Staff Spotlight: Kyle Busacker



Kyle served as Mate aboard S/Y Ocean Star in the Caribbean. After graduating from the University of Oregon, Kyle began his nautical career working for Sea|mester's sister program, ActionQuest as a mate, then captain. After earning his MCA Master of Yachts Offshore license, he began his position as Mate operating on Sea|mester voyages.

What is your favorite travel memory?

I always remember fondly the very first time I set sail with my father aboard his 33 ft. sloop, sitting at the helm sailing her down from British Columbia in through the Ballard locks in Seattle.

I really first fell in love with traveling via sail during those passages. I loved the quiet and peaceful nature of traveling from port to port, with my hands on the helm, truly being involved in the adventure of it all.

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

I truly believe that there is no environment that promotes personal growth more than a tall ship. When you live in such a close environment with strangers, and have a shared level of responsibility for the outcome of each and every day, you have no other choice but to grow up, gain internal confidence, and learn how to communicate effectively.

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

That they came to the program not having the confidence to even speak up in class, then leave with the confidence of being able to skipper an 88 ft. traditionally rigged vessel, manage a crew of 19 other individuals, and successfully get to her final destination. Pretty awesome to see that 80-days aboard a study abroad trip can have that effect.

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

I would love to work on our voyage from the Caribbean to Tahiti. One of my favorite novels is Kon Tiki, so I would absolutely love to retrace that journey and witness the amazingly diverse environments and cultures the South Pacific has to offer.

The journey begins in Antigua, passes through the Panama Canal, visits the Galapagos, and ends up in Tahiti. Amazing.

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

I believe that Sea|mester does an incredibly profound job of promoting a student's personal growth in a very non-contrived way. I'm very proud when I hear the touching feedback from prior students who say that Sea|mester played a part in them learning more about themselves, becoming more confident, and becoming passionate about their future endeavors.

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

Trust in the staff to do the job effectively. That couldn't be truer than what happens with Sea|mester, as the 4-7 staff aboard each vessel are some of the most professional, hard-working people I've ever met.

There is a lot of trust put in our staff out there to facilitate these amazing journey's and I believe they go far beyond what is expected of them to create a successful program.