Trevor Hendron is no stranger to the sea. The first picture ever taken of him, when he was just four days old, was on a boat with his father and grandfather.
Captain Trevor Hendron currently works the Larkspur-San Francisco route for Golden Gate Ferry as well as being a captain for Alcatraz Cruises.
BY MATT LARSON
Trevor Hendron is no stranger to the sea. The first picture ever taken of him, when he was just four days old, was on a boat with his father and grandfather. He’s pretty sure he didn’t even go home first after he was born at the hospital—he instead went straight to sea.
Early life on the water led to his love of boats, and Hendron’s passion was truly ignited when he went to sailing camp at nine years old. “I got my first boat, restored it, got it running, fell in love with the ocean, fell in love with the water and never really looked back,” he said. And Hendron still puts his passion into practice today, as he currently is a captain on Golden Gate Ferry’s Larkspur-San Francisco route. He also works as a captain for Alcatraz Cruises.
In addition to being on the water every day and getting to work outdoors, Hendron really enjoys the social aspect of his job. “Working in the maritime industry, you run into a myriad of different people with experiences that you otherwise wouldn’t usually come across if you were hanging out with accountants and lawyers all day,” he said. “My coworkers have, many times, literally traveled around the world. You don’t get to hear from certain parts of the world unless you know people who have been there, and I know a lot of people who have.”
Hendron fits right into that group of world travelers. When studying at Cal Maritime in Vallejo, he embarked on a journey to pick up a boat in Hawaii, take it to China, Japan and the Philippines—and then bring it back to San Francisco. “That’s probably the longest voyage I’ve ever been on,” he said. “And when I was a kid I think I spent three weeks at one point sailing around and exploring the Channel Islands.” He grew up in Southern California and learned to sail in Marina Del Rey. The Channel Islands were his childhood summertime stomping grounds.
When he manages to find free time these days, Hendron enjoys tinkering, building prototypes and restoring things—he considered pursuing a career in prosthetics while earning his engineering degree from SF State. “I like taking things that are old and making them new again,” he said. “To be able to put hours in and see an end result, whether it’s restoring a stereo or building a wooden chest—I like to take the time to do things the right way.” Asked if he had any inventions he could share with us, he responded: “I have a few patents I’m waiting on.” He couldn’t share any specific details, so maybe you can find out if you see him on board. He’s also really into cars and has worked on all kinds of different sports cars and custom projects.
This love for design and engineering directly contributes to his abilities as a captain. “I think captains are thought of as old and salty, and old school,” he said. “And we are, kind of. But we’re a lot more adaptable than you’d think.” He explained how every vessel, every crew and every day is different out on the water, so it’s tough to remain set in your ways. “If you’re not able to adapt—you’re toast,” he said. And you’ve got to know your electronics. “There are all kinds of emerging technologies, new boats, new systems and everything’s becoming more electronic and more integrated with circuits, so you’d better be ready.”
For Hendron, the ferry system is more than just a luxury for us here in the Bay. “I think that public transportation is the key to keeping cities and areas like the Bay Area alive,” he said. “It allows us to stay connected.” Ferries provide an amazing service that people couldn’t experience any other way, he said. “If you’re skeptical about it, the best thing you could do is come out on the water and give it a shot. I know you won’t be disappointed.”