TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS GOVERNMENT
Levardo Talbot Representative of the TCI Government Department of the Environment and Coastal Resources (DECR) More Info
David Bowen – Trustee of the Turks and Caicos National Museum, Director of Culture for the Turks and Caicos Islands and lead Protagonist in the Trouvadore documentary More Info
Dr Anders Seim – Trustee of the Turks and Caicos National Museum and volunteer archaeologist More Info
Nigel Sadler,MA – Director of the Turks and Caicos National Museum, archaeologist
Jackie Mulligan,MA – Communications Specialist, fundraising, PR, sponsorship and multimedia
Dr Donald H. Keith – Trustee of the Turks and Caicos National Museum and principal investigator
Dr Toni L. Carrell – Marine Archaeologist
Randell Davis – Marine Archaeologist
James Hunter – Marine Archaeologist
Jason Burns – Marine Archaeologist
Richard Coberly – Director and Producer of Trouvadore documentary
Veronica Veerkamp – Lead Writer and Researcher for documentary
Bryan O’Neal – Field Producer on Trouvadore documentary
Tim Ecott – UK Journalist and Author
Mitch Rolling, Owner of Blue Water Divers and Captain of survey vessels
Jean-Francois Chabot Captain of the T & C Explorer
Graham Garson Dive Instructor T & C Explorer
Jennifer Cumming Purser on the T & C Explorer
Stanley Simmons Chief Cook on the T & C Explorer
Brian Cabral T & C Explorer Boat Mechanic / Engineer
Julie Davis T & C Explorer Dive Instructor
Noah Zanbilowicz Visiting dive instructor for Explorer Ventures
PREMIUM SPONSOR: HARTLING GROUP
Stan Hartling, CEO of Hartling Group
Mervin Cox, CEO of CoxCo and Partner of Hartling Group
Born in Grand Turk, Levardo a certified diver, worked as a chef and boat captain in the TCI before joining the Department of the Environment and Coastal Resources 2 years ago. He enjoys his work with DECR especially the enforcement and field work and is very pleased to be on board for this expedition. With a large family at home including 4 brothers and 7 sisters, he thinks the Trouvadore project is a very important one for the country and wants to know more about the history of slaveships and what happened to the ship and its survivors. In his spare time he plays a keyboard and bongo drums.
Acclaimed and experienced choreographer and performer David Bowen had travelled widely and performed in theater, on TV and even music videos in the USA, Europe and Japan. Born in the Turks and Caicos Islands with a family from Bambarra and Lorimers in Middle Caicos and childhood memories of Grand Turk, David is now Director of the Culture and Arts Commission in the TCI and lectures, performs and coordinates much of the cultural activity that takes place nationally and internationally. David is also Trustee of the Turks and Caicos National Museum and is President of the Turks and Caicos Islands Friends of the Arts Foundation.
Dr Anders Seim
Norwegian physician and diver, Dr Anders Seim has been connected to the Turks and Caicos Islands since 1964 and is a trustee of the Turks and Caicos National Museum. He travels widely in Africa as a Public Health physician working in disease eradication.
Land archaeologist Nigel Sadler began his career working in the Middle East as well as in Europe on archaeological projects. After working as a museum consultant, Nigel moved on to take curatorial roles at the Canal Museum in London and the Vestry House Museum in Waltham Forest. Nigel became Director of the Turks and Caicos National Museum in 2000 and was elected President of the Museums Association of the Caribbean in 2003 and again in 2004. He has undertaken extensive research in slave history and has published books and contributed to several publications.
Qualified with a Masters Degree in Tourism, Jackie has spent several years in promotions and tourism, PR, marketing, communications and event management, for the Promotions and Tourism Unit in North East London, for the Millennium Commission and for the Turks and Caicos Islands Tourism Board. Living in Grand Turk for over 3 years she is delighted to be spreading the word about this exciting story unique to TC Islanders. In her spare time, Jackie performs in a singing Trio called the Dubious Divas and promises a christmas album on Amazon soon!
Dr Donald H Keith
Known as The Commander, Dr Donald H Keith has directed field work from the Bahamas to Panama and points in between. His need for a space to house the conserved artifacts from the Molasses Reef wreck was instrumental in motivating Turks Islanders to establish the Turks and Caicos National Museum. Don continues to help the Museum grow and is a National Museum Trustee and regular visitor to the Islands.
Dr Toni L Carrell
Dr Toni L Carrell joined Ships of Discovery in its early months, leaving her beloved home in the New Mexico mountains to pursue her passion for underwater archaeology. Toni’s years of underwater field experience from all over the United States and the world has continued as she has pursued an interest the hull construction of discovery-era ships. That fervor has led to her involvement with replica ships constructed in Brazil and to field directing the excavation of the La Salle shipwreck, Belle for the Texas Historical Commission.
Randel C Davis
Randel gained a Masters in underwater archaeology after completing an Undergraduate Degree in Archaeology and Anthropology at the Texas A & M. He has worked on many underwater projects in Padre Island project in 1972, on the Bermuda Wreck of 1617, the Mombasa shipwreck in Kenya and on the HMS Endymion in TCI. By day Randel is an Emergency Medicine Physician.
James Hunter is an underwater archaeologist currently employed by the Naval Historical Centre in Washington, D.C. He has participated in the archaeological investigation of a variety of historic shipwrecks, including the remains of a sixteenth-century Spanish colonization vessel (the Emanuel Point shipwreck)and the Civil War submarine H.L. Hunley. James recently completed a shipwreck survey for the remains of the US Navy schooner Alligator, an anti slavery patrol vessel that sank in the Florida Keys in 1821. He has had articles published in the International Journal of Nautical Archaeology and the Gulf South Historical Review.
Jason Burns is the first underwater archaeologist hired by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Historic Preservation Division. Burns has worked on several high profile underwater projects including the recovery of the Civil War submarine H.L. Hunley in Charleston, South Carolina and the recording of the CSS Alabama off of Cherbourg, France. Burns’ research focuses on the transition from sail to steam in 19th century merchant fleets and the expansion of world commerce by shipping nations after 1849. His book, published in the Plenum Series in Underwater Archaeology, The Life and Times of a Merchant Sailor: The Archaeology and History of the Norwegian Ship Catharine, details this research.
An award winning photographer and veteran of more than 30 years in the visual communications business, Richard is equally at home behind a still camera, TV camera, or in the directors chair. A native of Texas, he is a founding partner in Windward Media. His production credits include World Charter & Sail for the Travel Channel, video camping guides, and music videos. Recent broadcast projects include Sailing Blind, In Search of La Salle, and the EMMY Award winning Wit, Grit, and Robot Games for HoustonPBS.
Veronica (Ronnie) Veerkamp
Veronica is the head writer for Windward Media and is in charge of research for all projects. As a founding partner in Windward Media, she brings with her a unique talent for telling a story, not only in words, but also taking full advantage of the visual benefits of Television. Her latest broadcast production credits include the award winning In Search of La Salle, Sailing Blind, and the Emmy winning Wit, Grit, and Robot Games produced for HoustonPBS.
Bryan O’Neal has been involved in the production of many Windward Media television programs, including aerial, boat and underwater shoots. He is an experienced diver, and is in charge of all underwater film crew safety and equipment. Bryan’s boundless energy, “can-do” attitude, and love of the sea have made him an irreplaceable member of the Windward Media team.
Tim Ecott is a British author and journalist. After studying anthropology he went into the film industry before joining the BBC World Service as a producer and correspondent. A specialist on Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean states, he spent two years in Seychelles where he developed a parallel career as a dive leader. In 2003 he was script writer for DEEP BLUE, the feature length cinematic version of the BBC’s acclaimed Blue Planet series. Based in London, his journalism has appeared in numerous national and foreign publications. His first book was the best selling cult classic “Neutral Buoyancy: Adventures in a Liquid World” , and his latest book is “Vanilla: Travels in Search of the Ice Cream Orchid”.
Jean-Francois is the cool headed captain of the T & C Explorer, a keen skydiver and former night club manager. This French Canadian from Gaspe grew up loving the water. In his teens he established the first windsurfing school in Quebec and learned to dive at the age of 15. He graduated from the Navigational Programme in Rimouski, Quebec and has worked in the Merchant Marine and on dive boats, spending over 10 years in the Caribbean. He is an excellent videographer and photographer and yearns for the perfect whale shot “I would love to be able to capture their beauty on film.”
Mitch is a 23 year resident of Grand Turk who has logged nearly 7500 dives on its 7000 foot WALL. Opening Blue Water Divers in 1983, he started with one boat and an old compressor. Seventeen years later, Blue Water Divers has grown to 3 boats, state of the art equipment, a complete retail dive shop and a full blown PADI dive training facility. Mitch is also an accomplished musician with three albums and heads up the band ‘High Tide’ in Grand Turk.
Born in New York and having lived in Florida working as an insurance adjuster, Graham took a diving hobby to the next level and became a diving instructor 3 years ago. A fan of Clive Cussler, Graham is on board, reading Trojan Odyssey. He finds it ironic that just as Hurricane Frances begins to make her presence felt in the Caribbean waters, that he is at the chapter in the book where a hurricane strikes the Navidad Reef. He trained to dive in Colorado and is training to get his Captain’s license.
Locally known as “Junior”, Stanley was born and grew up in Salt Cay. At the age of 17, Stanley worked as assistant cook and mess man on the North naval base in Grand Turk. For over 2 years he worked on the base, developing his culinary skills and passion for cookery. He moved on to work on container ships and a salt ship in the eighties delivering salt from Inagua to Georgia. He has also worked as a carpenter for Government in Salt Cay. He has over 15 years experience on live-aboards and joined the T & C Explorer in October 2003. He has memories of his family telling him that his great grandfather was an African and now wonders if his great grandfather could have been related to Trouvadore.
Originally from Calgary in Canada, Jennifer began her career in sales after graduating with a business degree in marketing from the University of Calgary.. During that career, she got an overwhelming revelation that she wanted to ‘go South to dive’. She began diving 9 years ago. Now on board T & C Explorer she uses her creative skills in videography and loves the fact that her job involves meeting so many people and seeing so many of them again on their next vacations. She describes the live-aboard as ‘homely’ and warns anyone who wants to make a new start that “if you have a strong inkling that you should be doing something else with your life, do it.”
Permanently covered in grease and gas, it is hard to believe that Brian once followed a career as a Chef and Sous-Chef specializing in ice and butter sculptures. At the age of 37, he realized that he should follow his dream to take off and escape the stress and long hours. He is training to get a 200 ton captain’s licence and has worked on the Turks and Caicos Explorer since December. Now a certified dive master, he enjoys trips out to dive sites with certified divers and mooring trips to find new sites. He describes his role in TCI as “hard work, you get tired –But it’s home.” In spite of his obvious proficiency in his position, the team claim that his catchphrase onboard is “I didn’t do it.”
Noah grew up in Vancouver Island with a love for the ocean. After working for 4 years in commercial fishing, he worked as a dive instructor in British Columbia and joined the Explorer company in December. He was enthused by the idea of Trouvadore and is assisting the crew on T & C Explorer for the expedition. In September he will return to his studies to complete his political science and economics degree in Montreal. In the future he would like to become an entrepreneur. In the meantime he continues to enjoy the “excellent” diving in TCI.
An active dive instructor from Nova Scotia, Canada, Julie has worked on the Turks and Caicos Explorer for 6 months. She has been diving for five years and grew up beside the ocean where she developed an interest in the underwater environment. She is finishing a Marine Biology and Environmental Science Degree and has specialized in deep sea coral conch and turtles. She has had lots of experience of field work as a volunteer in Statia Marine Park as an intern marine biology technician. She is excited to be working on Trouvadore that has “so much importance for the Turks and Caicos Islands.”
Premium Sponsors: Stan Hartling and Mervin Cox
Stan Hartling is the CEO and Developer of the highly successful resort property, The Sands of Grace Bay. The Hartling Group has formed an alliance with local entrepreneur Mervin Cox (Coxco Construction) in developing The Palms scheduled to open in January 2005. Mervin Cox is the founder of Coxco Construction, a firm renowned for high quality construction.