Captain Paul Tate

Captain Paul is a US Coast Guard Certified Master with decades of experience working on research vessels, fishing boats, and private yachts.

Paul started his maritime career with the US Coast Guard in the 1960s, where he became interested in marine science and commercial fishing. He pursued a BS in Fisheries Management from the University of Washington, then spent the next ten years as a fisheries biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish & Game. In the late 1970s, Paul decided to try his hand at commercial fishing and became the Captain of a Bering Sea crab boat, where he spent the next five years.

As much as Captain Paul loved being a commercial fisherman, he and his wife decided it was time for an adventure. In 1984, they and their young son went cruising by sail throughout Mexico, Central America, and the eastern part of the United States. After a stretch running vessel deliveries, he joined Carlson Companies of Minneapolis, a private international company engaged in hospitality, travel, and corporate incentive. There he enjoyed a mix of people, ports, and Atlantic waters for eighteen years, working as the Captain of motor yachts between 90 and 145 feet. Nevertheless, he felt drawn back to Pacific Northwest waters and marine science, and in 2005, heeded the call.

Paul and a partner refitted the retired 108 ft Bering Sea crabber Norseman as a research vessel. He captained the Norseman for ten years, sailing on 54 research and exploration voyages from Southeast Alaska to Arctic Ocean waters. He also did a short stint with Un-Cruise Adventures as Chief Mate, worked on Oregon State University’s R/V Elakha conducting coastal and estuarine research, and has spent the past six years as Captain of the US Geological Survey’s R/V Alaskan Gyre.

In addition to a BS in Fisheries Management from UW, Captain Paul has received training at the US Navy Fleet Sonar School in Florida and was certified as a Boat Oregon Instructor to lead boating safety courses. We are thrilled to welcome such a seasoned Captain to our team as we launch this next exciting phase of the Western Flyer’s journey!