We sail to engage students of all ages with their local waters, to cultivate and preserve maritime tradition, and to inspire environmental stewardship in our youth.
Call of the Sea owns and operates the schooner Seaward, an 82-foot U.S. Coast Guard inspected vessel that sails on San Francisco Bay and along the Pacific coast. We offer sailing opportunities to all ages, while focusing on providing access to underserved youth.
For over ten years, we have been connecting youth with the power of nature through sailing, with a special focus on empowering youth of all backgrounds. Programs range from three hours to six days long, primarily taking place on San Francisco Bay, with seasonal trips in Southern California and Baja Mexico.
Our crew of professional sailors and educators provides a safe and educational atmosphere for up to 40 participants at a time. We look forward to the completion of Matthew Turner, our tall ship under construction, that will be able to accommodate as many as 80 passengers at a time. We plan to offer educational sails on Matthew Turner in 2018.
There are a number of ways to get aboard and sail with us.
Who We Reach
At Call of the Sea, we seek to serve people of all backgrounds, from all over the bay. In 2016, we had over 6,000 passengers aboard, with about 5,000 of them students, sailing from Sausalito, San Francisco, Berkeley, Alameda, Redwood City and Monterey. Student ages ranged from five to eighteen years old. The majority of participants on day programs were 4th and 5th graders while the majority of participants on overnight programs were 8th-12th graders.
We aim to serve our area’s underserved and at-risk youth. We recruit underserved youth through program partners like Boys & Girls Clubs and 7 Teepees. Of all the underserved youth we worked with in 2016, approximately 80% of them were eligible for free or reduced meal prices. A large percentage came from single parent households.
Opportunities for experiential marine education exist in our primary service area, but very few of the area’s at-risk youth have financial resources or parental support necessary to take advantage of them. It is crucial for these students to be exposed to the world outside their neighborhood. Holly Kucek of KIPP Academy San Jose Collegiate says of outdoor programs like Call of the Sea, “Opening our students’ eyes to the world outside of their community is critical for them to begin to think bigger than their surroundings and dream bigger dreams for themselves.”
Though there are many local outdoor education programs, Call of the Sea is the only program in northern California that offers overnight experiences on a sailing ship, traveling the waters of San Francisco Bay and the California Coast. It is a completely unique opportunity, and we are actively committed to making it accessible to the Bay Area’s underserved youth.
The greater Bay area includes nine counties with over a million students; it is estimated that less than 5% of these students have been on the Bay. Today there is a growing realization that experienced-based education is a powerful tool that has been overlooked. In 2016, California implemented changes to its science standards. These Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are moving teachers and students out of the classroom and into interactive learning environments. Call of the Sea’s educational programs naturally align with NGSS and offer interactive, experience-based learning.
Both Seaward and Matthew Turner will provide invaluable out-of-the-classroom education through on-the-water sailing experiences. Seaward alone, now serves more students than all other sailing environmental educational programs in the Bay Area.