BENJI – OWNER/CAPTAIN
Benji Shake grew up on Fisherman’s Wharf and has been in the Sport Fishing and Whale Watching business for over 40 years. He prides himself on providing his customers with great customer service from the moment they purchase their tickets to when the step off the boat at the end of their trip. He offers his customers the largest and finest whale watching vessels in the Monterey fleet for the comfort and safety of those onboard.
GINA – MANAGER/NATURALIST
Gina Thomas has a BA degree from Indiana University in Anthropology with a minor in Psychology. Her studies focused on animal behavior. She has worked with Princess Monterey Whale Watching since 2006 and loves being able to call the ocean her “office”. Her favorite experience is watching the excitement of the passengers who are seeing the whales for the first time.
BARBARA – MARKETING DIRECTOR
Barbara, has been working for Princess Monterey Whale Watching for eight years and enjoys the opportunity to build strong business partnerships with area tourism establishments, Chambers of Commerce and the county Convention and Visitors Bureau. Barbara enjoys opportunities where she can promote the uniqueness of what Princess Monterey Whale Watching has to offer not only to residents of the area but most importantly to the many worldwide visitors coming here looking for an adventure that will certainly enhance their time spent in Monterey. Barbara feels that first and foremost, in order to promote anything you must believe and trust in the product or service. Promoting Princess Monterey Whale Watching by giving informational presentations to the above mentioned entities, schools, tours to prospective company representatives during site visits and interacting via e-mail and telephone to individuals and groups takes enthusiasm and excellent communication skills. She has many past personal, educational, volunteer, and job experiences that enabled her to enhance these skills. Barbara earned her Master’s Degree from Indiana University, in Recreation and Parks Administration with an emphasis in Administration and a Bachelor of Science Degree from San Diego State University in Recreation and Parks Administration with an emphasis in Therapeutic Recreation. Barbara has learned that “excellence” means “going the extra mile”, and she strives to live up to this motto when it comes to doing a job you enjoy, and truly believe in.
CAPTAIN BRENT “DUKE” WILLIAMSON
Brent has a 100 ton license and has been working on the Monterey Bay since he was 12 years old. He got his start working on Sport Fishing Boats and made the move to Princess Monterey Whale Watching in 2010.
CAPTAIN WILLIAM “BILL” WILLIAMSON
I am a Licensed Captain with 41 years experience with a 500 gross Ton Masters, Oceans Endorsement. I have been operating vessels on the Monterey Bay since 1974. I have worked up and down the entire California coast doing boat deliveries from Westport WA to Monterey Ca and from Honolulu HI to Monterey. Monterey is my favorite area and a wonderful place for boating. Monterey Harbor is an open port with no dangerous bar crossings, or exposed jetty accesses making Monterey a very safe harbor to depart from. The abundance of marine mammals and birds would make it next to impossible to pick a favorite, but the Orcas are the most fascinating. Important factor affecting the marine life in Monterey, cold nutrient rich water is all that’s needed to support the different species of marine mammals. Single most He Monterey Bay Submarine Canyon is the TI enjoy working with Princess Monterey Whale Watching because of the inhouse professionalism and I have known the owner my entire adult life. I have noticed that our passengers are pleased with the cleanliness of the boat, and with the boats accommodations afforded to them. In a word, people like our boats.
KYLEE – NATURALIST/SR. DECKHAND
My name is Kylee, I have a degree in Marine Science from CSU: Monterey Bay. I’m a deckhand and naturalist here at Princess Monterey Whale Watching. I have a deep passion for the ocean and the animals in it and I love when I can share that excitement with other people. The beautiful whales are an added bonus!
JOSH – NATURALIST/SR. DECKHAND
Born and raised in Virginia, Josh has been a whale nerd as long as he can remember. He moved to California after getting his bachelor’s degree to work on several research projects and has spent the last 6 years working on whale watching boats as deckhand, naturalist, and captain. In his free time he enjoys wildlife photography, hiking, and watching football. This fall he will be starting graduate school with the hope of pursuing a career in whale research and conservation.
JOSH – SR. DECKHAND
AMBER – DECKHAND
ZEKE – DECKHAND
I have a biology degree from UC Santa Barbara and am currently researching sharks with scientists at Stanford’s Hopkins Marine Station. Monterey Bay is my favorite place in the US: a place where powerful marine predators are drawn in from the open ocean. I love the opportunity this job gives me to share my knowledge and awe of these animals. My favorite part is the look on our passengers’ faces when an 80-foot blue whale surfaces next to our 100-foot boat.
RANDY – PHOTOGRAPHER
I’ve enjoyed photography for decades. To be able to photograph marine wildlife in Monterey is a real treat.
JAM – SHOP STAFF
Jamal AKA Jam graduated from Northern Arizona University with a Bachelor of Science in Education. She is a former elementary school teacher where she enjoyed enlightening and educating children about marine life and the importance of ocean conservation.
DESIREE – SHOP STAFF
Desiree was born in northern California and moved to Hawaii at very young age where she attended school and learned how scuba dive. She now lives here in Monterey with her husband, who was born and raised in Monterey. Together they have a few commercial fishing boats. She has a love and respect for the ocean.