Joe is a US Coast Guard certified captain. Joe loves hosting families and sharing his love of adventure and water activities. Joe is always willing to share his knowledge of sailing if you want to learn the basics while aboard Knot 5280. Joe is CPR and First Aid Certified.
Like any good story, Joe’s interest in sailing started with a few drinks and a good friend. Dave Ciesla and Joe attended a boat show in Denver in 1991, and signed up for sailing lessons. After completing the beginning ASA courses, Dave bought a sailboat and the two of them started spending their nights and weekends racing on the various mountain reservoirs around Colorado.
In 1993 in need of a vacation and some beach time, Joe booked his first trip through SunSail/Moorings to the British Virgin Islands. During that trip Joe fell in love with the beautiful islands and for the next 27 years he sailed as often as possible and amassed a knowledge of the Virgin Islands not available with most local charter captains.
Joe was born in Minneapolis, MN but Colorado will always be home. His family moved to Aurora, Colorado in 1970. Joe graduated from CU Boulder in 1989 with a degree in economics, but had no real career plans. He spent the next few years taking odd jobs in Vail, Maui, Martha’s Vineyard and Chicago. Eventually, he moved back to Denver and settled down. In 1991, he started his career in commercial real estate and spent 29 years specializing in leasing office buildings.
Joe’s first love is Colorado, and you can always find him outside. From hiking, camping, fishing, concerts, etc. Colorado was a great place to raise a family and a special place to call home. When he’s not sailing you will most likely find Joe on two-wheels; mountain biking, road biking, dirt biking or cruising around on his Harley. Joe loves his toys and is always finding a new way to explore the outdoors.
Joe and Holly met in 2003 when holly started working at the same commercial real estate company as Joe. Eventually a friendship developed and they started dating in 2010 and married in 2014.
Holly was born in Las Vegas, Nevada and spent her childhood in Pahrump, Nevada a very small town on the California/Nevada border. Her formative years went by in southern Utah before her parents moved to Denver, Colorado in 1999. Holly has called Denver home ever since; her family has since moved back to Pahrump, and she visits them as often as possible. Holly’s grandmother was a professional chef and her mom has a passion for baking; Holly spend her childhood in the kitchen learning family recipes infused with southwest flavor. Her home was the place where everyone gathered, and Sunday dinners became a large affair filled with friends and family.
Holly is a competent crew member and partner to Joe during charters. To prepare for her role as chef, Holly studied privately and online to take her cooking skills to the next level for charter guests. Holly understands how valuable your time off is and takes her job creating a vacation experience for your family seriously. Holly is CPR and First Aid Certified, she also holds her STCW.
Holly loves to hike, she has always lived near the mountains and enjoys the quiet time in nature a long trail can provide. Holly’s background is in marketing, graphic design and administration in commercial real estate; like Joe she is a licensed agent but spent her time coming up with marketing strategies and designs for investment listings. This crazy dream to buy a sailboat and move to the Caribbean was always Joe’s idea but Holly would follow Joe anywhere and if she’s honest… it beats working a desk job.
In 2020 we were at a bit of a crossroads. Joe’s oldest daughter Ally had graduated from college and his son Tom was starting his sophomore year of college. We decided to sell our house in central Denver, it was basically empty, and we were tired of the noise and growth in Denver. We spent some time planning and discussing our next move. Joe had always wanted to get his captains license and run sailing charters in the Virgin Islands and it seemed like we were at a now or never moment in our life, we had the perfect window of opportunity to walk away, take a sabbatical and pursue Joe’s dream. But we were scared and nervous. In the fall of 2020 Holly’s dad died unexpectedly, there is something about a 61-year-old dying in a freak accident that makes you realize just how short life really is. That sealed the deal for us, and we made the move down to St Thomas in December of 2020.
Although this was originally “Joe’s Dream” it’s an amazing opportunity that Holly has fully embraced. Spend any amount of time with us and you will see us fall into a natural, comfortable rhythm with a fair amount of laughter. We know each others strengths and we naturally work really well together. Knot 5280 is a comfortable, family-friendly boat that will instantly make you feel at home. Holly is a caretaker and compulsively organized; she takes care of the interior of the boat making sure everyone is fed, comfortable and happy. Joe’s love for sailing and the ocean is contagious; when Joe takes the helm he ensures safety, entertainment and a well-timed scheduled. But both of us will pitch hit for the other when needed.