the team

The School at Sea team is made up of enthusiastic professionals with experience in coaching and teaching students and sailing tall ships. We have a core team that has been organising the School at Sea programme for the last few years both ashore and on board.

Supplemented with qualified teachers and crew members from all corners of the world we strive to provide you with the best journey possible.

Core team

Monique Touw

Monique Touw

Founder / director

Monique combines her experience as a captain, her knowledge of personal development on board and her passion for working with young adults in School at Sea. Her mission is to make education fun and allow young adults to use their 21th century skills in a nautical setting.

Samuel Dubois

Samuel Dubois


A veteran School at Sea-captain, Sam has been the captain during many editions of School at Sea. Before that, he sailed around the world on the Tecla. As captain, he is responsible for the safety of everyone on board. He knows the Thalassa inside and out and is always excited about sailing another year. Students of previous years praise Sam for his knowledge about sailing and the personal connection he makes with every student. They said about him:

“I have learned so much from Sam. From the basics like steering and checking the engine room to using a sextant, executing sailing manoeuvres and even mooring.”

“Sam is an amazing, kind, strict, just and funny captain.”

“He was always there for you, even if you didn’t want to talk and just sit there.”

Pascal Tak

Pascal Tak

Education and project manager

Pascal has been a teacher and education manager on board since 2015. He monitors the schoolwork and the personal development of every student on board. He manages the teachers and, with them, takes care of reporting on the progress of the students. Pascal also keeps up with new developments in teaching and education. Students about Pascal:

“He can be pretty annoying about the schoolwork, but that was necessary. Because of him, I got more done than I might have on my own.”

“Pascal made sure the school part of School at Sea ended positively for me.”

“He is always there to talk and can be trusted with anything.”

“Pascal is interested in you and comes up to you as well, instead of just the other way around.”


Bas Ruesen

Bas Ruesen

Office manager

Bas has been with School at Sea since 2017. He has a background in political science and has taught English in high school as well. He takes care of all the paperwork and coaches students during the fundraising programme from the moment they sign up for an information session to the moment they step on board.

Jet Sluik

Jet Sluik

First mate

Jet is an experienced first mate and has often sailed part of the School at Sea journey. She takes pride in the sail training curriculum on board which she had a hand. She captained the Tecla on her journey across the world with Sam and is the founder and director of the annual Traditional Ships Fair. Jet is always willing to listen and provide advice:

“Watches with Jet were incredibly educational. We learned something new every time, both during the day and at night. She explained most of the theory to me.”

“I can’t imagine having a better first mate. Jet was ever so helpful and explained a lot. She sparked my enthusiasm about sailing and really set an example.”

“Jet was always there for you. She is caring, fun to hang out with and super sweet, but also strict and clear if it’s necessary. She really listens.”

“Jet. She is amazing and a badass.”

Sander Habets

Sander Habets

Education manager / chemistry teacher

Sander studied chemistry at the Radboud University in the Netherlands from 2007 to 2012 and became a teacher after that. After a few years of teaching, it was time for a change. He has been with School at Sea since 2017-2018, first as a teacher and now as education manager. Further improving the programme before and after the six months at sea and improving the relationship with schools are what he focusses on at the moment.

This year, Sander will join the team on board in Panama, taking over from Pascal for the second half of the journey.