Meet our Boat Pilots
Meet the diverse range of local pilots that we partner with in each location.
Damir is in fact a renowned windsurfer who competed internationally as well as a merchant seaman who skippered boats throughout the globe before settling down in Sibenik and being the skipper on our Croatia Dalmatian Coast trip. He is a very experienced local skipper and he and his boat “Luce” have probably been down the Sibenik Channel more times than anybody.
Damir has been skippering for SwimTrek in Croatia since 2004.
Mustafa has been living on boats since he was a child and this shows as he seems to know every other seafarer we come across. It’s hard to mention Mustafa without also mentioning Zeynep his hard working wife. Together the 2 of them form a formidable team skippering our clients on our Turkish Lycian Way swims. They are warm and friendly and have a great strike record for spotting dolphins.
Mustafa has been skippering for SwimTrek in Turkey since 2010.
Petar is a very experienced local skipper who has been taking tourists on boat excursions in Montenegro for over 30 years. He has always had a love for the sea and boats. When he isn’t the skipper on his boat called “Orca” you will find him either fishing or diving.
Petar has been piloting for SwimTrek since 2016 and will be skippering in Montenegro.
Based out of Porto Petro in south-east Mallorca, Sebastian skippers on our south-east Mallorca trips. A keen amateur fisherman he can sometimes be spotted fishing while we’re anchored up in a local bay. His favourite waters of where we swim is the Mondrago National Park.
Sebastian has been skippering for SwimTrek in the South-East of Mallorca since 2011.
Pedro David López Martínez
Based in La Paz in Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, Pedro has been coming to the island of Espiritu Santo for years. He guides a number of walks here introducing the flora and fauna of this generally uninhabited island. He’s also great at spotting seals.
Pedro has been skippering for SwimTrek in Baja since 2010.
Damulis, our boat pilot in Crete, opened the Notos Mare dive school in 2004. As a qualified PADI instructor, he has intimate knowledge of Crete’s underwater scenery. Damulis knows all the secret spots from years of exploring in his boats and escorting divers along the south west coast of the island. He is also experienced in rescuing stranded tankers and plaiting ladies hair! His dive boat and support boats all have sturdy ladders so there’s no need to clamber over the side.
Damulis has been skippering for SwimTrek in Crete since 2015.
Ben has been piloting for SwimTrek in the British Virgin Islands since 2016. He has been working for Sunchaser Scuba since 2010 and is a PADI Dive Instructor from England. Ben has been teaching diving since 2007 and has worked in various locations including Thailand, Mexico and Costa Rica. The boat that he pilots is called Miss Lavelle.
Husband and wife pairing of Skipper Antonis and Eleni crew their relaxing 50 foot sailing yacht. They like nothing better than showing off the cliffs, caves, nooks and crannies of the Milos coastline. Eleni prepares fresh lunch for guests between swims. If the conditions are right, Antonis raises the sails for the wind to fill and take you home after your day’s swimming.
Antonis has been skippering for SwimTrek in Milos since 2015.
I started kayaking as a teenager on the River Dee in Chester and trained as an outdoor instructor in the Lake District. Since then I have led a variety of adventurous activities here in the UK, as well as in New Zealand and Australia. As a freelancer, I work with all age groups and in many different environments so an average week might well involve ghyll scrambling, abseiling or climbing, a mountain experience of some sort, and some canoeing or kayaking on white water. I have a particular interest in working with cold water swimmers: this began in 2007 when I first provided canoe support for Swim Trek trips in the Western Lake District. I have also worked independently supporting long distance swimmers; 'extreme triathletes'; those training for particular events, including Channel crossings, and social swimming groups keen to be guided in lochs, lakes and rivers.
In my spare time, I plan adventures of my own – most recently on the West Coast of Scotland in an open canoe – and my companion on the water was a Chocolate Labrador, Bruno, who has met many swimming groups and has featured in the infamous Swim Trek Photo Gallery!
You may be pleased to know that I can also swim and I thoroughly enjoy swimming in wild places up high in the hills, amongst the breaking surf and in Lakeland rivers.