Darrel Day first went to Antarctica in the summer 1999/2000 and has been sailing in Antarctic waters every summer since 2003 when he purchased Spirit of Sydney and have supported numerous expeditions including documentary makers from Discovery Channel’s Globetrekker, scientists from Oregon State University Marine Mammals Institute (tagging Humpback Whales), University of British Columbia, (Orca study), as well as documentaries, like Animal Planets ‘Steve Irwin The Croc Hunter HBOs VICE HBO Munchies (First ever cooking show filmed in the drake) See the media section of this website. Other expeditions have included National Geographic photographers, mountaineers, dry suit divers and kayaking expeditions including Andrew Mc Cauley’s epic sea kayaking expedition in Antarctica. On one of the most memorable expeditions, 13 school children from Geelong Grammar sailed aboard Spirit of Sydney for a very memorable expedition, sailing, kayaking and ski touring the peninsula ,Jorgen Amundsen 100 year anniversary of his great uncle reaching the south pole. Last season with the enthusiastic support of Spirit of Sydney, Darrel we became the most successful Yacht Captain team in mountaineering support in Antarctica.
Justine Curgenven is an award winning adventure filmmaker and expedition seakayaker, who's programmes have aired on the National Geographic Channel, Channel 4, Channel 5 and the BBC. She runs Cackle TV and created the highly acclaimed “This is the Sea” series of sea kayaking DVDs. Her films have won over a dozen prestigious prizes including best adventure film at Banff & Kendal Mountain Film Festivals. She regularly gives slide presentations and writes magazine articles, nationally and internationally. Justine was previously a competitive sportswoman, winning 9 Blues at Cambridge university and representing England at hockey at Universities level. At Cambridge University, where she graduated with a science degree, she was also president of “The Ospreys”, the Cambridge University womens sporting association. Once Justine left university she worked as a Television journalist and then a multi-skilled programme maker, learning the skills necessary to tell a story using moving pictures. She also discovered the world of nature and adventure and put down her hockey stick in favor of a kayak paddle, a mountain bike and hiking shoes! She went on many adventures including biking across the Pyrenees mountains from coast to coast, trekking in the Himalaya & climbing the almost 7,000 metre Mount Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the Americas (which she filmed for a National Geographic series). In 2002, she competed for England in the surf kayak world championships winning several of her heats and helping England to 4th position.
I started sailing in the Marseille area when I was 15 years old. At the age of 18, I crossed the Atlantic for the first time from Portugal to Brazil. It was during that crossing that I decided to live my life as a sailor – my true passion in life. When I was 20 years old, I had the opportunity to be First Mate on a 60 foot sailing boat to sail in Patagonia and Antarctica. During those nine months, we sailed across the Patagonian Fjords to Cape Horn and sailed around the area nine times. Then we sailed to Antarctica for one month and back up the channel to Puerto Mont. After this adventure, I decided to earn my Captain Degrees in France. I have my Captain 200, which is now completely valid. Since earning the Captain’s license, I ventured into Norway and delivered a boat from Turkey to the Virgin Islands; spent one month on “Tara”(Peter Blake’s Seamaster), a scientific vessel; and, four months on a luxury racing boat in the Mediterranean Sea. I’ve sailed through Marquesas and the Tuamotus Islands to deliver a boat from Panama to Tahiti. After arriving to Tahiti, I began working as a Captain on a 16 meter private mono-hull which sailed six months throughout the French Polynesia. Upon leaving Polynesia, I delivered the famous race catamaran – the ex-Gitana, ex-Orange II, the ex-Kingfisher (Dame Ellen MacArthur) from Tahiti to New Zealand, from New Caledonia to Australia, and then from Australia to Micronesia. Having thoroughly enjoyed my time in the Pacific, nearly three years, I traveled back to France for some respite. In no time at all I was drawn back to the Pacific waters. I flew to Tahiti and made another boat delivery from Bora Bora to Australia.
Today, I find myself working as Captain on the former winner of the Whitbred Race, the Steinlager II, in New Zealand. It is an honor to sail the Steinlager II, an icon once captained by the late Sir Peter Blake, where I now continue his legacy by teaching kids how to sail, working in leadership programs there, and sharing a hands-on curriculum focused on teaching children how to respect the environment and be humble with the elements. It is with great excitement that I now begin to Captain Spirit of Sydney, with Darrel as my First Mate, as Antarctica is calling me back to her inspirational waters once again. I feel fully prepared to manage Spirit of Sydney, with years of experience now underway. I am ready to set sail and provide all our guests with beautiful memories of the landscapes and waters of this amazing world. - Best Regards, Leo