“The sea has known so many races, and bears testimony to none.”
The Wind is Free, 1949, by Frank Wrightman (1896-1970) (b. South Africa)
For centuries, much has been written about this distinctive attribute of the Sea: all those who sail upon it face the same elements: shifting winds, waves, tides, storms, and hidden shoals.
For decades, Call of the Sea has made it possible for people from all walks of life to face these challenges together. Our founder, Alan Olson, recently put it this way: “While nature is blind to race and background, those aboard ships experience human nature on many different levels.” By handling lines, charting a course, gauging weather and tides, taking the helm, and standing watch, a young salt not only gains self confidence, but also learns the value of working cooperatively with others, and to respect the strengths of each individual crew member.
After weeks tied to the Bay Model/Army Corps Pier in Sausalito, schooner Seaward sailed during the Solstice, joining the 20th annual Summer Sailstice world-wide celebration of the healthy and unifying attributes of sailing. Ours was a three hour sail limited by public health guidelines to a total of 10 persons on board. Captain Jay Grant mustered three female crew members, and we invited 6 persons from the Bridge the Gap program in Marin City to be our guests. All wore masks and complied with pandemic protocols. This was our first modest effort to breathe in the fair winds, and to bridge a bit of the gaps that isolate and divide us.
Your help and support has made this possible. We are very close to doing much more–by quickly and creatively adjusting our programs to operate safely within changing Covid-19 constraints, and by remaining true to our mission. For example, Marin County Health just announced that 12 person “Social Bubble” groups may gather outside, wearing masks, and distancing themselves. So we ask, “Why not bubble up on the deck of one of our vessels?” Please let us know if this idea sounds promising, and whether you know of any “Social Bubbles” that are forming and might be interested in spending time on the water. Perhaps you will create a bubble of your own. Maybe you will choose to sponsor a group whose current economic condition or background may be a barrier to sailing with us.
The sea is not alone in treating people of different backgrounds impartially. From around the world, the same can be said about emotions that bind us.
“Friendship knows no color, nationality, race and social level, friendship knows no age and gender, friendship knows no distance.”
Aphorisms of a Restless Soul, 2014, by Luis Alexandre Ribeiro Branco (b. Brazil)
Yours in good health and friendship,
Steven Woodside, Executive Director