Call of the Sea’s Curricular Commitment

Our world is changing, and our mission at Call of the Sea is to empower youth to serve as environmental stewards.
How does Call of the Sea ensure that the educational programs we offer fulfill our mission?
We collaborate. In the past few months, we have met with multiple youth programs and state- and federal-level agencies. We strive to ensure that what we offer fills a niche in the ecosystem of outdoor educational opportunities and enhances what happens in the classroom.
We are grateful to Bay Area Discovery Museum, San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park, Sonoma Water District, Contra Costa Water District, and Project Water Education for Teachers (WET) for hosting Call of the Sea. We are having conversations about creating an Environmental Literacy Collaborative, enhancing collaboration in support of California Senate Bill 720.
We innovate. We know from our feedback forms that different age groups ask different questions after going on a sail. We see exciting opportunities to cater our curriculum to each school grade level. We will be creating a new field trip guide for 2019 to share with parents, teachers, and students, and we will have a menu of options for educational experiences that support curiosity-driven learning, Common Core Standards, and Next Generation Science Standards.
A key part of innovation is measurement and assessment. We strive to ensure that the curricular material we are creating has a lasting impact, and we can only know this if we track and measure our impact.
We co-create. Which stories and details inspire you from your experiences at sea? What do your students, children, and grandchildren ask you about science, sailing, and the ocean? We welcome input from our community to make our field trip guide and programs even better.
There are incredible programs all around the Bay Area, and Call of the Sea is committed to serving the grade levels and schools that are currently underserved. By co-creating our educational programs, we can ensure that our field trips and voyages fulfill the unmet needs of California teachers, parents, and students.
Share in the creation of an educational experience that lasts a lifetime. Email our director of education, Dax Ovid, Ph.D., at to be part of Call of the Sea’s Curricular Commitment.
Generous youth scholarship funding provided by Bob Bitchin and Cruising Outpost Magazine

Students First

Experiential Learning at Our Core

Maritime Expertise

Sustainability On & Off the Water

Environmental Stewardship and Action

Teaching and learning happens beyond talking and listening. The theory of environmental stewardship must be backed by the practice of being a steward (what the Brazilian educator and philosopher Paulo Freire would call “praxis”).
Call of the Sea is grateful for the ideas and practices of fellow leaders in environmental stewardship. The California Coastal Commission brings the practice of the coastal clean-up to all students by offering guidelines for a schoolyard cleanup. At Call of the Sea, students experience first-hand the connection between trash on shore and marine debris. Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) offers the lesson plan “There is No Away” to emphasize the connection between what we throw away and what we find in out coastal clean-ups and on-the-water. We are inspired by YESS Marin (Youth Exploring Sea Level Rise Science), a program supporting young people to take action and engage in climate change solutions in their communities.
Participants in our sailing programs, whether it’s a field trip for younger students or a community sail for older students, are encouraged to make connections with the natural systems of San Francisco Bay, the coast, and the ocean. We encourage participants to ask questions at the intersection of human and natural systems through hands-on inquiry. We facilitate field experiences in a phenomena-rich setting.
After you sail with us, what claim can you make (based on evidence from your experience on the sail) about being an environmental steward? Let us work together to provide pathways for action for this generation.
Share in the creation of an educational experience that lasts a lifetime. Email our director of education, Dax Ovid, Ph.D., at to be part of Call of the Sea’s Environmental Stewardship Action.
Generous youth scholarship funding provided by Bob Bitchin and Cruising Outpost Magazine

Every choice counts.

Hybrid Battery Bank

From Voyage Seaward to Maine Maritime Academy

An interview with Mikaela Pitre:
As a child, I spent my summers in Santa Cruz, California, where I could attend Marine Science camps at the Long Marine Lab in the University of Santa Cruz’s Seymour Center. Subsequently, I attended the summer program Camp Sea Lab on the Schooner Seaward, in association with California State Monterey University. During the summer of 2015, while with Camp Sea Lab, I helped to collect and assess samples of water from the Monterey Bay, specifically to test for the amounts of plastic particles in the bay. Though not required by Camp Sea Lab, out of curiosity, I wanted to follow up on the results of the water samples. I was directed to Acadia Institute of Oceanography (AIO) in Maine. With a recommendation from my high school Biology teacher, I was fortunate to get into AIO for their advanced summer program in 2016. During my time at AIO, we were given the opportunity to tour one of three local colleges, and I chose Maine Maritime Academy(MMA). Now as a student of MMA I have the opportunity to attain a dual degree in Marine Biology and Small Vessel Operations. This will allow me to study the world’s oceans in more depth, and it will provide opportunities for me to operate and navigate boats. I can then share with others what I’ve learned, through my education, and my work in the field of Marine Biology.

If you or someone you know is interested in having a middle-schooler participate in Voyage Seaward, see the dates for summer 2019 and register here! Space is limited.

Generous youth scholarship funding provided by Bay Delta Maritime

Mikaela on Seaward
Mikaela Pitre as a Teen Participant on Voyage Seaward
Mikaela now Trains to Navigate Boats

Can you remember your first time on a boat?

The Sausalito sun at 10AM reflects off the ripples of Richardson Bay. Our schooner, Seaward, bobs as students walk on board.
Can you remember your first time on a boat? For many students, this is it. 39 life-vested students crowd around the port side as the captain leans on the main boom. “All hands!” the students yell back as the captain gets their attention. “One hand for the boat, and one for yourself!” Students listen attentively to safety procedures, agree to sail accordingly, and sit down on the teak wooden deck. The boat goes from a steady rock to a motored sway and makes its way to the epicenter of our estuary. Seaward purred through the deep channel where the Sacramento River flows into the salty Pacific Ocean. The brackish water we looked at from land was under our feet. Whether it’s a cormorant drying its waterlogged feathers or a seal making an appearance, nature is putting on its usual show, and we all get to bear witness just by being there.
What do you notice about the chart?” Students point to unique features: compass roses, cardinal directions, the numbers on the water. “What do we already know about navigation?” Sam, a crew member and educator, asks a small group of students hovering over a chart of San Francisco Bay. Students share their background knowledge with compasses and maps. We apply the same principles with landmarks to pinpoint our location in the Bay. It takes a coordinated team to take bearings at the same time. “We can take bearings when we’re near land, but what if we’re not? What do we use?” Students sit quietly and recall what they talked about in class before their sail: stars, horizon, sextants. “We also use ‘dead reckoning’!
Yes, there is plankton, a benthograb, and hydrometer. Sails were set by students who, an hour ago, never set foot on a boat before. Here they are, heaving a mainsail. “Raising Mains’l Halyard!” they shout before a team of 13 students coordinate themselves to lift a heavy load. All while appreciating the physics of buoyancy and the balance of the food web, we take five minutes to sit with the engine off and nothing but the wind in the sails and the fog horns beyond the Golden Gate to tickle our eardrums. What do you notice?
Just imagine enjoying a few hours away from your phone. Feeling cold wind and warm sun while docking again at the Bay Model. You have your friends at your side and adventures behind you.
So, have you been on a boat before?” I ask a group of students
No,” one student said while others shook their heads.
What stood out for you from this trip?” I ask.
The student who spoke took a moment to ponder. “I could never live without internet!
Whether it’s an appreciation for life at sea or the life we have a home, an education sail with Seaward is sure to bring you perspective.

Generous youth scholarship funding provided by the St. Francis Sailing Foundation
st francis foundation

captain Zach
Captain Zach teaches youth to steer a 59-ton vessel at the helm
Sophie dirt lesson
Educator, Sohpia Tigges, teachers about underwater soil by using a benthograb
Head Educator Teaches with hydrometer
Our head educator teaches youth using a hydrometer

Summer “Voyage Seaward” Youth Trips a Success

During this summer’s “Voyage Seaward” program, a 3- to 5-day overnight sail, youth experienced nature and built self-confidence through the adventure and challenge of learning to sail a tall ship. Students had the life-changing opportunity to live on the bay and to directly experience everything it has to offer – microclimates, wildlife, industry and historical significance.
The bay’s unique ecosystem drives students’ experiential learning into subjects such as oceanography, meteorology and marine science. They investigate local organisms, dabble in water chemistry and explore the ideas behind sailing theory. Participants develop their navigational sea legs by learning to find their vessel’s position through triangulation and dead reckoning (i.e., speed-time-distance). Youth groups involved in this summer’s program included the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Girl Scouts of the USA and the Camp SEA (Science, Education and Adventure) lab.
Thanks to generous donors, we were able to offer scholarships that enabled many youths to attend our camp. Many thanks to the family of Donald Davis and the George W. Davis Fund at Marin Community Foundation and to Connie Heldman and Hal Mooz, Maggie Moulton, William Goodell, the Mid-Peninsula Boys & Girls Club, Wayne Koide at the Richmond Yacht Club, Carrie Schwab Pomerantz, Rosemary Turner and Bill and Patty Burger. These voyages wouldn’t happen without you!
Generous “Voyage Seaward” funding provided by the family of:

Voyage Youth Group
A Voyage Seaward group of students, including a New York transplant, Call of the Sea alumni, two guitar-wielding friends, and students from Good Samaritan Family Resource Center and Boys & Girls Club of America.
Voyage Boys and Girls Club
Thanks to generous donors, a group from Boys and Girls Club of America, Mid-Peninsula sailed on a 3-day trip in San Francisco Bay.