The Crew

The atmosphere on board ATYLA feels like a family, and when you sail with us you become a member of that family. The crew is constituted by 5 professionals, 3 watch leaders and up to 16 trainees. We sometimes also have passengers on board, who participate whenever they can and want.

We welcome crew members from many nationalities and backgrounds to embark on a truly multicultural learning environment. The language on board is English, but do not worry if your English is not very good: everyone on board helps one another to understand everything.

Our professional crew is there to guide and inspire you, and to foster the safety and teamwork needed for the ship to keep moving. Here you can read about the positions on board and the people that normally occupy them (if any of them needs to rest they are replaced by another professional).

Professional Crew Members

Captain

Captain

Rodrigo de la Serna (1989, Spain)
As the nephew of the ship's creator, he has sailed on ATYLA since childhood and he knows everything there is to know about the ship. In 2013 Rodrigo began repurposing ATYLA into the international training ship she is today. The ship is his home, so, apart from making strategic decisions and keeping the ship and her crew safe, he makes everyone feel welcome by following the Spanish motto “mi casa es tu casa”.

Chief Officer

Chief Officer

Veera Uski (1991, Finland)
A strong and clever person, Veera’s example can inspire anyone on board. With a clear vocation for sailing, since 2011, apart from her studies as Watchkeeping Officer she has done all sorts of jobs on various kinds of ships (from sailing vessels doing therapy for youngsters, to tankers and icebreakers). Veera is great at organising and commanding the watch leaders and the trainees, and in her free time she loves to sing and play music, she has even written some songs.

Chief Engineer

Chief Engineer

Merlin Jack Font (1988, United Kingdom)
A mix of Catalan and British, Merlin understands well cultural diversity. He's been a professional sailor since 2013 and Chief Engineer on ATYLA since 2016. He keeps the motor and technical equipment on board running to perfection and loves teaching his crewmates about the machinery on board and about his two passions: renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Cook

Cook

Charlotte Cumberbirch (1973, United Kingdom)
Born in the UK, but brought up in Spain by the Mediterranean, Charlotte developed an unquenchable love and respect for the sea. This love has taken her to sail on many different ships. Her other great passion is cooking and looking after people, and where possible she tries to source free organic and sustainably grown products. Charlotte started on Atyla as a volunteer and she liked it so much that she as became a permanent crew member. You'll love Charlotte. You'll love her food. You'll want to learn her tricks.

Coach

Coach

Laura Tiesnese (1990, Latvia)
Laura went to school in Latvia, to high school in Italy (in the United World College of the Adriatic) and to university in Scotland. A true fan of informal education, Laura has worked since 2010 as facilitator and teacher in different projects around Europe. When she’s not on ATYLA, she works as a facilitator for several UWC programs focused on critical thinking. She is also one of the founders of the International Youth Camp “Go global - Go green”. She loves to help ATYLA’s trainees learn about themselves, their limits, and their comfort zones.

Watch Leaders

On every voyage, ATYLA sails with 3 watch leaders as part of her crew. Watch leaders are individuals with previous sailing experience who wish to practise leadership and learn how to share their skills with others. Each Watch Leader takes charge of a ‘Watch’ (group of trainees) and assists the coach in implementing the Educational Programme.

Learn more about our Watch Leaders Programme

Trainees

During each voyage there are 16 positions on board ATYLA for trainees, they are the largest part of our crew and an essential component of ATYLA’s team. Most have little to no sailing experience and are on board to take part in our Educational Programme, enjoy a sailing adventure and have loads of fun.

Learn more about sailing as trainee