HS Sailing (and Chicken-in-Waffles) On Clipper Cove

School’s back in session, and Envision Academy Sailing Team (E*A*S*T) is getting an early start on Fall practice. Clipper Cove hosted hundreds of High Schoolers, coaches and parents in 2016. Chicken-in-Waffles anyone (they’re really good).

2016-09-07-16-29-08After dealing with a nearly-deflated trailer tire last week (tenants – check those valve stems !), I connected with two E*A*S*T students  getting an early start on Fall practice.  Seeing them out tuning up with their TISC coach reminded me to highlight great progress for their team, as well as a ton of smiles from hundreds of High School skippers, crew and parents that utilized Clipper Cove this year.

img_1498High school sailboat racing offers opportunities to learn all kinds of life skills – teamwork, socialization, decision making, integrity, fairness, focus, communication, leadership and more – while developing good stewards of our Bay.  Because of the steady winds, protected waters, and public access to boats and docks, Clipper Cove offers an ideal location for high school kids to learn sailing then progress to serious racing.

Oakland’s Envision Academy has a tremendous track record for placing their seniors in college.  Two years ago TISC teamed up with OCSC to start the Envision Academy Sailing Team (E*A*S*T) to provide not only life skills, but also an extra boost that provides these young sailors with experience they can take with them to college – a big plus for making new friends and expanding their secondary school experience. And to provide these students with additional incentive as well as social connections to stay in school.

You may have seen posts from Spring practices earlier this year.  It was a windy afternoon and the team used the breeze to their advantage for practice in BUGS (remember when Team New Zealand raced BUGS on Clipper Cove). Mock racing and re-capping rounded out much of the day’s practice.img_1526-en

And took advantage of those winds to get in some capsize drills as well – capsizing under supervision then righting and recovering.img_1519

 

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Earlier this year the team competed in their first regatta, PCISA Norcal #2, and are getting even more psyched for the Fall 2016 season.  What great progress since E*A*S*T started sailing in 2014.

Over 120 high school students from 30 schools enjoyed sailing on the cove at this regatta. Thanks and a tip of the hat to Steve Harris for sharing his photos from the February 2016 Golden Bear Regatta at TISC. Much Appreciated.east-1st-regatta-nor-cal-2-crAll toll this year 59 Teams from 43 schools competed at TISC, resulting in well over 350 sailors competing on Clipper Cove, as many teams brought multiple crews. Including coaches, chaperones and volunteers, the Cove hosted well over 500 High School students and parents in 2016.
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The unique characteristics (steady wind, protected waters, minimum current and safe access) served up by Clipper Cove make it unique in all the bay, and actually in Northern California.  That’s why hundreds of youth, coaches and parents descend to the Cove for races sponsored by the Pacific Coast Inter-Scholastic Sailing Association (PCISA).

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High school sailing regattas use a format that maximizes participants and number of races.  TISC adds our own unique capabilities to these regattas – docks 5 minutes from the race course so teams can switch in/out quickly, and a venue where coaches and parents can view the races.  Faster turn-around close to the docks means more racing for the kids.

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And while it’s a “tight fit”, Clipper Cove delivers the space to just barely house a high school race course, as shown by a few photos from our 2015 High School Sailing on Clipper Cove blog (photos courtesy of Lyn Hines).IMG_6867 IMG_6461 IMG_6703 IMG_6383

To provide an adequate course for our normal rotation of 32 boats per fleet, the course need to be about 1/3 of a mile long, which is about the minimum viable first beat length for a fleet of 32 boats.  Even today, Clipper Cove is a VERY confined space already to run proper races like Pacific Coast high school regattas.

The starting line for High School races almost always ends up as far east and south as possible in order to have a square course with the weather mark in the NW corner of the cove.  There is a shoal that even FJs run aground on in that SE corner, so being down there is tide specific, although experienced race PROs such as those from San Francisco Yacht Club have often anchored just offshore of the building under the western section of the Bay Bridge.IMG_6729

According to Forrest Gay, Director of Sailing at The San Francisco Yacht Club, “For a viable high school race course, 2,000 feet is needed from top to bottom, plus an additional 400-500 feet above the weather mark.  This distance is not ideal, but provides a minimum workable space, and is what exists currently in Clipper Cove.”

“Pacific Coast Interscholastic Sailing Association could not survive without non-profit community sailing centers like Treasure Island Sailing Center. They provide the only low-cost public access for high school sailing available in many locations in California.  These organizations introduce thousands of people, children as well as high schoolers, to the joys of access to the water with safety and proper equipment use as a key ingredient of their programs.

PCISA has been holding regattas on Clipper Cove for 15 years.  These regattas enable 50-60 teams from 30-40 California schools to learn, compete, and develop their sailing skills as well as life skills. Clipper Cove is the ONLY venue in Northern California that provides safe protected waters, consistent winds, and key facilities including docks and staging areas adjacent to the sailing area. There really are no other options in the Bay Area.”

It was well past my dinner time when I left TI after changing tires, checking in with E*A*S*T team and catching a bit of the Cal Sailing practice.  Kinda hungry by then.

I was pleasantly surprised to find the new “Chicken in Waffles” food stand at the corner of California and Avenue of the Palms – just north of the traffic circle. This recent addition to TI serves up a tasty, unique and value-priced plate full of “hockey puck” sized waffles with grilled chicken tenders inside. Plus other items including ice cream of course !

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Chicken In Waffles Food Stand (Check back for photos of the new new lighted sign).

October Update – On a subsequent visit to TI I caught up with a few very happy customers.  And a brighter, sunny-day photo. img_7363-cr img_7359-cr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Regards from On The Cove, Dave G

In the Wake:

 

Kids Smiles Fill Clipper Cove – TISC Instructors Rock !

IMG_4276 School’s Over. Kids are Smiling. Clipper Cove is doing its thing: developing self confidence, building life skills, creating friendships and introducing Mother Nature to kids from all over the Bay Area. TISC instructors are the catalyst for these magic moments.

June is such a great time on Clipper Cove.  And this year there’s so much happening one blog can’t even come close to covering all the action.  So we’ll tack away from adaptive and visually impaired sailing, adult keel boat lessons, the SF Social Sailing League and more, to focus on kids smiles. Check out the many ways our instructors interact, support, lead, protect, and encourage.  All ingredients for developing self-confidence, self-esteem and SMILES! IMG_4520-cr-smallMost of these photos were taken weeks 2 and 4 – the end of a two week sailing session.  Kids are tired, morning winds are often light.  Then the afternoon westerly kicks in.

Sun screen is getting lathered on. Boats are getting rigged. Many lessons start with chalk talks.IMG_3898IMG_3912

IMG_3910 Then word gets out – Time to Sail ! No more tired kids.IMG_3915

Oooppsss – not much wind.  Great – let’s just continue to hang out.  Or should I say Raft Up (some day these kids may be the ones who are Hooked on Clipper Cove).IMG_4022 IMG_4154

In addition to our youth sailing program we also sponsor outreach programs to get kids out on (and in) the water.  Up on Top kids were at TICS also enjoying all that Clipper Cove has to offer.IMG_4168 IMG_4311-EN

We tell visitors that you will always see something new when you sail on SF Bay.  We can’t predict what it will be, but you WILL see it.  Same way with photographing these kids – I never know how they will help us tell our story – teaching life lessons like respect, goal setting, communications & teamwork, self-reliance and leadership through sailing – however they’ve never let me down so far.

Respect is an element of all programs starting with orientation and continuing through 5-step progression program to level V. Goal setting also starts early because kids relate to short-term challenges like “learning to sail backwards” or “recovering from a capsize”.IMG_4187

Communications and teamwork go together on and between sailboats.  And paddle boards.IMG_3764 IMG_4109-cr IMG_4411-EN

And teamwork is always an easy story to “shoot” because kids just naturally help other kids out on the water. Age, gender, family background just doesn’t seem to matter to happy, often waterlogged, kids.IMG_4143 IMG_4145

Many urban sailing centers are located in busy harbors or on open, unprotected waters. Clipper Cove is a unique gem in all of SF Bay (some would say in the world) for learning life lessons through sailing because of its protected location with great winds and little current.  At TISC we give kids their own boat, teach them the skills needed to sail it, and let them go.IMG_3730 IMG_4208 IMG_4527

Yes, it blows hard here most afternoons. We view these as the best learning times for the kids and teaching time for the instructors.IMG_4362 IMG_4435

IMG_4520 IMG_4553And there are many learning opportunities, often ending in situations where kids “crash and burn”. And then self-rescue themselves –  –  –  IMG_3789-cr IMG_3790-cr1 IMG_3791-cr1

IMG_3736 IMG_3738 IMG_3739 IMG_3741–  –  –   all under the careful watch of TISC instructors, many who learned to sail here on Clipper Cove.  And often at the end of the day instructors lend a hand to tired sailors.IMG_3789-cr2

IMG_3806Kids love the independence and empowerment offered by sailing their own boat.  They build self-reliance and “figure it out”.  These skills last a lifetime.

And the combination of protected waters, minimal current and always-close-by instructors provides an ideal learning and confidence-building environment.IMG_4229 IMG_3746IMG_4462

Photographing leadership is not so easy.  I joked with the instructors about this photo as the more experience sailor “bailed out” then demonstrated goal setting, communications, teamwork and leadership to get cranked up for more sailing. All captured in one visual image.IMG_4157

No way to share the hundreds of Clipper Cove June smiles. Here are a few more.  If you are a parent or one of our program associates and would like to see more pictures, please contact the TISC office and they can provide access to password-protected photo folders from two June photo-shoots.

Our 5-level progression program leverages the development of sailing skills along with life skills. You can see the self-confidence shining brightly on Clipper Cove as the breeze picks up and lesson plans move from chalk talks to flat sailing.IMG_4320 IMG_4431

IMG_4212 IMG_4215 IMG_4222 More 1:1 time with our instructors.IMG_3810 IMG_3824 IMG_3841

Here are a few more Up On Top smiles, and an interesting stat why summer programs are so important.  Did you know that by high school, 67% of the cumulative achievement gap between middle-class and disadvantaged children can be explained by summer learning loss? Another reason Clipper Cove is such an important San Francisco Gem – the connection between learning to drive an RS Venture and brushing up on math and reading skills during the summer break. IMG_4123 IMG_4311-EN IMG_4356 And beach time is FUN time!IMG_4396

IMG_4404 IMG_4416Blogs have to wrap up just like fun days on Clipper Cove. More teamwork, then time to put our keyboards and rudders away.IMG_4541IMG_4567IMG_3827 IMG_3831

And a quick debrief.IMG_4570

Regards from On The Cove, Dave G

In the wake:

The photos in this blog plus many more are available on line – check with the TISC office for links to password-protected photo folders.

And one final THANK YOU to our rock-star instructor team.  Keep smiling, and creating smiles.  Your classroom changes every few minutes. Mother Nature is awesome, even when she puffs too hard or not enough.  And remember – the kids are always learning and benefiting, even when they’re having too much fun to listen or having a “bad tack” day.  You Rock !IMG_4576-EN-faces

TISC Marks Milestone: 3,566 4th Graders on Clipper Cove

Tenderloin Elementary Class Marks 3566 SSL Students at TISC-IMG_2949-cr

Tenderloin Elementary 4th Graders Mark 3,566 SSL Students at TISC Since 2013 Launch

Treasure Island Sailing Center’s STEM Program for San Francisco elementary students reached a major milestone in May: Over 3,500 Fourth Graders have now learned, explored and sailed on Clipper Cove. The St. Francis Sailing Foundation was a major donor.

IMG_2378-cr-enIn 2013 TISC launched the pilot for a unique, STEM-based (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) experiential learning program called Set Sail Learn.  This program, designed to meet 4th grade California core standards, is a one-day exploration trip incorporating curriculum-aligned science and math learning, together with sailing on San Francisco Bay.

Last October the St. Francis Sailing Foundation announced a partnership with TISC to continue the program, providing San Francisco fourth graders with the opportunity for STEM learning while opening the door to San Francisco Bay, sailing and environmental stewardship at no cost to the schools. This StFSF Fall 2015 grant was a major milestone in reaching our Spring 2016 milestone of 3,566 kids through the SSL Program.

While referred to as a “hand on” experience, Set Sail Learn is really a “hands-in” program as you can see from these photos of 4th graders from Tenderloin Elementary School.IMG_3051IMG_2818 IMG_2825 IMG_3027 IMG_3071 IMG_3157The sailing part of the program is what makes it unique.  And connects the kids to Mother Nature while establishing them as stewards of “their”  bay.  The action in and around the activity center, however,  is also a big part of the lessons. Because no chairs, plenty of physical activity and a highly interactive curriculum makes for fun, memorable learning.class IMG_2437

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And the lab just outside the door to the activity center is like nothing most of the kids have ever seen or experienced. A true window onto life in, around and below the waters of San Francisco Bay.class IMG_2556

IMG_3173It’s no wonder this program has been a huge win for teachers –   –   -:

  • “Set Sail Learn engages the different learning modalities of the kids, visual, kinetic, song, dance and sailing.”
  • “I saw this program touch every part of each of my children. Thank you so much for allowing my native San Franciscans to really experience the Bay.”

IMG_2989–  –  –  and a favorite for kids:

  • “The best day of my life.”
  • “I got to steer the boat.”
  • “I’m crabby, day had to end.”

Another star of the program is Clipper Cove itself.  Same rule applies here as with all sailing on SF Bay: “you can never be sure what you’ll see, however you WILL see something swimming, floating or flying that’s a keeper for your memory banks”.IMG_2536-cr

Along with the fish and wildlife, Clipper Cove also serves up curiosity-building views of San Francisco, Yerba Buena Island (its long-time-ago name is HERE), and the new Bay Bridge super-structure.IMG_2940IMG_2440-cr IMG_2799

And boatloads of smiles are always present whenever kids are on Clipper Cove.
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IMG_2544-crOf course a bit of excitement aboard an RS Venture sailboat always goes a long way to score big with 4th graders.  In fact a number of SSL graduates have signed up for summer sailing lessons at TISC.  Interested?  You can find out more and register here.IMG_3191IMG_2968Set Sail Learn Session 5, Spring of 2016, is in the log books; our focus has now turned to summer programs.  Teachers interested in registering for the next SSL session can use this Fall 2016 SSL Registration Form.

I’ll wrap up this blog with a few statistics on our Set Sail Learn program and the number of Bay Area residents who sail, kayak and paddle board at TISC on Clipper Cove.

  • 3,566 elementary kids from 31 San Francisco public schools have attended 135 SSL classes since the program was launched in the Fall of 2013. These kids came from all 11 SF school districts.
  • Last year TISC served approximately 3,800 sailors, kayakers and paddlers.  Most from San Francisco, others from all parts of the Bay Area. All walks of life.  Nearly 15,000 over last 5 years.

Regards from On The Cove, Dave G

In the wake:

Here are links to previous Set Sail Learn blogs with more smiles from San Francisco Public School kids.

 

Marin Sailing School Program for the Blind Marks 10th Anniversary

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Last weekend 11 visually impaired sailors marked Marin Sailing School Program for the Blind’s 10th year anniversary with a BBQ at TISC. Afterwards, volunteers, J/24s, Clipper Cove and SF Bay delivered smiles all around.  You’re invited to create smiles too!

Philip Kum, Al Spector, and Danette Davis founded the Visually Impaired sailing program back in 2007, first sailing out of Sausalito.   In 2012 they partnered with Treasure Island Sailing Center. On June 18th they celebrated ten years of launching new horizons for VI sailors.

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Now in its 10th year the program provides opportunities for individuals who are blind and visually impaired to learn the fundamental skills of sailing and the basic principles of seamanship. These students – soon to be sailors – learn to sail through the use of creative and adaptive methods in a hands-on, mainstream teaching environment.

The objective is the same as for sighted sailors: to harness the wind and to experience all the challenges and rewards of sailing. Learning to sail a boat, the physics of sailing, and the equipment used on board, builds self-assurance to meet day-to-day challenges and enhances confidence to try new things.

Clipper Cove, with its protected area, lack of current and steady winds, provides an excellent launching point.  The TISC J/24 fleet is an excellent boat for the program – stable yet responsive.  With common deck layout and rigging across the boats.

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Each day starts with a discussion of the day plan, then an on-boat orientation. Here are photos from the May 21st and June 18 sailing days.

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These sailors have a wide range of experience from just learning to those who have raced in events worldwide from Newport, RI to Rotorua, New Zealand. So the easy access from Clipper Cove to SF Bay is another bonus for the TISC location.
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Smiles all around after returning to the dock.  Then debriefing to share stories and more smiles.2016-05-21-VISailing-SMALL-134

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The program counts on an all-volunteer staff for each day of sailing.  Interested? Two simple requirements to participate in this great program.  You must be:

  • Comfortable as an instructor on a J/24, the boats used for the program here at TISC.
  • Willing to engage and focus on basic principles including the etiquette of working with visually people who are blind and visually impaired, communications and giving directions.

All these skills can be learned by attending a volunteer training day, or reading the EXCELLENT manual put together by Philip, Al, & Danette then “shadowing” another instructor for one of the volunteer sessions. So easy !

Upcoming VI sailing days at TISC are: 7/16, 8/20, 9/17, and 10/8. The program starts at 10 am and runs until 3pm.

Please contact Luxine Smith (luxine.smith@tisailing.org) at TISC if you have further questions or would like to spend a day you will likely remember as “a great, rewarding day – making new friends, giving back, learning something new and feeling really proud of helping others share the joys of sailing”.

You’re Invited !

Regards from On The Cove, Dave G

In the wake:

A HUGE HUGE tip of the hat to Brian Hill for the photos from the May 21st VI sailing day and Al Spector and Danette Davis for the photos from last weekend’s BBQ and sail. And to the staff at TISC for launching the J/24 fleet used by the VI sailing program.

In addition to a very complete VI sailing manual put together by Philip, Al, and Danette, here are other excellent resources:

Hooked on Clipper Cove

Clipper Cove offers quiet, protected water ideal for solitary anchoring or multi-boat raft-ups.  Many boaters and sailors spent Memorial Day Weekend on The Cove enjoying sunny weather, warm water and a sandy beach.

The south-west quadrant of Clipper Cove is protected from wind and waves.  Ample deep water for large boats to anchor very close to shore makes for easy swimming or rowing to the beach.  A truly unique anchorage in all of San Francisco Bay.

Twenty or so boats shared space on Clipper Cove last weekend. This was our view of the action from Treasure Island Sailing Center Saturday morning.IMG_3328

There were power boat raft-ups just off the beach. You can read the story behind Quarters 10 (in the photo below framed by the two sailboat masts) to learn more about the origin of this building and possible uses for it as Yerba Buena Island continues on its upgrade path.IMG_3247-cr1

Sailboats from around the Bay met, greetings and tie-ups were exchanged and additional raft-ups sprang up.IMG_3318-cr

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Along with many solo visitors who stayed the weekend.IMG_3321-cr

The anchorage in Clipper Cove is normally “home” to a small number of boats.  Here’s one that provided a backdrop to opening day last month.IMG_1958-cr

And more boats from the Memorial Day crowd.IMG_3242-cr

 

As we rounded the corner from South Bay and returned to the cove Saturday afternoon we were presented with this west-facing view of the many boats anchored in Clipper Cove. Framed by the bridge abutment on our port side and shadows from the main span above.IMG_3311-cr-cr

IMG_1488 - j24 framed by SF Cove and BugThere are many ways to enjoy Clipper Cove. Treasure Island Sailing Center offers Adult Sailing Lessons. Or sign up for the new TISC Adult Keelboat Certification class.

Recreational boaters are welcome to anchor in Clipper Cove for up to 24 hours.  For stays of longer than 24 hours you can register with the Treasure Island Development Authority (TIDA).  Here is the link to read more about Anchoring in Clipper Cove.

Regards from On The Cove, Dave G

In the Wake:

  • I found a 1939 photo of small boats, large schooners and steam ships at the West End of Clipper Cove.  You can see it here.
  • And if you missed last month’s blog that showed 723 visitors having fun smiling, paddling, kayaking and sailing you can see those smiles and photos of Opening Day and Safe Boating Day hosted by TISC and sponsored in part by the California Division of Boating and Waterways.

TISC Opening Day 2016 Packs Clipper Cove

TISC Opening Day and Safe Boating Day packed Clipper Cove with 723 excited attendees.  Thank you staff, sponsors, volunteers and Mother Nature for providing free sailboat rides & paddling on protected waters, fun, games and free life jackets.IMG_1958

IMG_2133Next week is National Safe Boating week. The Treasure Island Sailing Center hosted its combined Opening Day / Safe Boating Day on April 30th to kick off our season and get a head start on summer safety. And to pass out 140 life jackets plus water safety and boating guides courtesy of California Division of Boating and Waterways

Group 3 - enhancedPlanning and promotion starts months in advance. Then our trusty army of 50-plus volunteers starts arriving Friday afternoon, early Saturday morning and stay well past closing.  Opening day would not be possible without volunteers from the Cal Boating team, the Vanguard 15 racers, Envision Academy Sailing Team (E*A*S*T), TISC tenants who helped with set-up & boat driving, and the local Treasure Island community.

Sperry LineUpVisitors from all over the Bay Area lined up for the free sailboat, kayak and paddle board rides.

Our fleet of J/24’s, RS Ventures, kayaks and stand up paddle boards were all voted MVP’s of the day.IMG_2212

Safe in CCove6-crcr Safe in CCove7IMG_9526CG AuxUS Coast Guard Auxiliary answered questions and further stressed safe boating. And passed out the free DBW life jackets.

IMG_9460Talented supporting cast from Glitter in the City and TISC volunteers kept kids of all ages psyched and occupied during the day.  Needless to say Peets Coffee in Berkeley and Beauty’s Bagels in Oakland were morning favorites, while  Adam’s Grub Truck was the preferred afternoon stop for many hungry sailors.

Clipper Cove is the only venue in San Francisco Bay that can host events like this because of the steady winds, protected space, lack of current and easy water access via docks and ramps. IMG_2178IMG_2227IMG_1992 IMG_2149

It’s no wonder nearly 4,000 children, youth and adults sailed or paddled on Clipper Cove last year.  This number 1,338 San Francisco 4th graders who took part in 51 TISC-sponsored hands-on STEM classes plus sailing in RS Ventures during 2015 (since Fall, 2013 SSL inception, TISC has sponsored 3,566 students in 135 classes from 31 SFUSD elementary schools).

On this picture perfect day all areas of the cove provided a fun, safe and protected place to sail and paddle. IMG_2027 Kayak Dad2 kayaker 6IMG_1916As ideal and safe as Clipper Cove is for our opening day festivities we still had several safety boats on duty.  In a few cases even the light winds lead to a few paddlers “calling for a taxi”.Rescue 1 Rescue 5

I didn’t see much traffic to and from the marina, however the boats I did see were careful and respectful of the smaller craft that dotted the cove.
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Not everyone was ready for getting out on the Cove, and our team had plenty of fun and games lined up for the future sailors.Dad & boy at bubbles

Which is not to say kids were left ashore. To the contrary they were focused and engaged in all points of sail (including the very active 2 year-old who triggered our man-overboard drill when he threw his dad’s new hat overboard).
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Based on the many phones and cameras I saw, I’m guessing Facebook, Twitter and Instagram had plenty of action from our visitors.IMG_1941

Kayak selfies1Clipper Cove is a great place to admire the new Bay Bridge. IMG_9530

Hard to see in the above photo, however the eastern area of the cove is very shallow before getting much deeper as you depart the cove and head to the flats. And this bottom bathymetry is exactly what keeps the high currents out of the cove.

So another TISC Opening Day is on the books.  Now YOUR family’s fun can begin.  Here’s the link with an overview of the many classes offered by Treasure Island Sailing Center:  http://tisailing.org/basics.

And as you head out onto California waters this summer, WEAR YOUR LIFEJACKET.wear-it-calif-web

Regards from On The Cove, Dave G

PS – A special tip-of-the-hat to Valerie Santori and Andrew Shaw for many of the photos in this blog post.

In the wake:

Here are a few more links to the California Division of Boating and Waterway website:

 

 

Sylvia McLaughlin

Sylvia McLaughlin is one of three East Bay women who co-founded the Save San Francisico Bay movement in the 1960s, to stop the Bay from being filled to create more land. On Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2005, McLaughlin enjoys the Bay views from Cesar Chavez Park. (Joanna Jhanda/Contra Costa Times)

Sylvia McLaughlin is one of three East Bay women who co-founded the Save San Francisico Bay movement in the 1960s, to stop the Bay from being filled to create more land. On Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2005, McLaughlin enjoys the Bay views from Cesar Chavez Park. (Joanna Jhanda/Contra Costa Times)

Sylvia McLaughlin died at her home in Berkeley yesterday. She and two friends, Kay Kerr and Esther Gulick, launched “Save San Francisco Bay Association” 55 years ago. Many pledged support; however, these ladies took action and literally saved the Bay.

They were saddened and shocked at the rate at which San Francisco Bay was being filled in for airports, harbors, homes, offices and garbage dumps.  Even worse, an Army Corps of Engineers report showed the feasibility of easily filling in most of the Bay resulting in what one biologist described as a “biological desert”.

The January, 1961 meeting in Esther’s home on Grizzly Peak lead to legislation to protect the bay. Their first project stopped Berkeley’s plan to fill in 2,000 acres of the Bay.

In attendance at their first meeting were representatives from The Audubon Society, Save-the-Redwoods League, Sierra Club and more.  All pledged support for the Bay but were not prepared to take up a challenge that pitted public access against railroads, cities, developers and California’s plan to build freeways on reclaimed land.

Sylvia, Kay and Esther were prepared and motivated. And smart. They understood the importance of getting the public involved.  They realized that “everyone” wanted to fill in the Bay – everyone except the people.

The many reports, analysis and songs – Pete Seeger released “70 Miles” in 1965 – make for interesting reading (and listening).  The actions taken by these savvy, spirited and driven ladies (they were called conservationists at the time) have served as a “road-map” for other environmental groups.

The California Legislature created the Bay Conservation and Development Commission in 1965 to regulate development and shoreline access. No way would this have happened without Sylvia, Kay and Esther.

We all owe so much to these ladies.  Speaking for everyone at Treasure Island Sailing Center we say THANK YOU for making our programs possible.  Without their tireless efforts on behalf of public recreation, Clipper Cove, this unique gem on San Francisco Bay, would not exist.   And there would not be any ecology or history for studying by our Set Sail Learn students.

Regards from On the Cove, Dave G.

In the wake:

Much has been written about the debt of gratitude owed to Sylvia, Kay and Esther. Below are three references you should read:

Sylvia McLaughlin Photo courtesy of Contra Costa Times

St. Francis Sailing Foundation Grant Launches Set Sail Learn

Which blog title better says “Thanks!” while delivering kids smiles:  “The best day of my life” or “Set Sail Learn – Investing in our Children”?  How to choose between two winning teams: Lawton Elementary School and St. Francis Sailing Foundation?

IMG_9401I decided to lead with a big THANK YOU to St. Francis, recap Media Day’s events along with Lawton smiles and end with a few stats on TISC’s banner year.  So cool all this took place right here on Clipper Cove.  Even cooler – today’s blog makes a nice 2015 wrap-up given Clipper Cove is where we started back in January (Clipper Cove – Our Platform for Smiles and Self-Confidence).

On October 15th Carolyn Patrick, President of the St. Francis Sailing Foundation, announced a significant grant that officially launches TISC’s Set Sail Learn program. This unique and innovative program, first piloted in 2013, serves up core-curriculum STEM classes along with “hands-in” sailing on Clipper Cove. And it will now continue thanks to STFSF.Speakers-Carolyn IMG_9507_resize

You can read more about this major grant, the largest in STFSF history here: Press Release STFSF Grant for Set Sail Learn.   Details on the Set Sail Learn Program are here: Set Sail Learn Media Day-Fact Sheet.

There were smiles all around when excited kids from Lawton Alternative School showed up for their day at TISC. As with all SSL classes at TISC the kids are split in the morning so half can focus on the curriculum and half can sail.  After lunch they switch.Smiles arriving IMG_9387-cr-resize

Lawton chose the Renewable Energy curriculum.  Whichever course of study is chosen the teacher receives a workbook for review prior to class arrival. All classes work in math and science.TISC Curriculum IMG_9347_resize workbook IMG_9554_resize

With plenty of time for interactive discussion.  So rewarding to see fourth graders so “into” our environment.class discussion IMG_9567_resize class overview IMG_9559_resize

Action highlight for this module is always the “windboat” races.  Teams of two design and build their craft.windboat building IMG_9624_resize windboat building IMG_9627_resize windboat building IMG_9630_resize

The races are the most fun . . .windboat racing IMG_9635_resize – – – and exciting !windboat racing IMG_9640_resize

More smiles as the kids prepare to leave the dock.  A majority of SSL students experience their first time on the water here at TISC on Clipper Cove.IMG_9426_resize IMG_9434_resize

Feeling the water as it passes by is always the sailing highlight.  All part of creating passionate stewards to help care for San Francisco Bay for decades to come. A true “hands-in” experience for 2,940 SFUSD fourth graders so far.hand 2 in water IMG_9593_resize hands 1 in water IMG_9622_resize hands 3 in water IMG_9612_resize

More smiles from kids sailing out on Clipper Cove. 110 SFUSD classes from 27 schools have participated in SSL to date.   IMG_9546_resize IMG_9574_resize

Other key speakers at SSL Media day included Carisa Harris-Adamson Chair of the TISC Board of Directors, V. Fei Tsen Chair of the Treasure Island Development Authority Board of Directors and Sean Svendsen Commodore of the St. Francis Yacht Club.  If only I had recorded the laughs and excited chatter from Clipper Cove that backstopped our dedication speakers. Speakers- Carisa IMG_9496_resize Speakers- V. Fei IMG_9502_resize Speakers-Sean IMG_9514_resize

We never know which guests will join SSL classes, however “someone” always does.  On this day the kids saw pelicans and gulls.visitors - pelican IMG_9377 visitors - pelican IMG_9604_resize

Our RS Ventures framed by Clipper Cove with San Francisco in the back ground make a nice segue into our banner year at TISC. Notice the many (do you see all ten) hands in Clipper Cove !Three RS V on Clipper Cove IMG_9473_resize RSV framed by SF IMG_9445_resize

Today’s many smiles added to our 2015 totals:

  • TISC awarded over $160,000 of scholarships to under-served Youth and Adaptive Sailors
  • Our team delivered over 25,000 hours of instruction spread over 2,300 class spaces.  The break-down of kids attending each segment of our programs was:
    • 1338  Set Sail Learn
    • 596    Group Orientations
    • 123    1 Week Summer Camp
    • 167    2 Week Summer Camp
    •  87     Adaptive Sailors

“The best day of my life” or “Set Sail Learn – Investing in our Children”?  Happiness is being able to have the flexibility and space to use both 🙂IMG_9645_resize SSL Banner IMG_9349_resize

Regards from On The Cove, Dave G

In the wake:

As we end 2015 our team is conducting a fund raising drive for 2016 scholarships. Here is the link, and we appreciate all donations no matter how small. Learn More or Donate Now.

Here are links to previous Set Sail Learn blogs with more smiles and lessons learned.

 

I Got to Steer the Boat

The kids from Jefferson Elementary studied Marine History and smiled a lot.  Their comments and questions about sailing and history were engaging and non-stop – in the TISC activity center and while sailing on Clipper Cove.

I have a new sure-fire way to select titles for Set Sail Learn blogs – just ask the kids.  “Can you please give me six words that describe your day here at TISC” usually works like a champ.  One smiling fourth immediately replied “I got to steer the boat.” Bingo- blog title.IMG_8537

Always nice to see self-confidence in so many kids who in general have not been on San Francisco Bay, certainly have not sailed or actually touched the water and in many cases have not been over the Bay Bridge.

As you can see they were psyched up and ready for the day when they arrived.  Of course smiling goes both ways – our lead instructor Zoe Wadkins can also light up a room with her smile.IMG_8479 IMG_8498

After introduction, paperwork is passed and safety drills are completed.  Then kids are split into two groups.  While first group departs our dock for Clipper Cove the second spend time in the activity center on the day’s lesson. IMG_8486

TISC provides workbooks in advance of each class.  They cover Renewable Energy, Ecology of the Bay or Marine History depending on which curriculum was selected by their teacher.  Jefferson selected Marine History.IMG_8507

We used the term “activity center” or “learning center” to describe the inside space where SSL and other classes meet.  Classroom seems too formal, we have stand-up tables not desks, and sitting down is not part of our curriculum.IMG_8505Sailing on Clipper Cove provides SFUSD fourth graders the opportunity to touch the water, feel the wind, and truly connect to our environment.  We feel this type of hands-on is one of the best ways to instill stewardship into the minds and bodies who will one day bring their families sailing and boating on Clipper Cove, SF Bay and other great playgrounds.IMG_8522

Kids study wind, tides and currents while out on the RS Ventures.  Centrally located, Clipper Cove provides views of key landmarks in all directions. IMG_8560

IMG_8678-SSL Framed by CC and SFThese fourth graders may some day attend UC Berkeley and look up at the iconic clock tower. Or they may sail down to Alameda and see the massive container ships being unloaded. The huge Bay Bridge tower is clearly visible from the TISC dock.  The camera lens can be deceiving, often giving the impression of sailing much closer to these SF landmarks that are so visible from Clipper Cove.IMG_8582

IMG_8661-crSailing on Clipper Cove also provides fourth graders with the opportunity to see our world from a different perspective.  For example looking up at the Bay Bridge tower rather than down onto San Francisco Bay.IMG_8492

Of course no matter which direction the boats are heading the kids are clearly happy. Smiles are standard issue for kids in boats.  Here are more Clipper Cove smiles: July Smiles On Clipper Cove.IMG_8656 IMG_8622

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Other classes have studied about renewable energy and the ecology of the bay.  Here’s the story behind “the crab is in” sign in the activity center:  JYC Kids’ Crabby Day at TISC.

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By the time we finish the Fall 2015 Set Sail Learn classes at the end of this month more than 3,000 San Francisco Unified School District fourth graders will have benefited from the TISC Set Sail Learn Program.

Regards, from on the Cove, Dave G

In the Wake:

Here are links to previous SSL blogs with more smiles and lessons learned.

High School Sailing on Clipper Cove

With 100 California High School Sailing teams no surprise 60 showed up at Clipper Cove for the February, 2015 PCISA Golden Bear Regatta.  600+ sailors, coaches, parents, chaperones and spectators participated over the course of the two-day, blue sky weekend.

Excuse me – last February? OK, Full disclosure: I plead “out of town without pictures” for that weekend.  Hence the big delay in writing this post.

IMG_8711Fall practice for the E*A*S*T Sailing Team started last week (April blog about E*A*S*T) and was a wake-up call to me to get on the favored tack and share the excitement of High School Sailing on Clipper Cove. We’ll check in with their team later this fall.

The real enablers for this blog were photos from Lyn Hines and Steve Harris, plus stories from Mike Segerblom. I now have pictures and can catch everyone up on the PCISA Golden Bear regatta.  Formerly The Cardinal Regatta, this event has been held at TISC since 2012.  Clipper Cove delivers a unique and perfect venue for High School Sailing with its combination of protected waters, minimal current, good winds and excellent viewing opportunities.

Early Saturday was calm on the water which provided time for preparation on the shore.2015-02-20 10.06.25 2015-02-20 10.12.38

Once the 60 teams from 50 schools arrived just about every square inch of space at TISC was filled with boats, sailors and parents. Landside and waterside were equally busy.2015-02-20 09.45.49 2015-02-20 10.03.15

IMG_64632015-02-21 11.02.52 IMG_6850Kudos to St. Francis Yacht Club for providing a staff of expert volunteers plus the safety boats needed to run Golden Bear.  They had their work cut out for them for sure.IMG_6729IMG_6583

IMG_6362The clockwork-like summer westerlies are “off duty” from November to February. They did show up (late) on Saturday, however Sunday the sailors found themselves racing “out” of the cove rather than “into” the cove – which made for great viewing and iconic photographing but challenging racing.  Thanks to the SFYC race committee, the teams raced until sunset.IMG_6703IMG_6461

IMG_6688Clipper Cove was jammed with HS sailors racing in two divisions each with two fleets. You can see the results of the two-day series here: http://pcisa.hssailing.org/schedule/2014-2015/schedule/pcisa-sIMG_6461IMG_6867IMG_6696IMG_6383

IMG_6461 IMG_6653The Treasure Island Sailing Center docks – minutes from the course- made for ideal launching and “shift changes” between the two divisions racing.IMG_6567IMG_6850IMG_6463

Clipper Cove’s long shoreline parallel to the course made for tremendous view platforms with opportunity for “Kodak Moments” taken in by hundreds of parents and spectators.2015-02-21 11.04.51-cr IMG_6404

IMG_6692Sailing is one of the few co-ed high school sports.  Great to see teamwork and communications skills developing in these young sailors.IMG_6433IMG_6380 IMG_6686

Mark roundings were hectic with frequent lead changes.IMG_6639

drone at windward markClipper Cove is unique not only in the sailing venue it provides but also in its iconic location.  From CC you can see the new Bay Bridge, Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco’s Skyline and the loading docks in Alameda.IMG_6425 IMG_6464 IMG_6496 2015-02-21 11.23.44-crIMG_6686

At the end of the day Clipper Cove was back to its picture-perfect self.drone over clipper cove-en

The importance of High School sailing goes way beyond the friends made, seamanship skills, and even life lessons such as goal setting, communications teamwork & leadership.  For many students their sailing experience equates to sharing and bonding opportunities during their freshmen years at college.  We know firsthand these opportunities are the difference between fitting in and surviving that first tough year vs not making it to the sophomore year.

Regards (Courtesy of Lyn Hines, Steve Harris and Mike Segerblom) from On the Cove,

Dave G

In the Wake:

Here are a few additional links related to this post.