Team | NW Explorations
Meet

THE TEAM

Entire Crew
Owner/Captain
Administration
Brokerage
Charters
Maintenance
United States
Berenis Burge
Accounting Assistant - present
United States
Talia Piper
Marine Technician 2021 - present
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FUN FACT: I didn’t get to see the ocean until I was 20 years old. When I finally made it to the coast I was mesmerized. I changed my entire life plan, packed up, sold my house, and never looked back.

BIO: I was born and raised in Colorado. I moved to the PNW to learn everything I could about boats and life on the water. I love my job and I feel so lucky to live in such a beautiful place!

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Sophia Knabb
Charter Coordinator 2023 - present
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FUN FACT: Sophia played college hockey in Missouri before returning home to Bellingham to finish her degree!

BIO: Sophia is currently a student at WWU studying marine ecology. Originally from Boulder, CO, she moved to Bellingham in 2005. Growing up with a family who loved to explore the coast, she fell in love with spending her free time on the water. Eventually, being lucky enough to find a job where she gets to do just that!

Canada
Ross & Evie Tennant
Owners 2017 - present
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FUN FACT: In college, Ross worked as a logger in Haida Gwaii, but after meeting Evie wanted to work closer to home in Victoria and took a job driving old, British Leyland double-decker buses for the summers.

BIO: Ross and Evie met when they were 17 and have been together for 40 years. They have three grown boys and granddaughter they are nuts about. Family times revolve around boating and skiing. Ross’s career was in the software and technology sector (Canada and US), with a transition 15 years ago into land development. Evie focused on creating a great home environment for their family.

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Patricia Brown
Charter Sales & Marketing 2023 - present
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BIO: Born in Boston, MA and raised in Houston, TX. Mix the Yankee with the South and add the PNW, you’ve now met Patti Brown. Her and her husband moved to Bellingham in 2009 and have never looked back. She, along with her husband and daughter, Parker, love to sail and love the local cruising grounds. Having a passion for food, she is also the owner of Galley Girls, a catering/provisioning company for pleasure vessels. She grew up with a life on the water from Nantucket to Lake Houston and now calls the Puget Sound her home. She’s excited to be part of the NWE team!

Canada
Sophia Shi
Accounting Assistant 2024 - present
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FUN FACT: I like traveling with my family.

BIO: I was born and raised in China. I immigrated to Canada and have lived Victoria, BC for 4.5 years; I love living here by the ocean. I have a 10 year old boy who teaches me how to be a good Mom.

United States
Owen Brown
Director of Operations 2015 - present
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FUN FACT: Owen is an avid sailboat racer with two Newport to Cabo races (1st place), two crossings to Hawaii (2nd and 3rd places) and held a spot in the pro Farr40 fleet North American circuit.

BIO: Hailing from Nova Scotia, Owen moved to Bellingham in 2009. He lives aboard his 44’ sailboat with his wife, daughter and dogs. With a passion for cruising. they moved to California for 2 years aboard their Catalina 36' and returned to Bellingham with their current boat, delivering it all the way from Mexico. Owen holds his USCG OUPV Captain’s license and enjoys the surroundings of the San Juans.

Canada
Michael Labuschagne
Charter Sales 2023 - present
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FUN FACT: My birthplace and home, South Africa, boasts the famed "Big Five" – lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhinoceros – captivating hearts with its extraordinary wildlife diversity.

BIO: From Cape Town's shores, my Afrikaans heart longed for the sea. Now a Sales Charter Yacht Specialist, I fuse maritime passion with sales mastery, crafting unforgettable nautical experiences.

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Ben Oliver
Charter Service Writer 2016 - present
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FUN FACT: Ben is currently a student at Western Washington University, earning a degree in Plastics and Composites Engineering.

BIO: Ben grew up near Olympia, WA and later moved up to Bellingham to pursue higher education. Having been fortunate to live near the Puget Sound all of his life, he has undoubtedly found a love in boating. Up until recently Ben has only had experience with powerboats, however he hopes to soon expand that experience to include sailing.

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Scott Blake
Broker 1991 - present
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FUN FACT: Scott bought his first GB at 27, a 36 Sedan that he lived aboard, then being afflicted so young, bought five more of various sizes and models over the last 30 years. It's an incurable disease but fortunately not terminal.. :-

BIO: Scott has been with our company for 31 years, has been to the Grand Banks factory many times, has run boats and enjoyed our flotillas from San Diego to Prince William Sound and has helped hundreds of customers buy and sell Grand Banks and other cruising yachts. He has enjoyed cruising both his boats, RV's and motorcycles and has traveled the world a bit, with some fun warm water diving in some lovely spots...everyday is an adventure in life.

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Ken Bowles
Broker 2010 - present
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FUN FACT: Ken entered the boating life at the age of 5 on east coast lakes aboard his family’s Catalina 30 houseboat—basically a tiny mobile home on an aluminum hull with a Johnson 40hp outboard stuck on the stern.

BIO: Growing up around boats, Ken has cruised the Intracoastal Waterway, sailed the Bahamas and Virgin Islands and spent that last 20 years enjoying the amazing cruising grounds of the Salish Sea. He and his wife have raised three daughters on the two Grand Banks they have owned since arriving in the PNW and have their sights set on The Great Loop one of these days. Ken holds a Coast Guard OUPV license.

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Dane Bahr
Marine Technician - present
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Alan Conger
Marine Technician - present
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Jonathan Gant
Parts Coordinator 2023 - present
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FUN FACT: Jonathan spent many years working in hockey. He has worked for the NCAA D1, ECHL, WHL, and NHL teams.

BIO: Jonathan was born in Alberta and is a dual citizen of Canada and the US. He moved from Alaska to Bellingham with his family in 2018. Jonathan lives with his wife and two daughters in Sudden Valley, He enjoys playing hockey and exploring the PNW with his family.

United States
Tara Mace
Detailing Lead - present
Canada
Warren Penner
Shore Support 2021 - present
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FUN FACT: I find it difficult to decide which is better: sailing or riding motorcycles.

BIO: Fixing stuff and fabricating stuff makes me happy.

United States
Daniel Armstrong
Marine Technician 2023 - present
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Dominique D’Amour
Charter Adminstration 2024 - present
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FUN FACT: Ice hockey goalie for the last 15 years, now coaching U13/U18 hockey in Bellingham, WA. If I'm not at work, you'll find me at the rink.

BIO: Originally from South Florida, near the Florida Keys, I embraced marine adventures from a young age, snorkeling and diving with my father, a diving instructor. After high school in Bellingham, WA, I briefly returned to Florida but missed the Pacific Northwest. When COVID-19 hit, I returned to Bellingham, eager to be back on the water. Despite colder temperatures, being back on the water brings me immense joy.

Canada
Rob Bombardir
Broker 2022 - present
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FUN FACT: I like to sing country music and do a mean Donald Duck.

BIO: I have always loved boats and people, I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world and on the door step to Desolation sound. Buying my first boat at 18 yrs old and always being on the water it was a very easy decision for me to come and work with NW explorations.

United States
Tarilyn McSorley
Detail Specialist - present
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Steve Nordtvedt
Broker 2019 - present
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FUN FACT: Born during the Battle of Midway, Steve is convinced his arrival on this earth was the key factor in turning the tide of war in the Pacific.

BIO: Steve first worked at Uniflite, rising to division GM. He was CEO of Nordic Yachts, builder of sailing & power yachts. He was PM at Dakota Creek Ind., building high-speed ferries. Steve joined Titan Corp as Program Manager, building X-Craft, an advanced technology ship for the US Navy, 272-ft 50-knot catamaran. Currently, he supports the owners of the many vessels he has enjoyed building.

Lucas MacDonald Headshot
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Lucas MacDonald
Lead Technician 2013 - present
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FUN FACT: Lucas once drove a VW Bus from Fairbanks (-12 degrees) to Phoenix (110 degrees) in eight days, driving backwards through the seasons along the way.

BIO: At 9 weeks, Lucas started crawling around boats in Minnesota and things haven't changed much. He moved to Washington and became an ABYC Certified Master Marine Technician at the Skagit Valley College Marine Technology Center. When he's not working on customer's boats, he tries to be out on (or working on) his boat or enjoying the rest the PNW has to offer.

United States
Matt Johnson
Marine Technician 2021 - present
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FUN FACT: I've worked as Global Outreach Coordinator managing volunteers around the world for a global marine conservation organization. I hold an MA in Leadership and Education, and I'm an award winning art director in animation.

BIO: Originally from Tennessee, I moved to the PNW in 1996 in search of cooler weather, mountains, and salt air. I love road trips into the mountains in search of rivers to swim in, hot springs to soak in, and to the coast for beaches to comb. I try to make it to Vancouver Island as often as I can for city trips into Victoria, and getaways to places like Tofino and Cortes Island (in search of wild wolves). I attended the Marine Maintenance program at Skagit Valley College and earned my certificate in Marine electrical as well as my NMEA and ABYC certifications.

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Debbie Curry
Staff Account 2017 - present
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FUN FACT: I love to decorate cakes in my spare time!

BIO: Born and raised in a small town in Missouri moved to WA in 2000 and have been here ever since. I have two grown sons and a 4 year old granddaughter. I love the ocean and whale watching. In my spare time I love spending time with my family.

Canada
Lee Chapoton
Marketing Manager 2020 - present
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FUN FACT: If he could have any super power, Lee would want to speak every language known to man. Unsure as to why, but thinks it'd be fun.

BIO: Lee grew up on and around boats in Louisiana where his family owned a seafood business. After graduating high school, he spent the better part of his adult life working on various aircraft in the U.S. Air Force. After marrying a girl from Canada, and two college degrees later, he is now back working around boats once again, this time in colder and deeper waters, and with far less alligators.

United States
Wyatt Piper
Marine Technician 2021 - present
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Gina Crovetto
Charter Manager 2021 - present
Canada
Bruce Richmond
Marine Technician - present
United States
Oliver Brown
Detail Technician - present
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Matt Clark
Service Manager 2023 - present
United States
Jen Haaland
Senior Technician 2013 - present
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FUN FACT: In addition to being an ABYC Master Mechanic, Jen has a BA in Fine Arts from Seattle University.

BIO: Jen received her marine training from the Skagit Valley College Marine Maintenance Technology program and holds ABYC certifications in Marine Electrical, Corrosion, Gasoline, and Diesel Engines. She specializes in AC and DC electrical troubleshooting and has a passion for labeling.

United States
Randy Nulle
Broker 2019 - present
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FUN FACT: Randy was part of a team that delivered the first ever charter boats to the kingdom of Tonga. The trip from Tampa, FL to Tonga was over 8,000 miles.

BIO: BIO: Randy has worked as a delivery skipper, a sailing instructor and is one of our current Power Boat instructors. He has raced twice from Los Angeles to Hawaii as well as many races & deliveries up and down the Pacific coast from Mexico to BC. He has transited the Panama Canal, sailed the south Pacific and is currently a USCG licensed captain. He's a 40 year veteran of the boating industry and has spent equal time in both the power and sail industries.