training company and works regularly as a freelance skipper. He is a powerboat and cruising instructor and holds a Yachtmaster Offshore qualification for both sailing and motor craft. He is driven by a passion for wild places and the opportunity to share the passion with others.
Andi - Skipper
Originally from the well-known seafaring nation of Switzerland, Andi has been skippering various vessels around the world for the last 20 years. Andi is an occasional skipper with Go to St Kilda. As a qualified Yachtmaster Offshore (sailing & power) and a qualified Master Instructor (Scuba Diving) Andi’s passion is the big blue. Since 2008, Andi has offered wildlife boat trips in the North of Skye, details here www.puffinsandwhales.co.uk
Ian, Crew and Skipper
Ian joins the team in 2017 in the role of both crew and skipper. Ian and his family spent 12 years living and working on the island of Eilean Shona, off the Ardnamurchan peninsula. They were the only full time inhabitants of this beautiful island (Kate Winslet's favourite island according to recent press coverage). Ian is an experienced ferryman and was responsible for all safe transportation to and from the island of the holidaymakers and all goods including; coal, oil, building materials, vehicles and even pigs and horses, a grand piano and a four poster bed!
Since Eilean Shona Ian has been running 'The Spoons' B&B on the Isle of Skye while keeping his hand in with the Skye Sailing Club. He is now looking forward to going back to working on boats and at sea. 'The Spoons' now offers luxury self catering for 2. www.thespoonsonskye.com
Andy hails from Nottingham and in recent years has discovered and come to love Scotland. Andy is an experienced marine wildlife skipper and tour guide. Qualified to Yachtmaster and MCA Master 200, he has visited some of the most remote, uninhabited islands on the west and north of Scotland and many overseas locations.
Sarah Long, Crew and guide
New to Go to St Kilda in 2017, Sarah has an eclectic background in educational outreach, boat crewing and marine wildlife conservation. With several years of birding experience, Sarah lives on the Isle of May for most of the year where she monitors breeding seabirds and passage migrants. She also has a passion for marine mammals, and has contributed to long-term whale and dolphin monitoring studies in the Moray Firth. Sarah is more than happy to share her knowledge of marine wildlife and has previously worked on guided trips to the Bass Rock and other Firth of Forth islands. As a keen traveller, Sarah has visited many islands on the West Coast of Scotland and has a lifelong goal to visit every island in Scotland.