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YOUTH SAILING SAMPLES2018-11-06T00:08:36+00:00

Can you remember your first time on a boat?

The Sausalito sun at 10AM reflects off the ripples of Richardson Bay. Our schooner, Seaward, bobs as students walk on board.
Can you remember your first time on a boat? For many students, this is it. 39 life-vested students crowd around the port side as the captain leans on the main boom. “All hands!” the students yell back as the captain gets their attention. “One hand for the boat, and one for yourself!” Students listen attentively to safety procedures, agree to sail accordingly, and sit down on the teak wooden deck. The boat goes from a steady rock to a motored sway and makes its way to the epicenter of our estuary. Seaward purred through the deep channel where the Sacramento River flows into the salty Pacific Ocean. The brackish water we looked at from land was under our feet. Whether it’s a cormorant drying its waterlogged feathers or a seal making an appearance, nature is putting on its usual show, and we all get to bear witness just by being there.
What do you notice about the chart?” Students point to unique features: compass roses, cardinal directions, the numbers on the water. “What do we already know about navigation?” Sam, a crew member and educator, asks a small group of students hovering over a chart of San Francisco Bay. Students share their background knowledge with compasses and maps. We apply the same principles with landmarks to pinpoint our location in the Bay. It takes a coordinated team to take bearings at the same time. “We can take bearings when we’re near land, but what if we’re not? What do we use?” Students sit quietly and recall what they talked about in class before their sail: stars, horizon, sextants. “We also use ‘dead reckoning’!
Yes, there is plankton, a benthograb, and hydrometer. Sails were set by students who, an hour ago, never set foot on a boat before. Here they are, heaving a mainsail. “Raising Mains’l Halyard!” they shout before a team of 13 students coordinate themselves to lift a heavy load. All while appreciating the physics of buoyancy and the balance of the food web, we take five minutes to sit with the engine off and nothing but the wind in the sails and the fog horns beyond the Golden Gate to tickle our eardrums. What do you notice?
Just imagine enjoying a few hours away from your phone. Feeling cold wind and warm sun while docking again at the Bay Model. You have your friends at your side and adventures behind you.
So, have you been on a boat before?” I ask a group of students
No,” one student said while others shook their heads.
What stood out for you from this trip?” I ask.
The student who spoke took a moment to ponder. “I could never live without internet!
Whether it’s an appreciation for life at sea or the life we have a home, an education sail with Seaward is sure to bring you perspective.


Generous youth scholarship funding provided by the St. Francis Sailing Foundation
st francis foundation


captain Zach
Captain Zach teaches youth to steer a 59-ton vessel at the helm
Sophie dirt lesson
Educator, Sohpia Tigges, teachers about underwater soil by using a benthograb
Head Educator Teaches with hydrometer
Our head educator teaches youth using a hydrometer

Summer “Voyage Seaward” Youth Trips a Success

During this summer’s “Voyage Seaward” program, a 3- to 5-day overnight sail, youth experienced nature and built self-confidence through the adventure and challenge of learning to sail a tall ship. Students had the life-changing opportunity to live on the bay and to directly experience everything it has to offer – microclimates, wildlife, industry and historical significance.
The bay’s unique ecosystem drives students’ experiential learning into subjects such as oceanography, meteorology and marine science. They investigate local organisms, dabble in water chemistry and explore the ideas behind sailing theory. Participants develop their navigational sea legs by learning to find their vessel’s position through triangulation and dead reckoning (i.e., speed-time-distance). Youth groups involved in this summer’s program included the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Girl Scouts of the USA and the Camp SEA (Science, Education and Adventure) lab.
Thanks to generous donors, we were able to offer scholarships that enabled many youths to attend our camp. Many thanks to the family of Donald Davis and the George W. Davis Fund at Marin Community Foundation and to Connie Heldman and Hal Mooz, Maggie Moulton, William Goodell, the Mid-Peninsula Boys & Girls Club, Wayne Koide at the Richmond Yacht Club, Carrie Schwab Pomerantz, Rosemary Turner and Bill and Patty Burger. These voyages wouldn’t happen without you!
Generous “Voyage Seaward” funding provided by the family of:


Voyage Youth Group
A Voyage Seaward group of students, including a New York transplant, Call of the Sea alumni, two guitar-wielding friends, and students from Good Samaritan Family Resource Center and Boys & Girls Club of America.
Voyage Boys and Girls Club
Thanks to generous donors, a group from Boys and Girls Club of America, Mid-Peninsula sailed on a 3-day trip in San Francisco Bay.
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