Bernadette grew up in the Pacific Northwest and was never too far away from the water. Family summers were spent camping on the coast, or exploring the Puget Sound in the family’s 16ft skiff, fishing and discovering remote islands. She even braved the frigid Pacific Ocean and taught herself how to surf! Bernadette moved to Bellingham to attend Western Washington University where she studied photography and created a niche for herself in the growing sport of snowboarding. Then next ten years of her life would be an endless winter, traveling to snow-covered peaks around the globe. But even then, summers would find her sailing around the San Juan Islands, kayaking the bays and jumping on any saltwater fishing trip she could.
As her photography progressed into travel photo journalism, she found herself on the National Geographic ships, working as a video chronicler for the guests that cruised around the coastline of Europe. It was Bernadette’s first time living on the water and she was hooked. When the 9-11 tragedy nearly shut down the U.S. tourism industry, Bernadette took a leap of faith and decided to obtain her maritime credentials to sail as a crewmember instead of a video specialist so that she could remain working in the maritime industry. The rest is history. She worked her way up the ranks from a deckhand to a ships Officer on small passenger and research vessels, and now sails as the Captain of the Catalyst. Bernadette’s maritime resume includes 6 years of sailing the west coast from Costa Rica to Alaska, including the Baja Peninsula, San Juan Islands and the inside passage of Canada to SE Alaska.
She now lives in Costa Rica where she can surf warm water and fish year-round. She maintains her family’s organic farm when she is not sailing on the Pacific, and loves gardening, playing music, cooking (especially with food that she grows) and making fruit wine.