STEM Sailing & 4th Graders – Transformational and Transcontinental

Experiential sail-based STEM programs launched by the Treasure Island Sailing Center in 2013 and Sail Newport in 2017 are transforming the learning experience, respect for mother nature and the lives of 4th graders in California and Rhode Island.

The TISC Set Sail Learn (SSL) STEM program has now passed the 6K “smiles” milestone.  Since the inception of the program in the Fall of 2013, 6,172 students from 46 schools representing all 11 San Francisco Unified School Districts have attended 240 classes on Clipper Cove. At Sail Newport’s new Marine Education and Recreation Center, 178 students from Pell Elementary School’s eight 4th grade classes have a few more weeks of “class” before their summer break. Each week, in September & October then again in May & June, Monday through Thursday, two of the eight 4th grade classes spends an hour on J/22 sailboats on Brenton Cove and an hour in the Marine Education and Recreation Center.

As we were launching Skipper’s Gift at Sail Newport, the first wave of Pell students was returning to the docks aboard J/22’s, the captain’s choice in Newport Harbor. How can you not get psyched about sailing on Brenton Cove!

LOOK CAREFULLY -those two cranes in the background were dismantling the super-successful One Ocean Exploration Zone during the Volvo Ocean Race Newport Stopover. One of the exhibits included the US Sailing Reach Initiative (more below).

While different in scope and approach, both programs create smiles, environmental ambassadors and kids in tune with the sciences via hand’s ON (the tiller) and hands IN (the water) programs tied directly to their respective accredited classroom studies.  These are not field trips; they are legit school days aboard classrooms that tack and gybe!

The last day of Spring ’18  SSL classes on Clipper Cove was May 21st, Ms. Roach’s McKinely Elementary class studied Ecology of the Bay.  Many topics were covered (experienced !) as shown in the photos below!

“Ms Pilar” leads the class in a game of “Ecology – air, food and housing” before delivering a chalk talk and gets into explaining the use of histograms.  Did someone mention data creation, sampling and analysis?

Identifying male/female crabs is part of the day’s study.

Workbooks, along with lesson plans to go with them, are provided by TISC in advance of SSL classes and are kept by the kids for post-trip follow-up.

Observations often require watching closely.

Set sail learn classes are taught in two groups.  One in the learning center and one on Clipper Cove.  The kids switch after lunch.

Safety first on the water begins with lifejackets.

Clipper Cove is bounded on three sides by land and protected from the strong San Francisco Bay wind and waves by a causeway that connects Treasure Island to Yerba Buena Island. A perfect environment (the only one like it in all of San Francisco Bay) for learning about ecology, wind power and marine history.

Kids smiles on the water don’t need much explanation. On Clipper Cove students sail either J/24’s on windy days or RS Ventures on gentler days.

6,172 SSL students have attended SSL classes at TISC since its inception in the Fall of 2013.  Kudos to St. Francis Sailing Foundation for their on-going support beginning in October, 2015 ( read more about their grant HERE).

During this most recent Spring 2018 session, 646 children from 17 schools attended 28 classes, mixing time in our learning center with on-the-water sailing.

Transcontinental STEM – for sure, with programs from east coast to west coast and thanks to US Sailing a couple dozen in between.

Transformational – yes again. Here’s one recent story about conquering fears: “The Power of the Wind ? – – – Life Changing“.

And many more from kids themselves “I am crabby, day had to end”, “Best field trip ever”, “On a scale from 1-10 – 1,000,000”.  And from teachers on both coasts who have seen kids living so close to the water in Newport and San Francisco, but were never able to touch the water, feel the wind on their face, and certainly not had the chance to sail – until their experience at Sail Newport or TISC.

Regards from On The Cove, Dave G.

In the wake:

You can read about REACH – a USSAILING STEM-based program no underway at dozens of sailing centers across the US to inspire sailing programs and schools to utilize sailing as a teaching platform.

And In case you missed the TISC June newsletter, you can read about it here.

 

TISC Opens 2018 Fun Season with 432 Smiles

Mix 51 loyal volunteers with 258 excited visitors.  Add J/24’s, kayaks and SUPs.  Say “Coast Guard, DBW, Life Jacket, Ready About, Hard-alee.”   Blow gently, add brilliant glitter and Adam’s Grub Truck. The result: smiling faces shining over Clipper Cove.

So many highlights, where to start? -Actually, that’s easy. Again this year many thanks to Brian Hill for the great photos and helpful “play by play”.

So, on to the 432 smiles (270 from J/24 sailors, 108 from kayakers and 54 from the stand-up paddle boarders).

Enthusiastic Volunteers and Staff Creates Opening Day 2018:

Setup at the Coast Guard Auxiliary Tent:

Luxine Smith, Program Coordinator, briefs skippers:

Josh readies a chase boat:

Travis Lund, announces from the PA system:

Skippers discussing procedures:

Boat handler and skipper at the ready:

Charlotte at the TISC table studying the course offerings – – –

– – – and ready to discuss TISC with visitors:

Adam’s Grub Truck is ready for hungry people:

Jamie is ready with oars and life jackets:

People arriving and getting briefed on National Safe Boating Week:

A hypothermia demonstration from the Coast Guard Auxiliary:

Heading down to the docks:

Setting up on kayaks and paddle boards:

Heading out in a two-seater kayak:

Kayaker and paddle-boarder rendezvous on the water:

Gabe and Sam have a chase boat rendezvous in front of the Bay Bridge:

Gabe and Alana, piloting one of the chase boats:

Meanwhile back on land, Glitter in the City gives people fabulous freckles:

Two face-painting prospects exam design ideas:

A patient boy gets to see the finished result:

Cal Sailing team members operate their wind indicator (a bubble machine!):

A Giants fan and her Harley-loving daschund get ready to go out:

And her grand-daughter pauses to show off her glitter:

The two of them occupy the pulpit on a J-24:

Three more J-24s await cast-off:

Boarding the boats with careful direction from the boat handlers:

Another cast-off:
And another:

Boat handler gives the special all-clear sign:

Bon voyage!

TISC-1 against the new Bay Bridge:

TISC-1 and TISC-2 heading out:

TISC-2 with Bob Flores at the helm:

TISC-2 again!

TISC-5 on a fly-by:

TISC-1 at the head of Clipper Cove:

TISC-3 coming home:

Travis hands out some nice schwag from Oracle and the America’s Cup:

And a gift of wine-tasting for eight from one of our sponsors:

As the afternoon continues, people are still enjoying the varied fun:

Relocating a National Safe Boating Week Sign from the clubhouse to the docks:

Event photographer Brian Hill hands his camera over for a selfie:

One last panorama shot of the facility and the volunteers (scroll across to see it all!):
Our enablers, those great teams who make eventsl like this possible – the 51 volunteers from the Cal Sailing Team,  V15 racers, SFSU, our tenants, program partners and an SSL teacher. Generous donors including Winemaker Studios here on TI, East Bay Costco and Aracely Cafe at 401 13th in San Francisco, California Division of Boating and Waterways. Informative exhibitors including the US Coast Guard Auxiliary, Re-cology Golden Gate and the SF Environmental Department. And what about those glittering faces thanks to Glitter in the City and lunch with Adam’s Grub Truck !

Regards from The Cove, Dave G

In the Wake:

Events like this don’t just happen – they are planned in advance, volunteers are recruited, details are checked and re-checked and then the (fun) job starts on “Game Day”.  While our entire staff was on hand for opening day, Luxine Smith was ultimately responsible for the myrad details, volunteers, contributors and more to deliver such a positive event ( water side summary: 270 J/24 boat rides, 108 kayakers and 54 SUP riders) here On Clipper Cove. THANK YOU LUXINE!

 

The Power of the Wind ? – – Life Changing !

The firsts accompanying Leonard Flynn Elementary School kids to Clipper Cove paled by comparison to what we all considered a life-changing story. Credit TISC’s STEM-based experiential learning program – and our SSL team – for more than just smiles on that day.

Last Tuesday served up notable firsts on TISC’s docks. Our new Program Manager Laura DeFelice, shadowed our Program Coordinator Luxine Smith, witnessed and learned to teach her first class. The 26 4th and 5th grade students from Leonard Flynn Elementary reveled in their very first sailing experience. In many ways a day not unlike those experienced by the 5,526 SFUSD students, including three previous Leonard Flynn classes who have benefited from our Set Sail Learn program to date.

The April 17th conditions were ideal for a first-sail. The April morning sun shone through some light cloud cover and the warmth of the sun prevailed over the cool light morning wind. The students arrived as they often do, loud and full of excitement. Their energy is contagious.

The group met under our big top tent and divided into two groups: one that would begin their classroom lesson, The Power of the Wind, and another that would go sailing. Of course, everyone wanted to go sailing first. Or did they?

One student, 10-year-old Rosa, walked deliberately with her classmates and chaperones as they were guided to the docks. The girls and boys were so excited to get going, and TISC’s instructors kept a watchful eye until they were briefed, donned life jackets and allowed to board the boats. They stood at attention listening to each instructor’s direction before springing like horses out of the gates to get on the boats.

All but Rosa.

The first J/24 departed and then the second. While all the kids on boat 3 were ready to go, they had to wait while the chaperone and I comforted Rosa, whose eyes filled with tears but never spilled. Her hands shook and she breathed deeply as though preparing to take a deep dive into pool from which she was certain she’d never return. Her classmates pleaded with her to come aboard, and although she never demanded to leave, was never committed to going.

After a few moments of convincing, Rosa was encouraged to sit in the boat’s companionway halfway in the cockpit where she felt safe. The chaperone sat next to her and held her hand; as the boat finally left the dock Rosa uttered “I want to go back”. But it was too late! She was sailing.

I waited on the dock and prepared to scramble the safety boat, but Rosa stood fast and kept going.  Her sailing instructor, Bruce, shouted, “She’ll be OK in a few minutes. It’s always these ones who have the most fun.”

And he was right!

Before the boats could make one loop in Clipper Cove, Rosa was already at the helm. Bruce is an expert with kids and made sure he could instill the confidence Rosa needed to become strong and face her fear.

As she steered the boat downwind, it was apparent Bruce had done his job and Rosa had made a tremendous step forward. Her transformation was empowering for her classmates and everyone involved. 

Afterward, Rosa said, “Before I went sailing I felt nervous, scared and frightened. After sailing around the bay I felt happy, excited, and joyful.”

And check out the smiles from her classmates:

While this was certainly Rosa and her classmates’ first sail, it might also have been the first big step forward in learning to conquer fear.

Although they later enjoyed their Power of the Wind lesson in the classroom (who wouldn’t have fun building wind-powered land yachts), these kids will never forget the power they felt in that very light morning wind while sailing in the safety of Clipper Cove.

The Power of the Wind –  Life Changing ? – we think so!

Regards from On the Cove, Travis

 

In the Wake:

In case you missed our April newsletter, you can read about it here.

While the level of high school racing is a step above Set Sail Learn in terms of sailing abilities, these two activities share one thing in common – The life lessons, friendships and joy of sailing in the protected safety of Clipper Cove.  Below are a few photos from the 2018 Golden Bear regatta attended by 256 sailors and another 150+ parents, friends and coaches from 26 high schools.  What a scramble at the docks when 4 divisions switched teams in 64 boats !

Did I mention- THANK YOU VOLUNTEERS !

 

 

TISC Opening Day 2017 a Glittering Success

Start with J/24’s, kayaks, SUPs and Clipper Cove sunny skies. Add attendees of all ages and dedicated volunteers. Mix with paddles, sails, food and free life jackets. Sprinkle with glitter and a gentle breeze.  Wala!  TISC 2017 opening day smiles.

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Our “shore team” played a critical role in the success of Opening Day / Safe Boating Day at the Treasure Island Sailing Center. Staffing the many exhibits and activities is a non-stop job the minute our gates open.   Ditto for managing the check-in, scheduling, and successful “dock-in” and “dock-out” of all the water craft.  No way all this could happen without the many TISC parents and the CAL Berkeley Sailing Team.  TISCOpeningDay2017-101TISCOpeningDay2017-102 TISCOpeningDay2017-103

The guys on the docks making it happen strike a pose.Boat Handlers Strike a Pose TISCOpeningDay2017-104Pushing OffSeveral years back we combined our Opening Day with Safe Boating Day because TISC promotes safety in all we do.  The US Coast Guard Auxiliary District 11 (Northern Region) handed out 100 life jackets provided by the California Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW). Many of the programs provided to children and adults would not be possible without the on-going financial support of DBW.Coast Guard AuxiliaryTISCOpeningDay2017-115Back again for a second time was Glitter in the City.  Lots of sparkles on many cute faces. The face painter and her models steal the show:TISCOpeningDay2017-121 TISCOpeningDay2017-123 TISCOpeningDay2017-124 TISCOpeningDay2017-126Water action included rides in kayaks, stand-up paddle boards (SUPs) and J/24s.  Our J/24 fleet skippered by TISC supporters and Vanguard 15 racers provided rides to over 200.  TISCOpeningDay2017-130TISCOpeningDay2017-132Another 70 happy kayakers and 40 adventurous SUP “drivers” enjoyed time on Clipper Cove. TISCOpeningDay2017-133 TISCOpeningDay2017-134 TISCOpeningDay2017-135TISCOpeningDay2017-136And more happy J/24 drivers and crew.TISCOpeningDay2017-139TISCOpeningDay2017-140 TISCOpeningDay2017-141 TISCOpeningDay2017-142 TISCOpeningDay2017-143TISCOpeningDay2017-145Bruce Holaday also joined us along with his hand-made Petie Bateau, a Shellback Dinghy designed by Joel White.  For a great children’s book (kids from 8-80 will love it!) you can order “A Boy’s Boat” directly from Amazon.TISCOpeningDay2017-146Other exhibitors also participated to help provide a fun day.  And an educational one, with Recology Golden Gate passing out flyers and information to help educate attendees on what goes in which bin.TISCOpeningDay2017-147This year Adams Grub Truck joined us.   They promised “explosions of flavor, magnitude of size, served with a smile” and did not disappoint.  Their upcoming schedules are HERE.TISCOpeningDay2017-117TISCOpeningDay2017-149The next generation gets some time on the Bay too.TISCOpeningDay2017-150Over 50 volunteers supported this successful day. Here’s a few more photos from the shore-side fun and games.TISCOpeningDay2017-137 TISCOpeningDay2017-127 TISCOpeningDay2017-119 Luxine Smith wears many hats at TISC.  As our volunteer coordinator she is responsible for sorting out the many jobs needed for Opening Day and filling them with volunteers. Way to Go ! on another great turnout of volunteers and attendees.TISCOpeningDay2017-148PLEASE don’t forget out sponsors.  Next time you’re in Berkeley stop by the Peets Coffee at 2916 Domingo Ave and THANK THEM for their support of the Treasure Island Sailing Center.  Ditto for the Costco on 2400 Monument Blvd. in Concord.

Regards from On The Cove, Dave G

In the wake:

Thanks and a tip-of-the-hat to Brian Hill for the opening day photographs. Great shots, nice framing and well organized to share the fun times had by all on Clipper Cove !

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:

 

 

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

 

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.

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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

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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

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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

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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