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A World of Diving Adventures

Call us today! 954.734.7111 or 800.327.9600

Captain Red is the best of the best -- knows his stuff and obviously very committed to customer safety and experience.

James Palkovic

The Vessels

Vessel layout of Blackbeard's dive liveaboard in the Bahamas. They have 2 sailboats, the Sea Explorer & the Morning Star

Blackbeard’s cruises are delivered on one of our two 65′ diving liveaboard sailboats, the Sea Explorer and the Morning Star.

  • Exceptional oceanfront and island views
  • Dining – picnic-style outdoors in the horseshoe or inside near the kitchen (galley)
  • Bunks – beds come in doubles and singles as uppers or lowers
  • Bathrooms (heads) – small and shared with your mates
  • Showers – hot water and long showers are a luxury – enjoy them before you arrive
  • Kitchen (galley) – yes, a compact space where all your meals are prepped. We’re serious.

Don’t pack tons of clothes. We’d rather have room to store all the food we’ll eat each trip.

Our dinghies are our transportation to and from islands.

Meet Our Crew

Chris Hales, PD


Personnel Director

Chris Hales was born and raised in the cool waters of San Diego. Whether it was fishing, free diving, or surfing he could always be found on the Ocean in his free time. Working his way into the maritime industry he spent the rest of his time refurbishing small vessels till he had a ship large enough to travel the high seas. Chris spent many years chasing Tuna up and down the Northern Coast of Baja, Coronado Islands, and Channel Islands till he found his Pirate calling with Blackbeards Cruises. Trading his cold water fishing expeditions for warm crystal clear teal blue waters of the Bahamas, Chris started with the company as an Engineer. Eventually working his way to Captaincy and helping out his fellow crew members as Personnel Director.

Captain Ian


Captain/ first mate

Ian “Hoppy” comes from a small town in sunny South Africa. He is a PADI dive instructor as well as a PADI Freedive instructor. He has been working as an instructor for the past 5 years along the South African coastline. Ian is passionate about the ocean. Ian loves playing soccer and is an avid cricket and rugby fan. Something no-one knows about Ian, he loves all animals except for squirrels.



Dive Instructor

Barry comes to us from a small scuba/fishing village in Mexico called Mahahual. Growing up in the mid west as a kid, Barry has spent his adult life chasing warm weather. Barry’s ocean dream is to see an Orca while diving and he’ll stay salty until that day!




I grew up in Plettenberg Bay South Africa. As a kid I loved going to the beach with friends and playing soccer in the sand. The first sea creature I ever saw I jokingly called an Elephant Shark. I later came to find out that there actually was an elephant fish. I took a cooking class that was offered in high school and my life was forever changed. I fell in love with cooking and the joy that it spreads. After high school I went into hotel management and started cooking full time and have not looked back since. It gives me great joy to see the happiness that a good meal can bring someone! 



Chef and Engineer
Tristan got his love for the ocean from growing up so close to the beautiful waters of South Africa near Durbin. He got into cooking when he took a job as a waiter during the summers. He started cooking for family and friends when not working and just grew to love it more and more. Eventually, he decided to combine the two things that he really liked to do, which was boating and cooking. When not in the kitchen he can be found blowing bubbles.



Dive Instructor  and Engineer 
Sophie grew up on a working cattle ranch on the central coast of California. After diving in the cold waters of the Santa Barbara Channel as a teenager she decided to go off traveling in search of warmer waters! She has worked in Honduras, Thailand, Indonesia, and Curacao but her favorite ocean will always be the Caribbean. While she moved back to the states for a bit to pursue new things such as snowboarding and bartending, she has decided that the ocean is where she is meant to be! Though Sophie may have a tattoo of a sea lion on her ankle, her favorite fish are either frogfish for the rewarding search and grumpy faces or yellowheaded jawfish for how ethereal they look. When not working she likes to relax by doing arts and crafts of any kind (though not well), reading, or taking a long hike.




In his inaugural journey beyond South Africa, Gunnar navigates the vibrant landscapes of Florida, USA, and the captivating Bahamas. He finds joy in both the art of cooking and savoring prawns. On a more enchanting note, the graceful presence of sea turtles never ceases to captivate him. Additionally, Gunnar holds a profound respect for all species of sharks, recognizing them as the true alphas of the sea. Their assertiveness, heightened senses, and remarkable strength make these creatures truly awe-inspiring.


In a past life, Gunnar wore the hat of a Pro Bodyboarder in Ballito, KZN, South Africa. The journey since has seen him transition from the realms of IT to entrepreneurship and, currently, as sea crew, with aspirations to venture into the culinary world as a chef.


In the pursuit of personal growth and fulfillment, Gunnar has discovered that it’s never too late to reinvent oneself. His journey has been marked by challenges and life-changing experiences, yet he has conquered every obstacle life has thrown his way, and there have been many. Now, Gunnar is returning to his deep-rooted passion for the ocean, prepared to wholeheartedly dedicate himself to the new challenges that lie ahead.




Born and raised in Rhode Island aka the ocean state Charlie (chip has always had a curiosity towards the ocean. Growing up he always found a way to get in the water wether it be sailing camp or just swimming with friends. During his high school years he had the opportunity too learn about mechanics and metal working. It was also during high school he discovered diving at camp in the British Virgin Islands called action quest. After high school he was unsure of what career path to choose so he took a year to travel. He decided to go to IYRS school of technology and trades to learn more about his passion for engines. He now seeks to travel and make memories that will last a lifetime.

Sophia L


Dive Instructor 

Growing up in Atlanta, Georgia, Sophia would do anything that could get her outside. She grew up loving and still enjoys hiking, rock climbing, trail running, scuba diving and anything inbetween. In contrast to the city, she decided to pursue more open spaces. Sophia is a scuba instructor and she began instructing scuba diving in Auburn, AL. As a lover of good food, she

will be starting with our crew as a cook! Sophia is very friendly and down to earth so be sure to say hi to her in the galley or on a dive! Sophia’s favorite sea creature is the octopus, ever since watching Finding Nemo for the first time.



Dive Instructor

Tyron was raised and brought up in South Africa. He loves the ocean since he has been been a child and that’s what has brought him here. He has been diving since 2018 which has given him time for figuring out what his favourite aquatic animal is which is all the nudibranch in the world. His older brother Tristan has been working with Blackbeard’s already for a while as a cook and thought Tyron would be a great addition to the team. Fishing is one of his biggest passion and his favourite colour is green.



Dive Instructor

Carson joins us from Auburn,  a college town in Alabama, home of the Auburn Tigers!  Before finding a love for diving, he was a student at Auburn University bouncing around between majors starting with Horticulture and leaving from the Anthropology department  He likes to spend time playing guitar, gardening, drafting architectural prints for the family business, or working on his 1984 Jeep CJ7. He has traveled around the states seeing both coasts and frequent beach towns throughout the state of Florida. His favorite journeys were spent in Honduras, Mexico, and the Bahamas.  The porcupine puffer fish is his favorite critter and holds that spot because of one lucky dive in the Florida Keys. Me and this beautiful fish spent 45 minutes cruising until it circled back to its crevice on the reef. Quiz:

Two truths and a lie:

  1. HE performed on the stage at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee.
  2. He related to one of the most prolific bank robbers in Alabama’s history.
  3. His favorite snack at the gas station is a Honey Bun.

Liveaboard Employment

We Are Now Hiring

    We are always looking for adventurous
individuals to join the team. 
Life on board is hard work but very rewarding-
send in your application today!
Dive instructors, chefs,
and engineer positions available.  

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