Captain Dan Szymczak has been enamored of the sea since his grandfather, a fisherman and clammer, first showed him a chart of Long Island Sound. Dan spent his youth in southern Connecticut on both fresh and saltwater kayaking, sailing, and fishing. His love of water sports, craft cocktails, and trivia will help make your vacation unparalleled.
While teaching English literature and public speaking at several colleges in New York City, Dan couldn’t help but feel the desire to be on the water, and this led to his career in yachting, working on a schooner in Manhattan. He then transitioned into eco-tourism, where he wowed guests by driving them to see cracking glaciers and breeching whales in Southeast Alaska and mega pods with thousands of dolphins in the Baja peninsula. He’s also an accomplished expedition leader, leading hikes to spot local wildlife, and he has extensive knowledge of both birds and sea life alike.
Dan first met Chutney on a delivery from South Florida to Newport, and since then, they’ve been inseparable. And together their passion for travel has taken them from South Florida to Maine, the Dead Sea, and Turkey. Their passion for travel includes meeting new people and making friends wherever they go. They look forward to meeting you too!
Chef Chutney was born and raised on a sailboat in the Caribbean, where her parents first instilled in her a love of travel and the water. Her mother, who was also a charter chef, first taught her the ins and outs of cooking in a galley. Having grown up in the Caribbean, Chutney’s passion and knowledge of the Virgin Islands is second to none. Additionally, she loves hiking, paddle boarding, snorkeling, local wildlife, and she has a passion for providing delicious and healthy meals to her friends and guests.
She has traveled extensively to such places as Thailand, Central and South America, the Middle East. She’s also spent much time in Europe, as a member of the Virgin Islands winter Olympic team. In all her travels, she has immersed herself in the international culinary community, and these experiences have informed and molded her cuisine.
She holds a USCG captain’s license, and although she worked as a captain for many years, her true love has always been food, and five years ago, she switched from the wheelhouse to the galley by becoming a yacht chef.
Having refined her culinary skills working as a chef on both private and charter yachts up and down the Eastern Seaboard, she is thrilled to be back at home on a sailboat in the Caribbean.
With over 15 years in the yachting industry, Chutney is well prepared to serve you, your family, and friends unforgettably tasty meals.
Thank you for such an amazing time on Heavenly! It is super difficult to relax knowing you have 4 kids at home, but Chutneys painkillers did the trick - they were the best ever. Thanks again for the best time ever!
Loved our time on Heavenly! Dan and Chutney are two of the best crew we have enjoyed. We have chartered several boats and this has been the most enjoyable! The meals were amazing and Dan did a wonderful job keeping us safe, entertained and active. Its been a lovely vacation!
We had such a great relaxing time. As Laird said he is at a stress level of 0. Service and food was wonderful! Thanks for making it so special!
“These things - the beauty, the memory of our own past - are good images of what we really deserve; but they are mistaken for the thing itself they turn into dumb idols, making the hearts of their worshippers, for they are met the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a trace we have heard, news from a country we have never yet visited.” CS Lewis
We had a blast! Thank you for all you did to make it a wonderful trip!
We had such an amazing time on Heavenly. It really was heavenly! Thank you Captain Dan and Chutney for making the trip go as smoothly as it did, and thank you for the bourbon lesson! Loved having you two at dinner!
Going into a trip like this you’re hoping to have everything you could imagine it to be come true. Glad we made Shannas trip come true…She’s sailing aka what about Bob. We all have had every expectation in our minds come true…and then some. Dan and Chutz get all credit for making us feel welcomed with our home at sea. Island hopping and ocean excursions were educational festive and fun and our gluttony of meals were always top notch and made with care. Lots of heart to say the least.
Captain Dan & Admiral Chutney - This week was an absolute dream! Chuts - you are an excellent chef and if you ever go to culinary school or open a restaurant, let us know because we will be first in line. Dan - you are hilarious and great company. If you ever become anything of note, let us know! Love you both!
Captain Dan & Le Queen Chutney - Just wanted to reiterate that the Thomas family had the absolute best time on Heavenly. We cannot thank you enough for the most incredible week in paradise. They both have hearts of gold and did everything in their power to ensure we had an amazing trip. It doesn’t get better than Dan’s jokes and Chutney’s unreal cooking. It can be hard to be away during the holidays but I felt right at home on Heavenly. That all was thanks to Dan and Chutney being welcoming, caring, hilarious, and personable. Every day was completely unique and full of memories that will last a lifetime. I wish more than anything that I could stay longer on Heavenly - but, I am so excited for all of the following guests to have the best time with Dan & Chutney. They made an already amazing trip 10x better. From snorkeling to boat concerts, every activity was truly special. Here’s hopefully coming back with friends and family and spending more time on this beautiful boat. THANK YOU!
Such a wonderful week aboard Heavenly! Dan and Chutney are such an amazing crew and they truly made us feel so welcome aboard this incredible boat. Dan took care of all of our sailing while Chutney was at over beckon call with top notch meals and delicious drinks. We celebrated our Christmas eve in Christmas cove and Dan and Chutney made the day so extra special with a great boat concert and pizza. The crew is a class act, everything our family wanted and needed they delivered! Couldn't have asked for a better family vacation - will be back!
Heavenly, Dan and Chutney, USVI waters, and wonderful friends and family have made this vacation one of the best! The sailing and motoring around these waters was done with expertise of the islands was always at the ready! To share with us the food was so well cared for! I would do this again and again!
Such a wonderful week aboard Heavenly! Dan & Chutney are such an amazing crew and they truly made us feel so welcome aboard this incredible boat. Dan took care of all of our sailing while Chutney was at over beckon call with top notch meals and delicious drinks. We celebrated Christmas Eve in Christmas Cove and Dan and Chutney made the day so extra special with a great boat concert and pizza. The crew is a class act, everything our family wanted and needed they delivered! Couldnt have asked for a better family vacation - we'll be back!
A wonderful week aboard Heavenly! Dan and Chutney were awesome. Can’t imagine how it could have been better, or wait, Dan couldn’t have kicked our butts in and down the river. Food was awesome! Thank you so much awesome boat! Awesome crew! Let’s do it again!
Heavenly is a truly apt name for this boat and Captain Dan and Chutney. Thank you for a wonderful week with great adventures and delicious meals! Your attention to detail and to each of us was greatly appreciated. A trip to treasure! Thank you!
Ditto above, and the fishing was excellent, and Captain Dan was a great resource and a big help. Everything was top notch! Thank again!
What a 'Heavenly” vacation my family (3 brothers, one sister-in-law and my husband) have had the past week in the USVI. Our Captain Javier Gorbea has been the best! He has taken us snorkeling, sailing, fishing and knows 100% how to do everything with his beautiful boat. I felt so safe and enjoyed each day and night. He answered all my questions and shared so much knowledge if the VI with me. Top notch captain! We felt so fortunate to have him.
Our chef and first mate, Elizabeth Hoffman, was spectacular in every way. She made delicious meals and her presentation was beautiful from appetizers to breakfast, lunch, and dinner. She made us some fancy island drinks and was available to do anything we asked her to do for us. Definitely, a lovely young lady of many talents and knowledge of the boat and VI and helped the captain too!
We loved both our captain and chef! Thank you for allowing us to enjoy your fantastic catamaran. We are all from Kentucky. Many thanks!
Brenda, David, Sam, Polky, Ashford, Bruce and Steve
First off, if you take anything from this review, my advice is to charter Heavenly and go! My husband and I spent an amazing 5 nights aboard Heavenly and I will say the entire experience was truly wonderful. We travelled from Atlanta last week and met our extended family in the USVIs for a way overdue vacation. We kicked off our trip after landing in St. Thomas with a dinghy ride to Heavenly and were accustomed to island time the minute we were onboard. The boat was spacious and all accommodations were a 10/10.
Our charter had 2 crewmembers, a captain and a chef. The captain knew the Virgin Islands like the back of his hand and the chef did a phenomenal job on all 3 meals, daily. The galley is out of the way so the chef can prepare meals in the kitchen to then be shared by guests on the back of the boat on a beautiful and roomy dining table. We used the captain's USVI knowledge daily to explore new beaches, coves and hikes, and he never steered us wrong. While we did experience local restaurants on our trip, there is truly no need to dine off of the Cat. All of our meals and timely snacks were above and beyond fine dining you would have at a restaurant. Each main course was elegantly presented, fresh and delicious. The cocktails were also delightful to the taste buds and truly hit the spot after a full day of activities and fun in the sun.
There were so many activities (available right from the boat), which provided unique and fun ways to access and experience the beautiful turquoise water the Caribbean has to offer. We paddle boarded, snorkeled with sea turtles, engaged in water sports behind the dinghy, and laid out on the floating dock or the spacious flybridge when it was time to rest or take a quick cat nap. My husband and I also enjoyed putting lines in the water to test our angling skills in hopes of catching the big one. I didn’t have any luck this trip but my husband landed a Cero Mackerel and our niece scored the BIG prize reeling in a massive Bigeye Tuna. Fresh ceviche anyone?
If you are looking for a vacation experience with the perfect combination of relaxation, elegance and adventure, then Heavenly is for you! We were able to spend quality time with our family while sailing through and anchoring down in some of the most beautiful places I’ve ever laid eyes on. The special moments we experienced (as a couple and a family) and the memories we’ve taken with us are certain to last a lifetime.
This was truly a magical miracle moment in time! Glen and Alex so touched us all with their outstanding gracious kind hospitality and their creative delicious menu was fabulous! The whole gourmet experience was perfect!!
This wonderful Heavenly experience with our loving sweet family and celebrating my Birthday will be etched on my heart forever!
Love you with all our Hearts!
PS. I so loved the snorkeling experience! Cannot wait to come back!!!
What an amazing week! We've never had an experience where every need and want was catered to with perfect timing. Glen and Alex were always there when you needed them but never too intrusive.
The food was incredible and only matched by the cocktails. A true gourmet experience. The boating experience was a first for us, but certainly not the last. We return to Colorado refreshed and invigorated.
All our love,