Volunteer Highlight: Robert Hodge

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Well, I’m from a small farm town 45 miles outside Chicago and have lived in Seattle about ten years. I taught myself to sail while volunteering at a summer camp in the northwoods of Wisconsin; there was a Sunfish there and it looked like fun, so I read a few things in a book and started trying to take it out… and got pretty good at it.

After that I didn’t go near a small boat until a few years after I moved to Seattle, about ten or fifteen years later. I built a ozracer pram, sailed that for a season or two, then bought the Minnow, a 12-foot pram yawl. I joined the Corinthian Yacht Club of Seattle and eventually got more and more into boats; entering two R2AKs and cruising in a Catalina 30.

Right now, I own and liveaboard on the Monsoon, an old Peterson IOR two-ton race boat that holds the R2AK record for ‘most tonnage over the line.’ In addition to that, I am nearing completion on a two year rebuild and refit of a 1960 built wooden lighting.

Beyond that, my involvement with the water extends to my livelihood; depending on the season I make my living either working at Fisheries Supply in Seattle or working in the shipyards of Seattle in steel ship repair and construction.

How long have you been a volunteer with us?

To be honest, I don’t know! I guess last year’s SEVENTY48 might have been the first ‘official’ time I volunteered. I’ve always been willing to help and have manned booths for R2AK and helped with the tailgate party, as well as pitching in when I can. I live in Seattle so I really only get to volunteer for events; that being said it’s in my nature to help out others and help to make events I enjoy happen.

What do you enjoy about volunteering with us?

The events I enjoy and the things I like to see happening in this world don’t just happen, and without co-conspirators and collaborators a lot of the more interesting things the Maritime Center does just wouldn’t be possible. I like the spark of crazy that you can see in someone’s eye when they do something out of the ordinary. Whether it’s starting the R2AK or tailgating the boat show, taking a class or singing a sea shanty, you can see that spark. Without my help, I feel there’d be a lot less of that in this world. Somebody’s got to be the one to hold the beer when some says ‘hold my beer’ and charges off towards adventure.