Seaward started her 5-day voyage sailing on San Francisco Bay so students could get their sea legs before venturing up to Drakes Bay. They spotted grey whales along the way.
“We heard elephant seals calls throughout the night during anchor watch.”
“We sailed through guano fog surrounding the Farallon Islands, and as the fog thinned we watched birds and researchers through binoculars.”
“When we saw the sun, out came the sextants.”
The winds then carried Seaward to Half Moon Bay, where students went ashore for coastal cleanup and lessons in tide-pooling. Anchor watch entertainment was a bucket of water that sparkled with bioluminescent plankton with a touch of the hand, and discovering the power of a tide log.
Welcome to Voyage Seaward, a 5-day near coastal experience for teenagers!
Voyage Seaward is a 5-day educational sailing program during which students are exposed to a broad range of experiences relevant to sailing and exploring the marine environment. While sailing San Francisco Bay and the nearby coastal waters student are involved in a range of science and ship-board activities which provide a valuable addition to their ever growing set of life-skills and experiences.
Over the course of five days Seaward sails to local and coastal anchorages and harbors such as China Camp, Angel Island, Drakes Bay, Half Moon Bay and Paradise Cove, and during this time the students become a part of the crew and take on responsibilities such as standing sailing watch during the day and anchor watch at night, all the while helping to keep their voyaging home on course, and safe. At the end of the voyage they are even able to steer and navigate the ship back to Sausalito with minimal intervention from the crew.
But of course, sailing is only part of the journey. Throughout the voyage the students and educators are involved in scientific activities designed to help students discover the wonders of the marine environment, and discover the many different creatures, big and small, that make up ocean life. They will tow for plankton, and sometimes find interesting bottom dwellers on the anchor. And while on “science watch” students will learn more about the creatures they’ve discovered, and how they interact with the environment and each other.
Depending on the season the students may be lucky enough to see whales swimming and breaching, often quite close to the boat. And to keep the lookouts from getting bored there are almost always sea lions, seals and porpoises swimming nearby or in the distance. At the end of the day the vessel settles into a comfortable bay or harbor and students often have the opportunity to swim off the boat, or go ashore and explore new lands before settling in for the evening.
At the end of five days the students are exhausted but also exhilarated. They have become explorers, scientists, navigators and team players, and will take home many life-long memories.
Generous youth scholarship funding provided by Bruce Lloyd