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

IMG_8519 IMG_8530

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.

IMG_8500

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.

July Smiles On Clipper Cove

July is a great month for smile creation on Clipper Cove.  School is still over the horizon, the skies are bright blue, and afternoon winds fill sails and create smiles.IMG_7028

With three weeks of summer classes to go kids are charged. IMG_6905

And TISC instructors are leading the enthusiastic parade. Mother Nature has been on best behavior (for the most part).IMG_7557Our younger sailors start in Bugs.  Classes are structured to focus on goal setting and building confidence from day one.  Many kids think capsizing drills are “just the best”.IMG_7487

Classes progress into Opti’s.  This is where kids begin to really figure out the winds on Clipper Cove.  IMG_6895

Those who have mastered all points of sailing are allowed to venture past the eastern end of the cove between Pier 1 and the new Bay Bridge Tower. Advanced students who sail here benefit from stronger winds and the ability to recognize “tide lines” and learn more about the currents which can be very strong in the deeper water in this area.IMG_6882 IMG_6900

Youth sailors utilize our FJ fleet to prepare for regional regattas. This class is also popular with many colleges and we use them for our Envision Academy Sailing Team (E*A*S*T).IMG_7022

No surprise to anyone familiar with youth sailing that fun Friday’s are a big hit with all ages.  This is when skills learned during the week get parlayed into games of all types.

As our sailors “mix it up” with each other and in different craft on these free-form Friday afternoons, it’s clear their skills have progressed over the course of their one or two-week sessions.  They test the limits of the boats, weave in/around each other with ease and display advanced helmsman-ship.IMG_7481

Self-esteem runs high with confidence not only on the boats but also in and around the water.IMG_7170-cr

Teamwork abounds.  As skipper and crew on boats. IMG_7134

During water play on stand-up paddle boards (SUPs to some). IMG_7183 IMG_7184Here is a 17 second video of energetic “TISC SUP Dancing on Clipper Cove“.  And another of “TISC Kids Dancing on the Beach in their PFDs“.

And working together providing taxi service around Clipper Cove.IMG_7442

Or just figuring out the best way from water to J/24 jumping spot.IMG_7574

Which of course is where one jumps !IMG_7575

The safety and serenity of Clipper Cove is hard to beat no matter how you are paddling around. Even if you flew in for the day.IMG_7212IMG_7209

Blue-sky sunny days also make for fun times in our RS Ventures when powered up with asymmetrical spinnakers.  More “high speed” bonding opportunities for instructors and youth.IMG_7619 IMG_7623

The new Treasure Island Sailing Center registration page is now on-line.  Plenty of time left to sign up for one or more sessions that run through the middle of August.

Regards from On The Cove, Dave G

In the wake:

Clipper Cove is not just for kids ! Tuesdays and Thursdays are V15 racing nights on the cove. Anyone wishing to try their hand at more advanced levels of sailing can do so here on Clipper Cove.IMG_7338

SUP and kayakAnd there are plenty of opportunities for everyone in the community to enjoy water-play of all kinds here on Clipper Cove. Register here for kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding.

Clipper Cove can also be a place to relax especially in the morning when the beach is quite and the winds still sleeping.Clipper Cove from above Western Beach_resize

 

Lending Club 2 Bounces TISC Kids Around SF Bay

Seeing smiles of excitement on TISC kids faces hurtling across SF Bay on a trampoline skimming over the waves at 30 knots – no surprise.  Driving 105’ world-class trimaran speedster Lending Club 2 – an even bigger thrill for them.

IMG_0714-en_resizeOur June 12th Friday fun adventure at Treasure Island Sailing Center came courtesy of the Lending Club2 sailing teamTheir launch docked at 12:45 and a dozen Opti and FJ sailors were off on their afternoon adventure. The transit from Clipper Cove to Pier 27 was the fastest these TISC campers ever experience – by far. The adventure was repeated for a second group later in the afternoon.

IMG_6495_resizeWhat they thought was a cool ride (“I’ve never been on a boat this fast”) was just a warm-up.  After transferring to LC2 and listening to the safety talk the fun really began.

First thrill – seeing water just a few feet below going by very, very fast.IMG_6510_resizeIMG_6525_resize

Once our young sailors figured out port & starboard netting was like a trampoline, smiles emerged and energy burn commenced.  Non-stop running, bouncing and jumping between mid-boom and foredeck soon became comfortable and energizing.IMG_6713_resize

IMG_6700_resize IMG_6565_resizeEven the Golden Gate Bridge got into the trampoline action.IMG_6663-en_resize IMG_6653_resize

There’s more!  Once Captain Ryan offered up the helm to all interested, attention immediately shifted to the dual wheels as the kids lined up for their chance to steer. The thrills just kept building (along with respect for Mother Nature’s cool windy breath and the many wonders offered up by San Francisco Bay). IMG_6624_resize

IMG_6558_resize IMG_6591_resize By the way, that’s not a tide-line in the background.  It’s 30 knots of wake being left behind faster than you can imagine.IMG_6698_resizePlayful, bouncing giggling kids suddenly became thoughtful watchful kids. With smiles.IMG_6551_resize IMG_6575_resize IMG_6724_resize

IMG_6542_resize

IMG_6630-cr_resize
Fun Friday often features sails around Treasure Island, perhaps to Angel Island.  On this Friday, landscapes seen in the distance zoomed closer and closer – in no time at all.  Incredible how fast you can cross SF Bay cranking at 30+ knots.
IMG_6631_resize

Alcatraz.  Golden Gate Bridge.  Belvedere.  St. Francis and Golden Gate Yacht Clubs.  Oh so close.IMG_6511_resizeIMG_6726_resize

IMG_6751-en_resize IMG_6691_resizeTISC’s mission is to create opportunities for the Bay Area community to learn and grow through sailing.  We use sailing as a platform to teach life lessons to underserved youth with a focus on self-esteem and respect for the Bay.

IMG_6622_resizeAboard Lending Club 2 our kids saw these life lessons for real.  They saw the LC2 team communicating, working together.  Goal setting and leadership all had their obvious place on the boat.

Self-esteem?  I think mentioning that you just finished driving a 105’ trimaran on SF Bay qualifies. Overheard as the kids departed: “Wow I never expected to be jumping on a trampoline in the middle of San Francisco Bay”.  For sure LC2 crew can add a check-mark next to “help create respect and love for Mother Nature.”

Many thanks to the Lending Club team for reaching out to TISC and to the Crew of Lending Club 2 for a not-to-be forgotten adventure.

Regards from Aboard Lending Club 2, just around the corner from Clipper Cove,

Dave G

In the wake:

dave-lending club 2Twenty five smiling kids (plus 3 fortunate chaperones), SF Bay, Mother Nature and the star of the day – Lending Club 2 – served up many more photos than can be included in a blog.

You can see additional TISC Week 2 Fun Friday photos from LC2 on our Facebook page HERE or download hi-res versions here: bit.ly/LC2-TISC

Now THIS is the Life!

Classic comment heard on the dock as Guadalupe Elementary kids ended their “hands-in” Bay Sail: “Now THIS is the life”.  These fourth graders plotted crab populations in our activity center and wind & tides on Clipper Cove.

IMG_5600My planned work day turned into a bonus photo shoot with the kids when Guadalupe Elementary School arrived for a Set Sail Learn (SSL) class at TISC on May 5th.  Trading a power washer wand for camera shutter is always a good deal in my book.  Especially on a picture-perfect day with a nice breeze and near-ideal lighting.

First order of business for SSL classes, after their safety orientation, is to split into two groups. For their Ecology of the Bay study group one started with an active learning session and plenty of student participation.IMG_5470

They simulated ten years of crab population using a “crabby” game. The focus can change from class to class – the Guadalupe kids took turns selecting a “crab” with a huge pincer arm to see how that might affect population and adaptation.  Tables make for great temporary crab housing.IMG_5399IMG_5478

Prior to arriving at TISC teachers are provided with workbooks kids review in advance, a key ingredient of the experiential STEM learning experience. Treasure Island Sailing Center provides SSL classes at no charge to SFUSD fourth graders – 2,300 students since the fall of 2013.IMG_9763-booklet feinstein-cr

A few “hands in the water” photos are a regular feature of the SSL classes and outreach programs at TISC.  Guadalupe Elementary kids really connected with Mother Nature – even more than I’ve noticed in the past.

IMG_5569

IMG_5507-cr2

Giving fourth graders the opportunity to touch and feel the waters of SF Bay certainly does provide the best “hands-in” experience possible.  The kids couldn’t get enough and we feel all future “Bay Stewards” benefit from these touching connections.IMG_5511-cr

This particular day at least one seal was spotted and the kids were on the lookout for others.  Sea gulls are almost always flying about on Clipper Cove.IMG_5597

IMG_5577-crLearning about direction and major landmarks is easy with the 853′ tall Transamerica Pyramid to the west and the Port of Oakland cranes to the south.IMG_5591

IMG_5525TISC is full and by into our summer programs now that Set Sail Learn classes have ended for the spring.  SSL students are encouraged to continue at TISC in one of the many on-the-water programs available this summer.  Check out our Registration Page for additional information.

Regards from On the Cove, Dave G

In the wake:

SSL Classes are finished for the Spring of 2015.  They will resume in the Fall.  Watch for registration updates  HERE. You can read a program brochure.

If you are a parent or teacher at Guadalupe and would like to have access to the hi-res version of the photos above – and many more -please contact the TISC office (tiscprograms@tisailing.org) or send along an email to me:
daveg at onclippercove dot com.

You can read about other TISC SSL Classes below:

The Changing Tides of Alviso Marina

IMG_6253Alviso Marina is now an official kids’ smile creation site.  George Mayne Elementary fifth graders launched the Alviso Boat Tour Program at high tide thanks to community leaders with vision and drive. San Francisco Bay in our back yard.

I traded my 50-mile Treasure Island Sailing Center commute for a 50-minute bike ride to Alviso Marina yesterday for the launch of the Alviso Boat Tour Program. Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese drove it and Sheriff Laurie Smith’s team enabled it.  The Santa Clara County Parks & Recreation Department and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service brought it to life.IMG_6135

IMG_6174

George Mayne Elementary School fifth graders listened patiently with anticipation during the welcome and dedication.  Couldn’t wait to get on those boats.  Even the birds were excited to show off their territory.IMG_6162.

IMG_6156IMG_6167

Walking tours are easy compared to on-the-water activities which demand a huge focus on safety and logistics.  Life jackets are a must.  The sheriff’s deputies made clear the importance of safety rules and proper boat behavior.IMG_2087

Opportunity to connect with Mother Nature literally down the street from your school is huge. Hands-on learning is the best way to deliver life-long lessons to kids.  See the wildlife, protect the wildlife; touch the water, respect the water.IMG_6295Being on the water, seeing wildlife up close and experiencing the thrill of a boat ride really turns on the smiles.IMG_6237 IMG_6253-cr IMG_6283IMG_6235

If there had been time for selfies Friday mine would have out-shined those of the deputies and park rangers on my boat team.  They made many of these pictures possible.IMG_6182

Science, technology, engineering and math enters the picture seamlessly.  Tides and currents become real and visible.  Water flows, docks move up and down. Birds fly, seals dive. The rangers explained tides during today’s tours. And their effect on those who don’t heed them.IMG_6201

IMG_2110Alviso Marina provides opportunities for access to the bay for motor boats and hand-powered craft.  Motor boats like the deep waters provided by high tides.IMG_6225IMG_2083

Low tides favor canoers and kayakers.  Much better for paddling out with the ebb tide and getting a return boost as the San Francisco Bay water floods. Compare this 2014 picture from our low-tide adventure with the one above.IMG_2083-IMG_0124

IMG_0101-crSeeing birds and animals in their own settings can’t be beat.  Few of the students had any idea harbor seals lived just around the corner.IMG_2096

Lunch BreakThanks to Mayor Ed Lee’s office and the Americas Cup, TISC launched SS Learn for San Francisco fourth graders in 2013.  Same game plan as Alviso – classes split so half the kids are shore-side and half on the water. Then lunch break and a swap.  The Alviso program is fortunate to have the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service around the corner for the walking portion of the wetlands tour.

Two programs.  Miles apart.  Yet kids touching the same water.  Here’s a picture from a recent SSL class – smiles courtesy of Guadalupe Elementary School.IMG_5569

Alviso was a bustling seaport in the 1850’s.  It’s now becoming a major recreational and educational port of call for San Jose and surrounding towns.IMG_6110

Smiles and High Fives all around to Mother Nature and the men and women of our engaged, caring government agencies who made this happen.

And to the Tides of Change in Alviso.

Regards from Alviso Marina – 33.7miles south of Clipper Cove, Dave G

In the Wake:

Links with additional information:

If you were involved with the dedication of The Alviso Boat Tour Program, are from George Mayne Elementary School or would like hi-res copies of the pictures used in this blog and many more send an email to daveg at onclippercove dot com.

Like Water Off a Duck’s Back

IMG_1873-cr2At first glance, I didn’t connect with Highlander 874’s stern graphic – something lost in translation.  Then two ducks flew into the picture.  Two ducks? Visions of Jimmy Spithill showed up on the finish line of race seven.

 

DSC_0947-enh

Last week I crewed for Bruce Busbey in the 2015 edition of the Highlander Nationals.  Bruce is the son of my college swimming coach, life coach and sailing mentor Bob Busbey, the “Skipper” in Skipper’s Gift. Joining Bruce and his son Justin was a real trip –  east to Hartwell Lake at Western Carolina Sailing Club then down a 50 year old memory lane.

As the Highlander Nationals progressed, interesting stories and life lessons emerged, along with action-capturing pictures courtesy of Gayle Kaufholz.

A great reminder on how to deal with snags, headers and glitches – whether sailing or not – flew in courtesy of “The Duck”. Simple explanation: Jen Kafsky always encourages her kids to shake off problems, not let them build up. “Let ’em go, just like water running off a duck’s back”.  Hence their boat name – “The Duck”. DSC_0071

All sailors (well, most of us !)  know skippering & crewing together makes for great family sport. Family geometries became more evident as the Nationals played out around the buoys.

Many boats, including the winner of the Championship Division and third place in the President’s Division, were all-family.DSCb_1002-crDSC_0393-bob

There’s more. The Bauer family had sailors on three different boats.DSC_0500 DSC_0017

DSC_0139

The Kafsky’s, including one of their daughters, skippered and crewed on two.DSC_0910 DSC_0099

DSC_0967Not to mention on-the-water husband/wife teams plus grandparents and parents on shore duty with future sailors.

Family sailing doesn’t get any better than in the Highlander class! Back to life lessons.

DSC_0250Lake Hartwell and Mother Nature served up a variety of wind conditions over the course of the seven-race / one-throw-out series. The lead changed five times. Thanks to a “Class A” WCSC race committee the sailing was impartial to the 24 competitors throughout the entire series – not easy, but fair to all.

An important life lesson we’ve discussed in the past, never give up (Jimmy to Kids: “Never Give UP”), was clearly in play .  The winning boat tanked in race six then came back with a bullet in the last race.

DSC_0818-crHats off to Tanner Shultz along with his father and teenage son & daughter.  They sailed a solid series and didn’t let a catastrophic race 6 get them down.  They made like a duck, cleared their minds and picked up a well-earned bullet in race 7 to win the Highlander Nationals in what turned out to be the closest finish in recent memory.

Going into the last race four boats were tied for third, a mere few points behind the first and second boats.  After the final gun only five points separated the top six boats. Did someone say competitive Highlander fleet?

So the 2015 Highlander Nationals are history – and will be remembered for challenging races, close finishes, a nearly-clairvoyant race committee and outstanding shore-side southern hospitality.

If you’re interested in getting a big dose of life lessons, teamwork, and a super family sport check out any of the Highlander Fleets back east.  If you’re here in the Bay Area and you want to get your kids into sailing – or learn how to keep up with them on the water – check out the treasure chest of classes available at Treasure Island Sailing Center.

Regards from On the Cove, Dave G

In the wake:

Here’s a link to more of Gayle’s photographs from the 2015 Highlander Nationals: bit.ly/2015-highlander-nationals

Here’s the 2015 schedule of classes at TISC:  http://tisailing.org/registration

Gordon Lau Elementary Maps SF Bay History

Gordon J. Lau Elementary school fourth graders from Chinatown studied canoes, schooners and container ships at TISC on Monday. And mapped SF Bay mystery spots using compasses.  Hands-on-the-tiller of a real sailboat created big smiles – no surprise there.compass IMG_5037

smiles-MG_4952Last year eleven hundred fourth graders from SFUSD spent a Set Sail Learn (SSL) day at Treasure Island Sailing Center.  You may have read the stories from Francis Scott Key, Cleveland & Feinstein, and John Yehal Chin schools.  By the end of 2015, 3,000 students will have benefited from this unique experiential learning program, selecting a choice of three curriculums: Ecology of the Bay, Maritime History or Alternative Energy.BB tower-IMG_5049

Half the class spent the morning sailing on Clipper Cove in the shadow of the new Bay Bridge Eastern Span, the other half in our activity center.  After lunch, they switched. Teachers love the fact curriculum is provided in advance and each student is given their own workbook.

Those in the activity center studied boats of all sizes and learned how they fit into the Maritime History of San Francisco Bay.  Some were tiny, some huge. The container ships in Oakland appeared closer than they really were.

canoe-IMG_5056

tall-ship IMG_5058cont-IMG_4941Another topic – compass navigation. Students identified five “mystery spots” around the bay, always setting a course from Clipper Cove.  For example: Steer a course bearing 320 from Clipper Cove.  During the mid-1940’s, when America was involved in World War II against Japan, this was the place where many Japanese people were forced to stay.plotting IMG_5144

Wildlife abounded during the day. The Western Grebe welcomed the morning classes.  After lunch sea gulls were constant companions.  A seal was also reported.Grebe welcome IMG_4914 seagull-IMG_5111

boat-barge-IMG_4944The kids sailed past a barge bound from Pt. Richmond heading south and watched a trimaran sailing west into Clipper Cove anchorage. Full disclosure: not every future sailor was able to point to each of the five “mystery points” after the morning compass lesson, however 100% were excited to return to Clipper Cove. Our “no kid ever denied sailing lessons” philosophy encourages all SSL students to sign up for one of our summer sessions,boats-barge-IMG_4942 boat-trimaran-IMG_5095

crown princess-IMG_5081Views from all points of the compass opened up new vistas – majestic cranes, more container ships, San Francisco skyline and the shadowy details of the new Eastern Span of the Bay Bridge.  Those with sharp eyes were treated to a view of the Crown Princess in town for the day.cranes-IMG_5045 container-stern-IMG_4995

container ship-IMG_4948transamerica frames j24-IMG_4915IMG_5118Crown Princess IMG_5147Mentioned here last but always stressed first: SAFETY. Every student in each of the 64 SSL classes to-date has always been briefed on boating safety and equipped with a life jacket on the docks and in the boats. We use J/24 and RS Venture sailboats – safe and ideal for this program.safety IMG_4895 boat-j24-IMG_4920 boat-rsv-IMG_4981

TISC Launched SSL in 2013 with support from the America’s Cup Organizing Committee and Mayor Ed Lee’s office.  The program provides an experiential learning opportunity open to every fourth grader in the San Francisco Unified School District at no charge.  Our objective: open a door to the Bay and the world of sailing using hands-on lessons while teaching 4th grade core standards.

Based on the smiles we saw Monday the kids from Gordon Lau Elementary enjoyed the dose of STEM mixed with their hands-in (the water) experience.touch-IMG_4958smiles-IMG_5012smiles-IMG_5014 smiles-IMG_5087 smiles-IMG_5138 smiles-IMG_4954 smiles-IMG_4991Regards from On The Cove, Dave G

In the wake:

Hi-resolution downloads of the pictures above – and more – are available for sharing with school representatives and parents.  If interested please contact the TISC office.

By the way, thanks and a tip-of-the-cap to our excellent instructors who are vital to the success of the SSL program. inst-IMG_4985-cr

inst-IMG_4949 inst-IMG_5101inst-IMG_4920-cr

E*A*S*T on Clipper Cove

Wednesday’s chilly swirling wind on Clipper Cove – not an ideal setting for Envision Academy Sailing Team’s first day back on the water.  Tack, gibe and intentionally capsize they did, however, with bright smiles and cool determination.

Bay_Crossings-June--2014In 2014 Treasure Island Sailing Center and OCSC Sailing teamed up to provide an opportunity for all students at Envision Academy to learn about the Bay, winds, tides and the physics behind sailing. And to get a jump start on life lessons from two of the best teaching teams on San Francisco Bay. You can read more about that partnership in the June ’14 “Bay Crossings” article featuring an interview with Anthony Sanberg and his new goal – to offer the experience of sailing to hundreds of Oakland teenagers.

life jacketsI spent April Fools Day – no joke – with five members of the Envision Academy Sailing Team (E*A*S*T)  during their first on-the-water training session of 2015. Although our head instructor Annie Butts has been working with the kids at EA in Oakland on chalk talks and PE since their team training ended last fall, Wednesday was their first time on Clipper Cove this year.

attention to detailWith the temperature at 61 and gusty winds of 15+ the kids did not get a warm welcome from Mother Nature. Undeterred they rigged and launched.

 

EAST Rigging
EAST Launching
PE-3

PE-2
Then with Annie standing by in the safety boat they executed the capsizing and righting drills so important in all our youth sailing classes.  Whether 8 or 18, TISC kids must know how to self-rescue from any boat they sail – from Bugs to FJ’s to RS Ventures.

Raise your hand, zip up your foulies and head for Clipper Cove if you can do a pull-up wearing a wet suit and water-laden life jacket !PE-1-cr

We’ve discussed life lessons in past blogs – like teamwork, for example. Righting a sailboat quickly and safely requires many of the same skills – goal setting, communications, teamwork and leadership – stressed at Envision Academy and drilled in by instructors at TISC and OCSC on a daily basis.righting-teamwork

Oh – and be sure to smile after the capsize drills. It helps to hide some of the inevitable angst and tends to build confidence in other students. smiles-1smiles-3

smiles-2

Those of you who’ve raced on Clipper Cove know the wind gusts can be pretty squirrely as they blast east toward the Emmeryville Flats. I was impressed by the degree to which these EA students – remember they just started sailing last year – kept themselves and their boat flat and in good form (how may sit-ups can you pull off these days?) on this blustery day.
sail flat

Anthony and his team are “all in” on getting teenagers sailing on SF Bay.  His instructors are volunteering their time, owners are making their boats available, and OCSC members are donating time and money to support the program.  TISC is underwriting the project and has launched a fundraising campaign to continue the E*A*S*T racing program. You can add your support here: Sponsor a Sailor.

Regards from On The Cove, Dave G

In the Wake:

Here’s a short video on Envision Academy’s philosophy and approach to raise the graduation and college matriculation rates: Envision Philosophy.

Clipper Cove – Our Platform for Smiles and Self-Confidence

TISC teaches life lessons and builds self-confidence in under-served youth and new sailors. Best wishes for 2015 as we give credit where credit is due, to Clipper Cove – our platform for smiles, volunteer hours, goal-setting, teamwork, communications and leadership.

Clipper Cove from the EastTreasure Island Sailing Center is fortunate to be located on arguably one of the best venues in the US if not the World for teaching life lessons to under-served children and youth while providing access to water sports for our entire community.  Clipper Cove is unique in its central location, protected waters, predictable winds, minimum effect of the tidal currents and access to San Francisco Bay for sailing year around.

views IMG_1078Below are favorite pictures taken on Clipper Cove since we started photo-blogging three years ago.  No particular order, simply a collection of groups and activities with two commonalities – smiles and Clipper Cove.

TISC provides community outreach so kids can learn about the bay after school and during the summer.  And adults come here to access SF Bay for many reasons including lessons, community sailing, and organized racing.outreach IMG_0314_resize (2)

outreach IMG_1831 outreach IMG_9962community IMG_0435More and more today youth and adults are realizing sailing is not just about racing; they’re using the wind as a free source of propulsion to simply have fun and enjoy what Mother Nature has given us.  And the Bay’s shoreline provides a nice alternative path to exercise.community_GGY1751

IMG_1780 standup onclippercove

Clipper Cove is generally gentle most mornings.  Ideal time of day for new sailors to learn the basics of sailing.gentle IMG_2938 enjoy and respect IMG_1507 gentle  IMG_0056_resize (2) gentle IMG_0048_resize (2)

Of course sailors love wind and even our novice sailors soon progress to a point where flying spray and feet dragging in the water makes for a fun time.  North west summer arrive predictably around 11 am most days and build until 6pm.windy TISC-homeward bound

windy TISC - downwind windy IMG_0338_resize (2)

windy optis onclippercoveAs counter-intuitive as it may seem to non-sailors, capsize drills seem to be at the top of the list with many TISC students.  Could be their confidence and self-esteem showing through, or the chance to jump in, or simply a way to remind themselves and others that they’re in charge.  Clipper Cove is a safe, ideal place for such drills, well away from the currents prevalent in nearly all other bay locations.

safety and more safety IMG_0113_resize (2) safety righting a bug - 4533

IMG_1886smiling capsize onclippercoveAnd along with the basics of sailing come the life lessons we speak of so often such as goal setting which is a pathway to self-confidence, communications which must be a way of life on the water and teamwork which is pretty much an integral part of any sailing program – it’s just plain natural for kids to help each other in almost any aspect of the sport from launching to sailing to putting away at the end of the day.team building IMG_9895 IMG_1882 teamworkteamwork TISC-on the board

team racing IMG_2406-crFriday afternoons offer a chance for our sailing classes to kick back and have fun on the beach.  Many days outreach classes, PE classes from local schools and youngsters from our young “Harbor Seals” can be found on protected beach at the western end of Clipper Cove.relaxing IMG_1460 team building IMG_1536 relaxing  IMG_0290_resize (2)

IMG_1833-young smiles onclippercoveAs students progress, our lessons introduce leadership for those interested in taking their skills further – into teaching, coaching, on to college and beyond.  TISC provides internships and scholarships for these talented youth, many of whom represent our next generation of Bay Stewards.   IMG_1907-JI smiling

IMG_1764 JI coachingIMG_1782 ji and kids smilesClipper Cove is home port for the Cal Berkeley Sailing Team in the fall and SF Bay Laser and V15 fleets in the summer.  Winter brings out the BAYS high school regatta.IMG_9536-calsailing-onclippercove

community clipper cove plus kids and parents-en

Since TISC launched Set Sail Learn in the fall of 2013 over 1,600 fourth graders from 33 schools have sailed on Clipper Cove.  These newest visitors to Clipper Cove have come from 59 San Francisco fourth grade classes. crab watching_resize JYC Seaweed Discovery JYC Crab Lab at TISCSSL IMG_0031_resize (2) SSL  Rommel framed by TransamericaRegards from On The Cove, Dave G

In the wake:

The Treasure Island Sailing Center Foundation raises money so no child or youth who wants to take lessons or join in our outreach program is ever refused for their inability to pay. Last year our summer and outreach programs  hosted 968 youth.  Our community sailing events, always open to the public, and adaptive sailing and Co-Able Youth lessons provided access to the bay for another 1,000+ participants.  Here are a few more of the many smiling faces from 2014:pointing and smiles IMG_9633 IMG_0449 IMG_4130 IMG_1787 co-able smiles with MMIMG_1748 IMG_1683 IMG_1641 IMG_1637 IMG_1073 IMG_0904 IMG_0701 smiles framed by bay bridge IMG_0649 IMG_0559

IMG_1875 IMG_1831 Bow Happy-cr