December 2020 Newsletter
“The time has come,' the Walrus said,
      To talk of many things:
Of shoes — and ships — and sealing-wax —
      Of cabbages — and kings —”
These words written by Lewis Carroll in 1871 could be used today to invite discussion of the bizarre and challenging things that are happening a century and a half later. The time has come for us at Call of the Sea to launch the last newsletter of 2020. It is not purely a retrospective. Instead, it emphasizes what is current. We redefine the things the Walrus mentioned to symbolize our resilience--and the potential for what can be accomplished when the pandemic ebbs.

Our “Shoes” are the volunteers who built Matthew Turner and the supporters who sustain Call of the Sea. One team of volunteers is profiled by Sylvia Stewart Stompe below.

Our “Ships,” as Captain Adrian McCullough writes, are shipshape, battened down, but well poised with an exceptional crew looking forward to sailing again.

For us, “Sealing Wax” is not a substance used to seal an envelope, but is instead, as Founder Alan Olson observes, an intangible thing that continues to bind our community.

We regard “Cabbage” as a slang term for currency that is in short supply. As Deputy Director/Treasurer David Anderson illustrates, more will be needed for us to renew and sustain operations in the coming year.

Finally, our “Kings” are not the heads of State as in the 19th Century. We are governed by the will and needs of the people we serve. Director of Education Steve Kielar reflects upon how we serve-- with examples from the past and several exciting future prospects.

We hope that you will enjoy reading the passages below, and, like us, are looking forward to a healthier new year.

Steven Woodside, Executive Director
Team Volunteer Profile Tom, Jerry and Rebel
 The 3 boat building friends were able to get back together and get some work done as a team this summer when the virus was less prevalent in the community.
Tom Bissey, from Decatur, IL, grew up with a lake nearby and his family always had power boats. He was active in Sea Scouts as a teenager and and involved with the local Yacht Club, crewing on Lightnings, ...
Jerry Koch, from Green Bay, WI, sailed on the Great Lakes from age 12. His father and he built a Lightning class sailboat. They did a bit of racing, but mostly went out with friends or took it on camping trips. 
Jon Allen,"Rebel", was born in Chicago. WWII brought the family to Ross, CA. His father was in the Navy and got a commission working in SF on Naval ships repairing steam propulsion all around the Bay...
Report from the Helm
While the ships are laid up for the winter, I am pleased to report that our vessels, Seaward and Matthew Turner, managed to stay very busy during this compromised season. Seaward ran successful summer/fall programs and Matthew Turner was also very successful. MT did 50 sails in October and November, 93 sails with her COI and we sailed over 100 times in 2020, when including sail trialing and crew training. In the COVID era, there is a lot to be proud of. The crews worked very hard and we managed to maintain a level of activity that many tallship organizations around the country have been unable to.
Matthew Turner is currently down-rigged, all sails and blocks have been removed and we are servicing her running rigging as part of a season maintenance period. A small crew is living onboard, keeping ship, doing small projects but it is a resting period for all. We have also worked very hard to winterize Seaward for her dormant time. Our vessels are in shipshape and we are hunkered down until such time it is deemed safe to begin preparing to operate again. We have a small but very exceptional tallship crew looking forward to sailing soon. We look forward to working with all our friends and volunteers who have been instrumental in building and preparing the ships. Until then, enjoy your safe refuge.

Regards, Capt. Adrian McCullough
A Message from Alan Olson
Building a ship - building community.

That was our byline as we began to envision the building of a historic Tall Ship for S F Bay and beyond. There were years of ground work before we could actually start the build. Along the way it has been heartwarming to see how the ship and her mission struck a cord for people from the very beginning. As I spoke about our plans and what was needed to go to the next step, many offered to help in any way they could. It was amazing, from the beginning, and it continues today, that the right people show up when needed. We will continue to grow with the best talent helping to carry out our vision for generations to come.

During the next few months, as we wait for the virus to calm down, Call of the Sea needs support to keep our ships, crew, and staff together, ready to begin full operations in the spring. Without being able to sail and generate revenue, we have had to reduce our normal operations budget and again furlough all staff and crew.
Your help is critical to sustaining our future. Thank you! Alan

P.S. I miss you all and look forward to when we can get together for sailing, events, parties, and just hanging out. Oh yes, and there is always stuff needed to be done, ships maintenance, 60C projects, pier upgrade, and keeping Call of the Sea running smoothly.
Update on Finances
In August 2020, Call of the Sea was finally able to operate both brigantine Matthew Turner and schooner Seaward. For the first time, the dream of so many who care about our mission & program began to come to life. In 2021, we face significant financial challenges to return our vessels to operations. Sometime In Spring, we hope the community public health risk will be reduced with the COVID - 19 vaccine. The reduction of COVID risk and based on a strict set of program entrance criteria, we will begin the process of returning our vessels, staff & program to operations. 

Currently, we are in the PRESERVE period and our operating costs have been reduced to a bare minimum (approx. $22,000 /mo). During this PRESERVE period we are sustained by a small amount of operating capital and your donations which ensures that Matthew Turner & Seaward are insured, maintains their Coast Guard certifications, shop/office rent is paid, and Call of the Sea maintains its 501 3(c) charitable non-profit status. 
In Spring, we will transition to the PREPARE period and return our dedicated staff from furlough, market our program and prepare our vessels for operations. This four week PREPARE period will require an investment of approx. $55,000. Once the four week PREPARE work is complete, we can begin the OPERATE phase and commence our programming schedule
Click on graph for enlargement
We look forward to your support in 2021. Dave Anderson, Deputy Director
Help Keep the ships "Ship Shape"!
Call of the Sea's Programs provide unique Experiential, Environmental on the Water Learning.

Your donation to the Alan Olson Sustainability Fund will help keep Matthew Turner and Seaward 
in safe operating condition, well maintained and ready to provide educational programs. Thank You!
Reflections on educating during Covid
After months of uncertainty around the coronavirus and navigating air quality concerns, we developed a way to support local middle school students. They were split them into 2 pods, the whales and the sharks, and took turns sailing aboard the Seaward and wooden boat building in our shop. At first, the separation was difficult but in time we were able to safely discuss between groups, sharing feedback on science investigations, stories and daily reflections. Toward the end of the program, the students created a scavenger hunt for each other. Here are some actual clues from the scavenger hunt the students created. See if you can tell what Bay Area landmarks they are referencing...

  • Clue #1 Go to an island with a heavenly name, if you do not bring back its coordinates, let there be shame.

  • Clue #2: Its name is deceiving, its color not actually gleaming, so now go to that arc and draw a picture of a shark. 

As we navigate these uncertain waters, I hope you make time to explore the places special to you. As you do, think about what places would you add to your own scavenger hunt? Who would you make it for? We look forward to exploring all the special places around the Bay with you and finding ways to learn from and support our community.

Looking towards 2021, certain questions and themes have come to light. How do we best support individuals? How do we best support schools? How do we best support and create community and connect people to the marine environment? These questions have led to themes around self, community and environmental stewardship that are at the forefront of our 2021 programming. 

We are excited to continue our Girls Aloft and Coed Aloft programs. The goals with Aloft programming include: empowerment, self-esteem building, supportive challenge facing and teamwork. 

And we are excited to create themed community sails around sustainability, science, history and seamanship. One of the goals of Community Sails is to create pathways for diverse populations to engage with the marine environment.

Above all, let us not forget the importance of finding joy in 2021. We are committed to sharing the love of sailing and adventure with all of you!

Sincerely, -Steve Kielar, Education Director, Call of the Sea
2021 Sailing Plans

The 2021 sailing schedule is not yet determined due to the Covid public health risk and restrictions. We look forward to getting back on the water as soon as the Covid risk has abated.

Meanwhile, check out our Gift Certificates, the perfect experiential gift for anyone on your list!