Belize is proud to be nestled on the crystal clear waters of the
Caribbean Sea. This location offers a perfect vacation destination for sea
lovers everywhere. It is important to cater to these individuals and make
their stay at sea the best adventure vacation possible. This week's
personalities provide tourists with beautiful boats and wonderful packages
for a delightful time spent on the water, Nathalee and Paul Steel owners of
TMM Yacht Charters.
Named after her mother, Nathalee was born and raised in Denmark until
she was ten. Her parents then decided to head back to mother Nathalee
Tatum's roots in Oakridge, Roatan. The eldest in a family of five children,
her family was always traveling, since her father worked offshore. They
quickly built a restaurant on Grand Dad's property, a tiny caye of coral
right on the reef crest. After two years in Roatan, they moved to the
mainland, La Ceiba for better education. Nathalee's parents wanted her to
learn more English and offered her a choice of boarding schools in either
England where she could visit home every summer or Belize, where she could
come home more often. Nathalee chose the latter and lived with the Musa
family and she traveled with friends to San Pedro for weekends. As fate
would have it, one of these trips her boat ran out of fuel on Caye Caulker
and this was how she met Paul.
Paul is the youngest son of Don and Louise Steel from Windsor, Ontario,
Canada. He grew up with his sister, Janis and brother, Bill, enjoying an
aquatic childhood on the shores of Lake St. Clair.
At a young age of 12, Paul bought an original US Divers scuba tank &
double hose regulator and taught himself the art of scuba diving. Luckily,
the lake is no deeper than 15 ft. so decompression sickness was not an
issue. Using the family skiff, Paul picked up odd jobs at the marina
retrieving lost articles and changing props. Without knowing it at the time,
this became the beginning of Paul's diving career.
He acquired scuba certification during high school and graduated from
Belle River High in 1974. After a year of miserable and boring work in a
Chrysler automotive plant, Paul decided it was time for real adventure and
decided to head west. With a backpack and motorcycle, he headed for Alaska.
Everyone knew this was the true land of adventure and big money for an
18-year-old! Stopping at an old friend's home in Northern Alberta, Paul
found a summer job with the Department of Highway. It was on a mobile camp
keeping the grass cut on the sides of the highways.
It was this job that allowed Paul to save enough money to attend his
dream school, the College of Oceaneering in Los Angeles, California where he
would study commercial diving. Leaving Alberta and its snow covered roads
behind, Paul now headed south on his motorcycle through the beautiful Rocky
Mountains and to warmer climates to start a new chapter in his life.
In the summer of 1976, Paul graduated from The College of Oceaneering
and could not wait for the next leg of his journey, the oil fields in the
North Sea. It was well known at school that job opportunities were abundant
there and within a week searching the various companies, Paul landed a job
with Sub Sea International out of Aberdeen, Scotland. There he worked as a
saturation diver in depths up to 630feet, building oil platforms and joining
oil pipelines together.
Paul learned about Belize through his brother, who was driving through
Mexico and Central America. Bill loved Belize and wrote Paul that this was a
"must see" country. Paul drove to Belize in 1978 and bought land in Caye
Caulker the same year. It was a vacation that lasted for six months and
although Paul had to get back to work in the North Sea, he could not stop
thinking about his new found paradise.