About Us

Our Mission

Call of the Sea is a 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit with the mission of connecting people to the sea and maritime traditions. Our teaching platform is the lovely 82' schooner, Seaward. Our goal is to offer the benefits of connecting with the sea and sailing to all people, with a special focus on empowering youth of all backgrounds. Our programs range from three hours to two weeks long, primarily taking place on San Francisco Bay, but occasionally ranging as far as Baja Mexico. Operations are based in Sausalito, California.

Our Work

Call of the Sea offers programs that inspire people of all ages and backgrounds to connect with the sea on a traditional sailing vessel. Educational content focuses on marine sciences, nautical heritage, the environment of the bay and ocean, and maritime careers. Our programs are designed to keep students involved, active, and connected with the maritime world.

Bay Explorations, a three-hour sail, includes hands-on learning stations in sailing, California coastal history, navigation, and bay ecology. It aligns with 4th and 5th grade state curriculum, but is appropriate for grades 4-12.

Voyage Seaward is a youth-oriented sail training adventure for teenagers designed to build self-confidence, self-awareness, discipline, and the teamwork and leadership skills inherent in being part of a ship's crew. These trips give youth the unique opportunity to work as a team as they sail on a challenging 5-day, 4-night or 3-day, 2-night voyage on the bay and sometimes beyond.

We also work with other bay area nonprofits, schools, and youth groups such as Canal Alliance (San Rafael), Tall Ship Education Academy (San Francisco), Lake Merritt Boathouse (Oakland), Kids for the Bay (Berkeley), Waldorf School (San Francisco), and  youth-at-risk groups to provide Customized Educational Programs. Schooner Seaward is a great bridge to the Bay and California coast and we welcome the opportunity to work with local programs.

We also have programs for the young-at-heart (adults) and for families! A variety of special events and Private Charters as well as Public Sails round out Seaward's programs. Friday Sunset Sails, Sunday Family Adventure Sails and challenging Farallon, Drake's Bay, and Mexico Voyages help connect the public to San Francisco Bay and beyond.

Our Vessel

Call of the Sea owns and operates the vessel Seaward, an 82-foot classic staysail schooner constructed of steel and specifically designed for educational programs. She is inspected and licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Seaward accommodates up to 40 passengers on day sails and 12 on overnight programs. She is accessible to a diverse population of students and adults in the spirit of "Your Boat, Your Bay". Though her homeport is Sausalito, Seaward visits many ports in the bay and Northern California and voyages to Southern California and Mexico during the winter.

For more information about schooner Seaward, visit our vessel page.

Our History

The present organization and leadership of Call of the Sea comes from the collaborative merger in December 2004 of two like-minded groups, "Voyage Seaward for Learning" and "Call of the Sea". We joined our efforts, merged boards, and adopted the name Call of the Sea for this rechartered and revitalized educational nonprofit.

Supported by a $25,000 matching grant from the Renaissance Fund of Oakland, Call of the Sea purchased the business of Hawaiian Chieftain, a local tall ship that had been sold to the East Coast but left in its wake fine educational programs and a loyal following. With the Bay Model as our program partner, Call of the Sea added environmental science to complement the historical and nautical components.

From the beginning, our dockage and related facilities have been generously donated by the Bay Model/US Army Corps of Engineers. We are also grateful for the support of the San Francisco Bar Pilots.

Charles Hart, Executive Director 

With a background of business, boats, and non-profits in the San Francisco area, Charlie is excited to continue the mission of Call of the Sea. He has spent most of his time as CEO of technology companies in Silicon Valley and was named to the Micro Times 50, a roster of the fifty most influential people in the computer industry. However, his community activities have included: Chairman of the Board of the San Jose Symphony, CEO of the Ballet San Jose, President of the HealthStore Foundation, President of the Association for Corporate Growth of Silicon Valley, and Commodore of the St. Francis Yacht Club. As an officer in the United States Air Force, he served as a Squadron Commander. Mr. Hart earned his bachelor's degree at the University of Maryland and completed Stanford University's AEA Executive Institute in the Graduate School of Industrial Engineering.

Erika Dwyer, Program Director

Erika Dwyer started volunteering for Call of the Sea in early 2012 and has recently taken the position of Program Director. Erika studied Business Management with an emphasis in Marketing at Golden Gate University. She grew up in the small town of Woodside, CA and is now living in the North Bay. Erika has grown up on boats her whole life, either on the Bay or on the Delta. Before Call of the Sea, she worked for companies that specialized in the ski, trek, surf and paddle industries.

"The Crew"

Seaward sails under a US Coast Guard certified captain with a professional crew of sailors and educators. Season after season they prove to be excellent both with students and as mariners, each of them bringing unique backgrounds, personalities, and skill sets.

Captain, Ryan Shamburger

 2013 marks a decade since Seaward’s captain, J Ryan Shamburger, began training folks aboard Gulf Coast sailboats. With all of this year’s excitement for racing in the Bay and for construction of our new Educational Tall Ship, Ryan would love to take you sailing on the schooner Seaward, his absolute favorite place to teach, celebrate, and harness San Francisco’s incredible wind!

 -BS Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia

 -500 ton Merchant Mariners License, USCG -Outdoor Emergency Care Technician, National Ski Patrol

First Mate, Kevin Murray

 Kevin grew up sailing on Cape Cod. He graduated from Bentley University, where he studied managerial economics and international studies. While in college he spent a summer sailing on a tall ship from Honolulu to San Francisco where he found out he could make a profession of sailing and doing science under sail! He graduated in 2009 and has been sailing ever since. Being from the east coast, he is very excited to be out on the Bay and discover all that it has to offer!

Head Educator, Matthew Ecklund


Raised in the Midwest in a land of ten-thousand lakes, Matt first found his love for the ocean as a child on a family vacation to the Oregon coast. Lured back to the sea in college, he sailed as a student with the Sea Education Association for eight weeks, from Key West to the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and back again. Returning home to Minnesota, Matt graduated Magna cum laude from Macalester College with a degree in Art, where the images of the sea influenced his Honors Art Exhibition entitled Ligatura cetacea. Away from the ocean, yet fully enraptured in the lore and lines of tallship sailing, Matt returned to sail as a volunteer deckhand aboard the Brigantines Corwith Cramer and Robert C. Seamans, through the waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, respectively. There, he started teaching students about celestial navigation, oceanography, and seamanship. Following a voyage bound from Woods Hole, MA to Grenada and St. Croix, Matt found himself in the Caribbean in need of a new ship to bring him home. Joining the crew of the National Historic Landmark Schooner Roseway, Matt became the head educator and senior deckhand of the World Ocean School, sailing for two seasons as a teacher of middle-school students learning about the waters of Boston Harbor and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Combining his talents as an artist and sailor, Matt ventured from the East coast and Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific in 2012, where he joined the crew of the SSV Robert C. Seamans as a videographer, sailing to the North Pacific Gyre to investigate plastic pollution. Following forty days at sea, he briefly made landfall in Honolulu, Hawaii before joining Captain J. Ryan Shamburger on a voyage south to Tahiti. While underway, Matt read Thor Heyerdahl's classic novel Kon Tiki aloud to his shipmates, renewing and deepening a sense of wonder and awe for the sea he hopes to share in the coming months with students sailing the waters of his new home in San Francisco Bay.

 Deckhand/Educator, Kaitlin Rosenblum


Growing up in Savannah, Georgia, Katie developed an appreciation for coastal waterways and tidal marshes. Katie graduated from the College of Charleston in South Carolina where she studied Anthropology and French. With a focus in the Anthropology of Education, Katie had her first experience working with adolescents tutoring in French and English at Club Barbès, an after-school program in a disadvantaged neighborhood of Paris, France while studying abroad her Junior year. Katie later worked with the Georgia Department of Public Health in her hometown. Closely involved with the department of Adolescent Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Katie’s passion for working with children grew. After graduation, Katie moved to San Francisco to join the crew of the Schooner Seaward. She is focused on connecting kids culturally and ecologically to the Bay area. Katie is excited to be living and working in this dynamic environment.

 Deckhand/Educator, Mary Rutz

Mary grew up on a small family farm in upstate New York. She was inspired
 to study ocean sciences after a semester on Hawaii Island during which she
 was introduced to conservation oceanography, coral reef biodiversity and
 coastal ecosystem health. Looking for more opportunities in field work, she
 spent the following three summers at the Shoals Marine Lab in the Gulf of
 Maine. After graduating from Cornell University in 2012 with a degree in Natural Resources and a minor in Marine Biology, Mary joined Sea Education
 Association’s science program in Oceans and Climate. It was with SEA that
 she first experienced life on the water, sailing over 3,000 miles from
 Hawai’i to Tahiti in a tall ship designed for oceanographic research. After
 six weeks on the water Mary worked for Cornell’s Field Semester in Earth
 and Environmental Systems on Hawai’i Island, and for SEA’s Science at Sea
 high school program in Woods Hole, MA. Mary is thrilled to be sailing and
 teaching in San Francisco Bay this fall!


"The Board"

A diverse and dedicated group, our Board of Directors keeps Call of the Sea running.

Carter C.C. Collins - Musician, Activist for Youth, Social and Environmental Justice

Jerry Fiddler - Technology Executive

Graham Green - Chairman, Financial Advisor, Sailor

Charles Hart - Executive Director

Chris Kieliger - Maritime Attorney

Dave MacGregor - Physician, Sailor

Rob McClurg - Teacher

Ken Neal - Co-Founder

Alan Olson - Captain, Boatbuilder, Original Founder

Michael O'Callaghan - Maritime Executive 

Dan Sillin - C.P.A.

Dave Stuhlbarg - Maritime Captain and Educator

Russ Hamel - Non-profit Executive

And Don't Forget . . . "You!"

Call of the Sea relies on volunteers and the financial support of people in the community. If you'd like to help us change young lives, either through volunteering your time or through financial support, please contact our office.