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.
In 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.
I 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.
With 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.
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 !
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Treasure 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.
Below 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.
More 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.
Clipper Cove is generally gentle most mornings. Ideal time of day for new sailors to learn the basics of sailing.
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.
As 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.
And 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.
Friday 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.
As 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.
Clipper 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.
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. Regards 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:
A generous grant from the St. Francis Sailing Foundation could provide $10,000 for our children and youth programs. We need to match this $5,000 challenge grant by year- end. Can you please help us help a child learn to sail?
Every $1 you donate by December 31st means our youth programs will receive a $2 contribution toward children and youth sailing programs, community outreach and our innovative Sailing into Schools programs for 4th graders. To fully cash in on this matching grant we need to match the $5,000 challenge by the end of the year (Donate On-Line HERE).
Here’s what your donation ++ match could mean to an underserved Bay Area child:
Your $540++ donation provides instructors and skippers for TWO Set Sail Learn classes for thirty 4th graders
Your $350++ donation provides a full week of summer camp for TWO kids
Your $250++ donations provides SSL bus transportation for THIRTY 4th graders
Your $175++ donation provides a group orientation sail for TEN youth
Your $70++ donation provides a full day of summer sailing lessons for TWO kids
Your $25++ donation provides a group orientation sail for TWO kids
Our goal is to raise $5,000 in the next five weeks in order to match every dollar in this gracious donation. The resulting $10,000 would mean a lot to kids who depend on TISC fundraising to provide them with the opportunity to learn important life lessons through sailing.
As you plan your year-end giving please consider support for a child, or a group of after-school students or a class of 4th graders. Your donation in any amount (perhaps your employer has a matching-gift program as well?) is greatly appreciated and can be made quickly and simply using the TISC Secure On-Line Donation Page.
Regards from On the Cove, Dave G
In the wake:
TISC uses sailing as a platform to teach life lessons including goal setting, teamwork, communications, and leadership. Our higher level objectives are to provide access to the bay, instill a feeling of stewardship, and develop self-esteem. We raise money for scholarships so that no child is ever turned away in order to reach these objectives. We’ve included a few 2014 smiles from kids who benefited from your 2013 generosity.
Goal setting is one of the first life lessons taught in our classes. Sailing up wind is not obvious to newbie sailors. That is often one of the first goals – sail west toward San Francisco. These kids mastered that skill.
Teamwork is the easiest of the skills we teach because sailing is all about working together. Setting up, crewing, hauling out and cleaning up all work much better when teamwork kicks in. Parents are a valuable part of our team and often join in for special event.
Parents are a valuable part of our team and often join in for special event.
Our first co-able class took teamwork to a whole new level by forming teams of kids with varying levels and types of disabilities to work together as first-time sailors. TISC joined forces with Bay Area Association of Disable Sailors last summer to run the first-ever Co-Able Sailing Camp on San Francisco Bay.
Communications between skipper and crew can be difficult with new sailors. We often team up more experienced with less experienced kids. Its not unusual to find one of our instructors or junior instructors to hop in a boat with kids to help them tune up these skills.
Leadership skills emerge as experience builds. We see it in small ways weekly and over the course of the summer in our older youth. Many TISC junior instructors have “come up through the ranks” to become excellent full time instructors.
Confidence and self esteem are some of the most important byproducts the TISC sailing program. Many of our summer students have not sailed before their first week of classes. Some have been around the water, most have not. Drills such as capsizing can be scary. After several days I’m amazed at how many kids proclaim “capsizing was the best part of the day”. Confidence at its best!
Community outreach programs provide Bay Area Children and Youth with the opportunity to enjoy San Francisco Bay from aboard a sailboat. These programs run nearly all year long and provide opportunities with youth from over 35 of our partners after school in the spring and fall and during the summer.
We partner with agencies who provide outreach and learning for youth as well as children. These soon-to-be young adults are an ideal age to understand all about bay ecology and stewardship. They “get it”.
Our Set Sail Learn (SSL) classes provide opportunities to get on the bay – to touch the water, grab a handful of seaweed and take a look at Clipper Cove “residents” large and small. These kids leave with a much better appreciation of the water, wind, tide, sailboats and creatures who hang out here. Great way to develop future bay stewards!
Our innovative SSL experiential learning classes also provide an opportunity for kids to communicate with their classmates and lead discussions. TISC provides curriculum, bus transportation, instructors, boats and skippers at no charge to SFUSD fourth grade classes.
Francis Scott Key Elementary students sailed on Clipper Cove and studied SF Bay ecology. They used gaming theory and mathematics to forecast Dungeness crab populations. Crab calling lessons to rouse crabs from the sea wall were a big hit!
Last week the fourth graders from Ms. Huschke’s class at Francis Scott Key Elementary School experienced life on top of and in the waters of Clipper Cove and learned about the ecology of SF Bay. Our unique experiential learning program combines on-the-water time in RS Venture sailboats, participation in outdoor games, and active learning about ecology, math, biology and other sciences in our lab.
Thanks to the America’s Cup and the Mayor’s office TISC launched Set Sail Learn (SSL) in the Fall of 2013. Set Sail Learn provides an experiential learning opportunity to every fourth grader in the San Francisco Unified School District by opening a door to the Bay and the world of sailing. The program uses hands-on lessons to teach 4th grade core standards; there is no cost to the schools for transportation, instructors, or materials.
FSK students were here to learn about the Ecology of the Bay. TISC developed the curricula specifically for SSL. Teachers are provided with workbooks and instructions in advance of each visit. Other class options include Maritime History and The Power of the Wind.
Over 1,600 SSL participants from 25 SFUSD schools have seen and felt SF Bay first hand in RS Venture sailboats since the start of the program. The protected environment of Clipper Cove, complete with backdrops of Oakland cranes, the Bay Bridge and San Francisco, provides a safe, accessible location to integrate sailing with learning.
Even with a small amount of wind, and some help from Newton’s third law, the RS Ventures ghosted over the waters of Clipper Cove.
Half the kids sail while the other half learn about ecology and the needs of Dungeness crabs. They learn food, oxygen and habitat is required for the population to grow. The “crab game” helps them visualize nature at work. They also learn how to plot data to show their results.
Active participation in our learning lab makes for lively discussions and encourages open communications. Some classes provide opportunities for working in teams as part of the lesson.
While some fourth graders have been on or near the bay, few have been in sailboats or actually touched and played in the water. Or skippered a sailboat!
Clipper Cove is home to a wide range of plant and animal sea life. Seaweed can be found while sailing or around the docks. This seaweed is home to even smaller organisms.
Docks and ramps provide ideal source of seaweed and algie. Microscopes enabled FSK students to see these living parts of SF Bay up close in our lab and lead students to even more discoveries. Some only visible under the microscope.
While advanced navigation is not part of our SSL curricula the instructors explain maps, directions, and basic navigation – from bearings on the dock to tracking landmarks on the Bay. When taking pictures I was pleased to note the kids did a good job of pointing in the right direction when asked, for example, “where’s north?”
Or, “point toward the west”.
The October 16th tide was dropping as SSLearn progressed. The “crab calling” lessons provided by Chris Childers, Program Director and SSL Instructor, brought out the rock crabs. This lead to further investigation along the break wall.
SSL students weren’t the only ones interested in the rock crabs.
SF Bay is famous for its Dungeness crab population. Clipper Cove is home to many, and sometimes they join our classes for a brief cameo appearance. Such was the case when FSK Elementary was here.
Not only seeing but actually touching “the real thing” of course makes the classes even more memorable.
At the end of the day our “crabby” friend headed home. As did the FSK Students.
The Francis Scott Key staff stress skills that enable their students to be successful citizens and life long learners. The TISC SSL Learn program fits well with their core curriculum and resonated directly with their goals to develop an understanding and appreciation in the areas of technology, art, music, and physical education. Their time at TISC here on Clipper Cove fit right into their school theme: “Building Healthy Minds and Bodies.”
While filling rapidly, there are still classes available for TISC’s Spring SSL Session which start Monday, April 13, 2015. Interested fourth grade teachers, principals and PTO leaders can read more about our program and sign up for sessions on line at the TISC website here: Sailing into Schools. I recommendyou register immediately if interested in brining your class to an April 2015 session.
Regards from On the Cove, Dave G ( daveg @ onclippercove . com )
In the wake:
If you are a parent, grandparent of family member of a student whose class is featured below, please contact your teacher for the link to a directory of all the pictures taken during the class visit to TISC.
Francis Scott Key Elementary students sailed on Clipper Cove and studied SF Bay ecology. They used gaming theory and mathematics to forecast Dungeness crab populations. Crab calling lessons to rouse crabs from the sea wall were a big hit!
SSLearn is in full swing at TICS. Spring classes started in April and continue through May. Fourth graders from Cleveland School and Dianne Feinstein School each spent a day at Treasure Island Sailing Center recently. Experiential learning looks like fun!
As 33 John Yehall Chin Elementary School fourth graders departed TISC after their SSLearn Day, I asked for six words describing their feelings. I was blown away when one student excitedly exclaimed “I’m crabby, day had to end”!
Mother Nature delivered breezy blue skies. Hanson Bridgett and PG&E delivered agile crew. Youth and adaptive sailors who call Clipper Cove home port were the real winners in TISC’s Big Team Regatta thanks to OCSC’s fast boats and excellent coaches.
Friday was all about teamwork. Following a safety briefing from our regatta PRO Tim Han crews from Hanson Bridgett and PG&E boarded sleek OCSC J/105’s then headed out to Berkeley Circle to battle the clock as they learned all about apparent wind, tacking angles, winch handles and the physics of sailing.
The objective: sail a triangular shaped slalom course faster than the other team.
Conclusions: practices pays off, working as a team is key and boats sail faster as the wind builds. Oh – and sailing J/105’s on San Francisco Bay is wicked awesome fun ! Especially when you have expert OCSC coaches trained in teambuilding on your boat to guide you around the course.
Peet’s Coffee in Berkeley once again contributed the morning Java for BTR. Thanks to 49 Square Catering the contestants were well fed prior to Tim Han’s pre-race briefing.
The Hanson Bridgett team after the safety briefing. You can read more about Hanson Bridgett and their community involvement HERE.The PG&E team gets psyched for the day of racing. The PG&E Community Service page is HERE.
The early morning breezes provided a good warm up to the boats and provided the crews time to work out optimum positions and responsibilities. Once on the water the OCSC instructors took charge of converting the newbie crews into racing teams. Ashley Tobin and Jim Watters coached the Hanson Bridget team; Rich Jepsen and Trevor Steel teamed up to train the team from PG&E.
Early sailing was framed by light breezes and fluffy blue clouds.
Around noon the westerly filled in and continued to build into a 10-15knot breeze by 2pm.The two crews were soon actively engaged in all aspects of boat handling from grinding genoas to trimming the mains to holding a proper course while beating upwind and reaching off the wind.
As the racing progressed the J/105’s really came to life, especially on the upwind legs. Teamwork was the only way to complete the tacking needed to navigate the windward slalom course. Off the wind sail trim and straight courses were the way to beat the clock.
The races were held on the Berkeley Circle. Backdrops were provided by the Golden Gate Bridge and the loading cranes on The Alameda just south of the Bay Bridge.
The old eastern section of the Bay Bridge is still be dismantled. In less than two years the bike path – now open from Oakland to the Bay Bridge Summit – will lead to a drop-down path to Yerba Buena Island and Treasure Island.
By the last time trial both teams had dropped their times from 12+ minutes to just over 9 minutes. While the fastest time was turned in by PG&E the records will show the margin of victory was around 3% and the Hanson Bridgett team left the course believing they would have knocked another 15 seconds off their time had they been able to run one more trial in the ever-building wind.
After the racing the team from 49 Square Catering served up a hearty lunch with massive sandwiches, salads and more fresh fruit. BIG THANKS to Bay Ship and Yacht for sponsoring the lunch for crew, race committee and coaches. Your support of our programs is greatly appreciated.
Lots of behind-the-scene planning went into Friday’s event – our Tenth Annual BTR – which was led by our shore team: Annie Butts, Chris Childers, Travis Lund and Luxine Smith.
Huge thanks go out to Tim Han for taking charge of the planning at OCSC. He was ably assisted by John Mellen as they kept track of two sets of times as both racing teams were on the course nearly non-stop for two hours.
Our special guests for the day were a number of kids from Envision Academy who joined us for the awards ceremony and presentation of the check from Hanson Bridgett and PG&E to Treasure Island Sailing Center.
The $12,000 raised goes directly to the youth and adaptive programs at TISC. Many Envision youth attended summer sailing camps and orientation.
They have formed a racing team – EAST for Envision Academy Sailing Team – and are developing their skills in sailing, communications, teamwork and racing techniques. You may have read our previous blog on teamwork – one of the many life lessons taught by TISC using sailing as a fun classroom.
Thanks again to Hanson Bridget and PG&E for their donations support of this 10th annual Big Team Regatta. These two companies have been on the BTR circuit supporting TISC since the regatta’s inception in 2005. And without the support of OCSC, the excitement, teamwork, camaraderie and benefits to Bay Area Youths would simply not be possible.
Regards from OCSC – on the Berkeley Circle, Dave G
In the wake:
Hope you enjoyed the pictures above. These are a subset of the pictures taken during the event. If you were on one of the boats, own one of the boats orare involved with our sponsors and would like to see the entire album send an email to daveg @ onclippercove . com.
TISC uses sailing as a platform to teach life lessons including goal setting, teamwork, communications, and leadership and develop self-esteem. We raise money for scholarships so that no child is ever turned away. This blog is about teamwork.
Teamwork can be a challenging concept out in the real world. Working together on Clipper Cove, however, seems to come naturally to most kids. Smiles and good times overshadow the fear of new adventures or working in a group of new friends.
Here are a few examples of teamwork in action from Treasure Island Sailing Center. A great place to start is at the beginning of the season when volunteers, many from our V15 fleet, gather to install our docks and ramps.As I was reviewing teamwork pictures from the year I realized that even before the docks went in volunteers were at work transporting our J/24 fleet to and from Bay Marine Boatworks for new bottom jobs.Stepping masts on BUGs is first on the menu during our fall session sailing classes which started last week.Teamwork is required for hoisting J/24 sails. The first picture below was from an early season outreach program with kids from the San Francisco Expeditionary School. The second was taken during set sail exercises in anticipation of a June sail with visually impaired sailors from the Morin Sailing School Program for the Blind.Opening day provided many opportunities for teamwork in preparation for the 850+ visitors who attended a variety of event on land and on the water.There are always plenty of opportunities out on the water for demonstrating teamwork whether sailing or paddling. The Cal Berkeley Sailing Team practices at TISC during their season. They sail here and also team up with our shore-based team.
We launched the first-ever Co-Able sailing camp on San Francisco Bay – a partnership between Treasure Island Sailing Center and the Bay Area Association of Disabled Sailors. This unique program was run out of Pier 40. Kayaking is another “team sport” that ranks high with TISC kids.While the objective of sailing is to stay in the boat most of the time, we stress the importance of feeling comfortable in the water. And in many cases kids just like working together to scramble from the water back into a boat.
Teamwork also counts out on the water. Friendships are built, smiles are shared. Exciting memories last forever.
All good days must end. These pictures were taken as kids returned to the dock from an expedition to the western shores of Clipper Cove ( aka “Mexico Beach). Teamwork required all around from TISC instructors as well as their precious cargo.
Retrieving and washing boats usually signifies the end of a fun day On Clipper Cove.As we wind down our summer sessions we’re getting cranked up for the first SS Learn classes to start. Thanks to the San Francisco America’s Cup Organizing Committee and Citry of San Francisco’s ONESF:Celebrate the Cup program every fourth grader in San Francisco will be able to spend a day on the bay learning about the ecology of the bay and Dungeness crabs, San Francisco maritime history, or renewable energy. And go for a sail at Treasure Island Sailing Center on Clipper Cove!
Regards, from On The Cove, Dave G
In the wake:
Speaking of teamwork, the TISC team expanded this week as we welcomed aboard Travis Lund, our new Waterfront Director.
Teaching kids is always rewarding, often challenging. Hugs to teachers everywhere! TISC “classrooms” are dynamic in size, fluid in shape. Mother Nature may cooperate – or not. 1,300 kids sailed through TISC this summer thanks to our talented, dedicated instructors.
In the summer we employ full time instructors, junior instructors and those who work only part time. Without them there would be no summer sessions, no outreach programs, and in some cases no SSLearn, our experiential learning classes for forth graders that run in the spring and fall.
Anyone who has volunteered their time to teach in schools or churches has likely felt really pumped up, psyched and excited after finishing a class. After teaching Lego Robotics to K-3 kids I certainly do.
And most days I’m also tired, drained, and sometimes downright exhausted. Then I think of all those teachers who teach all day, every day, for the entire school year. Wow. Push the admiration button!
Instructors at Treasure Island Sailing Center have a whole additional level of challenges which make their jobs even more demanding. In addition to teaching, driving a boat, being mindful of safety as Job ONE, and being in the middle of Clipper Cove, our large variable size classroom, they also have to deal with Mother Nature.
Some days she may be smiling, other days she may be beguiling. She may be kind and gentle, or simply having a really bad day. Such is the life of our awesome instructors here On Clipper Cove.
Our on-the-water team, with the support of our full-time office staff, provide a “Launching Point for New Horizons” to the kids who sail here. We see this happening in the kids smiles, parents feedback, and financial support we receive from donors and sponsors.
It’s also our objective to provide a bit of a jumpstart in return. This may take the form of possible leads to maritime employment opportunities, paths to teaching, or a wide range of marine or environmental science careers. Or something as simple as additional experience to help with a sailing scholarship or networking contact from other instructors or parents.
It’s hard to believe our summer sessions are over. Seems like our instructors just finished orientation last week – in reality classes actually started 10 weeks ago.
So THANKS AGAIN to all our 2014 instructors- especially those returning from last year. We hope to see in 2015.
Regards, from On the Cove, Dave G
In the Wake:
Here’s a few more pictures of the smiles from kids who loved being at TISC because of the relationships to sailing, the water and other “best buddies” built by their instructors. Also special thanks to our Junior Instructors.
Pairing kids with and without disabilities at summer camp – not new. Launching co-able kids in boats on San Francisco Bay – requires speciall skills and planning. TISC and BAADS partnered to launch the first camp. Spots remain for the last session.
We mentioned the first-ever Co-Able Sailing Camp in a previous blog. The concept is simple: teach sailing to interested kids by pairing disabled and non-disabled youth who can learn together and support each other.
To launch this program the Bay Area Association of Disable Sailors provided the accessable dock space, safety boats and Hansa dinghies. Treasure Island Sailing Center provided two US Sailing Certified instructors and the curriculum for the one-week session.
The Hansa 303 dinghies are unique. Then enable two sailors to sit side-by-side with either being able to steer the boat or trim the sails. Safe, ideal boats for these co-able sessions.
The objective of the camp was to teach kids how to sail so they could safely navigate the area between Pier 40 and McCovey Cove safely in a sloop-rigged sailboat. One instructor was close-by in a safety boat at all times. Classes started at 9:00, broke for lunch at noon then sailed in the afternoon until 2:00 pm. Lunch was either sandwiches on the dock or (kids favorite BY FAR) pizza delivered to the 3rd street bridge across from China Park.
In some cases one instructor joined the kids to demonstrate the capabilities of the Hansa 303 dinghy. As these pictures taken from the safety boat show, the instructors had a great time teaching life lessons through sailing these Hansa dinghies next to the students.
As was always the case, a safety boat was nearby when the kids were on the water. Of the water class topics included tides, currents, nautical terminology and rules of the road.
Here are additional pictures taken during the week-long session, showing off smiles as well as formation sailing. At the time this blog was published there were a couple of spots remaining in the last 2014 session (for 12-18 year olds) which will run from August 4-8 . Additional details and a downloadable registration form are located HERE. Please contact Chris Childers at the TISC office (Phone: 415.421.2225; Email: Programs@tisailing.org) if you have questions. While there is no charge for the classes there is a required $25 deposit refundable at the end of the session.
Thanks and a tip of the hat to TISC instructors Connor Vliet and Mary Margaret Clawson for running the first session and providing the pictures in this blog. And to the kids who joined us for this first-ever Co-Able Summer Camp Session!
Regards, from On (McCovey) Cove and the ADA accessible BAADS dock at Pier 40,
Connect a TISC instructor, one motivated volunteer and 11 Huckleberry Wellness Academy students with J/24′s on Clipper Cove and you get 37 Sailing Superlatives! Here’s what the kids had to say, and how you can share your passion for sailing.
We asked the Huckleberry students for a “one liner” to describe their June 26th afternoon sail with us. Below is what they had to say, interspersed with pictures from the day.
“I am a Huckleberry student and I had never gone sailing before, but it was amazing! Feeling the breeze and being controlled. It was really fun and I do hope to come back again. Thank you so much for this opportunity. I had a blast!” – Yasmin
“It was a great experience. Probably one of the best experiences ever. I am going to buy a boat now.” – Wayland
“Fun, exciting, amazing, awesome, fascinating, and peaceful. It was a nice first time sailing experience. I’m definitely looking forward to sailing again!” – Wendy “The sailing trip was memorable, exciting, lovely, amazing, crazy and mostly fun. I had lots of fun and hopefully in the future, I’ll be able to go sailing again.” – Emely
“Thanks for the awesome sailing experience! I’ve had tons of fun and learned a little on how to steer/sail a boat.” – Benton
“I really had a great time. I enjoyed myself a lot. It was a total different experience being in such a peaceful place rather than the chaotic streets of San Francisco.” – Alex “It was fun and an amazing experience. I enjoyed sailing.” – Luisa “If you haven’t sailed before you should. You can’t have the same experience elsewhere.” – Vinson
“It was fun, exhilarating, one of a kind experience, great close up view of sea lions, breathtaking experience steering the sail boat, and an amazing way to bond with others.” – Edgar
“It was an amazing experience. We had loads of fun and you feel fab! It’s fantastic and awesome. I encourage everyone to go sailing – and the people were friendly.” – Judy
Teaching life lessons through sailing is a great mission loved by everyone here at Treasure Island Sailing Center. Our programs provide opportunities for 4th graders, make a difference for youth who sail here, and benefit tenants who call TISC home port. Our 2014 instructors, including Sonya above, are experienced sailors and savvy teachers.
We couldn’t do what we do without the volunteers who help maintain our docks and facilities, support our many events and share their love of the water and the lessons they’ve learned with the kids, youth and adults who sail here. Tioga, green shirt below, donated his afternoon with the Huckleberry youth on Clipper Cove and out on the bay. These first-generation college bound students now understand a bit about the wind, sails, tides and how to steer courtesy of his passion and experiece.I encourage every tenant who can sail during the week, or on weekends when we host visually impaired sailors, to call Chris Childers in the TISC office and schedule time for on-the-water passion sharing. I can’t think of a better way for you to meet the volunteer hours called for as part of your boat storage agreement with TISC. And face it, no one has ever had a bad day on the bay while providing a launching point for new horizons for kids and youth !
Regards from On The Cove, D-
In the wake:
This is the first time I had to use a spreadsheet to track all the flowery adjectives and adverbs used to describe and outreach class. Here’s the list of 37 sailing superlatives (OK, only 32 if you’re an english teacher however 44 if you add “sailing”) I mentioned above:
Amazing (5), awesome (3), breathtaking (1), enjoyed (2), exciting (2), exhilarating (1), fab (1), fantastic (1), fascinating (1), first (1), friendly (1), fun (7), future (1), great (3), learned (1), lovely (1), memorable (1), nice (1), opportunity (1), peaceful (2)
During lunch on our new deck last Friday, I asked a 9 year-old what was the most fun he’d had that day. His immediate smiling reply: “I had the most fun capsizing”. Here’s my take on building self-confidence through sailing.
Treasure Island Sailing center teaches life lessons such as goal setting, communications, teamwork and leadership through sailing. While we can’t actually teach self-confidence it’s always our goal to have kids leave TISC with more confidence in themselves than when they arrived.
A few of our campers and outreach students can swim, a majority can’t. With the exception of returning students, most of the younger kids and almost all of the outreach youth have never been in a boat before they set sail at TISC. And even though it’s protected from the rollers that come down the bay, the wind does blow here on Clipper Cove.
Time and again I hear stories or see kids through my camera lens who are confused by the wind, flustered when caught “in irons”, freaked out by their first accidental gybe and nervous about that first jump off the dock into the bay or that first capsize. Every time I hear stories from students about their accomplishments on Clipper Cove I feel proud of the job our instructors are doing to help these kids build their self-confidence on (and in) the water, which in turn boosts their self esteem.
Friday afternoons usually mean time on the beach at the western end of Clipper Cove. Here’s a few pictures of happy, wet, sand-covered kids returning from “Mexico Beach”, including a fast way to give your wet suit a bath.