RON RITTER – FOUNDER AND COMPANY DIRECTOR
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 a 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.
ERIC AND SHANLEY LOSS – SKIPPER & FIRST MATE
Eric Loss and Shanley McEntee have been with Pangaea Exploration since 2012. They have extensive experience working with scientific and non-profit research groups and enjoy running educational adventures for school groups. Eric and Shanley have taken Sea Dragon through the Panama Canal, up the St. Lawrence Seaway to Chicago, and to the Baltic, the Caribbean, and West Africa.
Shanley, born in 1987, grew up surfing and swimming in the Pacific in Del Mar, California. Throughout her youth, she worked with the Surfrider Foundation to protect California’s coastlines. She has a BA in Environmental Policy and Marine Science from Western Washington University. Her love and curiosity for the sea also extends underwater, where she is a PADI Rescue Diver.
After college she learned to sail, combining her passion for science, the environment, and the sea by spending several months aboard Sea|Mester’s schooners Ocean Star and Argo. Soon after she earned her Ocean Yachtmaster license. Shanley is the medical officer onboard Sea Dragon while on expedition and, alongside Eric, runs and maintains her both on and off program.
Eric, born in 1985, grew up in Laguna Beach, California. During his youth, he sailed dinghies, raced CFJ’s, Larks, and C420’s, and taught sailing to children in Dana Point, California. As a member of the Sea Scouts, Eric gained experience sailing and repairing cruising sailboats, 80’ to 130’ schooners, ketches, and brigs, locally and on several ocean crossings. He also earned the Sea Scout Quartermaster Award.
After graduating from Bowdoin College, Eric became a PADI Divemaster while working for ActionQuest and Sea|Mester, developing his teaching skills as he progressed from running summer programs on 50’ yachts to skippering an 88’ and 113’ throughout the Eastern Caribbean and across the Atlantic. In 2011, Eric took a break from professional sailing to buy and refit Odyssey, an Islander 36, to attempt a non-stop solo circumnavigation. Eight months later, he returned to Los Angeles, having sailed past the Great Capes of the Southern Oceans and back up the Pacific to his home port.
When not aboard Sea Dragon, Eric and Shanley have sailed throughout the Caribbean, across the Atlantic, and to the Arctic Circle aboard their own Pouvreau 42 Cutter, Fleur Australe.
Eric is an Ocean Yachtmaster with commercial endorsement, USCG 100 ton master, PADI Divemaster, and holds his MCA Proficiency in Medical Care at Sea. He has sailed over 100,000nm worldwide.
Shanley is an Ocean Yachtmaster with commercial endorsement, PADI Rescue Diver, and holds her MCA Proficiency in Medical Care at Sea. She has sailed over 60,000nm worldwide.
ANITA WATSON – PROGRAM & OPERATIONS DIRECTOR
Born in Germany, into a nomad family, Anita moved to new places and schools every 2 years. Her childhood was spent outdoors, climbing, sailing, canoeing, camping, hiking, running and flying gliders.
In the early 90’s Anita made the move to the UK, where she embarked on a career in the airlines further feeding and enabling her wanderlust, until she finally came into land, settling by the Coast to raise a family. Having rediscovered her passion for sailing and owning her own boat, her affection for the area sees life closely linked to the health and state of our seas, oceans, and beaches, local marine environment and participating with its conservation.
In joining Pangaea, she aims to bring her experience of project management, operations, and customer service skills in line with her desire and need to protect our marine habits and help to further the aims and goals of our organization.
JENNIFER PATE – 2018 US WEST COAST TOUR CO-ORDINATOR
Jen joins us to develop and promote our West Coast Promotional Tour. As a geographer and entrepreneur fascinated by human-environment interaction. She has been running a community – interest film company and leading/participating in expeditions as well as social and environmental responsibility projects for almost 10 years.
She lives in Canada where she runs a sustainable outdoor recreation park called Windmill Lake.
She has been a filmmaker, Mission Coordinator and Mission Leader on a series of international sailing voyages raising awareness of plastic in marine and freshwater environments.
You can find more information on Jen’s other projects at www.jenniferpate.com.
THOMAS ‘OWEN’ MCMAHON – CURRENT DECKHAND
Having started sailing with the family at the tender age of seven, Tom found a passion for being on the open water, it didn’t matter the vessel, yacht, dingy, bathtub, it was all the same, as long as it could sail. Realizing a life on land would never make him truly happy and saying adieu to life working in coffee shops and pubs, he embarked on his professional sailing career, working as crew on yachts whilst gaining his Yachtmaster offshore and his I.Y.T (international yacht training) instructor.
By 2010 Tom found himself fully qualified and living the life, aboard superyachts on the French Riviera, looking after both yachts and their owners. Whilst this was indeed an amazing experience, he hankered after something more, showing people the joys of sailing, creating new sailors and the satisfaction of seeing people realize the lure of the open water.
So now when not on Sea Dragon, Tom can be found teaching people to sail, imparting the joy direct engagement of the sea brings and all sailing has to offer. You will find Tom helping his new sailors to immerse themselves in all things sailing and in building an attachment with their surrounding environment, an interdependence that can only be found on the ocean
EMILY PENN – PANGAEA ADVOCATE
Emily Penn co-founded Pangaea Exploration with Ron Ritter in 2010. As an ocean advocate, artist, skipper, and the youngest and only female recipient of the Yachtmaster of the Year award. Emily is as much at home on the water as she is on dry land, her mission is to connect people to the ocean while creating solutions for issues relating to our seas globally.
Now working full time as co-founder of eXXpedition, and as an experienced public speaker, Emily tours the worlds speaking 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.
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 telemedical 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.
EMILY PENN – CO-FOUNDER & DIRECTOR OF GLOBAL ORGANISATION. 2010 – 2016
Emily, as co-founded ran the global organisation of Panexplore from 2010 – 2016. Her duties included program and operations management, corporate management, sponsorship and mission leadership aboard Sea Dragon. As an ocean advocate, artist, skipper, and the youngest and only female recipient of the Yachtmaster of the Year award. Emily is as much at home on the water as she is on dry land, her mission is to connect people to the ocean while creating solutions for issues relating to our seas globally.
Now working full time as co-founder of eXXpedition, and as an experienced public speaker, Emily tours the worlds speaking 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 – PROGRAM & OPERATIONS DIRECTOR | 2015-2017.
Emily joined Panexplore in 2015 – 2017 as Programs and Operations Director, to take over the role from Emily Penn
Emily was born in Chile during a curfew and an earthquake. From South America to Scotland, she spent her childhood building dens, rolling around in the mud and camping. Her life has always been centered 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 Avaunt up until recently.
ERIN WILLIAMS – SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER 2014-2016.
Erin joined Panexplore in 2014 as a freelance social media manager, maintaining our site and profiling online.
ASTA MAIL – GREAT LAKES PROGRAM CO-ORDINATOR 2013.
Asta is a Canadian marine scientist completing her Master’s of Professional Science Degree at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science in Miami, Florida. Her area of expertise is Scientific Communication and Outreach and has background experience in coastal zone management work.
Asta was Pangaea’s first internship student and was responsible for organizing and planning the Great Lakes Expedition of summer 2013. She is a trained AAUS Scientific Diver and SSI Dive Control Specialist and is thrilled to have had the opportunity to be involved in citizen science and marine research.
CLIVE COSBY – SKIPPER 2009 – 2011.
Clive Cosby was a skipper on board Sea Dragon from the start of Panexplore. He holds his RYA Yachtmaster Oceans with Commercial Endorsement. Clive cut his teeth as a skipper in the 2004 Global Challenge race where he developed an exceptional reputation for team leadership and seamanship.
Forming and leading a team competing in the world’s toughest yacht race, was a challenge in itself for Clive. The Southern Ocean tested him and his crew beyond anything they could have prepared for, challenging their resolve. Team Stelmar went on to win the Trans-Atlantic leg, capitalizing on their experience of adversity, and turn it into victory.
Since the Global Challenge Clive has gone on to lead other teams competing afloat and, having drawn out the leadership lessons from skippering Team Stelmar in the 2004-2005 Global Challenge, brings his leadership experience and skills to life in the classroom. He has also been project manager, skipper, and consultant to a number of racing, refit and expedition sailing projects.
DALE SELVAM – SKIPPER 2012.
Dale was the Skipper on board Sea Dragon during 2012 and on board full-time from 2010-2012. Dale, jack-of-all-trades, is from New Zealand – if there is a problem on board, this is the man to fix it.
He grew up as a big-wave surfer, and since then has made a career around the sea. He has extensive sailing experience on board multiple yachts, over his 20-year sailing career. On land, he has served as product marketing roles for major surf companies.
Dale has sailed over 40,000nm on Sea Dragon alone. He is a RYA certified Yachtmaster Oceans, Commercial Endorsed and Medical. Dale is also an experienced diver and certified PADI Divemaster.
IMOGEN NASH – SKIPPER 2016 – 2017.
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 2016 – 2017.
Harry has grown up as an avid sailor starting off in the Sea Scouts on the South Coast of the UK. A true waterman & 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 & kite surfing.
LOES HENDRICKS – SKIPPER | SPRING 2017.
With an early passion for sailing and a lifelong ambition to work at sea, Loes has made yachting her full-time profession since 2011.
Having gained considerable experience over the past few years, she has accumulated more than 40.000 nautical miles of experience as crew and Captain of various sailing yachts between 50-80ft and over the last seven years has crossed the Atlantic 5 times. Migratory, Loes tends to winter in the Caribbean and finds herself drawn to summer in the Mediterranean.
In her spare time, Loes enjoys yoga, meditation, singing, snorkeling and hiking (not all at the same time). Preferring to spend her time outdoors and connect with nature. Loes enjoys time in the Himalayas, when not on the ocean.
DIANE REID – SKIPPER | SUMMER 2017.
Diane is a professional Skipper, Racer and Instructor. She is Royal Yachting Association accredited as an Ocean Yachtmaster commercially endorsed, a Sail Canada Instructor in Cruising, Racing, VHF and Navigation and a World Sailing Offshore Personal Survival Instructor.
Diane’s career has spanned over 70,000 miles throughout Lake Ontario, the Atlantic and Southern Ocean, Irish Sea, Bay of Biscay, Caribbean Islands and East coast of the United States. Whether in a Mini 650, a Clipper 70 or a Volvo 60, Diane has taught or raced on it. Her students and race teams have varied from single handed, double handed and fully crewed teams. When Diane is not on the water, she can often be found volunteering with various committees on Lake Ontario and with Sail Canada endeavouring to drive the sport of sailing to great new levels.
She joined Pangaea to skipper Sea Dragon for this Girls eXXpedition 2017.
HOLLY VINT – FIRST MATE
We love having Holly on Sea Dragon, she regularly takes over the role of mate during when Shanley is on shore leave.
Holly has had a lifelong love of the ocean and left university to run away to sea, only a year ago. With a growing portfolio of sailing experience and qualifications to her name, Holly can be found working adventurous offshore expedition vessels in some pretty cool parts of the world.
Her appreciation for the urgency to help protect the oceans was sparked when working for Pangaea as a deckhand for the Ascension and Amazon eXXpeditions in 2015.
AURELIE CEBE – FIRST MATE | Spring 2017
Aurelie’s initial education was in the hotel and catering industry. Here she worked for over 10 years in the luxury hospitality market.
Then, she had the chance to get in the private jet coordination area, which woke up my enthusiasm for traveling. It was a short hop from jets to boats as she decided to step into sailing.
Having thoroughly thrown herself into learning how to handle boats she certified as a commercially endorsed Offshore Yachtmaster, very quickly. She has sailed 4 Atlantic crossings (both ways), participated in both races and cruising around the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Atlantic, helped with boat deliveries, owner trips, boat charters and guests. Aurelie has gained not only Racing, modern and classic boat experience, whilst embracing her sailing career, she has also covered over 21’300NM
Aurelie’s onshore life, sees her combining her passion for sailing with her passion for wine, working in the wine business, when not out on the waters.
CATH HOUGH – DECKHAND
Cath is a passionate, energetic, knowledgeable and skilled sailor with over ten years’ experience working in the Marine industry. Growing up on the Isle of Wight, England, UK; she was immersed into a sailing culture from an early age and has thoroughly embraced and enjoyed a life on and around the sea!
Over the years her passion for Watersports has grown and Cath has worked around the world, including Europe, Dubai, and China. She has recently moved back to the UK to run sailing camps for children.
Outside of work, Cath is a keen racer, and also enjoys Yacht cruising, photography, and media. Having always had an interest in the Marine Environment and never had the chance to explore it deeper, She joins Sea Dragon to gain a better understanding of marine research, improve her offshore sailing and gain further skills in navigation and handling a larger sailing vessel.
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 on to 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, wakeboarding, 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).
GAVIN REID – DECKHAND
Gavin, born in the UK, has lived all over the world including locations such as Kuwait, Belgium, and USA. It was this early experience of travel that inspired him to explore the world including some projects in Tanzania and India. Having initially decided on a career in International Development he ended up working behind a desk in London for 2 years.
To reignite his passion for traveling, Gavin signed up for the 2015/16 Clipper Round the World Yacht race, seeing it as an opportunity to learn a new skillset as well as a different angle to view the world.
After successfully completing the 11 month, 47,000 mile circumnavigation he was inspired to continue sailing and has since completed his RYA Day Skipper qualification. Becoming a deckhand with Pangaea Exploration is the next step as Gavin looks to develop his sailing experience to convert it into a career in sailing.
KAT LAW – DECKHAND
KAT began sailing as a small child as crew for her father in dingys and this slowly progressed to family holidays on chartered yachts. She got her first taste of ocean adventures in 2008 on board a tall ship through the Tall Ships Youth Trust, which ignited a great sense of adventure and a desire to further explore the oceans. This inspired her to take on her greatest challenge to date – the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race in 2015/16.
Following this global circumnavigation, Kat furthered her skill set by gaining her Day Skipper qualification alongside her current job in academic publishing.
Having recently joined our eXXpedition Round Britain as core crew, Kat took the next step towards a career in sailing and leaving the desk behind forever. Her interest in finding out more about the impact of plastics in our environment, and learning from the amazing, intelligent ladies onboard Sea Dragon for this journey made for a truly pioneering journey for Kat.
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