How it all began....
By Richard Stevens
Being on the water has always been a passion of mine, from sailing from a young age to exploring the islands by RIB in my teens. I was incredibly lucky to grow up in a sailing mad family, we spent most of our free time in the summer on the water - sailing, exploring and adventuring!
But it could never amount to a job could it? Surely not!!!
School and university were studies towards I don't really know what, get some qualifications and see what happens was probably the motto. It then seemed to be teaching was the road to go down, studying in New Zealand and long holidays had its appeal!!
In 2009 on return to Jersey I began work at De La Salle College and playing rugby for Jersey during the meteoric rise up the leagues. These were epic times for rugby in Jersey, a good bunch of local boys playing levels we didn't dream about with some fantastic players and winning pretty much everything that was put in front of us! The rugby was only part time so a bit of cash and not loads of training, for me this meant the school holidays there was plenty of free time and lots of like minded individuals to be somewhat leisurely..... The Men of Leisure were formed!
Men of Leisure
The 'MOL' then proceeded to make the most of what are incredible island has to offer, most of the time was spent out on the water or on neighbouring islands, with the odd French rugby tour in the mix. With a bunch of guys, there is an element of pier pressure so stupid stunts and fancy dress were considered the norm. It was around the time when GoPro's were coming onto the season, so most of the summers activities were recorded and then videos were put on YouTube and Facebook . For some reason, people loved the videos, I think that was more down to the incredible locations in the shots rather than the shoddy 'actors' involved! The videos started getting a lot of attention, they were shared around and attracted a lot of views.
We had hit the big time, huge sponsorship deals and media opportunites came about! (may be a slight exaggeration, but Vita Coco were launching at the time and gave us boxes of each flavour to promote, Crabbies Ginger Beer also gave us a few crates of beer, promotion hats and bow ties, We also made a double page spread in Gallery Magazine...) Again another summer video of more shenanigans and epic times.
It was at this point I was beginning to realise where my true passion lay - being out on the water and exploring Jersey's incredible surrounding waters. Every tide presented different opportunities, it is simply one of the best playgrounds you can ever have! It was great that people seemed to love the videos, and the views were from far afield like New Zealand, Africa and the USA. Jersey folk seemed to use it show off their fantastic island to foreigners. Jersey Rugby Club even used it to attract players to the island!
I realised there was an opportunity, so many islanders had not been to the places on the videos, or experienced certain parts of Jersey by sea, people wanted to get out and explore! The following year I decided to make a change and packed in the teaching and jump into the unkown! I went of to Canada playing rugby with a bit of skiing and set about my Seafaris plan of action!
Jersey Seafaris is formed!
Looking back it was a big risk going into it and i was a bit naive, I was told by various people that you could not do it full time - poor weather, short season etc..... But, being young and gung ho i went for it. However, I do not regret the decision at all. Jersey Seafaris is now being run by myself and business partner Daniel Luce, my wife Stef this year is joining the Seafaris team too. We have a fantastic crew and three incredible boats to take people out and explore our wonder coastline. It truly is the best job I could ever wish for!!