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Fall 2022 Newsletter

The Power of Partnerships

Mark Welther, COTS CEO

Please join Call of the Sea on October 21 for our “Inspiring Future Leaders” event, where we will showcase the exciting growth of COTS’s education programs!

COTS is growing our programs in part through developing new partnerships. Here is how we create those opportunities:

Word-of-Mouth - COTS’s current teachers help us bring in new schools by telling their peers about their awesome experiences. 

Teacher Sails – Our free three-hour Teacher Sails give educators and administrators the opportunity to meet our crew, experience the exhilaration of sailing on SF Bay, and participate directly in COTS’s on-board STEAM programs (see photos below).

Outreach to New Organizations - California Academy of Sciences Curator Jack Dumbacher and I worked together in 2012. In July, I invited Jack and his family to join a Matthew Turner sail, and COTS and the Academy are now discussing joint programming opportunities.  

Outreach to New Communities:

  • 2022 Juneteenth and the MarinCity80 Celebrations – COTS coordinated with Marin City leaders to participate in both community events. 
  • Marin City Community Development Corporation – COTS's Director of Education, Steve Kielar and I introduced twenty Marin City high school students to COTS’s nature education programs. 
  • Multicultural Center of Marin – COTS recently hosted twenty MCM staff on a community sail.  
  • Golden Gate Audubon staff are helping connect COTS with new East Bay and SF Title 1 schools, and are planning a 2022 Audubon/COTS Christmas Bird Count.  

All of these partnerships and more are critical to COTS’s success. As a COTS follower, you can be proud that your contribution helps COTS provide more inspiring youth education experiences, while also benefiting multiple organizations. In 2023, with your continued support, we are poised to do even more.


Join Call of the Sea for the Fall 2022 “Inspiring Future Leaders” Reception!

Proudly honoring the young people whose lives are being transformed by COTS’s innovative educational experiences and the tall ships that are changing their lives.

Friday October 21, 6-9 PM

At the Spinnaker Restaurant

  • Tickets $150 per person
  • Heavy Hors d'oeuvres
  • Music, Video Program and Student Testimonials
  • Auction and “Fund-a-Need” for the development of COTS’s program

Help us raise funds for scholarships for our educational sailing programs!

Register for the Event
Donate to Scholarship Fund

Profile of Nicholas Vaughan:  from ALOFT participant to Chief Mate!

Why did you decide to get involved with Call of the Sea? 

I knew I wanted something to do with Call of the Sea from the first time I saw Matthew Turner out on the water, but I had no idea what that would look like. The only thing I really knew was how little I knew about sailing, a feeling of overwhelm that was cemented on my trip as a student on an Aloft sail, autumn of 2020. I easily could have walked away from that first sail feeling out of my depth and very psyched-out, but the crew showed me such enthusiastic support that I couldn’t help but feel motivated to keep learning. That’s when I knew that I’d stumbled upon a corner of the world worth working to carve out a space for myself in, because it seemed to be such an unbelievable intersection of beautiful, working history and beautiful, working humans........... READ MORE

Upcoming MATTHEW TURNER Special Event Sails

Check out these Special Events:

See the full calendar here

Cal Maritime Cadets Overnight on MATTHEW TURNER

COTS Education Director Steve Kielar teaches an Oceanography class at the California Maritime Academy (CSUM). In 2022, COTS hosted four CSUM student interns and, with Professor Alex Parker, organized a CSUM Oceanography weekend cruise. Students focused on community building and discussed how to support each other in their college careers. They stood anchor watch, climbed aloft, practiced line handling skills and learned about marine science. 

Manta Trawl with CSUM students investigating micro plastics in SF Bay

Navigation lesson with CSUM students

CSUM Student and COTS second year intern Josh Bennet (middle), a Junior

Dr. Alex Parker, a professor at Cal Maritime, leading the students in an Oceanographic deployment

CSUM Students enjoying dinner while anchored in SF Bay.

CSUM students and COTS first year intern Ona Schafer (third from right) who is currently a Sophomore at CSUM

Volunteer of the Month

Where do you come from, and were you involved with boats there?

My family had a small cabin cruiser when I was a very small child, but I have no memory of it and spent most of my childhood living in Salt Lake City Utah and having nothing to do with boats at all. I moved to the Bay Area in 2014 after leaving my PhD but I did not start sailing until 2017 when I decided to take some ASA classes to see if it would be something I enjoyed -- It was.

How did you hear about Call of the Sea, educational tall ship Matthew Turner and schooner Seaward?

I somehow never found out about Matthew Turner during construction and am somewhat late to the party.  In July 2021............ READ MORE

An Interview with Chad Brubaker

Photo by Loretta Wilson

Call of the Sea thanks the many volunteers who help us fulfill our mission!

Teachers Sails expanded to San Francisco

We had a great time during our Teachers Sails in August, sailing out of Sausalito and San Francisco. Our goal is to make space for teachers to have fun, experience our learning stations, interact with crew members and fellow teachers and share a day of sailing the Bay with their family and friends!

Teachers join the crew in line handling and tending sails

Retired teacher Sancha Lei with Director of Education Steve Kielar and other SFUSD teachers

Volunteer Chad Brubaker teaching navigation to teachers

Crew member Ariella teaching knots to an educator from the Exploratorium

Steve Kielar, joined by a teacher in song between the learning activities

Volunteer Mike Wing (a teacher as well) with an engaged child of a teacher

Contact us about School Sails
Apply for a scholarship

Safe Boarding Project completed for both ships

The Safe Boarding Project was completed in March, just in time for the 2022 sailing season. Construction was briefly delayed due to design issues, threatening our schedule, but Johnny Scopazzi and his team of professionals worked alongside COTS’s dedicated and skilled volunteers to finish on time. Now, passengers can board quickly and safely, and our vessels can get on and off the pier quickly and safely as well. Special thanks to Terry Causey and Chris Gallagher for ensuring the success of this project.

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Highlights from the summer season

Seaward crew in Santa Cruz, enjoying a day off after 4 weeks of Camp Sea Lab

Our Sustainability Coordinator Amy Green has helped us move on from single use plastic to reusable snack containers!

We met lots of nice folks at Blue Drinks Bay Area at the Joinery in Mill Valley