Katie Storr

I am a Bahamian Ocean Entrepreneur, of many talents and passions, I am most known for private Scuba Diving Instruction onboard luxury super yachts cruising throughout The Bahamas and the Caribbean. I’m a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer and VIP AYI Chief Yacht Stewardess and was introduced to the ocean at a very young age, falling in love with the ocean, its marine life, and scuba diving from the first time my eyes ventured below the surface. Being one of the few professional black women in the world to teach Underwater Photography and Videography as a Professional Instructor. I was able to turn my hobby into a profession while capturing memories and sharing them with others to spread my love and devotion for Ocean Education, through Photography and Film.

In 2017 I started focusing more on sustainability in yachting and how I can create more awareness for conservation related to the yachting industry in The Bahamas. This inspired me to start my own business, after years of freelancing onboard motor yachts and private islands and estates, starting a yachting agency which has always been a dream of mine from the age of 15 working at my dads yacht delivery company. Giving Birth to The Mersquad Yachting has been very rewarding but quite challenging. I wanted to be a resource to yachts cruising in The Bahamas and the nearby Caribbean Island, someone that connected them with local businesses in Nassau and the Outer family islands. The Mersquad Yachting provides yacht agent services, yacht and crewing services (Local Yacht Industry Professionals), Training and Education, insight on local marinas, cruising permit laws and regulations, fishery regulations, customised Bahamas cruising and dive itineraries, conservation and marine protected area laws, and provisioning. I have found a way to combine two industries I love which is yachting and scuba diving and make it a very unique and one of a kind business.

The Bahamas is an archipelago of 700 islands and 2500 cays but the yachting industry here in The Bahamas is still very young and still has a lot of growing to do which places my business in a very niche market. Upon the birth of The Mersquad Yachting it was then I realized there was no diversity in yachting. After speaking to and constantly reaching out to others in the industry internationally I began to feel extremely frustrated and eager to create a space for people like me to talk about what they where going through being black and not welcomed. So born out of frustration for the lack there of was “Melanin Yachties” a community formed to create support and assistance to people of colour within the yachting industry and those seeking to start a career. It has been quite overwhelming and I have received so much support from crewing agencies and industry professionals wanted to spread a message that the blue economy and yachting should be open to any race, nationality, colour of skin, gender and sexuality. I am super excited as to where this movement will take me and my peers in the coming years. We have received so much positive feedback and that is very promising and highly encouraging.

When I got into yachting I was very young because of my dad being a yacht captain and often I raised the question of why I didn’t see much people of colour and he explained to me that a lot of it stems back from people of colour being afraid of being in and on the ocean for so many reason I choose not to mention here. However, this has to change and I have been very fortunate to work with people who have been welcoming and super inspiring, some people are not as welcoming but most more than others. I am so thankful and grateful to have opportunities like this to share my story and to show it to the world by using social media platforms. I love working and doing what I love and this has been my dream come true to be apart of such a forward moving industry. Thank you for nominating me.