About the Company

North Pacific Expeditions

Captains Aspin & Erik

Owners and Captains Erik and Aspin envisioned a lifelong dream of sharing their passion of sea journeys with others which led to the creation of North Pacific Expeditions.

Erik has spent much of his life on the water where he has learned to listen and feel the nuances of the sea. This ingrained knowledge and experience enables Erik to navigate confidently while his enthusiasm and personable demeanor creates a delightful and inviting atmosphere. While skippering the F/V North American in Prince William Sound for salmon tendering season, he fell in love with the dramatic beauty and diversity of wildlife of Southcentral Alaska and his vision of providing small vessel cruises became a reality.

Aspin hails originally from Telluride, Colorado where growing up in a pristine mountain environment has made her particularly attuned to the specialness of wild places. She has also always felt an affinity for the ocean and its creatures, especially the whales and dolphins. Having both mountains and the sea, Alaska became the perfect magical place for exploration. With a guest services background, Aspin understands the details and needs of what guests desire for an exceptionally wonderful trip.

Erik and Aspin look forward to offering specialty wilderness cruises with North Pacific Expeditions aboard the classic M/V Sea Star.  They hope to exceed your expectations and are excited to share their home away from home.

 


About the Crew

 

Erik  –  Captain and  Ship’s Engineer

Captain Erik – SS Virginia V

Captain Erik fell in love with the sea when he went on his first sailboat ride at the age of ten in Southern California. He continued to sail after moving to the Seattle area at the age of 13 around the Puget Sound area and greater Pacific Northwest and spent over 10 years racing sailboats.

He also skippers the Fishing Vessel (F/V) North American, a 110 foot Marco built vessel (that was featured on the Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch”) through the Inside Passage, and around the waters of Southeast, Southcentral  and Southwest Alaska.  As well, Erik volunteers his time as captain of the well-known 125 foot wooden Steamship Virginia V built in 1922 (a Seattle and National Historic Landmark) that is the last operational USCG inspected steam-powered, propeller driven vessel on the west coast.

Erik’s knowledge, experience and passion for the sea along with his navigational skills ensures a pleasurable and safe cruise aboard the M/Y Sea Star.  His mechanical and electrical talents ensures that Sea Star is properly prepared and safe for any voyage and that the vessel always meets or exceeds all USCG regulations.

Erik currently holds a US Coast Guard 200 ton Master – Near Coastal Merchant Mariner Credential (license) and a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering.

 


Tracy Meyer  –  Captain/Mate and Naturalist/Guide

First Mate and Naturalist Tracy on Sea Star Foredeck

Captain Tracy’s earliest memories include riding the waves on southern California beaches. Loving all things in, on or around the water, Tracy learned to sail and then race sailboats with the University of Washington Navy Sailing team. She then joined the U.S. Navy to become a Surface Warfare Officer, qualifying as an Officer of the Deck to operate larger ships in oceans around the world.  Tracy served for eight years in the Navy, traveling extensively, broadening her skills and always increasing her love for the sea. She finally returned to Seattle after a 15 year absence and is thrilled to be back to sailing the waters of the Pacific Northwest.

Drawing on her varied career, skills and experiences aboard the yacht Sea Star, Tracy also serves as the Naturalist/Guide.  She also participates in the engine room performing preventive and operational maintenance.  Tracy is a qualified Wilderness First Responder and has two Masters degrees. She has recently completed training at the Northwest Wine Academy and is also an Alaska Certified Expert. Tracy is thrilled to have the chance to share her knowledge, passion for Alaska, and love of the water with Sea Star’s guests.

Tracy also volunteers as a crew member onboard the Steamship Virginia V and is an avid kayaker, rower, paddler, diver and swimmer. She currently holds a US Coast Guard 100-ton Master, 200-ton Mate Merchant Mariner Credential (license) and is a certified NOLS Wilderness First Responder.

 


 

Doug Brusig – Mate

Captain Doug fell in love with sailing during the year of 1982. He started his sea adventure aboard small sail boats racing Santana 20’s, J22’s, Thistles as well as the small Lasers. As the sea grew upon Doug, he later became the sailing instructor for the Neptune Sailing Club in Kirkland, Washington and was known to be called “Spinologist” given his attention to detail and love of trimming and teaching in the art of flying the spinnaker.

As an avid Aerial Helicopter photographer, Doug worked with the local magazine, 48 Degrees North, San Francisco for the Big Boat Series, and in Hawaii for the Kenwood Cup capturing the action photographs of the sailboat races. Doug also has been an active volunteer of the historic Steamship Virginia V for since 2008 making his way from deckhand to captain. It is a great pleasure to have Doug as mate aboard Sea Star during our Inside Passage cruises.

Doug with be assisting North Pacific Expeditions on Sea Star on the Inside Passage journeys.

 


Steve Carter – Chef

Steve’s varied background has brought him across the globe during his time in the Army and his culinary career. Originally from north Idaho, Steve’s hometown environment immersed him in the outdoors. Rugged mountains, deep lakes and flowing rivers were all within walking distance, as well as time in the kitchen with his grandparents. Every fall the freezer was packed with deer and elk meat, and during the summer smoked trout and huckleberries were regularly included on the dinner table as well as fresh vegetables from his grandfather’s garden.

Following high school Steve attended the University of Idaho for civil engineering where upon completion he served in the US Army for five years. Steve spent most of his military career either stationed in Germany, where he often explored other parts of Europe or in Iraq leading soldiers throughout the Baghdad area. The diverse cultures of these places gave Steve a further appreciation for food that he would carry throughout his culinary career.

After completing his military service Steve decided to pursue his passion for food and travel and attended the Art Institute of Seattle where he completed his culinary arts degree and began a career that has taken him across the US. In his ten years of professional cooking Steve has worked in some diverse locations including cruise ships, billion-dollar ski resorts, luxurious oceanfront hotels, private catering and even a commercial fishing vessel on the Bering Sea.

Outside of the summer season in Alaska Steve can be found hunting in the mountains of north Idaho, preparing meals aboard scuba dive vessels in the Caribbean or catering banquets in more remote winter locations.

 


 

Deckhand – Deckhand/Guide

Norris Comer

Seattle-based Norris is excited to be a part of the Yacht Sea Star team as Deckhand/Guide.

As far as sea salty endeavors go, he holds a BS in Marine Science with geology focus from Eckerd College where he studied the 2010 BP/Deepwater Horizon oil spill firsthand. In addition to time aboard research vessels in the Gulf of Mexico, he has lived aboard sailboats in Tampa Bay and Puget Sound, worked as a paddle guide out of Bainbridge Island in Washington State, and is a finisher of the infamous Race from Seattle to Alaska (R2AK). He also has been involved in a few commercial fishing gigs: salmon seining in Prince William Sound and albacore tuna trolling off the Washington/Oregon coast.

When not aboard Sea Star, Norris writes for magazines ranging from Pacific Northwest-based (ex. Pacific Yachting and Explore:NW) to national (ex. Passagemaker, Power & Motoryacht, and Soundings Trade Only Today). He won 5 Boat Writers International Awards and an honorable mention in the Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition.

His debut book Salmon in the Seine about his time as an 18-year-old commercial fishing greenhorn in Prince William Sound hits the shelves Spring 2022. You can learn more about the book (and his Norwegian Reality TV past) on his website: norriscomer.com.