Kids Smiles Fill Clipper Cove – TISC Instructors Rock !

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And a quick debrief.IMG_4570

Regards from On The Cove, Dave G

In the wake:

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

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

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

 

Concrete Crushed, Need Sawzall or Torch

concrete location A few weeks back our team sliced up the “roadblock” next to the opti rack.  A  volunteer finished off the job Wednesday. Next step: removing four 1″ reinforcing rods. We’re looking for a volunteer with a Sawzall or torch to help.

The troublesome reinforced concrete block that’s been in the way of kids loading and unloading opti’s and bugs, and keelboats using the large hoist, is almost gone.  Dan Fishman, our maintenance guru, removed most of it using a concrete saw funded by tenants dollars from those who were not able to directly volunteer their time at TISC in the last six months.

The concrete saw was able to remove most of the block, but not the reinforcing rods. Two of the remaining four bolts and brackets are shown in the picture below.

concrete beforeOn Wednesday a volunteer armed with hammer and chisel finished off the small chunks of concrete.  All that remains are the four steel rods.

concrete after

If you have access to a Sawzall or portable torch please feel free to “have at it”.  There are four rods that must be cut off in the otherwise mostly cleaned out space.  Feel free to call Chris Childers or me if you can help out  or if you have suggestions on the best way to attack these rods.

Regards from On The Cove, Dave G

mule tracks eastIn the wake:

Next up is filling in a few “mule tracks” in the central yard to smooth out the path for our mule, which takes a beating whenever it rolls over these bumps.  If you have experience with concrete patching, can make suggestions regarding the best materials to use,  or would be willing to help out for a few hours in January please let us know.  Materials for this project will also be funded with dollars assessed to tenants not able to fulfill their monthly volunteer time.mule tracks center

 

 

From On the Rocks to On Clipper Cove in 60 Minutes

initial prep grindingWith 1,000 student-drivers per year, dings, nicks and holes can’t be avoided in Treasure Island Sailing Center’s fleet. Dave Collignon, TISC Melges24 sailor and Revchem technical applications expert, shared his fix-it expertise with 26 students using fast-setting UV-cure polyester resin.

Dave’s approach for the class was clever and effective.  He used an old Laser hull with four (self inflicted) holes on the curved chine. He took them to various states of completion before class started then used each to demonstrate a different step in the repair process after students arrive.  At all times he protected the hull from “drips” with paper, and himself from “the itchies” with long sleeved shirt, glasses, respirator and long sleeves.protect the area around the fixDave Callignon Grinding Away

The secret ingredient used during the clinic was UV Cure Polyester Surfboard Laminating Resin that hardens in 10 minutes when exposed to sunlight. Pot life in the shade is hours to days. Along with a few other products (available at Svendsen’s Boat Works), simple tools and mother nature – repairs can be accomplished rapidly, even over lunch between the last morning race and first afternoon race !tools of the trade

Revchem with Bay BridgeDave completed the steps for a simple repair by working on four similar spots in parallel.He used a grinder to remove material around the ding – being careful to leave as much damaged glass intact as a base for the patch.   The entire repair to a real hole would easilly have been completed in an hour.sanding the puttyA hard block was used for fairing to retain the shape of the hull. fairing prior to gelcoatThe final state, before application of gelcoat, was a “50 grit smooth” surface shaped like the hull slightly recessed to make room for the gelcoat.

ready for puttyThree additives provide the basis for repairs: milled fiber for strength and hardness, Q-Cell quartz microspheres to create a filler that’s easy-to-sand, and fumed silica to act as a thickening agent.  Used in various combinations they form a putty with adjustable properties from super strong to super workable.  Sitting on the shady table they remained workable all afternoon and into the evening.stronger-bigger-thicker

Students arrived at 6pm.   With the four dings at various states Dave took the class through each step of the repair process.glass class on clipper cove more grinding

Even with the sun’s rays weakening, students were able to observe best practices for each step in the process as dave took the repairs to completion.applying first glass cloth

applying puttyThe final step was the addition of the gelcoat layer.  working in gel coatfinal putty smoothingAfter application of the gelcoat he used a freezer bag to cover the patch to ensure an almost-smooth finish.  After curing the gelcoat is sanded with 220-600-800 grit sandpaper then buffed smooth.before the plastic bag applying gelcoatFiberglass cloth is available in a wide range of weights, construction and materials. Dave went through many of them, including a short discussion of carbon fiber cloth. He also touched on the use of epoxy resin (best for structural repair) vs the polyester resin used in class ( best for cosmetic repairs).about glass cloth

The last repair of the day was a J/24 hatch cover damaged on one edge. This was a good segue into the use of thick, unwoven glass fiber cloth.  Dave showed the key to success with this ungainly material: gloves and various sized resin rollers !user rollers for wetting chopped glass matfirst layer of chopped glass on hatch first layer of chopped glass adding mat to hatch for bulk

As the sun was finally setting Dave talked through the repair of an Opti with damage to the bow.  The trick on this one was a combination putty made with both milled fibers and fumed silica.  The deck and hull were then clamped securely but not quite touching.  For both the J/24 hatch cover and Opti bow, the last step would be external finishing using same techniques as with the Laser.  Questions and wrap-up followed at 7:30.

UVA GoneAfter the last pizza box was cleared and tables/chairs put away the UVA from Mother Nature was replaced with moon beams over the new Bay Bridge.  While not great for UV Cure resin it made a nice bookend for the first annual TISC “Glass Class”.

Thanks again to Dave Collignon for an entertaining, fact-filled, hands-on fiberglass boat repair clinic.  And thanks in advance to those attendees who will be using their new-found-skills to help maintain the Treasure Island Sailing Center fleet as they set sail heading out for new horizons.

From On the Cove, Dave G

In the wake:

Here is a link to the reference materials from Wednesday’s clinic: TISC-glass-class-aug-2013

Phone number for  Matt Ford, the manager at Svendson’s Chandlery: 510-521-8454 ext# 34.  These guys sponsor the Thursday night Laser/V15 races and are great TISC supporters. If you need supplies they are willing to drop off at TISC.

And by the way, if you have a skill you’d like to share with other tenants or a suggestion for upcoming clinic let me know: daveg@onclippercove.com