Crew & Operations

Captain (ArcticEarth NORTH)

Magnus Day

Magnus grew up sailing in eastern England and has specialized in high-latitude vessels since 2005.  He’s logged over 200,000 ocean miles as captain, and worked multiple years as captain of Skip Novak’s expedition yachts Pelagic and Pelagic Australis in Antarctica and the deep south, interspersed with 7 northern summers in the Arctic, with 5 in Greenland.  Accreditations include: IAATO expedition leader for South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula, RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Commercial, MCA STCW 95, MCA ENG 1, MCA short-range radio, MCA GMDSS general operator, MCA Proficiency in medical first aid on board ship, PADI open water diver, and Canadian PAL (firearms). Since 2016, Magnus has run the consultancy company High Latitudes, assisting yacht owners and captains visit remote polar and sub-polar regions. He has also worked as an ice pilot with EYOS Expeditions, driving some of the largest sail and motor yachts in the world. On all of these expeditions, it has been essential to work closely with managers and their teams to achieve goals; be they filming, scientific research and exploration, conservation, or simply bearing witness to the astonishing pace of environmental change in the Arctic and Antarctic. Language skills include French and basic conversational fluency in Dutch and Spanish. Magnus loves backcountry hiking and paddling, and is a keen cyclist, photographer, and cook.

Mate (ArcticEarth NORTH)

Julia Prinselaar

Julia grew up in the Great Lakes region of Ontario, Canada and began sailing in a 22-foot cruising boat with her family on the north shore of Lake Superior. Her maritime experience has since expanded into Canada’s east and west coasts, the Caribbean, southern England, Greenland, New Zealand and the South Pacific -amassing some 15,000 sea miles and counting. Her qualifications include RYA Yachtmaster Offshore Commercial, MCA STCW 78, MCA ENG 1, MCA short-range radio in addition to Canadian PAL (firearms). As Mate, Julia joins in an all aspects of running ArcticEarth and works with guests to support their goals and aims on each expedition. She’s equally comfortable turning a wrench in the engine bay, at the helm navigating through the ice, and in the galley experimenting with local food and flavors of the Arctic. In the off-season, Julia cruises the South Pacific with her husband (Magnus) on their 48-foot steel Damien II named Baltazar. When she isn’t at sea, Julia loves exploring backcountry trails by mountain bike, remote rivers by canoe and public lands with Magnus in their ’86 Volkswagen Westfalia.

Captain (ArcticEarth SOUTH)

Alex Jara

Captain Alex Jara joined the team in 2023, and  skippers expeditions in the ArcticEarth SOUTH region. Originally from Barcelona, Alex started sailing Optimist as a kid. Later on he gave lessons of HobiCat and other catamarans for a few years. After accomplishing his dream of crossing the Atlantic in a sailing yacht, he pursued a degree in Biology, with an adjunct focus on oceanography.  Then he started work as a professional mariner.  Accreditations include: RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Commercial, MCA Engine AEC, MCA GMDSS general operator, MCA Proficiency in medical first aid on board ship, PADI Dive Instructor, and Nitrox Diver.

He has skippered vessels in the Spanish Mediterranean, the Caribbean, Croatia, Greece, and SouthEast Asia before discovering Chilean Patagonia. His high-latitude sailing began with expeditions in South Georgia and Antarctica. In 2023, he skippered the former Pelagic Australis (now called Witness) for Greenpeace, on campaigns in Cyprus, Israel, Croatia, Malta, France, Spain, Portugal and Normandy. Besides his native Spanish and Catalan, language skills include English, French, Portuguese, some Italian. Alex loves wildlife, documentaries, and is a keen mechanic and cook.

Mate (ArcticEarth SOUTH)

Eva Griffiths

Eva grew up in Maine and graduated from the University of Maine with a degree in geology. Eva began sailing on a 19-foot sailboat in Round Pond, Maine, and has since gained experience on larger sailboats in Maine. Her focus on paleoclimatology during her undergraduate studies involved field work in the Arctic and in Tierra del Fuego, during which time she lived aboard S/V Ocean Tramp and worked on dating glacial moraines in the fjords of the Beagle Channel. Having grown up in a farming family in Maine, she has learned to wear many hats – carpenter, gardener, cook, and more. Eva is working towards a RYA Yachtmaster license. When not on the ocean, she loves to explore mountains on skis and play music.  

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ArcticEarth Director

David Conover

David was born and raised in a New England family with strong ties to the sea and a tradition of active storytelling. He and his two sisters and brother grew up around boats and the mountains, inspired by the adventures of their parents. David attended Bowdoin College, where he majored in comparative religious studies.  His collegiate highlight was a sea semester at the Williams College-Mystic Seaport program, where he learned celestial navigation and researched the Arctic schooner Bowdoin.  After college, with a 100ton USGC license, he captained a 51’ aluminum sailboat, completed two transatlantic crossings and five years as an educator at the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School in Maine. For three decades he has led Compass Light Productions, producing over 30 films in the Arctic. In 2014, David was the Coastal Studies Scholar at Bowdoin, where he developed and taught Digital Seashore Diaries, and Science to Story (integrating a visit to the schooner Bowdoin with the school’s Arctic Studies program).  In 2015, he founded the Conservation Media Group (CMG), a modest not-for-profit intermediary organization supporting the next generation of filmmaker activists and organizations campaigning for healthier oceans, and a just and fossil-free economy. David has volunteered as a Board Member at the Penobscot Marine Museum, and as an Advisory Board Member at the Mystic Seaport Museum, Alnoba, the Lewis Family Foundation, and the Ocean Foundation. He currently serves on the Board of the Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership. David and his family recently completed 43 years of service as seasonal caretakers for Camden’s Curtis Island Lighthouse.

ArcticEarth is an initiative of Compass Light Productions. We produce motion pictures that explore the human relationship to the ocean and the outdoors.  Our staff builds on an active network of outdoor field production personnel in 55 countries worldwide. We have been ranked among the Global Top 100 Production Companies by Realscreen.  

View a list of selected Arctic films produced by Compass Light. 

The Conservation Media Group (CMG) supports filmmakers and organizations who are creating impact in our three focus areas: providing sanctuary for marine life, reducing ocean plastic at its source, and transitioning to a low-carbon economy.

Learn more