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Nationality: South African
Tom & Hannah (December-March)
Ross & Dee (April-August)
Ross Matthews (Captain April 1st 2023-August 31st 2023)
Originally from South Africa, has always had an unwavering passion for sport, travel and the ocean. His first time on a boat was with his grandfather at age 3, and he can't help but wonder if this is where his sense for adventure and exploration stems from. They do say "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree". Ross moved to the UK at the age of 18 to travel Europe, go to school and start a more conventional career as a physical therapist, although this all changed while on a short road-trip in Australia. It was here that not only did he find his love for sailing, he also met Daniella and together they made it their mission to make a life out of doing what they really loved.
Daniella "Dee" Cox (Chef April 1st 2023-August 31st 2023)
Originally from the UK, was brought up in the city of Bristol. Her parents had a passion for the outdoors and most summer weekends were spent at her family caravan. She fondly remembers swimming in the lake, fishing with "paps" and cooking outdoors around the fire, all memories that have strongly shaped her lifestyle choice today. Dee, like many of her friends, began pursuing a more traditional path of University, to study Psychology, followed by a career as a Child Psychologist. However, a one year working holiday in Australia opened her eyes to a completely different lifestyle, one which reminded her of her fondness for the water and the outdoors. Ross introduced Dee to the boating industry and she hasn't looked back since.
Ross and Dee met in the small town of Airlie Beach on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Their passion for travel, which brought them together over 5 years ago, continues to fuel their love for the tourism industry, sailing and exploring the world.
It all began at an award-winning adventure tourism company in the Whitsunday Islands (Australia). They have since chartered together in the Mediterranean and most recently the British Virgin Islands. After five years in the industry they have seen some of the most beautiful places in the world and couldn't be happier with their lifestyle choice.
Ross and Dee create a relaxed environment onboard and facilitate the fun had by all in a natural way. They always aim to make the charter personalised to each guests needs, and this shows as no two charters are the same. They enjoy spontaneity and love discovering beautiful new bays. Ross and Dee also love to entertain, whether that be with friends at home or guests on the boat. Dee's passion for cooking paired with Ross' story telling and personable nature makes them a strong team and great company for any occasion.
As a couple they share an interest in snorkeling, diving and marine conservation stemming from their time spent working on the Great Barrier Reef. When traveling, Ross and Dee believe a true way to appreciate a countries culture is through its food, thus are always intrigued to try new dishes. They share a love for food and although on charter Dee takes charge in the galley, Ross proves pretty handy on weeks off.
Together this enthusiastic and vibrant couple are excited to continue their journey in the charter industry and can't wait to see what else it holds in store for them.
•RYA Yachtmaster Offshore (com endorsement)
•MCA Approved Engine Course 1 (Sept 2020)
•STCW Basic Training
•PADI Dive Master
•AMSA Master <24 (Australian com qualification)
•Certificate IV in Travel and Tourism
•OCR SPS Diploma in Sports Massage (LEVEL 5) Full Drivers License
•Ashburton Culinary Certificate
•PADI Senior First Aid and Oxygen Administration
•PADI Advanced Open Water Diver
•Level 2 Food Safety & Hygiene
•Recreational boat license inc. PWC
•Full Clean UK Drivers License
•Bachelor of Science in Psychology (2014)
Captain Tom Fores (Captain Dec 1st 2022-March 31st 2023)
Tom was born and raised in Northern California and grew up sailing in the San Francisco Bay. He completed his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics at UC Santa Barbra. After working in the corporate world for 5 years he decided to change course and follow his passions for sailing and skiing. He completed his RYA Yachtmaster in 2017 in Barcelona and since then has sailed professionally in Croatia, Greece and Montenegro during the summer months. In the winter Tom spent his days skiing the beautiful mountains in Jackson Wyoming. Tom is passionate about creating unforgettable charter experiences for guests, through land exploration, scuba diving, snorkeling and water sports.
Chef Hannah Rubino (Chef Dec 1st 2022-March 31st 2023)
Hannah was born and raised just outside New York City in Westchester, New York where her love of food began. It’s no wonder Hannah is such a foodie, coming from a family that planned monthly food tours finding the best local restaurants throughout NYC. She had thought about turning her passion for food into a career, but as soon as she graduated from high school, Hannah traded snow for sunshine attending the University of Miami. After college, Hannah first went in the event planning industry which fused her knack for organization and craftiness. Becoming a chef was always in the back of her mind while she worked on boats in Croatia and Montenegro, and that’s when she decided to turn it into a reality. Hannah loves to fuse the foods of her heritage with the cuisines of the places she’s traveled. She also enjoyed the thrill of fishing, especially when she can cook and eat what she catches. Hannah can’t wait to create a journey for all her charter guests while they set to sail to explore the Virgin Islands.
Tom and Hannah fell in love sailing the crystal clear waters of the Adriatic Sea. They met in Croatia for work, but with Tom being skipper and Hannah running the events, they didn’t get a chance to connect. During a sailing trip together through Montenegro, they finally had chance to get to know each other and the rest is history. After falling in love, Tom and Hanna have traveled the world together from Croatia and Montenegro to Ireland and Morocco. Their adventurous spirits let them to fulfill their dreams to run charters together in the Caribbean. Hannah and Tom are ‘go with the flow’, and are experienced at tailoring each charter to be fast-paced or as relaxed as the guests desire.
RYA Yacht Master Coastal License
STCW Basic Safety
First Aid Certified
VHF Radio License
PADI Dive Master
Certified Maritime Hostess - QuarterDeck, 2019
Level 2 - Food Safety and Hygiene for Catering, 2019
STCW - Basic Safety Training
PADI Openwater Diver
<b>Crew fully vaccinated<b/>
March 2022 BVI Charter
This crew is top of their game. So fun. So professional. Dee’s cooking rivals any high end restaurant we’ve ever eaten in and she delivered that level every. single. meal! Truly amazing. Ross made amazing cocktails and took us to secluded anchorages we have never seen and we loved every one. We had great sailing and we felt comfortable, pampered, safe and happy every minute we were on board. We would sail with these two anytime, anywhere. Respite herself is a beautiful and very comfortable boat. Not one complaint.
February 2022 BVI Charter
Chef Dee and Captain Ross,
This was our first catamaran charter sail and it was wonderful! The snorkeling, swimming, and sailboat are all amazing! First rate and top notch! However, what stands out the most were the impeccable meals, stellar service, and non stop attention to detail from both of you!! I cannot imagine a finer duo anywhere on the seas. I cannot sing your praises loud enough or long enough. You're both so sweet, accommodating and perfectionists in every way. Thank you both so much for a magnificent time and memory. Your futures are bright as you're both amazing together. We love you guys!
-Daryl and Arnie
February 2022 BVI Charter
Dee and Ross,
We can't truly express the extent of our regard for the amazing our amazing vacation and more specifically for the two of you. We feel like you guys are part of our family. Your professionalism and expertise were astounding, only exceeded by your charm and warmth! Thank you for your wonderful hospitality. We can see how much pride you take in your enterprise here on Respite at Sea. I hope the owners realize how good they have it with you as their champions! We will seek you out when we seek another trip to your paradise. In Texas we bid adieu to those we are leaving with the phrase "Happy trails to you!" Til we see you again, we can "happy waves."
With great admiration and fondness
-Skip and Suzette
January 2022 BVI Charter
My wife and I along with two other couples just got off the boat after one of our best trips ever due to the incredible experience that Dee and Ross provided.
Being in the service business I greatly appreciate the attention to detail, planning and hospitality. What we all knew was going to be one of our best trips ever was far exceeded with this past weeks amazing experience.
You have two of the most unbelievable hosts attending to every detail all while making you feel so special throughout each day.
Dee’s menu and cooking was nothing less than 5 plus Stars on every meal! Each surpassing the next.
Both their passion for what they do so well and their attentiveness to their guests is unequaled. It might be your boat, but they act as if it is theirs.
I am sure you are aware but wanted you to know. I could go on and on about our trip of a lifetime all while knowing each of us having traveled throughout the world to amazing places and exceptional service.
They are the absolute best in every way, and we look forward to hopefully being able to experience their amazing hospitality again sometime soon.
December 2021 BVI Charter
The week on The Respite was absolutely PERFECT.
Let's talk about the crew, our new lifelong friends Ross and Dee... I am really struggling to find words to capture how great these two individuals are and how much we value the experience Ross and Dee provided us. Let me do my best...
The love and passion that Dee put into each meal resulted in some of the best food we have ever had anywhere much less from a confined galley. Each meal blew our minds and was better than any restaurant we dined at during the trip and frankly most of the top restaurants anywhere in the world. I realize this sounds fabricated, but "Dee-licious" as we called her, could not be more talented or passionate about ensuring the group had top notch meals and service. Simply out of this world and we have pictures of each dish to remind us of how good we had it during our week onboard. Thank you Dee, you spoiled us for the week and we are forever grateful! Having the boat decorated for Kristina's actual Bday was incredibly thoughtful and speaks to your character as genuine and caring....
Onto Captain Ross... There is something special about someone who has a deep pride in his craft which is exactly how I would describe Ross. He ensured we saw all the key spots the BVI has to offer and made our experience magical. Ross is meticulous in all he does to ensure the experience each day beats expectations. He is very knowledgeable of the area and some of our favorite memories are sitting on the fly bridge with a Carib in hand listening to the history of the area. The passion Ross has for the boat and ensuring it's upkeep makes you believe he is the owner! Each drink poured and each dish cleared was met with a smile and a "Pleasure" from Ross that we will never forget. We will forever remember our morning map sessions with Ross where he outlined where we had been the previous day and where we were headed that day. Thank you Ross, we cannot have imagined a better Captain and now friend.
I think in summary there are a few thoughts... I considered Ross and Dee part of our crew by day 2. Seriously... we enjoyed having them part of the group and it was a treat to have them join in on all we did throughout the week. We all agreed that when Ross gets the chops to ask for Dee's hand in marriage our group will be there wherever/whenever in the world it goes down! (Sorry buddy, I had to get that in there!). The final testament to how special of a week we had was the tears my wife shed during our goodbyes...
I did my best, but I still don't think I did justice to our experience... The only other item is the Respite itself which was perfectly appointed and provisioned. We did not want for anything and were completely comfortable in the spacious rooms!
July 2021 Charter
Good morning! It is hard to put into words how wonderful our vacation was. Ross and Dee are over the top! They work so well together and are so attentive. The food was incredible, and the presentation was so beautiful. Ross has some mad napkin folding skills! They were so respectful of the catamaran. You would have thought it was their personal property. The diving and snorkeling was fantastic. From the time we arrived until we reluctantly had to be dropped off they made us feel so welcome. We would definitely recommend them to friends or book another trip with them. Thank you so much for booking us with them!
Thank you for taking such great care of our family.
Dee and Ross,
Thank you for taking such great care of our family. This trip will forever more be remembered as our “favourite vacation” of all time. There wasn’t a detail missed and we noticed all of them. We can’t wait to see you again, this will not be our last. We appreciate you more than you know, Mr Greminger.
Dee and Ross,
The cure for anything is salt water.... OR a superb meal from chef Daniella OR a perfectly chartered cruise to the most beautiful bay by Captain Ross. Thank you for the trip of a lifetime. You are now friends and mates, until next time. Bon voyage, Mrs Greminger.
This experience exceeded very high expectations!
Dee and Ross,
My favourite moment was arriving on this gorgeous boat to such a warm welcome full of so much promise. Your hard work, attention to detail, easy laughter and clear knowledge were all very much appreciated. You won’t be rid of us so easily - we will be back. Thank you for a week full of incredible memories, new family games and a relaxed husband! With Gratitude, Mrs Miller.
To our new friends, Dee and Ross,
This experience exceeded very high expectations! Thank you for the celebrating my 50th with me and introducing sailing to my children. Your hard work and good cheer is exemplary, as is your patience, attention to detail and fine cuisine! I am so confident we will meet again soon, with immense gratitude, Mr Miller.
We loved every minute of our week from morning to night.
Dee & Ross, what an amazing week! Thank you so much for a great 50th birthday celebration - it was perfect. It was really hard to pick a “rose” and even think of a “thorn” for the week, everything was unforgettable. Captain Ross, thanks for finding all the wildlife, starting our Instagram careers and boating lessons. Dee, always with a beautiful, warm smile and delicious meals. If only we had a “defuse card” to stop the exploding kitten/end of the vacation. We loved every minute of our week from morning to night. We wish you all the best and hope to sail with you again some day!
Respite at Sea is a wonderful craft and we look forward to more equally splendid excursions aboard her.
Respite at Sea is a wonderful craft and we look forward to more equally splendid excursions aboard her. But only the crew could of Respite could actually overshadow the boat itself.
Captain Rosco and Dee were just simply the best hosts that we could have possibly imagined and Tyler as first mate – he typically being a captain himself, only made the situation even more incredible! Rosco made us all feel at ease immediately with his affable nature but we knew when it came to on-board safety and sailing particulars he was serious and in total control and there would be nothing for us to concern. At the same time Dee was just nothing but wonderful in spirit and magnificent at preparing the trip’s meals! Meals, snacks, drinks, coffee, teas – everything was phenomenal! And Tyler was just an all-around everything whether assisting in sailing, food preparation, handling bags and gear, diving – he was right on point and a pleasure to be around. The entire trip was there immediately if we needed them and seemingly invisible if we didn’t.
Wherever and whenever we sail in the future we will hope that this crew is available on Respite at Sea!
We had an amazing vacation!
We had an amazing vacation!
Dee and Ross could not have done one more thing for us to make it any more amazing. It was simply perfect! We all feel as though we made friends for a lifetime. They are fabulous and we loved them.
The boat is beautiful and spacious. Clean as can be. You could eat off the floors and you can tell they put so much effort into taking care of it.
The food was incredible. Dee made Gourmet meals every minute. JP (my 18 year old) actually tried new things every day and ate everything. He usually eats like a 10 year old!
Ross made delicious new cocktails every night like you get at a trendy bar.
We spent 99% of our time on the boat. We went to lovango. It was fine. We had a nice day and it was pretty, but I’m not sure it was worth the price to go and I dont think I would go back. Especially when you love the boat and crew as much as we did, you just want to spend every minute on the boat. We also went to lime out. The floating taco place. That was great. We all loved it. And the final place we went was dinghys. Fun cool beach bar. I guess they are trying to compete with soggy dollar type of bar. That was fun too. We just went for a short time for drinks.
They catered to us on every level, From meals, drinks, appetizers, water sports,(water skiing, seabobs wakeboarding, snorkeling), not to mention relaxing... my kids loved them as well. We didn’t sit still much...we actually cried when we said goodbye to our new friends. For us...the boat is important...but, the crew makes the trip. They certainly did not disappoint. We had a blast on every level.
My name is Jennifer Blotti and I live with my family in Switzerland. I enjoy traveling a lot and I work as a family travel blogger since many years. After several sailing vacation experiences, in August 2019 we were lucky to meet Daniella and Ross who took us on a catamaran to the Cyclades Islands in Greece. We did not hesitate to contact them again this year for our trip to Croatia because they are able to give us wonderful vacations. Daniella is not only an excellent cook, she is extremely careful to make everything perfect.
Her skills in the kitchen are incredible, she can transform everything into excellent dishes, from presentation to the variety of what she offers. She is very attentive to the preferences and needs of the customer. She has delighted us with always different dishes, she has managed to enhance the local raw materials, she has always satisfied our requests.
In addition, she always knows how to involve children (our 10 year old twins) in fun activities. It's nice to see her always with a smile. We have always felt very safe in skipper Ross' hands, even in the most difficult weather situations. Ross is very precise, responsible and skilful in finding solutions to every problem in order to make the customer feel at ease and will not let you miss anything. The unique places he has made us discover have been chosen with care, he informs about everything and these are the best qualities that a skipper can have. Ross has always organised fun activities for us, so as to involve the whole family. Ross is also a sunny person who always welcomed us with a smile. Last but not least, he knows how to prepare excellent cocktails!
I believe that Daniella and Ross are a winning couple, of the highest level, able to turn your holiday into a dream. And we hope to spend our holidays with them next year too.
We have just returned from our wonderful sailing holiday through the Cyclades Islands in Greece with our Family. Our holidays were unforgettable also thanks to the fact that the crew on board was exceptional. For this reason we would like to inform you that both the hostess Daniella Cox and the captain Ross Matthews, both assigned by your agency, have worked with extreme professionalism and enthusiasm, taking care to fulfill all our requests. Daniella has a particular talent for cooking, her dishes have proved beyond our expectations, always presented and served with care and love. Ross has always been careful not only to drive the boat but to make children participate and active, always demonstrating excellent professionalism and availability. Thank you very much.
I wished I could put 11/10 for these two. Dee and Ross went beyond expectations. Dee always had a beautiful smile on her face and cooked amazing food. She was always paying attention to details and was really caring with us. Rosco did a fantastic job at making sure we were always comfortable and informed on what was going on. From the moment we stepped foot on the yacht he made us feel comfortable and at ease. He has a super friendly and relaxed manner and really made the week for us.
I’ve had the pleasure of having some outstanding Captains and First Mates in the past, but Ross and Dee completely step changed any experience we ever had. Ross was phenomenal, from being an excellent, hospitable host to his ability to park his yacht in the smallest of spaces! He was a fantastic captain, always in control and always had a smile on his face. Nothing was too much trouble and Ross would jump at the opportunity to please the guests! Dee impressed us all, her breakfast spreads were outstanding, her lunches even more impressive and her dinners absolutely delicious. I have no idea how she made such elaborate feasts and so many items (all perfectly hot) in such a small kitchen. Her skill is truly impressive! Dee also ensured that each person’s tastes were met, tailoring our portions to our personal preferences. She also kept the yacht communal areas immaculate and provided great advice for each of the ports. These two did an outstanding job and we will be requesting them again next year without a doubt.
What a week, these two make an incredible team and I can’t thank them enough. Let’s start with Dee. She is an adorable bundle of energy with an uncanny ability to make her whole crew feel better about themselves just by bouncing around the yacht. A “Michelin-starred chef” projected to have more insta followers than Kylie Jenner by 2021, this girl could whip a King's banquet using only a billycan and a bunsen burner. I am already so jealous of her future children's lunch boxes. Now Rosco, what an absolute 11/10 legend- great banter, made everyone feel at ease on the boat very quickly, ensured everyone had a turn at helping out- whether it was tying fenders or lowering the anchor, whilst making everyone feel at ease doing so. Super chill guy with positive energy over absolutely everything. Would recommend Rosco and Dee to friends for any future trips and would 100% request them on any future trips of mine.
Rosco the salty sea dog was an absolute legend! Great wind awareness and sailing skills, he took the time to teach us a lot throughout the week. We had so much fun with him and Dee, both always smiling with an amazing ability to make you all feel like one big family. They make an awesome couple and a great team on the boat. Daniella went over and above with her hosting and made an incredible variety of fresh and delicious food - I was very impressed by the quality and variety and felt very lucky to have our own chef onboard, could not recommend them both enough.