Dear Call of the Sea Supporters and Volunteers,
We hope that you are well, and that you took the opportunity to read Alan’s positive message recalling the launch of Matthew Turner on April 1, 2017. One long time supporter commented that “Alan’s dream was contagious in the best sense.” We agree.
For some, knowing that April 1 of this year was to be Matthew Turner’s first overnight voyage with students, the message was bittersweet. All school programs have been canceled for April and May. One teacher responded to the cancellation, “I”m sorry this has happened….It’s the highlight of our year!” A few schools have understandably requested refunds, but more have decided to reschedule in the Fall..
Despite the continuing disappointment about missing the Spring sailing season, we have received some good news this week:
The Coast Guard told us that they will issue a Certificate of inspection (COI) for Matthew Turner, conditioned on passing on-the-water tests! This means that the vessel meets all safety standards, and is licensed to take passengers on the water once we demonstrate that our crew can safely operate it. We will schedule a formal ceremony to celebrate this milestone when we are able to gather as a group.
Schooner Seaward and crew entered US waters, tired but healthy, as you can see from the photo taken yesterday morning of Captain Jay and trainee Natalie as they approached Catalina Island. Track Seaward’s voyage back to Sausalito here.
We received unsolicited, and much appreciated, contributions from three key supporters These funds will enable us to keep Matthew Turner and Seaward insured and safely docked for a few more weeks–and prepared to sail when we can take groups on board.
Thanks to all of you for your continuing interest in how Call of the Sea is faring during the pandemic, and for sharing our dream for healthful sailing on the Bay and coastal waters. All the best to you and your loved ones., Steven Woodside, Executive Director
March 27, 2020
March 20, 2020
Since our last message, the “sea state” has changed dramatically. Like most of you, we have been sheltering in place, with our small staff, crew and Board communicating remotely. So far, everyone on our team remains healthy; and we hope that is true for you and your loved ones.
School closures and lock downs have wiped out our Spring season. We have reached out to teachers to reschedule the educational sails that were booked; and we are preparing for closure of schools through the end of the school year. This is a double blow to students who are already missing class and will probably not be able to go on the water with us for a long time. It is also a blow to our finances, jeopardizing our ability to provide quality experiential education on our remarkable vessels.
Call of the Sea is working hard to weather this crisis, as a ship’s captain and crew prepare for a storm at sea: First, by reducing sail. We are dramatically reducing costs, vacating office space, restructuring debt, cutting staff and,very sadly, furloughing crew. Even though we are “cutting to the keel”, we remain very concerned about our ability to protect our ships at the dock and assure our organization’s viability.
Seaward is at the end of her season in Mexico, after great sailing with many passengers reporting having the time of their lives! We made the hard decision to cancel passengers for the final leg, for the safety of all. Seaward will soon sail home with only crew. You can track the ship’s progress on several vessel tracking apps by searching for “Schooner Seaward.”
We had planned to send out a Save the Date postcard for what could have been a fabulous family friendly celebration at the Bay Model on June 13. With the uncertainty we all face, however, let’s just hold that date on our calendars in the hope we can safely gather together as a large group in June. We might then be able to truly celebrate that we can fulfill our mission to provide inspiring on-the-water experiences for people of all ages and backgrounds.
Almost 100 years ago, young poet Langston Hughes wrote: “Hold fast to dreams. For if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.”. Let’s hold fast to our dreams–and see our sails fly!
Yours in good health,
Call of the Sea