Meet Island Packers Cruises
Meet the Fleet
Three of our vessels were designed by naval architect Nic De Waal of Technicraft, New Zealand. They were built by All American Marine in Bellingham, Washington. These are foil assisted catamarans with unique asymmetrical planning hulls that combined with a fixed hydrofoil system and wave piercing bow allow them to maintain high cruising speeds even in inclement weather. They are also very fuel efficient and therefore create less greenhouse gasses than other similarly sized vessels.
The twin hulls mean less roll, and a smoother ride. The boats are built of marine grade aluminum which is easy to maintain, and they are recyclable! We began using a silicon based, non-toxic bottom paint several years ago. This “slippery” paint not only keeps marine growth from accumulating on the hulls, it also lowers the hull friction and has increased fuel efficiency. Our most recent boat, the Island Explorer, uses a vinyl coating instead of paint for the hull sides and house. This easy to repair product does not give off any dangerous Volatile Organic Compounds during application.
The Vanguard was designed and built for our local waters. Designed by a local naval architect and built in Oxnard by the late Captain Glen Galbraith, she has been a valuable part of our fleet since 1991. Like our catamarans, the Vanguard is powered by the latest in electronically controlled diesel engines. These low emission engines are fuel efficient, and have virtually no “diesel odor”. The large upper sundeck for wildlife viewing and intimate atmosphere make this one of the favorites for our regular customers.
Sister ships: Islander built 2001 and Island Adventure built 2003
Length 65’, width 24’, draft 6’
Passenger Capacity: 149, Crew: 4
Main deck seating: Inside, 67 (56 at tables); Outside, 24
Upper deck: Under Cover 38; Outside 20.
Many of the seats are removable to accommodate wheelchairs, or dance floor.
Engines: (2) Cummins QSK19, 750 hp
Generator: (1) Northern Lights 12kw
Top speed light: 27 knots; cruising speed laden: 20 knots,
Island Explorer :
Year built 2013
Length 65’; width 26’; draft 6’
Passenger Capacity: 149, Crew: 4
Main deck Seating: Inside, 75 (65 at tables); Outside, 30
Upper deck: under cover, 38; outside, 26.
Many of the seats are removable to accommodate wheel chairs, or dance floor.
Engines (2) Cummins QSK19, 800 hp
Generator (1) Northern Lights 12kw
Top speed light: 27 knots; cruising speed laden: 20 knots
AV equipment: 14 speaker PA system with wired and wireless microphones. Sirius/XM radio, CD player, PC based DVD/power point capability with (3) monitors in main cabin
Galley: Freezer, Refrigerator with draft beer system, (2) microwaves, sink with hot and cold water, water filter system, coffee maker, instant hot water
Two restrooms, one over sized for wheelchairs.
Year built 1991
Length 65’; width 18’; draft 5’
Passenger Capacity: 81, Crew: 3
Main deck Seating: Inside, 20; Outside 50.
Upper deck: 20.
Engines (2) Cummins QSM 11, 350 hp
Generator (1) Northern Lights 20kw
Top speed light: 18 knots; cruising speed laden: 14 knots
AV equipment: PA system, CD player
Galley: freezer, refrigerator, microwave, sink with hot and cold water, coffee maker, instant hot water
Meet the Crew
Alex Brodie-Fleet Manager/Captain/ Naturalist Alex 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/Mate/Naturalist Andrea 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 Dave 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.
Joel Barrett – Captain/Naturalist Joel joined Island Packers in 2004. Besides being a USCG licensed captain he is also an 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 Luke 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.
Pancho Mayoral – Captain/Naturalist Pancho 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.
Paige Knowles – Captain/Naturalist Paige joined the Island Packers team in 2009 and since has earned her 100-ton USCG license. As a naturalist she leads hikes on all five islands in the Channel Islands National Park and works with many school children who come to the islands to learn and explore. Paige has previously worked as a kayak guide, glacier guide in Alaska, rock climbing guide and a blacksmith. She is also an accomplished musician presently learning the ukulele.
Jean Scholes – Mate/Naturalist/Educator Jean is from Bernie, California and joined the Island Packers team in 1997. She earned her degree in Marine Science from U.C. 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 – Deckhand/Naturalist/Educator DeeDee 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 –Deckhand/Naturalist/Educator Lisa 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. Lisa is married to her husband, Al with 3 children; Nicholas, Jackson and Lena.
Laurie VanStee – Mate/Naturalist/Educator Laurie 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.
Dave Newman – Mate/Naturalist/Educator Dave 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 Mate/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
Lindsay Hart – Mate/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 – Mate/Naturalist/Educator 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.
Brittney Hamm – Deckhand/Naturalist/Educator Brittney joined the Island Packer team in 2018. Originally from Simi Valley, CA., Brittney attended Hawaii Pacific University where she received a bachelor’s degree in marine biology. Brittney has spent time traveling between Hawaii, California, and Canada, where she has worked in a variety of short-term jobs including teaching at a paint studio. Of Island Packers, Brittney says “It’s a great company! Everyone is super nice and welcoming and really cares about you and the Channel Islands! Plus, who wouldn’t love spending a day on the ocean watching whales and hiking the islands?” In her free time Brittney enjoys rock climbing, camping, painting, and playing guitar and piano.
Jaime McClain – Deckhand/Naturalist Jaime joined Island Packers in 2016. Originally from Cardiff, California, Jaime holds a degree from Humboldt State University in Biology. She has worked as a Marine Science Educator and SCUBA instructor on Catalina Island, acted as a Commercial Fisheries Observer in Oregon, was Surf Instructor in Nicaragua, and Research Diver for the Channel Islands National Park. Jaime is passionate and loves sharing her knowledge about marine ecology, maritime history, and our local California Channel Islands. Outside of work you can usually find Jaime surfing or exploring our underwater environment.
Dani Thole – Deckhand/Naturalist/Educator Dani joined Island Packers in the spring of 2019. She is originally from the Bay Area but moved to Ventura after living on the East Coast (Philadelphia) for a few years. She has a degree in Photography and experience in rowing. She was on the rowing team in college and coached rowing on both coasts of the United States. Dani loves to travel, read, camp, hike and hang out with her two beloved German Shepherds. Island Packers is delighted to have her in our Education Department as her passion for teaching children about why healthy oceans matter really shines through. She loves her job and the opportunity to interact with people from all over the world. Dani is passionate about leading hikes and educating the public about our islands. She loves that she exchanges knowledge with our guests from kids to our senior passengers. IPCO is a challenging and rewarding job and she loves her coworkers and spending her workdays on the ocean!
Stuart Young – Deckhand/Naturalist/Educator Stu, an Englishman, has recently returned to IPCO after a 20-year hiatus as an educator for students with learning and behavioral disabilities. He brings a passion for the outdoors and enjoys helping others connect to the natural world, especially the Santa Barbara coast and Channel Islands National Park. Stu’s experience as a kayak guide and diving instructor has brought him into close contact with local wildlife and has kindled a desire to advocate for and protect them. When not teaching and writing, Stu can be found on his paddle board, kayak, or hiking local trails with his wife and two teenage kids. He has an interest in wilderness medicine and is currently learning native survival crafts. And no, he’s not Australian!
Holly S. Lohuis – Deckhand/Naturalist/Educator Holly is a marine educator and naturalist in the Santa Barbara area and is thrilled to be back with Island Packers after spending the last 18 years working and diving alongside with Jean-Michel Cousteau and his Ocean Futures Society expedition team. Holly started with Island Packers just out of college where she graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara with a degree in Aquatic Biology. Working with Island Packers from 1992 to 1999 and now back as of 2019, Holly loves working on the boats and exploring the islands with visitors, sharing all the great conservation recovery stories of these fragile island ecosystems and productive and rich marine environments.
Meet the Office Staff
Cherryl Connally – Co-owner Cherryl is a native of Ventura and graduate of Ventura College, has been with the family business for 47 years. In the beginning, she worked as a crew member on the boats and as a young adult, she worked for TIC Corporation with her father, Island Packers founder, Bill Connally. Cherryl has also worked as the marketing director for Ventura Harbor Village and for the non-profit organization Friends of the Channel Islands National Park. For fun, Cherryl enjoys kayaking, diving, hiking and boating but most of all loves spending time with her family especially her grandson.
Crystal Castro – Office Operations Manager Crystal is a Ventura native and has been on the Island Packers team since 1997. Prior to this job, Crystal was a student and worked as cashier for Andria’s Seafood Restaurant in Ventura Harbor. She earned an Associate’s degree from Ventura College in Liberal Arts and Sciences and is looking to further her education in Environmental Studies. She enjoys exploring her hometown and taking road trips. She especially enjoys exploring the great outdoors with her daughter. A nature lover, Crystal is extremely passionate about the environment and conserving our natural resources
Shanna Munoz- Assistant Office Operations Manager Shanna is a Seattle, Washington native where she studied Administration and Business at Bellevue College. She joined the Island Packers team in 2013. Shanna is passionate about helping customers and giving great service. She loves going to the Channel Islands and sharing her love of the islands with others, especially newcomers to the area. She also enjoys playing at the beach, kayaking, hiking, camping, reading and writing. Spending time with her friends/co-workers and her family are also very important to her. Shanna is an avid environmental conservationist and endeavors to leave the planet a better place for future generations. Shanna is also a volunteer for Channel Island Marine Wildlife Institute.
Jackee Salinas- Reservations Jackee is an Oxnard, California native. She is a bilingual speaker and has worked for Island Packers since the year 2000. Before her current position, she was a high school student and worked at her first job in the fast food industry. She enjoys marine wildlife and has even traveled to Mexico during the winter months to encounter the Gray Whales in the lagoons. Jackee loves to travel, especially to foreign countries and has explored Europe extensively. She truly enjoys immersing herself in the different cultures. Jackee holds an Associate of Arts degree in Business Administration from Santa Barbara Business College.
Monica Baker – Reservations/Group Charters Coordinator Monica was raised in Simi Valley, California. She joined the Island Packers team in 2000. Prior to her current position, Monica worked as a nanny, preschool teacher and camp counselor. She has a Bachelor’s in Psychology from San Diego State University and is currently continuing her education in teaching. She loves to explore nature and spending time at the beach. She also enjoys camping, embroidering and spending time with her family and friends. Her greatest passions are working with people, being a mom and teaching children.
Leah Ross – Accounts Receivable/Reservations/Senior Staff Leah is a Ventura, California native, has been working for Island Packers since 2006. Leah is a graduate of Ventura College, where she competed on the women’s soccer team. She enjoys surfing, snowboarding and traveling the world. Her biggest passion in life is caring for her three children and spending time with her husband..
Karon Hunnicutt – Reservationist/Retail, has lived in Ventura County for 30 years. Prior to joining the Island Packer team in 2014 she worked in accounting and sales. She was introduced to the Channel Islands through her son . Since joining Island Packers she has become an island enthusiast. Karon loves the outdoors and enjoys water skiing, hiking, snow skiing and camping.
Todd Taylor- Retail Todd is originally from Long Island, New York. He started at Island Packers in 2000. Prior to working here, he was a clerk in a retail store. Outside of work he is a very active member of his church. He also belongs to a bowling league and loves traveling especially to visit his family.
Cheri Ambrose-Reservations/Assistant Group Charters Coordinator, joined us in 2016 after being a customer on several Island Packer’s trips. She is originally from Detroit, Michigan but grew up in Arizona. She loved living in the Sonoran desert but has always wanted to live by the ocean and decided to make the move this past January. She has a lot of experience in customer service, anything from retail to banking. She is an amateur birder and loves seeing animals in their natural habitat.
Sandi Ozolins – Reservations Sandi started her life moving from another country, spent years moving packages, and is now helping to move people. Born in England, Sandi came to the US when she was 4. She brings her organizational skills and troubleshooting expertise honed from 22 years of working at UPS where she worked first as a driver before quickly moving into management. Joining the Island Packer team in 2018, Sandi is now able to share her lifelong love for the ocean and its wildlife with the many passengers at Island Packers. She enjoys the friendly environment and teamwork of the Island Packers office, she is passionate about spending time in nature, in the water, on the land and in the sky! Sandi’s favorite hobbies are swimming in the sea, golf, tennis, hiking and spending time with her adopted pup, Poipu.