The Crew of Schooner Zodiac
The overriding mission of those involved with the Zodiac is to keep the nautical tradition and skills of our maritime history alive and to educate, inform and involve passengers in the lore of tall ship sailing.
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Captain - Tim Mehrer
Captain Mehrer has been involved in the maritime industry and especially with tall ship schooners since he was a youngster. Growing up on the schooner Adventuress, Tim spent years sailing in the Pacific Northwest alongside his father, Captain Karl Mehrer. Tim spent a number of years as an officer on the Sea Cloud before returning to Puget Sound to restore the schooner Zodiac. Upon Karl's retirement a decade ago, Tim now skippers the Zodiac full time.
Port Captain - Chris Wallace
Chris holds a 200-ton captain's credentials. She spent three years as the Zodiac's first mate, and this season has moved into the role of Port Captain. She oversees staffing and crew training and helps Cpt. Tim map out the Zodiac's sailing season. Chris and her family live on a 1923 ex-BC Forestry vessel named Kwaietek http://flota-navium.blogspot.com/ when she is not on the Zodiac.
First Mate - Kris Jones
Kris Jones has been involved with the schooner Zodiac for five years as a volunteer. He spent the last season on the east coast of the US, crewing aboard tall ships such as Kalmar Nyckel and the Pride of Baltimore II. This is Kris Jones' first year as a deck officer; he plans to take his captain's license at the end of the sailing season.
Passenger Liaison - Jacki Roberts
Jacki came onboard Zodiac in 2008 as a passenger. She fell in love with the ship and her crew and over the past few years has been serving as Zodiac's naturalist and Steward. Jacki hails from Seattle, WA where she also volunteers for the Seattle Aquarium. Jacki is a certified diver in her free time.
Ship's Engineer- Calen Mehrer
Calen follows in the long line of Mehrer's who are committed to classic wooden boats. Involved in almost every aspect of the Zodiac since elementary school, Calen now devotes his time to building the skill-set of Chief Engineer. Calen is currently studying at Montana State University.
Ship's Cook - Ian Relay
Ian has been onboard for the last three years as our ship's Cook. His food has earned Zodiac a reputation as a "cruise ship with excellent fare and plenty of it". Ian now lives in Alaska with his family during the off season and journeys south in time to feed hungry sailors. His eclectic playlist that emanates from the galley is almost as popular as his fabulous cooking. Just don't call him a "chef"!
Ship's Carpenter & Lead Rigger - Jeffery Carson
Jeffery has been a custom woodworker for over twenty years, with a background in theater construction and theatrical rigging. His involvement with the Zodiac started in 2006 with a day sail in Lake Union. He has been involved with the ship ever since. When Zodiac lost her main mast in 2010, Jeffery worked with Cpt Tim and the USCG to re-engineer her replacement mast(s). In addition to running the shop and maintaining Zodiac's rig, his current career is as a crew-member on an ocean-going tug.
Volunteer Coordinator - Richard DePartee
When not attending corporate meetings, Vessel Zodiac president Richard DePartee is the full-time Volunteer Coordinator. Richard facilitates the winter-time restoration and re-fit work onboard the schooner zodiac. He lends a hand in overseeing our internship recruitment and program. When Richard finds the time to join us on cruises, he can often be found on the foredeck with his fiddle, practicing sea chantey music.
Education Director - Dave Hageman
Dave Hageman was a history teacher at Sehome High School for several decades. Upon his retirement in 2011, he transitioned over to the Zodiac's Program Director for Educational and Youth Charters. Dave brings his love of teaching and exuberance towards the outdoors to his work on the Zodiac. It isn't unusual to hear his boisterous renditions of "Blueberry Hill" and "You've Lost that Lovin' Feelin'" when sails are raised in the morning.
Marketing and Reservations - Chris Wallace
While on-shore, Chris spends her time promoting the schooner Zodiac for private charters and public, multi-day cruising. Her background as a former small business owner has helped to grow the Zodiac's notoriety and expand the season's sailing schedule. Chris is always looking for new ideas and interested organizations. If you have a charter idea or a company team-building opportunity in mind, please give her a call at 206-719-7622.
Ship's Official Cat- Abby
Every tall ship needs a good mouser. Abby came to us in 2010 as a two-month old kitten. She has adapted to life onboard a schooner with great aplomb and tolerates the comings and goings of the deckhands and passengers in general cat fashion. The only crew member that might just out-rank the Skipper, Abby has no issue with letting her opinions be known around the ship. Given the right mood and proper treats, she has even been known to lend a paw with line-handling. We have no real proof that she is indeed a mouser, but then again--there are no mice on the Zodiac!