Alex Brodie-Fleet Manager/Captain/ Naturalist, is a native of Hawaii where his family still resides. He lived on the Monterey Peninsula for many years before moving to Santa Barbara. While attending the University of California at Santa Barbara, Alex had an internship with Island Packers. After earning his Environmental Studies Degree, he worked aboard a research ship for the University of Hawaii. Alex has traveled extensively, worked in a wide variety of ocean-related businesses, and operated many different types of vessels. He started working full-time at Island Packers in 1990. When not working, Alex loves to spend time with family, surf, travel, ski, and backpack. He is passionate about the ocean and loves sharing its wonders with others.
Andrea Mills- Education Coordinator/Crew/Naturalist, is from Malibu Lake, California and has been on the Island Packers team since 1998. Prior to her current position, Andrea ran the educational programs for the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. She loves everything ocean related as well as being in the mountains. Andrea has a passion for sharing her love of the Channel Islands. She is passionate about getting future generations hooked on this special place. She wants young visitors to see what the world around them has to offer. She holds a Bachelors’ degree in Marine Biology as well as multiple teaching credentials. Andrea studied at both the University of California at Santa Barbara, and California State University at Channel Islands.
Dave Corey – Captain/Naturalist, began working for Island Packers in March 2001. He has an extensive background working on ocean vessels. At the young age of 12, Dave worked on a commercial salmon fishing boat in Alaska. Later he skippered both whale watching and dive boats in Maui, Hawaii. He has also run dive and fishing boats in Santa Barbara, California. When Dave is not working as captain for Island Packers he is an avid and low-handicap golfer, he likes to surf and play softball, but most of all he enjoys being a dad.
Jimmy McWaters – Lead Captain/Naturalist, has worked for Island Packers since 2003 and is a self-described "jack-of-all-trades” and Renaissance man. He is an artist, mechanic, electrician and IT specialist. Jimmy has spent many years around the Channel Islands and has even circumnavigated the waters from Anacapa to San Miguel Island by kayak! If you’re ever on the Island Adventure ferry, be sure to note the artistic use of non-skid on the decks. Jimmy also enjoys making craft beer and hard cider and has created an aquaponics aquarium and enjoys gardening.
Joel Barrett – Captain/Naturalist, joined Island Packers in 2004. Besides being a USCG licensed captain he is also a registered nurse, active birder, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology. Joel helps to arrange Island Packers bird watching trips throughout the year. He leads hikes on all the Channel Islands and enjoys surfing, hiking, traveling, and other outdoor pursuits.
Luke Dutton – Captain/Naturalist, joined the Island Packers team in 2010. He is a USCG licensed captain and a world traveler. Luke has a wealth of maritime experience from working on a cruise ship to running a paddle wheeler on Lake Tahoe. He loves the outdoors and enjoys snowboarding, rock climbing, mountain hiking, and of course traveling. Luke is always smiling and gives excellent advice to visitors on how to get the most out of their visit to the Channel Islands National Park.
Lee Fleischer – Captain/Crew/Naturalist, is from Vermont, but grew up near Boston where he taught himself to sail. Lee joined the Island Packers in 2006 and thinks operating a high-speed power catamaran is one of the best jobs ever! Lee has an MBA and worked many years in executive management. He also ran sailing school for Santa Barbara Sailing Center and helped develop the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum. Lee loves the Channel Islands and sharing his knowledge with visitors. He enjoys golfing, guitar and watching Formula 1 racing. Lee lives to explore what’s around the next corner..
Pancho Mayoral – Captain/Crew/Naturalist, joined Island Packers in 2011. He has an extensive background in ocean related activities as well as extensive marine knowledge. He has years of experience as a kayak instructor in both Baja, California as well as Alaska. Pancho is part of a team that annually tags turtles in Baja, as part of a long-term study. He has been a whale-watching guide in Baja and outdoor education instructor. He is always improving his knowledge of whales and uses this vast knowledge as a captain and crew for Island Packers. When not working, Pancho enjoys kayaking, fishing and spending time with his family.
Jean Scholes – Captain/Crew/Naturalist, is from Bernie, California and joined the Island Packers team in 1997. She earned her degree in Marine Science from UC Santa Barbara. She has worked as a research diver and marine science teacher. She continues to teach marine science and enjoys educating people about the Channel Islands. Jean is an outdoor enthusiast who loves to explore nature. She also loves to spend time with her daughter and family.
DeeDee Beaman – Crew/Naturalist/Educator, has worked for Island Packers since 2005. She recently married her high school sweetheart on the Island Packers boat, the Vanguard. She enjoys educating students and the public who visit the Channel Islands. DeeDee is all about sharing her knowledge and passion for the local ocean and environment. She also works as a science technician in Marine Studies and Geology at Oxnard College.
Lisa Anderson –Naturalist/Educator/Cruise Director, joined Island Packers in 2002 after running a SCUBA diving business with her husband. It included contract work for Island Packers running whale watching and local island trips. She is an educator naturalist that leads hikes on all the islands. Lisa is a member of the “All 8 Island Club”. An exceptional athlete; Lisa has run 50 marathons, participates in triathlons and half Ironman competitions. She’s currently training for a full Ironman this autumn. Lisa is married to her husband, Al with 3 children; Nicholas, Jackson and Lena.
Laurie VanStee – Crew/Naturalist/ Educator, joined Island Packers in 2007. She holds a degree from Cal Poly, in Ecology and Systematic Biology. Laurie has a Masters of Science in Environmental Education from Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. With her extensive environmental fieldwork experience, Laurie recently completed a position as a naturalist and tour guide in Baja California, Mexico educating visitors about the annual Gray Whale migration to the lagoons. As an avid birder with many years of environmental field study, Laurie finds her work on the Channel Islands rewarding, educational and fun. In her free time Laurie enjoys both mountain and road biking.
Paul Belgum – Crew/Naturalist, has worked for Island Packers since 2012. He is a recently retired secondary teacher from Ventura Unified School District . Paul volunteers for the Ventura County Search and Rescue. He is also an accomplished musician and singer and even plays on Island Packers Harbor Cruises. His love for the Channel Islands comes through when he is leading hikes for both the public as well as students.
Jackie Lockhart – Deckhand/Naturalist/Educator, is from Irvine, California and has been working at Island Packers since 2013. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in biology from California State University Channel Islands. While in college, Jackie’s studies focused on ecology evolution and organic biology as well as chemistry. She is currently pursuing an education as an emergency medical technician. When not working and studying, Jackie enjoys her love of the outdoors including snorkeling, hiking and photography. This busy lady also finds time to volunteer at a local hospital. She is passionate about discovering the world around her and helping people.
Dave Newman – Deckhand, is a Ventura native. He joined the Island Packers team in 2015. Dave’s love of travel has taken him around the globe. A long time visitor to the Channel Islands, Dave likes sharing his knowledge with visitors. In addition to traveling, he enjoys photography and taking pictures of the local environment during his travels. He also enjoys surfing, mountain biking and rock climbing.
Joe Honsey - Deckhand, started working for Island Packers in 2015. Prior to coming to Island Packers Joe worked as a kayak guide in Alaska and Lake Superior. Joe has BA in Fine Arts and enjoys mountain biking and kayaking in his free time. Joe enjoys assisting our guests to make the most out of their visit to this beautiful national park.
Leanne Kleinsmith-Crew/Naturalist is a Ventura County native. Although she has spent years in the Real Estate business working as an Appraiser, she has always wanted to work at Island Packers and was able to join us in 2016. She loves being on the water and is very passionate about the Channel Islands. She loves animals and nature so she is currently studying for her Wildlife Biology degree.. Leanne enjoys being outdoors in her free time and you can find her kayaking, snorkeling and fishing . She loves to snowboard in the mountains.
Nate Melling – Deckhand, is originally from San Jose, CA. He also works as a wildlife biologist for the Institute for Wildlife Studies on the Channel Islands. Nate has a wealth of knowledge about the Channel Islands National Park. He has a great sense of humor and enjoys interacting and educating passengers as they head out to visit the islands. He is also an avid birder. In his free time he enjoys rock climbing, and BBQ sauce.
Tim Brown-Deckhand, is an Oxnard, CA native. He worked on the Sunfish in Channel Islands Harbor as a deckhand and kayak guide at Anacapa Island before joining Island Packers in 2015. He has also worked on the Scarlet Belle as a deckhand. In his free time he enjoys surfing, fishing, and hiking. Tim loves the outdoors. He has also stayed busy by obtaining his EMT and is now looking towards earning his captain’s license. He is very passionate about both photography and surfing.
Joe Honsey - Deckhand/Naturalist Joe grew up on the mean streets of Des Moines, Iowa. As an escape from the distractions and hardships of urban life, Joe spent his childhood exploring the Iowa back country where he developed a love of the outdoors. After graduating from the University of Iowa with BA in studio art, Joe left the Hawkeye state to start a T-shirt company in Costa Rica; an endeavor that quickly failed. After nearly a year in Central America, Joe returned to the Midwest to guide kayak trips on the north shore of Lake Superior before moving to Alaska and then Los Angeles, where he worked briefly in the film and television industry. Urban life again became a drain and Joe moved to more relaxed Ventura county where he started working for Island Packers. In his free time, Joe enjoys mountain biking and kayaking. He is passionate about the ocean, and preserving marine ecosystems
Mike Volaski - Deckhand/Naturalist Mike has worked as a deckhand at Island Packers since 2017. He was born and raised in Oxnard, California and graduated from Oxnard High School. After high school, Mike attended Ventura College where he played baseball, and graduated in 2015 with an Associate’s degree in Social Science. After Ventura College, he transferred to Rider University in New Jersey where he played Division I baseball and obtained a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
Coming from a local family steeped in the boating industry, Mike has worked on boats his entire life, loves to be on the ocean and has recently completed all requirements to receive his 100-ton captains license. In his free time Mike enjoys fishing, camping, and going to the gym.
Lindsay Hart - Deckhand/Naturalist/Educator Lindsay is from Santa Barbara, California and joined the Island Packers team in 2017. She holds a BS in Aquatic Fisheries and Sciences from the University of Washington. Lindsay has grown up commercially fishing for sockeye salmon in Alaska with her family. She has scuba dove all of the northern Channel Islands and is enjoying the opportunity to explore the topside terrain of the national park. She loves sharing her passion and knowledge about the local ocean and environment.
Joe Newman - Deckhand/Naturalist Joe comes to Island Packers by way of the travel typical of military families, arriving in Ventura in 1997. Before bringing his talents to the Island Packer crew, Joe had a “high wire act,” as a rope technician who performed repairs hundreds of feet in the air on wind turbine blades around the nation. Since joining Island Packers, Joe has come to appreciate the contribution he makes in in creating lifelong memories for his fellow nature enthusiasts visiting Channel Islands National Park. With a passion to “do whatever I have to do to stay inspired,” Joe spends his free time in many ways, including indulging in water sports, playing in the mountains, riding bikes, rock hounding and landscaping.