Team Members

Dr Ron Ritter

Founder

Ron has spent 25+ years engaged in exploration, research and environmental work. He earned his BS in Biology from the University of Miami, and Ph.D. in Zoology as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, UK. Field research includes mid-water and deep ocean benthic sampling, reef ecology; cave exploration and applied terrestrial ecology. He was crew on multiple marine research cruises in the Caribbean, Grand Banks of Canada, and served as a Fisheries Observer with the National Marine Fisheries Service in the Bering Sea. Ron designed and led a 3-½ year wildlife research project in Botswana’s Kalahari Desert in support of the Government. This was followed by several extended discovery and survey expeditions to caves in the western part of Botswana. Prior to this he was team member on an extended expedition across the Trans-Amazon Highway and up the Xingu River. He has over 20,000 nm of ocean sailing experience on Sea Dragon. He holds a Marine Radio Operator Permit, US Sailing Cruising certification, Wilderness Medicine First Aid certification, PADI Divemaster, TDI Deco/Advanced Nitrox and NSS CDS/TDI Cave Diver. He is also a General Class HAM.

Balancing out his outdoor work, Ron has spent the last 15 years working in global business and government. This includes 12 years with McKinsey and Co as an Expert Principal focused on manufacturing and operations performance. He then was appointed to serve as Special Assistant to the Secretary of the USAF, Department of Defense. Ron Focused on strengthening the ability of Airmen to improve overall mission, financial and environmental performance. In 2008 he was awarded the Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service.

In addition to core work in business, he has helped to develop a national strategy for the Audubon Society and a local Land Conservancy. Ron has over 15 publications related to his exploration work and is a National Fellow of the Explorers Club.

Emily Penn

Co-Founder

Emily Penn is an oceans advocate, skipper and artist; a graduate of Cambridge University with a degree in Architecture; and Director of global organisation Pangaea Explorations. Emily is the youngest and only female recipient of Yachtmaster of the Year, awarded by HRH Princess Royal. She splits her time between completing expeditions and running Pangaea Explorations.

As much at home in and on the water as she is on dry land, Emily’s ability to develop and communicate solutions for challenges facing today’s society has been sharpened by a diverse portfolio of unique experiences. She has organised the largest ever community-led waste cleanup from a tiny Tongan island, trawled for micro plastics on a voyage through the Arctic Northwest Passage, rounded the planet on the record-breaking biofuelled boat Earthrace, and worked on a sailing cargo ship trading western supplies for coconuts.

An experienced public speaker, Emily has spoken around the world at conferences, universities and global companies, sharing both her adventures and an understanding of the issues relating to our oceans, human mindset and future society. You can find more information on Emily’s other projects at www.emilypenn.co.uk.

Emily Bell

Operations Manager

Emily was born in Chile during a curfew and an earthquake. Ever since, life has been anything but normal. From South America to Scotland, she spent her childhood building dens, rolling around in the mud and camping. Her life has always been centred around the outdoors.

In 2012, she supported Dave Cornthwaite by running operations while stand-up paddle boarding 1001 miles down the Lower Missouri – having never stand-up paddle boarded before. She spent 60 nights sleeping blissfully on the banks of the river.

In 2013, Emily kayaked the length of Britain as crew captain on Sean Conway’s big swim. She spent 4 1/2 months running operations as well as kayaking the coast from England and Wales across to Ireland and back to Scotland, through storms, darkness and bitter cold. Before stepping in her kayak at Lands End, she had never kayaked before, let alone in the ocean.

Emily has years of experience across operations, production, publishing and project management. She was managing editor at Pomp Magazine until 2013. And has now launched an adventure project called Avaunt, alongside her operations work for Pangaea.

www.embell.co.uk

Eric Loss

Skipper

Eric grew up sailing and has always had a deep tie to the ocean. A native of Laguna Beach, CA, he was a young mariner who went on to sail competitively as a member of the Bowdoin College sailing team. After getting a degree in Computer Science, he continued sailing professionally, doing everything from delivering charter boats to skippering schooners.In the fall of 2011 he set out from California on his Islander 36 to sail around the world singlehanded. Eight months and one stop later, he returned to the same slip in Los Angeles after completing his solo circumnavigation via the Great Capes of the Southern Ocean. He has been Captain on board Sea Dragon full time since January 2013 and really enjoys the variety of expeditions that Pangaea offers. After covering over 80,000nm worldwide, he is deeply invested in facilitating both the understanding of and connection to the sea for all of those who come on board.He is the author of Loss at Sea, the story of his voyage around the world. Eric is an Ocean Yachtmaster with commercial endorsement, PADI Divemaster and MCA Medical First Aid Provider.

Shanley Mcentee

First Mate

Shanley didn’t grow up sailing but took to the sea like a duck to water after University. Since then she has been all over the world and covered over 40,00nm on all different types of sailing yachts. Having grown up by the sea in Del Mar, CA, she has salt in her veins and loves to do everything from scuba diving to surfing to swimming.   With a degree in Environmental Policy and Marine Science from Western Washington University, she is very interested in continuing to explore the world and in understanding the different issues mother earth faces. She joined Sea Dragon as First Mate in January of 2013 and has been on full time since. One of her favorite things is a long ocean passage and the rhythm life takes on while on the deep blue, and she loves helping her crew develop a deeper connection with the sea. Shanley is a commercially endorsed Ocean Yachtmaster, PADI Rescue Diver and MCA Medical Person in Charge.

 

Imogen Nash

Skipper
To Imo it feels just as natural being in the water as out, a true water baby spending much of her upbringing by the water on the south coast of the UK. Growing up in small sailing dinghy’s and swimming competitively; she has now been working as a professional Skipper for the past 7 years. Covering many miles all over the world, focusing a lot in the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean. Over these years she has built a huge passion for the world’s oceans, the environment and protecting nature.
Imogen is a crew member on her local RNLI LifeBoat and loves to spend her days in the ocean; diving, surfing & kite surfing she also has a true love for photography. Holding her MCA/RYA Yachtmaster Ocean, MCA/RYA Cruising instructor, MCA Ship’s Captain Medical & PADI Rescue Diver.

Harry Robinson

Skipper
Harry has grown up as a avid sailor starting off in the Sea Scouts on the South Coast of the UK. A true water man & a huge passion for engineering. Harry built a jeep at the age of 16 which took him and a couple of friends on a few surf trips throughout Europe. After getting a degree in Marine Engineering in 2008, Harry taught Design & Technology at a secondary school. Whilst at school & university, he volunteered his time at a Sail Training Organisation. Loving teaching but wanting to spread his knowledge further he decided to take up for sailing as a profession in 2010 so got his MCA/RYA Yachtmaster Ocean & MCA/RYA Cruising Instructor he also holds his MCA Ships Captain Medical and is now working towards his MCA Master 200.
Harry has a recently got a workshop on the south coast of the UK, restoring traditional boats & building bespoke wooden surfboards. He has covered many miles all over the world & built up an extensive knowledge and passion for environmental issues, his heart lies within the ocean; sailing, surfing & kitesurfing.

Megan Evans

Deckhand

Megan was born and raised in Wales, UK and was on the water from a young age. The marine and coastal environment has played a huge part in her life learning to sail at age 7 she took that onto compete internationally representing Wales and Great Britain. Megan is a qualified sailing instructor having worked at home and in the UAE and spends most free time surfing, wake boarding and windsurfing. Recently graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Geography and Environmental Management from the University of the West of England Megan is now keen to take this onto a career in marine research and conservation to help protect the environment she is most passionate about to ensure irreversible damage is not done.

Katie Jewett

Deckhand

Katie grew up in Mill Valley, California and worked her first job as a summer deckhand aboard the Angel Island-Tiburon Ferry on San Francisco Bay. She later joined her college sailing team and ever since has enjoyed learning how the wind can take her all over the world. Katie earned her degree from Stanford University in Human Biology with a concentration in marine policy and science communications. She now spends her winters in Colorado and summers living and working on the water. She loves storytelling through writing and film, and hopes to increase ocean literacy by connecting even the most landlocked, mountainous populations with the beauty and importance of the ocean environment. She holds her Wilderness First Responder and a Merchant Mariner Credential (AB-Special).

Dr. Spike Briggs, BSc, BM, FRCA

Chief Medical Advisor

Spike serves as principal medical advisor to Pangaea Exploration. With the full MSOS team, he provides direct at-sea medical support to the Sea Dragon crew. He is a Consultant in Intensive Care Medicine and Anaesthesia in Poole, UK. He originally graduated with a degree in civil engineering and worked for ten years designing foundations for oil rigs, before returning to medical school. He has sailed all his life, including the Fastnet and racing around the world in 1996 as navigator. He is an instructor for advanced life support and advanced trauma life support courses, and he lectures at Southampton Medical School. He is an advisor, instructor and examiner on medical aspects of yachting for the British Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

Medical Support Offshore Limited (MSOS) was formed in 2006 by Dr Spike Briggs, Dr Campbell Mackenzie and Dr Tommo Tomson. The aims of the company are to provide medical training, medical kits and tele-medical support to the sailing community, which includes racing teams, adventure companies and private individuals.

The directors have very strong sailing backgrounds, and all have dealt with medical emergencies at sea, from the Solent to the Southern Ocean. This gives them valuable experience and authority when teaching sailors how to deal with life-threatening medical emergencies, and when giving advice over the telephone to sailing boats, far from help on the ocean.