Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Adventure Antigua Team

Adventure Antigua has needed an updated crew blog for some time. Many of the old team have moved on to bigger and better things with skills they gleaned with our team and today we are proud to have another excellent fresh team who have been getting nothing but excellent, rave reviews on Tripadvisor and other online sites.
I am still here of course and in case you are new to Adventure Antigua, I (eli fuller) started this company using a small open, locally built boat back in 1999. I took a max of four people a day out on a tour i called "the eco tour". The tour is carefully designed to replicate adventures that I got up to with my siblings and cousins in the North Sound of Antigua. That's me on the far left sometime back in the very early 80s.
dad, eli, ali, & nell

Also shown in the image above and in a better one below is Nell Fuller, my sister, and the person who maintains a link between the hotels and our company. Nell has been with Adventure Antigua for years and years and know the internal mechanics of it better than anyone. It's not always easy getting info about our tours to the guests that visit Antigua and Nell's job is a very challenging one indeed. She also takes most of our bookings that come in over the phone. She answers the phone 24 hours a day!

Also involved in working with the hotels but more involved with working with guests before they actually get to Antigua is Julia Fuller, my sister in law. Julia answers most of the hundreds of emails we get each week and spends quite a bit of time behind the computer as you can imagine. It's been a while since I have seen her on the boat actually (makes note). Here you see her with her son and my nephew, Alexander Jr., a third generation North Sound Fuller kid.

Also not getting on the boats nearly enough is the person who really keeps the business glued together. My mom, Jill Fuller, runs the office side of things. Thank goodness because I am not nearly as good as she is at keeping track of everything that is going on behind the scenes. She is one of those people who finds a few more hours in each day and when she's not working for us she manages to find time to do councelling. Read more about that part of her career here. She also finds time to be an artist too!! See some of her work here.  

Another family member who is part of the team is Ross Bloomfield, my (slightly) younger cousin. Ross was born in Antigua and grew up on Dutchmans Bay like the rest of us had done and spent his time as a youngster exploring all the islands and reefs of the North Sound. Like most of my team, he is more at home on the beach and in the sea and on land. He spent quite a bit of time in the UK going to school and then came back a few years ago with a Yacht Masters under his belt. He is a great captain and a natural guide showing people his beautiful home out on the water.


Another skipper on the team is Captain JD Hall. JD is a veteran Adventure Antigua hero like Ross spends most of his free time out on the water. I mean, you know you are in the right type of work when you go boating on your day off and that is what you do when you work! His family has a long tradition of going to sea here in Antigua and I don't think there has been a fishing tournament at any time over the past 40 years when one of the Halls wasn't taking home a trophy. They all learn about boating as kids and JD is probably one of the best at it. He's comfortable at the helm of either a powerboat or a sailing vessel.

Another Adventure Antigua veteran and one of my oldest friends is Trevor Erskine. Trevor and I spent quite a bit of time racing against each other during windsurfing competitions both here in Antigua and internationally. Trevor is another person who is at home on the water. That being said, you will also see him on land wherever there is a good cricket match going on. Until recently he spent most summers in the UK playing county cricket. On the pitch he's an all rounder scoring sixes and fours with ease and then later will be smashing wickets with fierce bowling. He now plays with the Stingray City gang for Seatons here in Antigua.
He has worked in the hospitality industry for over 20 years and is the perfect tour guide while you are visiting Antigua. We are lucky to have him with us in our team because just like when he's playing cricket, Trevor is an all rounder on the tours as well. 

Nicola Nash joined the team a few years ago and we are so lucky that she did. Nicola is our main Eco and marine biology aficionado. She has represented Adventure Antigua at a recent Whale Watching conference in Panama, sits on the Environmental Awareness Group as a board member, spends heaps of time volunteering at night for the Turtle Project here in Antigua, and is always there to help when there are any eco type things going on. She loves nothing more than snorkeling and being in the water though. Her favorite thing in the world is the octopus, but she's passionate about all the other marine and terrestrial animals. She is our main Eco Tour guide and is perfect for the job as you can imagine. Originally from the USA, she lives full time here on island now.

The other lady team member working on the boats full time is Natalie Fuchs. Natalie also grew up spending most of her time in the North Sound. I remember seeing her take some of her first steps on the beach where I grew up. Dutchmans Bay was where her Dad and I windsurfed most days and Natalie was often there with her brother and her mom. She is an extremely talented and artistic makeup artist and cosmetologist but after quite a bit of perseverance we managed to get her to join the team. She is a natural tour guide on our tours because like JD, Ross and I, she grew up doing this. Showing people the beautiful aspects of our off shore islands, secluded bays and interesting reefs is something that she has done all of her life and you can see her passion when you are on the tour. This kind of "work" is fun for her!  


Jourdain Smith also joined the Adventure Antigua team recently and has shown to be very dedicated. Jourdain was working with the luxury Galley Bay Resort but wanted to be on the water more. He would see us passing the hotel each day and after getting powerboat course under his belt he approached us about being part of our group. We were happy to have him and like the rest of our team, Jourdain can be found on the water when he's having a day off. He owns a small powerboat which he goes fishing and snorkeling from whenever he gets time off work.

Noel Dubery is the newest member of the team. I first met him when I was general manager of the sports center in Jolly Harbour way back in 1998. He was a 15 year old kid who spent all his free time on the beach or out boating. When he was 17 he got a good job working as first mate with one of the premier private charter boat companies. It didn't take long before he was skippering and within a short time he was traveling with the owner to work with their day charter operation in Italy during the summers. Within no time he learned fluent Italian. After a few years he went on to work with the St. James club and ran many of their boats but the was the main skipper for Suzie Q, their sport fishing boat. Deep sea fishing is Noel's favorite thing to do and he is an excellent fisherman and boat skipper. Recently the St. James Club decided to get out of sport fishing charters and Noel parted with them to do some marine mechanic courses. We convinced him to come and be part of our organization and Noel is currently working in various positions within our company. He is as comfortable driving the boat as he is snorkeling or guiding. He is a great all rounder and we are delighted to have him with the company.

Itano Bachelor is working part time with us at the moment as he has started a little company of his own. I first met him when he worked at Sunsail's resort on the island here. He is a sailing lover and is an excellent tour guide. He worked full time with us for a few years and is now a great person to call on when we need an extra hand.

Of course there are many others who help to make it possible for us to provide what we feel are the best tours on offer here in Antigua. Thanks to you all!