Our crew, the beating heart of the ship
Our crew is composed of experienced, well-trained and professional mariners hailing from all over Indonesia. Many of them have been onboard Mutiara Laut since day one and even though most are dedicated family men with loving wives and children, to them, the ship has truly been home for the past decade.
Here we proudly introduce you to some of the longest-serving members of our crew, as well as the newer crew members and even some of the regular freelancers, who together truly form the beating heart and soul of the ship:
Born in Sumbawa and yet a direct descendant of the Bugis people of South Sulawesi, famous for their maritime skills and for building the illustrious phinisi sailing ships, Captain Andi Abdi has been the proud and devoted captain of the Mutiara Laut since her launch in 2009.
Behind his soft-spoken demeanour, Captain Andi hides a vast knowledge and experience, and a deep love for the Indonesian archipelago, which is only surpassed by an even greater love for the ship he helped to build. The safety and welfare of his passengers, his crew and his ship are Andi’s main concern at any given time. It’s a responsibility he carries quietly and modestly, while never too proud to roll up his sleeves and do menial chores on deck alongside a crew that respects and reveres him.
As second-in-command, Chief Anis has been supervising daily operations aboard Mutiara Laut since the first day she sailed. Coming from Lembata, near Flores, where sustainable traditional whale hunting with paddle boats still continues today, the ocean is home to him. With his long black hair waving in the wind, he’s a sight to behold as he directs the crew and shouts his commands whenever they hoist the sails!
In spite of being one of the younger members on the crew, Niko nevertheless is the captain’s right-hand man and holds great promise of becoming a superb captain one day himself, a position he dreams of and for which he’s studying hard in his spare time. He unwittingly displays a great talent for hospitality as well and will go to any length to make the guests feel comfortable.
KKM stands for Kepala Kamar Mesin or Head of the Engine Room, which is not a title taken lightly by Tonny, who knows every nut and bolt of any mechanical equipment or machinery that can be found onboard. You’ll rarely see him outside of his engine room, which he proudly keeps clean as a surgical theatre, and which he runs and safeguards with military precision. Extremely diligent and constantly fretting about this spare part or that replacement piece, he’s a respected and well-liked perfectionist with 10 years experience on Mutiara Laut.
Hadi comes from Java with a speciality in electrical engineering but has also been keeping the mechanics onboard running smoothly for more than 5 years now. In his spare time, he likes to fish and quite often our guests will find his catch-of-the-day on their plates!
Sandy completes our engineering team of three and brings vast technical experience from his many years on cargo ships before joining our crew. Growing up on the beach in Sulawesi, the sea is his element, he loves the ship and continuously brings great ideas to improve on things. This tinkerer from Sulawesi is always on hand to help divers with any mechanical issues their gear might suffer.
If every ship needs a mascot, then Edi is ours! He’s another one of the “oldtimers”, and while everybody lovingly knows him as “Cobra” there is not a drop of venom in this cuddly bear from Bima. As a tender driver, he is fiercely protective of “his” speedboat and the guests who ride with him, while at the same time it’s always Cobra who’s the first to climb the 45m mast or inspect the hull underwater. No wonder kids simply adore him, after all, he’s never stopped being a kid himself.
This most charming, playful and fun-loving family man likes to pose as the tough guy but really has the biggest heart of gold. Toni is not only designated Tender Driver but also plays a crucial part in the general operations of the ship. He’ll be the first in line for any joke or jest but at the same time, he’ll skillfully take charge when the sails need to come up, with the greatest sense of duty and responsibility. Not a challenge is too big for him and the only thing in the world he loves more than the ship is his young family back home in Sumbawa.
Ismail’s name is most easily remembered by just looking at him: the always “(i)sm(a)iling” handy-man, flashing his pearly whites from ear to ear from sunrise to sunset, always at the ready for the guests and continuously busy doing any one of a thousand tasks he takes upon himself. The few free moments this dedicated family man from Lombok allows himself, you’ll find him glued to his smartphone chatting with his wife and kids.
With an earlier career as a chef in boutique resorts such as the Tugu Resort under his belt, Chef Edi came from high up in the mountains of East-Java down to work at sea and has been with Mutiara Laut for 3 years. Chef Edi loves to experiment with combinations of Western and Eastern cuisines and frowns upon ready-made processed foods and desserts. He won’t shy away from creating his own desserts even under the sometimes difficult conditions at sea, so whenever you just get a scoop of ice cream you’ll have to forgive him for there will be an experimental pudding or cake that just didn’t make the cut. On most cruises, Edi will be assisted by Crew Chef ARFAN, his invaluable right-hand-man.
In the relatively short time of 2 years that Wayan has been on board, he has worked relentlessly to become a favourite and indispensable member of the core crew. Born and raised in Bali, hospitality is in his genes and he truly epitomizes the concept of service. No request is too much for “our” Wayan, service is constantly at the forefront of his every thought and the pride and joy he brings to the job sets an example to all. Just ask him to teach you how to fold napkins or towels, or wait till he starts juggling bottles or making cocktails, a true bartender, waiter and entertainer at heart!
Now here’s a guy who knows his soaps and detergents! This busy-bee from Sulawesi takes enormous pride in keeping the cabins and the public areas onboard in prime condition, while happily and efficiently taking care of all the laundry as well. Don’t let his small size and boyish looks fool you: he’s the proud father of two and when the sails come up he’ll be pulling on the ropes just as hard as the next man.
Most of our cruises will be hosted by either Jace or Steven, both long-time residents of Indonesia who alternate between hosting trips and handling operational and administrative duties on behalf of Mutiara Laut.
Originally from the UK, Jace has been working in the dive industry in South East Asia for the last 15 years. He is a certified dive instructor, an avid underwater photographer and a very experienced cruise director with over 5 years on numerous liveaboards in Indonesia under his belt. His contagious burly laugh accompanies every story, as he loves to share his vast first-hand knowledge on just about every dive site around the archipelago, as well as the culture and history of his adopted homeland.
Born and raised in Belgium, Steven came to live in Indonesia 25 years ago, starting off as a tour leader and continuing on in numerous tourism-related enterprises ever since. As a recreational diver, he understands the needs of divers, while he combines a deep love and understanding for Indonesia’s cultural diversity and history, its people and their customs, with a strong service mindedness and a deep desire to share his knowledge of the country.
Aside from the regular team that is onboard full-time, on most cruises our fixed crew will be reinforced with several freelance crew members, many of whom have been coming on and off Mutiara Laut for many years with duties as Steward, Chef, or other.
On Full Private Charters, we bring along an onboard spa and massage therapist. While we can count on several Balinese ladies who we’ve worked with over the years to fill this role with great skill and enthusiasm, we most often rely on the services of TINA. Besides a wide range of Balinese massages, Tina also offers manicure and pedicure, and even though she’s not a qualified yoga instructor you’ll often see her giving impromptu lessons to any guest who wants to give it a go.
Massage services, as well as nanny services, can be provided on any trip by request and at a surcharge.
Since not all of our cruises are diving trips, Mutiara Laut does not employ full-time dive guides, but rather we make use of the freelance services of highly skilled and experienced local dive guides that have knowledge of the particular dive sites we plan to visit. A large number of the same guides will always come back to work with us throughout the year, very often by request of repeater guests. These guides love working together with our crew, they know the diving equipment we carry on board and they keep coming back to join our trips, but because of the nature of their industry they prefer to remain independent and freelance and in that respect, they prefer not to be named here.
Even though she’s not officially “crew” per se, she’s definitely an indispensable member of the team. Ayu is the go-to person for just about anything remotely relating to the operations of the ship. She’s the onshore rock that slaves away in the office, where she makes sure that all supplies reach the ship in time, that official documents are in order, that suppliers and salaries get paid and that inquiries get replied to. A young mother with a newborn on one arm and an entire crew of “big kids” on the boat, listening to every demand and complaint, and constantly finding solutions.
A native of the Netherlands but a citizen of the world, Eugene is an industrious and successful entrepreneur who considers his work as his hobby. Eugene is the first point of contact for any booking and rate inquiries, and any questions and requests regarding cruises on Mutiara Laut.
Kees moved from the Netherlands to Bali when called upon by his close friend Leo, the builder and original owner of Mutiara Laut, to come and work together in the management of the ship and the company. Kees quickly fell in love with the ship, and when Leo unexpectedly passed away in 2015, Kees didn’t hesitate to continue the dream that was started by his friend and business partner and to make it his own.