Paul is the skipper of Snark. He has been sailing offshore for over 35 years, including cruises around the British and continental coasts and numerous offshore yacht races. He has also represented the UK in national and international championships, both as crew and on his own racing yachts.
He set aside his career as an architect to pursue his lifelong love of the sea and sailing as the skipper of Snark. He returns to the water in command of the 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 completed his RYA Offshore certification. which has been endorsed to licence him to act as master of Snark.
Qiao is the first mate on Snark for all commercial events. Qiao (pronounced like the Italian Ciao) grew up in Beijing, China, and moved to UK in 2001 to study and then practice architecture. She has been sailing for more than five 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 is also a qualified yoga and meditation teacher, with over 30 years of ongoing practice in a wide range of styles and traditions, and more than five years' experience in teaching in the UK at independent venues, clubs, spas and workplaces. She runs onboard retreats and shoreside classes on top of her duties as 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.