RON RITTER – FOUNDER AND COMPANY DIRECTOR
Ron has spent 25+ years engaged in exploration, research, and environmental work. He earned his BS in Biology from the University of Miami, and Ph.D. in Zoology as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, UK. Field research includes mid-water and deep ocean benthic sampling, reef ecology; cave exploration and applied terrestrial ecology. He was crew on multiple marine research cruises in the Caribbean, Grand Banks of Canada, and served as a Fisheries Observer with the National Marine Fisheries Service in the Bering Sea.
Ron designed and led a 3-½ year wildlife research project in Botswana’s Kalahari Desert in support of the Government. This was followed by several extended discovery and survey expeditions to caves in the western part of Botswana. Prior to this, he was a team member on an extended expedition across the Trans-Amazon Highway and up the Xingu River. He has over 20,000 nm of ocean sailing experience on Sea Dragon. He holds a Marine Radio Operator Permit, US Sailing Cruising certification, Wilderness Medicine First Aid certification, PADI Divemaster, TDI Deco/Advanced Nitrox and NSS-CDS/TDI Cave Diver. He is also a General Class HAM.
Balancing out his outdoor work, Ron has spent the last 15 years working in global business and government. This includes 12 years with McKinsey and Co as an Expert Principal focused on manufacturing and operations performance. He then was appointed to serve as Special Assistant to the Secretary of the USAF, Department of Defense. Ron Focused on strengthening the ability of Airmen to improve overall mission, financial and environmental performance.
In 2008 he was awarded the Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service.
In addition to core work in business, he has helped to develop a national strategy for the Audubon Society and a local Land Conservancy. Ron has over 15 publications related to his exploration work and is a National Fellow of The Explorers Club.
Anna and Maggie met as Skipper and First Mate on a 74ft science expedition yacht, sailing from the UK to Tahiti researching ocean plastic pollution.
Anna, born in 1990 was taught to sail in the Cadet fleet in Poole harbour, UK, by her grandfather at the age of 6. From a competitive dinghy racing background, she became an RYA Yachtmaster instructor and has worked full time in the industry for 14 years; teaching a range of ages in all aspects of watersports.
Alongside her professional sailing career, Anna also gained a BA in Architecture from Brighton University. However, having grown up on a farm in the south-west of England, living and working outdoors, she chose to pursue a passion for the outdoors and adventure.
Anna has worked in most areas of the industry from race Captain on luxury yachts in the Maxi Worlds, to teaching and managing an RYA Training Centre. She has sailed over 75,000nm in the Atlantic, Pacific, Mediterranean and Caribbean. She loves being offshore and has competed in many ocean crossing races with teams of novice crew which she thoroughly enjoys. She first sailed Seadragon in 2017 across the Atlantic and then again across the Pacific in 2018.
Maggie, born in 1992 grew up in Australia’s Whitsunday Islands and Great Barrier Reef. She started racing sabots from the age of 5, then progressed to pacers and lasers later in her youth. She coached her school sailing team which is where she developed a passion for teaching sailing. Maggie completed a Bachelors degree in Business Public Relations but chose a career offshore with an undying passion for ocean sailing.
Maggie started her career as a teenager, working in her family business which ran adventure sailing charters. Every school break, when she wasn’t competing in dinghy regattas, she spent her time working on a traditional square rigger, classic schooner and ex americas racing cup racing yacht. In 2013 she sailed to Antarctica and rounded Cape horn and fell in love with ocean sailing.
In 2017 Maggie left Australia to travel and continue sailing. She worked in the Mediterranean on a range of luxury yachts between 28 and 92m. She has sailed over 30,000nm all over the world in the Pacific, Atlantic, Arctic and Southern Oceans.
When they are not sailing, they enjoy travelling by land in their yellow camper-van which they converted themselves. They also love to dive and are currently learning to kite-surf.
Anna is an Ocean Yachtmaster with commercial endorsement, an RYA Yachtmaster Instructor, a PADI Open Water Diver, and holds her STCW endorsed Proficiency in Medical Care at Sea. Maggie is an MCA Master of Yachts < 200 tons, MCA Officer of the Watch to 500 tons, Australian Master Class 5, and holds a certificate in Advanced First Aid & CPR.
ERIC LOSS AND SHANLEY MCENTEE – Shore Side Operations
Eric Loss and Shanley McEntee have been with Pangaea Exploration since 2012. They have extensive experience working with scientific and non-profit research groups and enjoy running educational adventures for school groups. Eric and Shanley have taken Sea Dragon through the Panama Canal, up the St. Lawrence Seaway to Chicago, and to the Baltic, the Caribbean, West Africa, Central America, and the Central Pacific.
Shanley, born in 1987, grew up surfing and swimming in the Pacific in Del Mar, California. Throughout her youth, she worked with the Surfrider Foundation to protect California’s coastlines. She has a BA in Environmental Policy and Marine Science from Western Washington University. Her love and curiosity for the sea also extends underwater, where she is a PADI Rescue Diver.
After college she learned to sail, combining her passion for science, the environment, and the sea by spending several months aboard Sea|Mester’s schooners Ocean Star and Argo. Soon after she earned her Ocean Yachtmaster license. Shanley is the medical officer onboard Sea Dragon while on expedition and, alongside Eric, runs and maintains her both on and off program.
Eric, born in 1985, grew up in Laguna Beach, California. During his youth, he sailed dinghies, raced CFJ’s, Larks, and C420’s, and taught sailing to children in Dana Point, California. As a member of the Sea Scouts, Eric gained experience sailing and repairing cruising sailboats, 80’ to 130’ schooners, ketches, and brigs, locally and on several ocean crossings. He also earned the Sea Scout Quartermaster Award.
After graduating from Bowdoin College, Eric became a PADI Divemaster while working for ActionQuest and Sea|Mester, developing his teaching skills as he progressed from running summer programs on 50’ yachts to skippering 88’ and 113’ schooners throughout the Eastern Caribbean and across the Atlantic. In 2011, Eric took a break from professional sailing to buy and refit Odyssey, an Islander 36, to attempt a non-stop solo circumnavigation. Eight months later, he returned to Los Angeles, having sailed past the Great Capes of the Southern Oceans and back up the Pacific to his home port.
When not aboard Sea Dragon, Eric and Shanley have sailed throughout the Caribbean, across the Atlantic, and to the Arctic Circle aboard their own Pouvreau 42 Cutter, Fleur Australe.
Eric is an Ocean Yachtmaster with commercial endorsement, USCG 100 ton master, PADI Divemaster, and holds his MCA Proficiency in Medical Care at Sea. He has sailed over 100,000nm worldwide.
Shanley is an Ocean Yachtmaster with commercial endorsement, PADI Rescue Diver, and holds her MCA Proficiency in Medical Care at Sea. She has sailed over 70,000nm worldwide.
Kim was born and raised in San Diego and brings a wide range of maritime experience. A certified EMT and Open Water Diver, Kim received her first USCG Captain’s license in 2010 and has held her MMC ever since. Her vast and diverse experience on the high seas includes captaining vessels 21 to 50 feet and crewing on yachts over 150 feet. Kim also has a passion for animals and backcountry adventure, which initially led her to Alaska, where she guided bear viewing adventures in Kodiak and Katmai. Active and artistic, Kim loves paragliding, photography, hiking, free diving, climbing, surfing, snowboarding, paddle boarding, fishing, and art.
MAREIKE SARETZKI – SUMMER 2021 DECKHAND
Mareike was born in Germany in 1992 and has been sailing full time since 2017. After graduating from university with a BA in Translation Studies, she decided to work on sailing boats rather than at a desk. Joining Anne-Margaretha in the Netherlands, she set off for a circumnavigation of South America, including trips to Antarctica and the Galapagos Islands. The following winter, she went to Maritime College in Enkhuizen (NL) to gain her Officer of the Watch certificate for sailing vessels up to 500GT. A season in Scotland and a summer expedition to the Arctic as a sail trainer on Ocean Spirit of Moray have given her additional teaching experience.
When she is not sailing, Mareike enjoys hiking and nature photography. She has walked long distance trails such as the O-Trek in Patagonia and the West Highland Way in Scotland. Always on the lookout for a new adventure, she will be joining Sea Dragon in Tahiti in 2021.
MOLLY WHITNEY – SUMMER/FALL 2021 DECKHAND
Molly was born in England in 2000, but family work took her to the beautiful west coast of Scotland in 2007 where she found my love for the sea and sailing. It’s always been a part of life; grandad lived on a boat in Sussex and her dad bought a boat which we sailed every summer around the Firth of Clyde.
During her time at Academy, she went on school trips to OYT Scotland, sailing on their Challenge 72’s and Oyster Ketch 70. When she left academy she volunteered with them while she was at college studying sound production but found that she would rather spend time at sea than in a studio, so Mo became OYT Scotland’s full time Cadet of 2017-18, getting her RYA Yachtmaster Offshore commercially endorsed and experience working with youth.
2018-19 took her through RYA Cruising Instructor and to sailing on bigger tall ships in Australia (Young Endeavour) and Sweden (Vega Gamleby.) Most recently she was back in Tasmania traveling and sailing on more ships.
Sailing is Molly’s life, she couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
DR. SPIKE BRIGGS, BSc, BM, FRCA – CHIEF MEDICAL ADVISOR
Spike serves as principal medical advisor to Pangaea Exploration. With the full MSOS team, he provides direct at-sea medical support to the Sea Dragon crew. He is a Consultant in Intensive Care Medicine and Anaesthesia in Poole, UK. He originally graduated with a degree in civil engineering and worked for ten years designing foundations for oil rigs, before returning to medical school. He has sailed all his life, including the Fastnet and racing around the world in 1996 as navigator. He is an instructor for advanced life support and advanced trauma life support courses, and he lectures at Southampton Medical School. He is an advisor, instructor, and examiner on medical aspects of yachting for the British Maritime and Coastguard Agency.
Medical Support Offshore Limited (MSOS) was formed in 2006 by Dr. Spike Briggs, Dr Campbell Mackenzie, and Dr. Tommo Tomson. The aims of the company are to provide medical training, medical kits and telemedical support to the sailing community, which includes racing teams, adventure companies, and private individuals.
The directors have very strong sailing backgrounds, and all have dealt with medical emergencies at sea, from the Solent to the Southern Ocean. This gives them valuable experience and authority when teaching sailors how to deal with life-threatening medical emergencies, and when giving advice over the telephone to sailing boats, far from help on the ocean.
EMILY PENN – CO-FOUNDER & DIRECTOR OF GLOBAL ORGANISATION. 2010 – 2016
Emily, as co-founded ran the global organisation of Panexplore from 2010 – 2016. Her duties included program and operations management, corporate management, sponsorship and mission leadership aboard Sea Dragon. As an ocean advocate, artist, skipper, and the youngest and only female recipient of the Yachtmaster of the Year award. Emily is as much at home on the water as she is on dry land, her mission is to connect people to the ocean while creating solutions for issues relating to our seas globally.
Now working full time as co-founder of eXXpedition, and as an experienced public speaker, Emily tours the worlds speaking conferences, universities and global companies, sharing both her adventures and an understanding of the issues relating to our oceans, human mindset and future society. You can find more information on Emily’s other projects at www.emilypenn.co.uk.
MARY HAYDEN LOONEY – RESEARCH EXPEDITION COORDINATOR
Although a Texas native, Mary grew up camping, fishing, hiking, running, and exploring Tennessee where she developed a passion for science, the environment and its conservation. She earned her B.S. in Biology at Middle Tennessee State University where she began researching environmental impacts of coal production in eastern Tennessee. In this research, Mary discovered her true interests of studying and understanding the relationship between humans and their environments and how human actions effect the environment.
Mary found herself in Texas studying environmental toxicology with regards to marine mammals and marine environments. Earning her Ph.D. involved developing methodologies and technologies to assess the toxic effects of common marine contaminants on marine mammal health. These methods employed non-lethal, minimally invasive sample collection from marine mammals and helped to paint a picture of marine mammal health in wild gray whale, beluga whale, and bottlenose dolphin populations. In her spare time, she spends as much time as possible outside and sharing her love for nature.
Mary joins Pangaea now to contribute her scientific background of environmental toxicology and marine health as well as to further explore her passion for understanding human impacts on the environment and how to develop scientifically-based conservation strategies.
ANITA WATSON – OPERATIONS & ADMINISTRATION | 2017-2018
Anita joined Pangaea, as shoreside support bringing her experience of administrative duties, project management, operations, logistics and customer service skills to help further the aims and goals of our organization. Anita redesigned and launched our updated website in 2017 and was instrumental in streamlining our backend administration.
Jen Pate is a geographer and entrepreneur fascinated by human-environment interaction. She has been working with Pangaea Explorations for 4 years, sailing almost 10,000 nautical miles on Sea Dragon across the Atlantic Ocean, through the Caribbean and into the Pacific Ocean as Filmmaker, Mission Coordinator and Mission Leader on a series of different voyages raising awareness of plastic pollution and our connection with water (www.panexplore.com).
EMILY BELL – PROGRAM & OPERATIONS DIRECTOR | 2015-2017.
Emily joined Panexplore in 2015 – 2017 as Programs and Operations Director, to take over the role from Emily Penn
Emily was born in Chile during a curfew and an earthquake. From South America to Scotland, she spent her childhood building dens, rolling around in the mud and camping. Her life has always been centered around the outdoors.
In 2012, she supported Dave Cornthwaite by running operations while stand-up paddle boarding 1001 miles down the Lower Missouri – having never stand-up paddle boarded before. She spent 60 nights sleeping blissfully on the banks of the river.
In 2013, Emily kayaked the length of Britain as crew captain on Sean Conway’s big swim. She spent 4 1/2 months running operations as well as kayaking the coast from England and Wales across to Ireland and back to Scotland, through storms, darkness and bitter cold. Before stepping in her kayak at Lands End, she had never kayaked before, let alone in the ocean.
Emily has years of experience across operations, production, publishing and project management. She was managing editor at Pomp Magazine until 2013 and Avaunt up until recently.