Meet the Crew

As usual, we have a fantastic and highly qualified crew aboard Seaward for the 2012 season. We are lucky to have an excellent blend of returning crew and fresh faces. Here's a little about them. . .

Kyle Watson - Captain

We are pleased to welcome back Kyle Watson as our captain for the 2012 season. A native Californian, Kyle became fascinated with sail boats while earning the "Small Boat Sailing" merit badge as a boy scout at age 11. While earning a degree in philosophy with a minor in anthropology at Cal State Long Beach, Kyle spent most of his free time sailing the school's Hobie 18s, Lasers, and Shields class keelboats. After graduation, he declined invitations to law school in order to pursue a career on the water. Since then, Kyle has sailed aboard the Brigantine Irving Johnson, Topsail Schooner Amistad, Brig Lady Washington, Topsail Ketch Hawaiian Chieftan, and Cutter Geronimo. His experience aboard the Schooner Seaward began in December 2010 sailing as Mate from San Francisco to the Sea of Cortez. He then sailed as Seaward's captain for much of the 2011 season. Kyle currently holds the following US Merchant Marine Credentials: Master of Steam, Motor, or Auxiliary Sail Vessels of Not More the 100 Gross Registered Tons Upon Near Coastal Waters-Authorized to Engage in Commercial Assistance Towing; Able Seaman Special; Proficient in the use of survival craft (Lifeboatman); Standards of Training Certification on Watchkeeping for Seafarers Basic Safety Training. Kyle's hobbies include indoor rock climbing and snowboarding.

Halley Finkel - Head Educator

Halley grew up in sunny California where in her early teens she learned how fun it was to hop on a boat, put up a piece of canvas and ride the waves. Since then, she hasn't been able to get enough of the sea. While studying environmental science at UC Berkeley, Halley would often spend her breaks on the Brigantines Exy and Irving Johnson, sailing with the LA Maritime Institute. After college, Halley took to wandering. In the last few years, she's done field work in the Rocky Mountains, taught English in South Korea, sailed from Australia to Thailand and worked with sea turtles in Hawaii. Halley is excited to be back in the wonderful Bay Area. She spent the spring and summer seasons as Deckhand/Educator on Seaward, and is looking forward to a great fall as Head Educator.

Baron Kelly - Mate

Baron grew up in Santa Barbara, California and began exploring the Channel Islands by sailboat with his dad when he was 11 years old. Over the years, his passion for sailing grew and at 19 he joined his first boat crew. Since then, he's crewed aboard the Brig Lady Washington, Brigantine Kaisei, Square Tops'l Schooner Amistad, Barquentine Concordia, and the Full Rig Ship Bounty. He also enjoyed a year of diving at the Channel Islands aboard the M/V Conception and the M/V Vision. He currently holds a 100 Ton Near Coastal Master with sail endorsement, AB Special, Basic Safety Training (STCW-BST), Lifeboatmen, Bridge Resource Management (BRM), Advanced Fire Fighting, Radar Unlimited, and a Wilderness First Responder Certification. He is currently pursuing a 500 Ton Ocean Masters. In his free time he enjoys surfing, diving, lobster wrangling, and skateboarding. After a great spring and summer aboard Seaward, he is looking forward to enjoying San Francisco Bay in the fall.

Rachel Lipsy - Educator/Deckhand

Rachel grew up in landlocked New Jersey and Maryland but went to the beach every summer with her family. She first started sailing little Sunfish at overnight camp, but learned to love tall ships when she sailed on the brigantine Corwith Cramer during a Sea Education Association high school program. Rachel loved the program so much that she decided to major in oceanography at the University of Washington. During college, she spent the summers working for NOAA, the ocean advocacy organization Oceana, and the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography. For her senior thesis project, Rachel conducted research off the coast of Hawai'i on board the R/V Thomas G. Thompson. After graduation, she took the long way home driving down California, across Texas, through Louisiana, up the Carolinas, and back to Maryland. Since then, she has been teaching science to elementary school kids. She spent the spring and summer aboard Seaward, and is excited to renew her contract for the fall.

Katie Jewett - Educator/Deckhand

Katie grew up in Mill Valley, California. In high school, she worked as a deckhand aboard the Angel Island-Tiburon Ferry, which opened her eyes to the beauty of the marine environment and a life of working on the water. She joined her college sailing team and sailed competitively for two years while pursuing a major in human biology with a specific focus in marine policy and science communications at Stanford University. Her junior year she studied for a semester with the Williams-Mystic Maritime Studies Program in Mystic Seaport, Connecticut. After graduation, Katie joined her first tall ship crew aboard the Schooner Adventuress, where she sailed throughout Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands. Since then, she has focused on ocean issues by completing several short film documentaries, the most recent for the Southern Environmental Law Center in Alabama on the Gulf Oil Spill. She is happy to be home and sailing the waters that first ignited her interest in marine conservation. In addition, Katie works for the California Game Wardens Foundation to help build community support through social media outreach. She enjoys skiing, environmental film-making, and taking her dog, Charlie, to the beach.