Captain Name: Spence Gallagher
Captain Nationality: USA
Number of Crew: 6
Captain Spencer Gallagher:
Spencer hails from the Great Lakes state of Michigan. He has spent the past 17 years cruising the aqua waters of the Caribbean and the Bahamas. Spence worked his way through the ranks of yachting starting upon graduation as a first mate on large yachts and captaining his first vessel at the age of 24. Capt. Spence has earned an impressive reputation as a captain with extensive local knowledge of the Caribbean, Bahamas, the Florida Keys and Florida coastline that enables him to fulfill your yachting dreams—diving with sharks, enjoying a lunch ashore on a secluded serene island or taking in a magnificent sunset in a quiet cove. An entertaining tour guide, he can take you to destinations off the beaten path for a truly unique experience. He is a fun charter captain willing to go the extra mile for his owner, guests and crew.
First Mate Ben Shoemaker:
Ben grew up in Indiana in a small farming community. After graduating from Indiana State University he moved to Durango Colorado and started white water raft tour guiding. This led into guiding multiple different styles of tour guiding. Everything from horseback to snowmobiling. Ben was an avid member of La Plata County search and rescue and was a first responder. He started a property management company in 2006 and sold it in 2015. After starting up and selling a successful company he decided to apply his multiple years of tour guiding and property management into the yachting industry. Ben has been an avid fisherman for years and loves to share his passion with others while out on the water. He enjoys all aspects of yachting but most of all making an enjoyable and memorable experience for the charter guests.
Chef Diego Sgrigna:
Originally from Italy, this young chef is full of energy and creative ideas. Diego spent over 5 years at culinary school in Italy majoring in business economy and food science. Being fluent in four languages, and traveling between the countries, it is their cuisine, especially French and Italian, that entices Diego to experiment and learn more about the ingredients he works with. Chef Diego enjoys balancing menus with beauty and color, creating impressive visually appealing meals. He has managed private mansions in Miami Beach, worked in five star resorts and many years in the hospitality and hotel industry earning years of culinary experience in highly pressured kitchens. Diego loves a challenge and found an opportunity to step on board mega yachts, traveling and working on private and charter yachts in the Mediterranean, Caribbean, New England and Florida. Diego prides himself in being organized, efficient, hardworking and can handle the pressure of a ‘hot’ galley. He looks forward to creating your next meal on board CHERISH II.
Chief Stewardess Erica Gallagher:
A homegrown North Carolinian, Erica will treat you to warm southern hospitality. After graduating from college with a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications, she worked in a Country Club as the assistant beverage and hospitality manager in Wrightsville Beach, NC. There she met Captain Spence who turned her love of the water into a career. Erica has been working fulltime on yachts for the last five years taking her many years of serving, bartending, and managing into top gear offering the highest level of service and travel experience.
Second Stewardess Cayla Blincoe:
Cayla was born and raised in a small college town of Gainesville, Florida where she attended Santa Fe College and graduated with her degree in Surgical Technology. After pursuing her career she realized that she wanted to see more of what the world has to offer. She then joined yachting so she could pursue her passion for being on the water and traveling. Cayla also has a passion for personal fitness, she is a certified personal trainer and has 12+ years experience in Mixed Martial Arts as a 2nd degree black belt. In her time away from Cherish II she enjoys outdoor activities, exploring new places, hanging with friends and playing golf.
Deckhand Daniel De Witt:
Daniel is a seasoned deckhand from South Africa. Daniel has always had an afﬁnity for the ocean being raised so close to the water’s edge. He has a passion for spear ﬁshing, scuba diving, and reef exploring. After high school Daniel worked with a wine vineyard saving up for his relocation to Fort Lauderdale Florida to start his yachting career. Upon working a few short-term jobs honing his craft and exploring the industry. Daniel began his yachting certiﬁcate training and upon receiving his Offshore Yacht Master 200 ton ticket, he joined our wonderful program to use his passion for the ocean and cruising.