Staff Spotlight: Martin Smith



Martin sailed two of Sea|mester’s vessels - one across the Atlantic Ocean and the other throughout the Caribbean.

What is your favorite travel memory?

Whale sharks! Having traveled over a thousand miles from South Africa, SY Argo was met with over 30 whale sharks in St. Helena. We were never briefed on or expected such a sight, as we approached this little rock in the middle of the ocean. This was followed by one visiting the boat at anchor and was joined by a manta ray.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

My perspective of both the world and myself were challenged through living in close quarters with others. We grew a community, shared our positivity and developed compassion. Sailing experiences have enhanced my resume and allowed me to build a career as a professional mariner. Learning to scuba dive with my students opened my eyes to the underwater world.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

Students not only returned but came to work for the company, sharing their expertise with another generation of students.

Many students stay in contact with each other and the staff from their trip for years afterward. Some of the best stories were never shared at the time but are then explained when reminiscing with the crew, often years later at a chance meeting.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

While I love spending any time in the Caribbean (on SY Ocean Star), a new sailing vessel (SY Vela) is currently being built and soon to set out on a circumnavigation. However, Cape Town will always hold a special place in my heart and being able to wake up to the sight of Table Mountain should be on everyone’s bucket list.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

All crews journey from complete strangers, who have minimal sailing experience, and grow into a competent crew. Seeing each individual practice their strengths, while developing themselves within a supportive team, is truly magical. I was especially proud of the team when racing in the Antigua Classics Regatta.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

The staff all share a common goal and purpose, while also being able to bring their own special uniqueness. Returning staff maintain stability and provide strong management, while carefully selected new staff to ensure growth and positive progression. Directors are open-minded while also maintaining a sense of history and tradition through mindful reflection.