A Sausalito-based sailing crew just sailed back under the Golden Gate Bridge for the first time since December, and the Bay Area they are returning to is a whole lot quieter and weirder than the one they last saw.
Captain Jay Grant and the five-person crew of the 82-foot schooner the Seaward just arrived back at their slip in Sausalito on Monday night after a two-week sail from Mexico and over three months running private charters south of the border. As Grant told ABC 7 of the pandemic crisis he and the crew are returning to, "Well it's certainly safer to be at sea, and that's my preference, but we can't stay out [there] forever."
The Seaward is owned by a Bay Area nonprofit, Call of the Sea, which provides educational sailing trips for schoolchildren. And part of the organization's funding comes from the private charter business, as ABC 7 reports.
Captain Grant says things just didn't feel that serious where they were in Mexico until the very end of their trip.
"We started getting a lot of reports of other countries and how serious it just became day after day more and more serious," he tells the station. "Down in Mexico it wasn't perceived that way for quite a long time."
Call of the Wild, which was founded in 1985, typically runs 2.5-hour educational "community sails" on Friday evenings for all ages, as well as weekend and weekday sailing trips for kids aged 5 to 16. The next scheduled multi-day weekend trip to Monterey is in July, and the organization has suspended operations until the pandemic situation changes.
During the winter months, as this schedule shows, the Seaward sails along the Pacific coast between Puerto Vallarta and multiple other destinations.
During this last voyage, the crew left San Jose del Cabo about two weeks ago and was at sea for 14 days. Because no crew members had any flu-like symptoms and it was a private recreational vessel, the Coast Guard didn't require anything special for the boat to land back in Sausalito — though Captain Grant was a bit worried they wouldn't be allowed in.
As the Coast Guard tells ABC 7, "there are no federal regulations in place that would prohibit them from docking."
Photo: Call of the Sea/Facebook