Since Evelyn Pepler took the helm of Ocean Odyssey in 2012, the company has gone from strength to strength and we owe our success to the passion and dedication of our rock star Ocean Odyssey team. There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes of this dynamic Knysna company, from permit regulations to marketing to environmental awareness campaigns. Attention to detail and passion across all facets of the business is what we aspire to. The common thread that binds us all is our love for the ocean and all its riches. Our mission is to share these wonders with the world while inspiring people to protect them no matter what.
Meet the Ocean Odyssey Dream Team
Jorika is the longest standing employee of the company and knows the ins and outs of the company like the back of her hand. She can usually be found sitting in front of her 3 large computer monitors. She heads up all the creative work for the company such as graphic design, video, and photo editing and she does all the artwork for our clothing ranges and is also responsible for stock purchasing and tour operator bookings.
Jorika works closely with local schools and Environmental NGO’s on various environmental campaigns throughout the year. She is also currently busy with her Level 2 Nature Site Guiding accreditation.
Lucy van Eyk
Like many of our valued staff members, Lucy juggles a variety of tasks with a good dose of gusto and good humour combined. She is personal assistant to the owners and also the financial brains behind the operation, and crunching numbers during the day is a big part of her job. She also oversees several other very important aspects of the business. She deals with SAMSA permit regulation requirements, Safety, and Compliance certificates, company policies and vessel licensing, Blue Flag submissions and much more. She recently qualified as a Level 2 Nature Site Guide (specializing in Marine and Coastal Guiding) and often gives the briefing before our ocean-going tours.
Teresa Da Mata
Terry is a bubbly and passionate member of the team with her finger on the pulse of the business and is always willing to step in and lend a hand wherever needed. She is our Social Media and Marketing guru and makes sure that the world gets to see all the close encounters that we have out on the big blue! She also works closely alongside Jorika with local NGO’s on environmental campaigns and assists Evelyn with all the marketing travel shows. Teri is currently busy with her Level 2 Nature Site Guide (specializing in Marine and Coastal Guiding) course.
Johannes is our jovial primary skipper and a bone fide whale whisperer. He often spends up to six hours a day out on the ocean (weather permitting) in search of marine life and his deep connection and knowledge of this ocean realm is palpable to all those on board. He has a Category C skippers ticket which allows him to transport 25 passengers within the inland coastal waters of South Africa. He is also a qualified Level 2 Nature Site Guide (specializing in Marine and Coastal Guiding).
When chaos reigns supreme all around her, Leandra has the ability to remain calm under pressure and she handles our front desk and switchboard with both grace and nerves of steel. Meticulous to detail, she takes her position very seriously and honestly, we wouldn’t cope without her, especially during the whale migration when hundreds of visitors from all over the world spill through the doors of our Ocean Odyssey shop. She just takes it in her stride!
Eric is a true gentleman and a general all-round rock star. He assists with whale spotting and driving, vessel prep and he is also a deckhand on our yacht the Outeniqua. He pretty much does whatever needs to be done and he does it with a lot of heart. He has acquired his Category C (12 pax) skippers license and is currently working on getting his Level 2 Nature Site Guide accreditation (specializing in Marine and Coastal Guiding)
Grant has been with the company for some time now and few have his whale spotting prowess. During the annual migration, his task is to direct the skippers to whale activity and after many years doing this he now highly intuitive to whale behaviour and can read the tell-tale signs of a whale’s presence on the ocean’s surface.
Originally from Kenya, Lameck has been a welcome addition to our team. He boasts an incredible work ethic and carries out his many daily tasks with integrity and a warm smile! We look forward to continuing this journey alongside him.
Professional photographer and blogger, Lisa has a gift for sharing the wonders of our Indian Ocean realm with both her written words and powerful images. She is a passionate ocean warrior and environmental advocate on a mission to inspire people to protect our earth’s blue heart.
Owner of Springtide Charters and one of our primary skippers, Steff has been out through the Knysna Heads more times than he can count. The ocean is his happy place and he has a deep and intimate connection with it. He is a talented photographer and videographer and has produced some show-stopping images and videos highlighting both the marine mammals found along our coastline and the beauty of Knysna. He is also a qualified Level 2 Nature Site Guide (specializing in Marine and Coastal Guiding).
Head minion of Ocean Odyssey, Evelyn is a business powerhouse. She is the company’s local and international representative and she travels extensively both locally and abroad to market both the company and Knysna as a prime tourism destination. She has been working tirelessly alongside key players to get Knysna’s local tourism industry back on track and believes in the collective clout that local service providers can bring to the tourism trade. She believes that together we can be stronger.