RTW - Meet the crew

The RTW series takes you on my journey around the world that started in November 2013, you can find all the previous chapters on the Sitemap page.

There were eleven sailing across the Atlantic on board ENIGMA, four members of crew, including me, and seven customers, all from different backgrounds, each of us with our own flaws. In this entry I tried to profile the ingredients of this explosive mix.


Country of origin - Russia

Profile - The captain of the ENIGMA is a resourceful man of vigorous humour and a vice aficionado. He hides his fine intellect behind an ox-like physique and a thick Russian accent. Very little is known about his days before chartering boats, and many questions remain unanswered about his connection with wealthy Russians.

He likes - Russian sausages, beef stroganoff, the occasional joint, shampanskoye (Champagne), beer, a job well done, extreme sports

He dislikes - Poverty, healthy food, not winning

Anecdote - A few days into the Atlantic crossing, Andrei was affected by a severe case of fiction addiction and, while watching one episode of “Braking Bad” after the other, he sailed the boat from the couch, using the auto helm remote.


Country of origin - Italy

Profile - A boy with a heart of gold, a gentleman friend and an endless source of fun. He left Rome for Parma at a young age to learn everything food. In his life, he had a couple of brushes with death and sickness touching people close to him, and this contributed to his very emphatic personality, teaching him strong lessons about love and responsibility.

He likes - Gypsy music, Battiato, keeping his kitchen clean, his long morning routine made of coffee, electronic cigarette, shaving, crapping, showering, getting dressed, coffee and electronic cigarette again

He dislikes - Balding, Carina’s music, Carina, being put under pressure, selfish people

Anecdote - On different occasions, Riccardo was forced by the Captain to walk the plank and bathe in disgusting marina’s waters.


Country of origin - Lithuania

Profile - Carina likes to think of herself as a self-made woman. Leaving Lithuania to chase the dream of wealth, she does not intend to attain her goals through work and self-improvement, assuming that her perfectly formed young body will be more than enough. Her lack of sense of humour and stiff personality, teamed up with a strong need for an education, will come between her and her goals.

She likes - Wealthy and abusive men, fast cars, luxury boats, shampanskoye (champagne), bullying, feeling above others, skimpy dresses and high heels, russian techno

She dislikes - Poverty, work, empathy

Anecdote - One night, during a late watch, Carina and I had a sincere conversation during which she showed an almost human side. Unfortunately, the conversation ended with a recollection of her Lithuanian upbringing, mentioning the pleasure she got out of bullying a less fortunate kid in her class.


Country of origin - United States of America

Profile - Once a fisherman, Craig used his charm and wits to move into different lines of work and building a reputation for himself as the “pirate of the Bahamas”. He now runs a luxury charters company. Andrei and him share a good friendship, both liking to drink a gin and tonic or two.

He likes - A job well done, sailing, the sea, Kentucky, Vernon, waxing a boat’s hull, gin, tonic, women, spinnakers

He dislikes - Liars, being called out on a lie he told, Carina’s music, people cutting corners

Anecdote - One night, during a passage, with the wind whistling and filling the spinnaker, Craig had a couple of drinks and staggered to the bot’s bow to howl at the moon


Country of origin - New Zeland

Profile - Vernon is a Kiwi. He retired young, after making a fortune with his electronic engineering degree, starting and managing his own company. Still full of energies, he likes to splash his hard-earned cash on what makes him happy, like boats, fast boats and his wife, which is said to be very beautiful. It is hard not to laugh if Vernon is in a good mood, either with him or at him.

He likes - The word “petrol”, fast boats, the sea, a good joke, gin, and tonic

He dislikes - Incompetence, Carina’s music, not being able to tell if Klaus stories are true or not

Anecdote - Vernon owns a few boats, but the biggest one is called Kiwi Pryde.


Country of origin - Germany

Profile - One could script a TV series using Klaus’ stories about his days working as a private contractor in the corporate security business. While negotiating hostages and investigating industrial espionage, Klaus never lost his sense of humour and his good taste in music

He likes - Taking pictures, good hearted people, sailing, the south of France

He dislikes - Carina’s music, Craig’s drinking habits, finding his favourite tanning spot on the upper deck occupied by someone else

Anecdote - Klaus once told me that he was contracted to find a man that had disappeared in a jungle of an unspecified country. His evacuation party showed up only months later and during that time, he started living with an indigenous tribe, hunting using rudimental weapons and smearing his body in mud


Country of origin - United States of America

Profile - Harry used to be a hand surgeon, now retired, he is fulfilling his lifelong dream of sailing across the Atlantic ocean, following in the footsteps of some of the greatest sailors in history. Affected by a light form of OCD, he also has a phobia for germs and bacteria. His weakness makes him even braver for having a go at crossing an Ocean

He likes - Thanksgiving, fried chicken, chain-smoking, using his sextant, sailing

He dislikes - Germs, contact with people, someone touching his cutlery, someone touching his hands, touching the dirty boat with his bare hands, Carina’s music

Anecdote - During the Atlantic crossing, Harry kept on taking readings with his sextant



Country of origin - United States of America

Profile - Tess married Harry after meeting on the job. During the days we shared on the ENIGMA, Tess was very motherly to Riccardo and me, and only nice things can be said about her

She likes - Fried chicken, chain-smoking, sailing, iced tea

She dislikes - Carina’s music, some of Riccardo’s food, especially the healthy stuff

Anecdote - On our way out of the marina in Las Palmas, Tess took the helm, showing off her sailing skills



Country of origin - Turkey

Profile - Aydar is a serious man. He lived in the background of the seafaring adventure since his English did not help him to get involved. Now retired, or only working as a consultant for the company he founded, Aydar is also very wealthy

He likes - His wife Olga, having the biggest cabin on board

He dislikes - Carina’s music

Anecdote - Aydar likes silence and silence likes him back.


Country of origin - Russia

Profile - Olga looks young and her long limbs paired with a funny face give her the charm of a clown. Aydar married her to let go and learn how to laugh, she married him for stability

She likes - Riccardo’s food, Carina’s music, Carina, the captain, Russians, talking Russian after living in Turkey for so long, Russian sausages and pyrogy

She dislikes - Nails running on a blackboard, if I had to guess

Anecdote - One morning Olga woke up before everyone else and made surprise crepes for breakfast

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