Ariel's Crew

Captain Stephen Reinken has been sailing for over 30 years acquiring 150,000 nautical miles. He has crossed the Atlantic 12 times and the Pacific twice. He began sailing, racing small boats on Lake Michigan and later delivered Windward Passage, an 80 foot racing boat.

His college days included electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Illinois. He acquired a 100 Ton Ocean Operators License at age 20. Much of his expertise has been through personal experience as Delivery, Charter and Private Captain. This included being responsible for celestial navigation, serving as mechanical adviser ie., water desalination, electric power systems, and trouble shooting specialist in mechanical, electrical, refrigeration and air conditioning.

His technical skills are a necessity, especially when sailing to distant ports where parts and services are minimal. Today maintaining computers and GPS for electronic navigation have become an essential part of his life. Recently, Steve became a licensed amateur ham radio operator and uses the Winlink system to email from aboard ship.

First Mate Gayla Phelps is a nurse by profession and is certified in offshore seamanship and basic navigation. An ‘overlander’ for years, Gayla started off as a volunteer medical missionary in Central America and continued to travel extensively throughout the world. Her travels included working in Australia, Japan and Europe.

Wellness, a big part of her life, encouraged her to bicycle over 38,000 miles in 28 countries.  During these years she developed her own unique way of travel.  As she watched the miles pass under her wheels, one inch at a time she realized.... these ARE the good times.... slow down and enjoy them. The speed of bicycling and sailing being similar, the transition was natural. Various coastal and canal cruising has grown to include the sea.

Photography and writing have always been a big part of keeping these experiences alive.  Studying Thai cooking and Reflexology in Thailand she is eminently capable of keeping captain and crew on an even keel.