Captain Gareth Schwegman was born in South Africa and grew up around the yachting industry. His love of the ocean and seamanship skills was honed in his native South Africa on family sailing excursions off the coast of Durban and Mozambique. His father’s sailing school, which specializes in mega yacht crew training, also played a role in Gareth’s decision to join the yachting industry and obtain his captain’s license. Gareth began his yachting career as a deckhand in 2001 and in 2005 became a captain on the Belle de Jour. Prior to VivieRae II Gareth was the captain on VivieRae another Nordhavn owned by Bob and Sandy Giles. Gareth has been the captain for Bob and Sandy Giles since October of 2012. He was instrumental in the build process of VivieRae II and is responsible for many design ideas that were incorporated during the build process to make sure that VivieRae II was completed to the highest standards.
Gareth is married to Carolyn and they have two boys Josh and Ethan. Carolyn was the chef on the former VivieRae until they had their second child. “Caro” as she is referred to and the boys are welcome visitors to the boat and Mike and Teri have almost become there aunt and uncle.
Gareth holds his MCA Yachtmaster Offshore 200 ton license, MCA Yachtmaster Ocean, MCA Navigation and Radar, MCA General Ships Knowledge, MCA Advanced Sea Survival, and Marshall Islands Endorsements for Offshore and GMDSS certificates.
Gareth has extensive cruising experience in the Caribbean, Central America, and the West Coast of California to Alaska and the entire east coast to New England. Gareth is happy to answer any questions you may have and looks forward to leading guests of M/Y VivieRae II to new discoveries.
Teri grew up on a large family farm in Zimbabwe and then immigrated to South Africa in 2004 where she finished her schooling and graduated from Rhodes University with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Psychology and Sociology. Teri is married to Mike who she met in her first year at Rhodes University in 2007 and they were married in April of 2015. Teri has been working on board the former M/Y VivieRae since 2013. Prior to joining the yachting industry, she worked for a sponsorship management company where she managed corporate sporting events.
Teri’s love for cooking developed over the last five years working alongside some extremely talented chefs while employed as a Stewardess. With a natural desire to please, becoming a chef on board a yacht was the perfect position. Teri’s style of cooking is healthy and fresh and she also loves to make incredible deserts.
Teri also has a passion for the African bush and its wildlife and also enjoys fishing, scuba diving and powered paragliding.
Mike grew up on a wildlife reserve in the South Africa Lowveld where his interest for all things outdoors evolved. He completed his education with a Bachelor of Science degree from Rhodes University where he met Teri.
After three years working as a consultant in his field of study, his desire to travel (and escape Johannesburg traffic) culminated in the decision to pursue a career in Yachting. All roads led to the former M/Y VivieRae where he has applied his crowd pleasing skills for the last four years.
Mike’s love for scuba diving began off the coast of Mozambique where he spent many summers discovering the untouched reefs surrounding the Archipelago. Mike has been able to continue his passion for diving and fishing while on board VivieRae which has only added to his passion for both sports.
Mike’s interests also include powered paragliding and despairing about the state of South African rugby.
Nellie grew up in Australia, spending her childhood living in Sydney. Having a love for the water from a young age, Nellie was a keen swimmer and eventually a volunteer lifeguard at the famous Bondi Beach.
After studying a Bachelor of Communications majoring in Public Relations at University, Nellie spent a few years working in music and entertainment publicity. As much as she enjoyed working in the entertainment industry, office life wasn’t for her and in 2014 Nellie decided that she was not ready to settle down to life in Sydney and so moved to France to work on yachts and travel the world.
Nellie has worked in the yachting industry for over three years, in the Mediterranean, Central America, the Caribbean, the South Pacific and South East Asia. Nellie strives to provide the highest level of service and also to ensure that guests are relaxed, at home and have the most enjoyable time possible while on board.
In her spare time Nellie enjoys cooking, reading, traveling, adventures and watersports. Nellie recently completed her PADI scuba diving open water course.
Francois grew up on a dairy farm in a small town in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. After finishing high school, Francois escaped his small town and moved to Pretoria to attend University and study teaching. However after two years he decided that teaching was not in fact his calling and he decided to move to Cape Town and pursue other opportunities.
After small stints in fitness, construction and sales, Francois found himself travelling the world and eventually living in India as a model/actor. Six years later, he decided it was time for a change. Having a lot of friends in the yachting industry, he was persuaded to give it a try and he hasn’t looked back since.
Having spent a year on board his previous yacht, travelling to the Caribbean, Bahamas and the Mediterranean, Francois took some time off to study and complete his Master of Yachts 200 ton Offshore certification. Francois is looking forward to his role on M/Y VivieRae and seeing some new parts of the world.