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Explore Southern California's Channel Islands from a tall ship



Ellen Griffin
SFSU Office of Public Affairs
(415) 338-6990
(415) 338-1665

Press Release published by the Office of Public Affairs


Vacation among whales, jellies, giant kelp 

SAN FRANCISCO, May 13, 2003 - Experience the majesty of sailing aboard a tall ship and the natural beauty of California's southern coast in a five-day adventure at sea sponsored by San Francisco State University and the Tall Ship Education Academy. Take the helm of a traditionally rigged sailing vessel modeled after wooden craft that plied the seas in centuries gone by. You'll share the calm winds and seas with a rich variety of marine life, including humpback, fin, blue and sei whales feeding on the nutrient-rich waters. Climb the masts for a birds-eye view of pink-footed and sooty shearwaters, endangered least terns, storm petrels and red-necked phalaropes, or scan the waters for late-summer jellies.

You'll learn both modern and traditional sailing techniques in an atmosphere that emphasizes teamwork and the development of leadership skills. Immerse yourself in life at sea and get a hands-on education about the fragile ecosystem over which you glide. The small group size provides a comfortable environment in which to take on -- and triumph over -- personal challenges. No experience is necessary.

San Francisco State University and the Tall Ship Education Academy and have teamed up to offer two educational adventure-travel experiences. Both programs begin in San Pedro, Calif. and will sail in the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary on the newly constructed wooden brigantine, Irving Johnson. The cost includes all food, lodging and permits from the point of embarkation.

Week 1 (Aug. 23-28, 2003) is opened to adults 18 and over through San Francisco State's College of Extended Learning. Enrollment is limited to 22. Cost is $1,485.

Week 2 (Aug. 30 to Sept. 4, 2003) is a Tall Ship Week for Women, open to women only, ages 21 and up. Enrollment is limited to 15. Cost is $1,600.

One of only 12 marine sanctuaries in the United States, the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary is a secluded region surrounding the San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, Anacapa and Santa Barbara Islands off California's southern coast. Rich with forests of giant kelp that support an abundance of cetaceans, pinnipeds and marine birds, the ocean floor also contains a wealth of Chumash Native American artifacts and the remains of more than 100 historic shipwrecks.

For information, contact Nettie Kelly, Tall Ship Programs, San Francisco State University, at (415) 405-3703 ext. 2, or e-mail On the Web:



For photographs of the tall ship Irving Johnson, contact Ellen Griffin at (415) 338-6990,

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Last modified May 14, 2003, by the Office of Public Affairs