Tristan Breault - Alumnus Sailing around the World on a Superyacht

Tristan Breault ('03) is working as chief mate on AQuiJo, an 86m long superyacht, currently on a trip around the world. We got in touch with him while he was in Papua New Guinea, and he told us about life on the boat and his journey since leaving ISB.

What did you learn or gain from attending an international school?

My exposure to an international environment of staff, students and others outside of the school were probably the single largest influence on me during my formative years at ISB. It was, and continues to be, the strongest influence on the development of my character.

Were you particularly inspired by any staff members at ISB?

I found the staff as a whole engaging and motivated to teach students. Despite my often cantankerous behavior and attitude, the school always determined that students would learn not just in the classroom, but outside of it as well.

What do you miss or remember the most from your time at ISB?

The connections I made with other students. Although there are only a few that I continue to keep in touch with (and these are lifelong friends), at the time, we had a close knit group of students. Our graduating class was only 36 in 2003, and as a result, we knew each other very well.

What have you done since leaving school?

  • Graduated by the skin of my teeth in 2003 with 24 IB points
  • Was determined to go to uni in the UK (I steadfastly refused to go back to the US, so much so that I intentionally failed SAT’s) and so was accepted to one of the only places that would accept me: Brighton uni
  • After graduating in February 2008 (had to repeat my first year I failed so miserably) I started working on boats in Greece within four days of graduating
  • Four years of working as a flotilla skipper in the Ionian Islands saw me earn my first maritime certificate, my Yachmaster Offshore
  • In 2012 I was hired as first mate on a classic wooden schooner and worked here for 2.5 years
  • After leaving this boat I worked on several different yachts gaining sea time for my Officers Certificate which I attained in 2016 and have worked aboard Aquijo since the beginning of 2017. We started our around the world trip in late 2017 and this has seen us travel to Uruguay, Argentina, around Cape Horn and up to the Galapagos, over to Tahiti and the Tuamotu Islands and on to Vanuatu and New Zealand. We are now sailing through the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia, on our way to Antigua via Mauritius and Cape Town, South Africa.

Could you tell us about your current work on the Aquijo?

The work is demanding with long hours, but takes us to some of the most remote and beautiful places on the planet. We are lucky to experience a lot of this with the owners and this has enabled me to take a stroll on glaciers in Patagonia, walk over and amongst iguanas and seals in the Galapagos, dive with hundreds of reef sharks and tiger sharks in the pristine waters of the Tuamotu atolls, visit Island villages in the Solomons, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu where some of the younger children have never seen white people and stare wide-eyed in disbelief, and anchor in Raja Ampat, Indonesia where whale sharks swim directly up to boat and we can swim with these magnificent animals. Top it all off with sailing and beers on the aft deck in the evenings with the guests and it makes the long hours worth it all.

What do you plan to do next?

Once we reach Antigua, we will have completed a full lap of the globe. Fortunately the owner is an adventurous man and wants to get straight back to the pacific via the Northwest Passage and Alaska then Japan! I will certainly be a part of that!

Do you have a life-long dream?

I’m fortunate enough to be living it right now….seriously.


Alumni Focus