Paul is the skipper of Snark for all of the commercial events we offer and for any skippered charters. He has been sailing offshore for over 35 years, including cruises around the British and continental coasts and numerous offshore yacht races. He has represented the UK in national and international championships, both as crew and on his own racing yachts.
After some time away from sailing he has returned to the water in command of a more sedate but much larger spritsail Thames barge. He has undertaken training and extensive research on the traditional ways of the barges as well as completing his RYA Offshore certification which has been endorsed to licence him to act as master of Snark.
As well as his sailing duties Paul is also the ship’s cook, chief mechanic, boatbuilder and emergency rigger.
Qiao is the first mate of the Snark for all commercial events. She has been sailing for over 5 years on yachts and on Snark. She holds an RYA competent crew certificate but has significant additional skills in navigation, helmsmanship and general sailing operations.
She also is also a qualified yoga and meditation teacher, with over 30 years of ongoing practice in a wide range of styles and traditions, and over 5 years experience in teaching in the UK at independent venues, clubs, spas and workplaces. She runs the onboard retreats and shoreside classes as well as performing the duty of purser, customer care and booking manager.
Both Paul and Qiao have completed courses in First Aid at Sea, Personal Survival at Sea and ‘Welcome Aboard’ customer service. They both hold VHF operators’ licences and medical certificates, as well as holding appropriate food hygiene and alcohol licencing qualifications.
In addition to the permanent crew, Snark will sometimes engage further, suitably qualified crew to assist on longer or more complex voyages and events.