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,

Steven Woodside
Executive Director
Call of the Sea