Tom Averna established Deer Harbor Charters is 1988. Before that he was an independent marine surveyor and professional captain working on various yachts in the Caribbean and the east coast. He studied Marine and environmental sciences at the College of the Virgin Islands. After calling the Virgin Islands home he moved to Orcas Island in 1988 where he raised his twins. Tom is now the “old man” in the business. He has been doing tours longer than anyone in the islands.
Natalie Herner has worked with Deer Harbor Charters since 1994. She has a background in environmental sciences working for the state doing bird counts, observing and documenting. She works at the Orcas school as a special Ed aid. Natalie has her captains license and also her own business doing guided hikes at Moran State Park or Turtleback Mt. She has a passion for teaching and showing our guests the whales as well as the rest of the ecosystem.
Cameron Fralick is our newest captain. He has worked with Deer Harbor Charters for five years as a skilled naturalist until obtaining his captain’s license. He is the primary captain aboard Squito and is always happy to share his local knowledge with our guests. He is an Orcas Island local, growing up on the island his entire life. Cameron has sailed on the square rigger Concordia, covering the entire Pacific Rim countries.
Marta Branch has worked with Deer Harbor Charters for three years. She is the environmental science teacher at the high school and established the Oasis program here on the island. She helped dozens of struggling high school students obtain their high school diploma. Marta is our primary naturalist at Rosario Resort during the Summer.
Peter Albert is the primary captain at Rosario Resort during the summer months. Peter has worked with Deer Harbor Charters for eight years and is one of the most experienced captains in the islands. His father owned and operated the dive shop at Friday Harbor for many years where Peter worked on the dive boat when not in school. He is raising his family with his wife Kimberly in Seattle during the Winters and at their summer home on Obstruction Island during the summer.
Patricia Goffney is the glue that keeps things together during the summer months managing the office and kiosk in Eastsound. She has worked with Deer Harbor Charters for 10 years. In the Winter Patricia is a teacher’s aid at the elementary school here on the island. She and her husband Steve raised their two children on the island. She is one of those personalities that people remember with fondness.