Captain: Johannes Buys
Nationality: South African
JOHANNES BUYS | Captain | South African
The distinguished yacht captain began his yachting career in 1966. Growing up on a farm in South Africa’s Free State, Joe was easily drawn to the yachting lifestyle. He began his yachting career as an engineer and eventually became a yacht captain in 2002. Joe's natural navigation and mechanical skills combined with his positive attitude make him a true asset to the yachting industry. His dedication to yachting is seen in his many achievements, including obtaining his Y3 Chief Engineer license and Dive Maters (PADI). These certifications have provided an impressive foundation for his yachting career. Today, Joe holds 15 years of captaincy under his belt. Boasting a Master Y4 3000 GT MCA Captain’s license, Joe has traveled through the Bahamas, Caribbean, Mediterranean, along with most coastal waters. Well-versed in navigating the world’s oceans, Captain Johannes is sure to provide the ultimate yachting experience.
GRANT HEUNIS | Captain (Rotational) | South African
Grant grew up in East London, South Africa, and joined Top Five II from a well-known and successful charter yacht - M/Y Elysian. Grant began his career as a Deckhand giving him an invaluable understanding of each position onboard. He gained his MCA Master 3000 Ton License in 2012 and took over as full-time Captain of M/Y Passion. Having acted as a relief Captain for some time already, this was a smooth transition for Grant, and he has since exceeded all expectations in the role. Grant has extensive cruising experience in the Caribbean, Bahamas, East Coast of the USA, Mediterranean, Adriatic and Aegean waters. Grant is a qualified PADI rescue diver and RYA Jet Ski Instructor. A keen sportsman, having competed for his provincial team in water polo, he enjoys the outdoors, surfing, keeping fit, and hiking. A combination of qualifications and experience from these various backgrounds ensures a well-developed sense of safety and security while at the same time guaranteeing a fun-filled vacation onboard. Grant’s strong emphasis on planning, organization, and training ensures an impeccable vessel, and that a professional and motivated crew is on hand to pamper you all through your time onboard with us.
LIZ BRASLER | FIRST OFFICER | South African
Liz Brasler was Born in Hout Bay, Cape Town, South Africa. At age nine, she left, and her parents began their first voyage aboard their Sail Yacht in 1999. Having been at sea ever since Liz was born to be on the water. As a child, Liz spent many years being homeschooled onboard, allowing for a natural progression into the yachting industry. While Liz now has a home in Mallorca, Spain, her parents are still cruising on their family Yacht. Living in Spain, Liz is bilingual- speaking Spanish and English. A seasoned veteran, Liz has been on 18 yachts ranging from 15 to 120 meters, including Motor Yacht “A”, Titania, Soprano, and Iman. She has cruised the South Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, North Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, North Sea, Baltic Sea, Red Sea, Indian Ocean, South China Sea, and the Arabian Sea. When Liz is home, she spends her time studying and doing home renovations. She enjoys learning new skills and often seeks environments that promote learning. Growing up at sea, she enjoys most water activities including apnea-free diving, Scuba diving, Snorkeling, and Spearfishing. Her other interests include Photography, Rock climbing, and Rollerblading. She is a qualified Master Scuba diver trainer and holds a yacht Engineering qualification. Most notably, Liz has slept more nights at sea than on land. Obtaining her Master 3000 license as a woman has been the height of her career.
SEAN WEEKS | ROTATIONAL CHIEF ENGINEER | New Zealand
Sean was born and raised in the coastal town of Auckland, New Zealand. Upon leaving school, Sean did a technical apprenticeship and attended University. After completion of his studies, he traveled to North America with friends and ended up starting his yachting career while in Florida. He cruised the East Coast of the US, crossed the Atlantic Ocean, and cruised the Mediterranean whilst continuing his studies. Once Qualified he joined a world cruising Charter Sail Yacht (doing 20k miles per year)! Sean has his MCA Chief Engineer 3000GT and a diploma in Electrical Engineering. Having spent the last few years in Florida, he permanently resides in the sunshine state with his long-term Girlfriend. Sean likes to spend his free time outdoors, either on the Mountains in the Snow or Biking as well as trying different Foods from diverse Cultures. He loves the Ocean, Boating, Fishing, and Sailing as well as Engineering science and modern and historical engineering. Sean performed the Haka in a Speedo whilst representing NZ for Water Polo.
FILIP BANKS | 2nd Engineer | Polish
Filip was born and raised in Poland. Upon moving with his family to the UK, Filip was bilingual from an early age. His diverse cultural knowledge fueled his appetite for travel. His first encounter with Yachting came at age 19, since then, he has sailed the seas of Asia, the Mediterranean, the Atlantic, and the Caribbean. Fillip's previous vessel - Teleost, took him across to the Caribbean where he had the opportunity to become a Diver. Seeing pristine coral reefs and exotic marine life fueled his passion for the sea even more. Prior to his diving experience, he gained his qualifications with Royal Caribbean as an Engineer Officer of the Watch Unlimited (Merchant Navy Qualification). Fillips interests tie into literature, nutrition, and fitness. In the winter he enjoys clipping into a Snowboard and cruising down white slopes. One of his proud achievements is making 1-minute noodles in 59 seconds.
ROB SOLOMAN | 2nd Officer | South African
Rob was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. Having grown up on a lake, Rob spent most of his time on the water. His passion for Watersports sparked an interest in the yachting industry. Rob joined the industry in 2003 and now has his Chief Mate 3000 qualifications. He has worked on a variety of vessels over the years and has cruised the Adriatic, Mediterranean, Caribbean, Bahamas, East Coast of Africa, and East Coast of the USA. Having been a crew member on the original TOP FIVE, Rob jumped at the opportunity to join the program again. Rob is an avid hiker- hiking Mount Kilimanjaro. Rob is planning to do the Seven Peaks culminating in Everest. The next peak on the list is Aconcagua, Argentina.
LUKE DU PREEZ | Bosun | South African
Luke grew up on the East Coast of South Africa, developing a passion for Fishing and Diving. Combining the two, Luke is also an avid spearfisherman. Luke completed a degree in Financial Management and went on to teach English in Vietnam. A year later, Luke decided to pursue a career in something that complimented his love for being at sea-leading him to the Yachting industry. A fun fact about Luke is that he is good at Mental Maths and at times proves to be his party trick. Luke has worked on several yachts including Symphony and Bravo Eugenia. Luke’s favorite places that he has traveled to while yachting has easily been Alaska. He also enjoys visiting the sunny Caribbean islands, most notably, Antigua and Grenada.
DARYN FISHER | Lead Deckhand | American
Daryn was born in Northern California. Growing up beside a ski resort in Lake Tahoe, Daryn learned to ski at a very young age. During the summer months, he would spend many days at the beach. Daryn’s love for the outdoors sparked his interest in yachting. He started his career at 19, working as a caretaker at a pristine estate on the east shore of Lake Tahoe. This is where he met a great friend who was previously a yacht captain and eventually introduced him to yachting. At age 23, Daryn made the move across the country to South Florida where he started his yachting career. He has been in the industry for 2+ years and has worked on several ranging from 38-70m in length. Daryn has cruised the East coast of the US, Atlantic Ocean, Bahamas the Sea of Cortez- having transited the Panamá canal. Daryn is currently a Lead Deckhand onboard TOP FIVE II and holds his 200-ton unlimited captain's license, efficient deckhand course, and short-range VHF certificate. Daryn especially enjoys Snowboarding and was the youngest Snowboarder to complete the Gun Barrel 25. His victory led to a featured article in the local Newspaper- a notable achievement for a child!
MIGUEL DA SILVA | Deckhand| South African
Miguel was born in South Africa and speaks both English and Afrikaans. Having grown up in Bloemfontein (inland) South Africa - Miguel grew up far from the sea. This distance from the water grew his passionate curiosity, leading him to the ocean to begin his yachting career. Prior to yachting, Miguel worked in IT and web development. Through combining his love for the sea and his IT skills, Miguel started his yachting career and has never looked back. Before working on TOP FIVE II, Miguel worked on Viva Rae, 35m, and Island Heiress, 42m thus making TOP FIVE II the largest vessel that he has worked on. Miguel has cruised the Bahamas and is now enjoying his time on the East Coast of America.
NICO TRUETER | Deckhand | South African
Nico was born in the quaint town of Riversdale, South Africa. Nico developed a real passion for sport, especially Rugby. Building on his love for Rugby, he also enjoys; Swimming, Water sports, Shooting, Hiking, and Running. He always enjoys relaxing and taking time out while reading a book. Nico studied at the University of Stellenbosch, where he qualified as an Accountant. He returned to his hometown to complete his three years of articles. Once he had qualified, he realized that being tied down behind a desk and crunching numbers was not for him. In 2018, Nico took to the seas, where he could be physically and mentally stimulated and has never looked back. Nico is embracing each day and learning as much as he can to build a firm foundation as he climbs the ladder to being a Captain. Nico is as active as he is and enjoying a good challenge and can impressively do a handstand starting from a seated position.
DANTE MINATEL | Deck/Engineer | American
Dante was born in the United States. Dante was previously onboard M/Y BABA before joining TOP FIVE II as a Deck/Engineer. He has cruised the Caribbean Sea, Atlantic Ocean, English Channel, and East Coast of the US. Before yachting, Dante achieved his Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering at Michigan State University. He Grew up on the lakes of Michigan participating in all Water Sports, Boating, and everything on the water. Yearning for a career that combined water and engineering, yachting was the perfect fit! Dante loves to be outdoors and often spends his free time exercising, Hiking and Kayaking. He also does drone videography and photography.
BROC MILLS | Junior Deckhand | South African
Broc Mills grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa. He is bilingual, speaking both English and Afrikaans. Broc spent most of his time on the coast, specifically diving in the open sea. Having a passion for the ocean, Broc always dreamt of working on the water. His goal was to travel the world by boat, eventually leading him to the yachting industry. TOP FIVE II being Broc's first boat, he is thrilled to join the team as a deckhand. Learning the ropes of the yachting world, Broc has earned his day skipper, powerboat level 2, and PWC certifications. Broc has cruised the English Channel and the Atlantic Ocean. Spending most of his time outdoors, Broc enjoys Free Diving, Scuba Diving, Swimming, Rock climbing, Running, and Hiking. At the start of 2020, Broc ran his own business and became a Scuba Diving Instructor.
KATE-LYNNE SHAW | CHIEF STEWARDESS | South African
Kate-lynne grew up in a town called Pietermaritzburg in South Africa. Growing up in a majority female household has allowed Kate to lead her team of stewardesses with kindness and professionalism. Kate-lynne joined the yachting industry 8 years ago and has cruised the Caribbean, Central American, South American, and the East Coast of American seas. Kate-lynne enjoys leading a healthy and active lifestyle through Hiking, Diving, and keeping fit. Kate-lynne has a thirst for travel and exploring and especially enjoys discovering quaint, off-the-map destinations, embracing their beauty and their different cultures.
BIANCA BAMBROUGH | 2nd Stewardess | South African
Bianca was born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. She grew up on a smallholding on the coast and spent most of her time at the beach. Bianca’s parents traveled extensively- journeying across the globe surfing and diving- planting the seed for wanderlust. With the desire to travel and a love of adventure, Bianca pursued a career in yachting at the age of 18. Bianca has been progressing through the industry for five years and was on board M/Y YALLA, M/Y WHEELS, AND M/Y LIONESS V before joining M/Y TOP FIVE II as 2nd Stewardess. She has cruised the Mediterranean Sea, Caribbean Sea, Atlantic Ocean, English Channel, and East Coast of the US. Bianca likes to spend her free time outdoors, exploring new places and trying out new restaurants. Her hobbies include running, hiking, scuba diving, yoga, and reading. She particularly enjoys books on nutrition. Bianca has a big interest in nutrition and has an integrative nutrition health coach certificate and hopes to study more on the subject in the future.
VICTORIA COETZEE | 3rd Stewardess | South African
Victoria was born in Cape Town, South Africa. Growing up close to the West Coast of South Africa, she was born with a love for the sea. Learning how to sail when she was just five years old, Victoria’s passion for the sea has grown ever since. Obtaining an undergraduate degree in Advertising, Victoria specialized in digital media and brand management. She continued to obtain her honors degree in Entrepreneurial Management. After 4 years of working in her qualified field, the urge to travel and explore led her to once again set sail and join the yachting industry. Victoria has been in the industry for three years on Yachts ranging from 28m sailing yachts to 95m motor yachts. Victoria thoroughly enjoys the outdoors, whether it be in and on the water or hiking in the mountains. She enjoys Wakeboarding, Water Skiing, Diving, Running, and Hiking. Victoria has completed three half marathons and is working towards her first Ultra-marathon, being the Comrade's Marathon (89 Kilometers) in South Africa.
NIM SUJANTA | Stewardess / Masseuse | Thai
Nim was born in Sisaket province in the Northeast of Thailand. Nim can speak Thai, Lao, Cambodian, and English. She started to work in the hospitality industry initially at the top-class Banyan Tree resort and Spa in Phuket, Thailand before moving overseas to the UAE where she began to work on the Princess Cruises. Nim later moved from the cruises over to Yachts. She previously worked on motor yacht Eminence and cruised the Bahamas, East Coast of the US, Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean and Caribbean seas. Nim loves to treat people and make them feel fresh, relaxed, and comfortable and she is very excited to be joining the TOP FIVE II team as Stew/Masseuse. Nim likes to spend most of her time outdoors and enjoys cycling around new places. Nim loves to experience new cultures and meet people from around the world. Back in Thailand, she proudly owns a small Oyster Mushroom Farm.
ROLENE VAN ASWEGEN | Junior Stewardess | South African
Roelene was born in a small town in South Africa, called Hartswater. Roelene was raised in an Afrikaans-speaking home but has mastered the English language. Roelene is an avid traveler and enjoys exploring whenever she can. Before joining yachting, Roelene adventured to many different countries, learning about their different cultures and traditions. She loves being outdoors and embracing the flora and fauna environments. Roelene is an active person and enjoys hiking, traveling, chasing sunsets, and tapping into her creative side through drawing. Roelene uses embraces her creative side by working on children's books in her spare time. Although Roelene is new to the industry she is a quick learner and a great asset to her team.
RACHEL TYNER | Junior Stewardess | American
Rachel was born and raised in Papillion, Nebraska where she went on to study hospitality at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. After completing her studies, Rachel worked as a travel and events specialist for a sports technology company. While traveling in the Caribbean, Rachel was introduced to the yachting world. Her event coordination skills, hospitality background, and passion for travel made becoming a stewardess the perfect fit. Rachel enjoys spending her time outdoors, channeling her creativity. Rachel says she enjoys the science behind baking, resulting in her experimenting with chocolate chip cookies, where she backed 10 different batches, using different ingredients and measurements to find the perfect recipe. Rachel’s friends and family were the guinea pigs. 10 variations of chocolate chip cookies later... needless to say, it was a treat!
ROB FULLER | Head Chef | English
Chef Rob Fuller is globally recognized in the yachting industry. Originally from England, he spent years in a formal culinary arts school. Chef Rob seized the opportunity to be a Sous chef at the prestigious Ritz de Paris. From Paris, he joined the yachting industry where his culinary knowledge has served him well. From Mediterranean cuisine to Japanese classics, Rob’s cooking skills are diverse to say the least. Having worked with employers such as the Fayyad family, Danielle Steele and Giorgio Armani in their residences, villas, and yachts, Chef Rob can supply high-end culinary masterpieces for the charter and guests. Chef Rob understands the diverse requirements for the client regardless of location or resources, creating Menus from local ingredients is a fulfilling challenge.
MONICA CARDOSO | Sous Chef | Portuguese
Monica grew up in a small village by the seaside in Portugal. After studying business at university, Monica decided to pursue her love for the culinary arts. Once she qualified as a chef, Monica worked in a restaurant spent time working in both restaurants and chalets. In 2017, Monica decided to join the yachting industry as a chef. Having been in the industry for 4 years, Monica has worked on various vessels, namely, M/Y TELEOST, M/Y WHITE STAR, 50M, AND M/Y SUNRAY. Monica has cruised the Pacific, Mediterranean and American East Coast waters. When Monica is not in the Galley, she enjoys being outdoors; Hiking, Swimming, and exploring. She also enjoys relaxing behind a good book. Monica sticks to a vegetarian diet, often growing her own veggies.