Bay Explorations

Our crew of professional educators create an environment for students to engage, participate, inquire, and discover in an unforgettable on the water experience.

Contact us to find out more & request sail dates


Available on both the Seaward and Matthew Turner

We begin Bay Exploration Sails with a safety briefing, then students set sail with the assistance of the crew to head into San Francisco Bay! Lesson plans are conducted under way in groups of 10-12 students, rotating through 30 minute learning stations, with time for a 5-10 minute pause for students to stay still, listen to and feel the motion of the boat in the bay. Students get a tour below deck and a glimpse of life on a sailboat!

Select your program package below for an interdisciplinary educational sail tailored for the age level        Third grade through University or adult groups

Lesson plans:


  • Engage in sailing the vessel and think critically about teamwork, communication and the safety of themselves and others.
  • Haul up sails, coil lines, tie knots and engage with simple machines.
  • Learn to read a navigational chart, use coastal piloting techniques and simple mathematics to fix their position
  • Learn about how the winds and currents impact navigation.

Central Challenge: Students apply newly acquired skills to figure out their location on a chart.


  • Explore and identify what lives in and around the marine environment.
  • Observe several different types of plankton found in San Francisco Bay.
  • Discuss how we are all connected to the marine food web.

Central Challenge: Students collect and identify plankton, and discover their importance to themselves, each other and the planet.


  • Explore what life was like for sailors during different periods of time.
  • Learn what sea shanties are and how sailors use them
  • Discuss topics from human migration, unrest and protest, the gold rush and military defenses.
  • Engage in environmental and social justice issues around the San Francisco Bay from a maritime perspective.

Central Challenge: Students reflect upon the past and present to identify their own hopes and challenges for the future.


  • Apply the scientific method to make predictions and answer questions about the marine environment.
  • Explore our dynamic marine ecosystem by deploying scientific instruments and analyzing water samples. 
  • Study where the bay’s water comes from and anthropogenic and natural factors that affect its composition–including temperature, salinity and ocean acidification.

Central Challenge: As a field scientist, students collect and analyze data from the San Francisco Bay.


  • Engage with Matthew Turner’s hybrid-electric propulsion system
  • Discover how sailing energy powers the ship’s electric motors and contributes to our zero- carbon platform.
  • Engage in meaningful conversation around topics including sustainable seafood, ocean acidification and microplastics.

Central Challenge: Students will engage with a perspective shift using the shipboard experience as a platform for change to empower students to make individual and community-wide change.


  • Bring physics to life by using mechanical advantage to set sail and navigate the Bay.
  • Learn a new perspective on sail theory and hull design.
  • See how technology has informed sailors through the years.

Central Challenge: Students manipulate simple machines to find out what they do and how they do it.