When the pandemic storm first reached the Bay Area in March, it forced brigantine Matthew Turner to batten down and stay tied to the Army Corps/Bay Model Pier. We canceled schooner Seaward’s remaining Mexico voyages and she flew a quarantine flag as she bashed her way home.
We began to send weekly updates to provide you with sobering stories about how the storm was buffeting Call of the Sea, and also to provide rainbows of hope for better days ahead. The first update was sent on March 20, and ended with this quotation from Langston Hughes: “Hold fast to dreams. For if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.”
You are among many who have held fast to the dream of building a traditionally rigged tall ship and extending our exciting programs for generations. Long time supporters may remember this 2012 video from the archives of the Educational Tall Ship organization before its merger with Call of the Sea. The video is quite a contrast to what we have seen recently in the news. Pandemic, fire at Maritime Park, murder. Events that overwhelm and dash the dreams of many. Stark reminders of inequities and divisions in society. We yearn for recovery from what ails us; we want to see something hopeful.
Watch the video linked above. It is short and beautifully done. It will remind you that our programs are meant to be inclusive. Experiences on our ships not only inspire the young to be better environmental stewards, but also to work well together with people of different ethnicities and socio-economic groups.
Look out for brigantine Matthew Turner sailing next weekend, with only crew onboard training for Coast Guard on-the-water final tests.
Spy schooner Seaward sailing on June 20 with 4 crew and 6 young people from Marin City onboard and on scholarship.
Keep an eye out for a regular weekend schedule of day or evening sails for 6 passengers. Yes! Marin Public Health allows for outdoor recreation in groups of no greater than 10 (including crew), observing strict protocols.
Peruse the post of our “Young-Salts Adventure Camp” program planned to start June 22. Yes! Marin Public Health allows for day camps to operate with an intact group of 12 children who attend over a three week period. If you are interested in learning more about the program, or reserving a spot for a young person, email to reserve a spot. Hurry, space is extremely limited.
We are excited to finally be able to sail, to heel in the brisk breeze, and to contribute to the process of healing. Fresh air, moving about the deck of a tall ship, is good for body and soul, and will aid in recovery from the pandemic. Providing opportunities for young people from differing backgrounds to share experiences, to sail together to the Golden Gate, will aid in bridging gaps that divide us.
Although the upcoming sailing schedule is not as robust as it would be without a pandemic, and despite pandemic limited vessel capacities that are far lower than capacities permitted under Coast Guard regulations, we believe that a reefed sail is better than no sail at all.
We close with excerpts from another Langston Hughes poem that is still relevant today, Let America be America Again (1935). The full text was read on the CBS Evening News broadcast, June 4, 2020. This, too, is worth watching.
“Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be…
…a dream so strong, so brave, so true
O, I’m the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home …”
Steven Woodside, Executive Director