JYC Elementary Smiles Set SSL Milestone On Clipper Cove

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John Yehall Chin Elementary School Students Mark the 4,244 SSL Milestone at TISC

Combine wind, water, sailboats, hands, straws, paper, tape and life-savers with 33 John Yehall Chin Elementary School students.  Add seaweed, mix well. Check out the results – smiles, creative seaweed math, and a major SSL Milestone: the 4,244 4th grader on Clipper Cove.

The docks are out and the winds are cool on Clipper Cove these days. As we wind down a year filled with kids smiles and progress on preserving much of the Cove for future generations, we also wanted to share additional smiles and fun times that marked the seventh Set Sail Learn session since we first launched the pilot program for this unique STEM experiential learning program four years ago.

Designed to meet 4th grade California core standards, SSL is a one-day exploration trip incorporating curriculum-aligned science and math learning along with sailing on San Francisco Bay. Teachers can select lesson plans featuring Renewable Energy, Ecology of the Bay or Marine History.  The JYC day featured wind energy.

The activity center hosts half the kids for the morning session.  It combines a little bit of lecture, with most time spent on interactive discussion, design challenges and of course “finals”.img_7392

The challenge – build the fastest (or perhaps “stiffest” in sailing jargon) craft using only paper, life-savers, straws and tape.  A great time for thinking, creating, engineering and fun. img_3709-cr-cr

img_3707Unique wind cars waiting for the start of their first race.  And after the start.img_3728 img_3770

Some times the kids “crash and burn” in the activity center.  Not that different from learning life lessons (such as self confidence) in our summer session progression program.img_3735-cr img_3739-cr

Team work is stressed during the design build phase of the competition.  Another life skill also learned on the water as well.img_3701

stern horizontalSame goes for communications, goal setting and leadership – direct parallels between STEM lessons learned in the SSL activity center and life lessons learned on Clipper Cove.img_3716

water flyingimg_3742-crimg_1526-enWhile half the students are building wind cars, the other half head out to Clipper Cove. RS Venture sailboats are ideal for our “hands-on-the-bay” programs – stable, sporty and roomyimg_7599-crClipper Cove always serves up views, water and wildlife. Students, learn and experience directions, scale and mother nature.  Never sure who (or what) will swim past or fly by, but something will.img_7559 img_7456 img_7505

Smiles and “hands-in-the-water” experiences on Clipper Cove are the norm, if you’ve seen our previous SSL Blogs.  As a kid on the water, likely for the first time, how can that not be.img_7655img_7703 img_7479

This day, however, something new appeared on deck.  A “new math” based on seaweed. I didn’t have a chance to interview the creative team directly, so not sure the rules for this new system. Whatever they were, I did sense interest, attentiveness and focus.img_7509-cr

Other boats were also exploring this new math.img_7639img_7625

Here are a few more of the smiles that reflected off the Cove.img_7481

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And speaking of the cove, some

NASH BRIDGES, Cheech Marin, Don Johnson, Serena Scott Thomas, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Jamie Gomez, (Season 1), 1996-2001, © Rysher Entertainment

NASH BRIDGES, Cheech Marin, Don Johnson, Serena Scott Thomas, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Jamie Gomez, (Season 1), 1996-2001, © Rysher Entertainment

parents or grandparents may remember Nash Bridges – the detective show back in the day just before TISC was founded – mid-1990’s.  Remember these guys?

Even if you do, you may not have known their headquarters was atop the TI administration building. Overlooking both San Francisco Bay and Clipper Cove.img_7789

And what a view of the Cove !img_7740 img_7755-cr

pano-chen-img-7742At the conclusion of the Fall 2016 SSL session, 4,244 SFUSD students attended 161 Set Sail Learn classes at TISC on Clipper Cove. They represented  35 schools over the last four years. The grant received from St. Francis Sailing Foundation last fall was a game changer for TISC and SFUSD 4th graders. It officially launched the program; enabling the jump from pilot to a fully staffed program that delivers 50+ classes per year – at no charge to the schools.

The StFSF grant funds about half of the classes. TISC raises the other half through public and private grants along with individual donations.  Each SSL class costs approximately $1,500. If you are able and inclined to make an investment in the future of our children, please consider making a donation to the TISC annual fund – every donation helps no matter how much you are able to invest. If you act by December 31, 2016 your donations, up to $12,500, will be matched dollar for dollar. You can DONATE HERE.

Regards from On the cove,  Dave G

In the wake:

Thanks and a tip-of-the-hat to the parent who took the excellent photos of the “wind racers” in the activity center – much appreciated.

Also – if you are a parent, relative or teacher of a child in Jonathan Cheung’s class and would like to see more photos of their SSL day at TISC on Clipper Cove let us know and we’ll send you a password-protected link to high-res photos with more kids’ smiles. Email:   daveg (at) onclippercove (dot) com

Kids Smiles Fill Clipper Cove – TISC Instructors Rock !

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And a quick debrief.IMG_4570

Regards from On The Cove, Dave G

In the wake:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

class IMG_2365 class IMG_2434-en-crclass IMG_2769

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

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

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

IMG_2989–  –  –  and a favorite for kids:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Regards from On The Cove, Dave G

In the wake:

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

 

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.
Safe in CCove5IMG_2204

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).
IMG_2148 RS Venture at dockIMG_2135

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:

 

 

St. Francis Sailing Foundation Grant Launches Set Sail Learn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Today’s many smiles added to our 2015 totals:

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

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

Regards from On The Cove, Dave G

In the wake:

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

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

 

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.

canoe-IMG_5056

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the wake:

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

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

inst-IMG_4949 inst-IMG_5101inst-IMG_4920-cr

Cleveland and Feinstein Schools On Clipper Cove

crabs in trapSSLearn 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!

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!

What makes TISC’s SSLearn experiential learning program unique is the curriculum and how it’s delivered. Each day is split into two parts: inside and outside ivan framed by oakland craneshands-on activities sharing ideas, learning about bay creatures and history, and reinforcing what’s been learned through open discussion; and time in a sailboat driving, touching the water, grabbing seaweed, and experiencing the effects of wind, tide, currents.Luxine explains

 

 

Presentation timeSan Francisco Unified School District 4th grade classes are split into two groups for their SSLearn day at TISC. While 15 kids pilot RS Venture sailboats the other group learns about crabs, ecology, math and the environment through open discussions. After lunch they switch.

Our activity center is for learning and exploring; we never refer to it as a classroom. No chairs – sometimes the kids stand for open discussion, other times they’re on the floor listening to group presentations.Activity center - three

Playing “The Oh Crab Population Game” provides a chance for outside “energy burn” while gathering statistics which the kids graph, analyze and discuss. Our ecology curriculum teaches kids about what’s needed to survive, like oxygen, food and shelter.

Kids line up representing either the environment or crabs. With backs turned (OK, some prefer to “peek”) each decides on oxygen (holding nose), food (hands on stomachs) or shelter (hands over heads). A match means more crabs – population increases. If what the crabs decide they need is not available in the environment crabs die and their population decreases.

crab game - lookingcrab game - matching

crab game - deciding
SSL Work bookEach student receives a workbook they fill out and take home with them for post-trip study. Other land-based lessons include, crab finding, compass study, and discussions about rising or falling tides. Our SSL curriculum meets California State Standards; the lesson plans identify how the materials support reading, writing, math, graphing skills, and communication to name a few.

We keep the activity center stocked with pictures and posters from sailing on and around the bay. Reference materials and “eyes on” equipment are also readily available.OTUSA poster microscope

Students get to experience the wind and water while in sailboats on Clipper Cove. Some get to steer the boat if they want to. Notice the break in the eastern span of the old Bay Bridge.correy kids drivingthree RSVs framed by old eastern span

While taking pictures I always challenge them with questions about the wind and compass directions -“Point toward Ohio”, or “Which way is West”? By the way, the Golden Gate Bridge is almost perfectly aligned north/ south, and can be seen from most points on Clipper Cove. East is that way

west is that wayWhen asked “what was your favorite part of the sail?” one student answered “I put my feet in the water.” Others were excited to find “mermaid hair” on the cove and by the dock.mermaid hair on the water

mermaid hair - on the dockMy favorite pictures from these SSL days are the kids smiles – whether on or off the water. Can never be too many of them!romell with five pointing and smilescorrey kids smiling activity center - southern view Annie four waving activity center - fiveIvan hiking

Free BusThese classes are provided at no charge to SFUSD fourth graders. Bus transportation to/from Treasure Island Sailing Center is also included.

Regards from On Clipper Cove, D-

In the wake:

You can read another post about the John Yehall Chin Elementary School fourth grade kids who attended an SS Learn class at TISC last fall.

Go to the registration page to sign up for the few remaining Spring Classes. If you have questions about the SS LEARN program or would like to register for the Fall 2014 session send an email to programs@tisailing.org.

You can also download a brochure with more information about SS Learn at TISC.

 

Opening Day: Sails, Paddles and Smiles On Clipper Cove

Saturday’s Opening Day Featured blue skies, steady winds, eight sails, a bunch of kayaks & paddleboards, and hundreds of smiles. Our supportive volunteer force worked Wednesday through Saturday.  Kudos to our TISC team for a job well done!Kayak J24 Bridge

Opening day was combined with Safe Boating Day this year. The rain on Friday was unusual however the Cal Sailing Team showed up to finish the set up anyway, then returned first thing Saturday to make sure all was ready and greet visitors.  No way this event happens without their dedicated support.

Parents and students also turned out in force to help set up and manage beach logistics.  It was great to see them having fun while giving back. Thanks also to the Life Learning Academy volunteers.Parents Setting Up

MadisonThere are many, many, many moving parts to opening day.  Some happen in real time, some must be ready days, weeks or months in advance. Madison Gattis, our Director of Operations, has been on this since the beginning of the year.

 

ChrisOnce the day started Chris Childers, our Programs Director, oversaw the boats, dock workers and hundreds of guests on Clipper Cove.  New this year was the use of the west beach for the water toys with launches transporting guests to/from the docks to the beach.

AnnieAnnie Butts, our Head Instructor, had her hands full with driving, coordinating crash boats and answering lots of volunteer questions. Thanks also for her many hours of boat prep prior to the event.RS Ventures Ready

  • Staging the paddleboards and kayaks at the beach and using launches to ferry people to and from was a great idea.  This plan provided a completely separate venue and afforded a different view and experience for non-sailors.  Not everyone came to sail, yet everyone enjoyed being on Clipper Cove. Here again, volunteers were in place to help ensure safety.Beach Girl

Beach Hands

 

 

 

 

 

The old Eastern Span of the Bay Bridge is being deconstructed.  You can see the initial gap which will continue to widen over time.Bay Bridge Deconstruction

Bay Bridge Framed by J24

The highlights of the day were the huge smiles, compliments, high-fives and sincere thanks from the many guests (we stopped counting sometime after 500) who attended Opening Day 2014.  Some were repeats from last year; many were new to Clipper Cove and wanted to bring their families out for awesome time on the water courtesy of Treasure Island Sailing Center.Painted Face with Wind in HairYoung Driver West Coast Sailing

Skipper in TrainingThree Smiles on Deck-resize Four sail boats departed the docks every fifteen minutes from 11:30 until 3pm. Do the math;  that’s over 300 opening day sailboat rides.  Our volunteers registered all these people, gave them a safety briefing, fitted life jackets and escorted them to and from the docks for embarking and disembarking the five J24s and three RS Ventures. Many thanks to the TI Vanguard and Laser fleets, Cal Sailing, TISC tenants, and Bay Area Association of Disable Sailors for keeping managing the constant flow on the ramps and docks.  Special thanks to the V15 and Laser sailers for setting up the tent (and taking it down tomorrow).Dock Boarding Instructions Dock Lined up to Sail Dock Volunteer

Mother Nature favored us with a gorgeous day.  Rather windy toward the afternoon, which put an even higher premium on the efforts from Cal Sailing team who helped with dock logistics the entire day.  Here are three smiling faces who greeted just about all my guests; this was taken after my last trip – they’re still smiling!Smiling Cal Dock Hands

Regards, from On The Cove,

Dave G

In the wake:

Many of the great pictures above, including the first which captured the variety of the day framed by the new Bay Bridge Eastern Section, were courtesy of Valerie Santorini from Golden Gate Yacht Club.  She and other GGYC volunteers spent the entire day On Clipper Cove ferrying guests from the dock to the beach while taking great pictures.  Thank You Val !!

 

JYC Kids’ Crabby Day at TISC

Ms Thormahlen's Crabby Kids

Ms Thormahlen’s Crabby Kids after spending at day at Treasure Island Sailing Center learning about SF Bay ecology, plotting new directions for Dungeness crabs, and sailing on Clipper Cove.

The bus with JYC Room 306 rolled in at 10am

The bus with JYC students from Room 306 rolled in at 10am

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”!

Thanks to the San Francisco America’s Cup Organizing Committee and Mayor Lee’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, or San Francisco maritime history, or renewable energy. And go for a sail at Treasure Island Sailing Center on Clipper Cove!

What makes this experiential learning program unique is the curriculum and how it’s delivered.  Each day is split into parts: outside activities sharing ideas, inside hands-on time discussing and learning about bay creatures and history,  and time in a sailboat driving, touching the water, grabbing seaweed, and experiencing the effects of wind, tide, currents.

Stretching and Introducing

Talking while leading stretching excercises is a great way to burn energy while keeping kids’ attention.

Five minutes after the busload of JYC students from Ms. Thormahlen’s  Room 306 class pulled into our parking lot last Wednesday at 10am they were running through exercises with our team, breaking into groups of six and getting right down to “work”.

Physical fitness was combined with an overview of TISC early in the day and content-related games as the day progressed.  Busy kids are happy kids !

Small groups discuss their field guides in the Activity Center at TISC.

Small groups discuss their field guides in the Activity Center at TISC.

Inside our activity center the 4th graders shared ideas and learned through interaction with our instructor- who guided but did not lecture- and with each other.  The Field Journal we provided in advance was their textbook for the day.

It’s no secret the time on the water in sailboats driving, touching the water, discovering seaweed and experiencing the tide, current and wind was the day’s favorite activity.  And if a few of these kids show up next summer to take lessons at TISC even better !

TISC's SSLearn program enables kids to drive an RS Venture sailboat, touch the water, and discover seaweed on Clipper Cove.

TISC’s SSLearn program enables kids to drive an RS Venture sailboat, touch the water, and discover seaweed on Clipper Cove.

Happiness is sailing in an RS Venture on Clipper Cove

Happiness is sailing in an RS Venture on Clipper Cove

Seaweed !!!

Seaweed !!!

When Mother Nature cranks up the breeze, smiles all around are sure to follow.

When Mother Nature cranks up the breeze, smiles all around are sure to follow.

Day's end at 2pm
Day’s end at 2pm

The pictures above are a few from the many “rolls” taken during the JYC field trip.  If you’re a parent and would like to see more of the pictures, ask Ms. Thormahlen for a link to the picture folder.  Or contact me directly if you have questions or would like to see additional photos.

Here are two more six-word quotes from Wednesday’s day on Clipper Cove: “So awesome I can’t explain it”; “Best field trip of my life”. To those quotes I would add “Many thanks to Americas Cup organizers”.

Regards from On Clipper Cove, Dave G

In the wake – Here are more pictures from JYC Elementary School’s SSLearn day-on-the-bay last Wednesday:

JYC kids depart

4th grade students from John Yehall Chin Elementary School arrive at Treasure Island Sailing Center Oct 9th under the new SS Learn experiential learning program

Chris Childers, Program Director at Treasure Island Sailing Center welcomes 22 JYC kids to SSLearn 2013

Chris Childers, Program Director at Treasure Island Sailing Center welcomes 22 JYC kids to SSLearn 2013

Yes, that's West toward San Francisco

Yes, that’s West toward San Francisco

Its not hard to love school when studying about the bay's ecology and dungeness crabs during an SSLearn session at Treasure Island Sailing Center.

It’s not hard to love school when studying about the bay’s ecology and dungeness crabs during an SSLearn session at Treasure Island Sailing Center.

 

More games, this time used to create "crab stats"

More games, this time used to create “crab stats”

So, what can we learn from this data on dungeness crab population?

So, what can we learn from this data on dungeness crab population?

The piling is dry on top - does that mean the tide is rising or dropping?

The piling is dry on top – does that mean the tide is rising or dropping?

JYC 4th graders listen Phil as he describes the winds and currents on Clipper Cove

JYC 4th graders listen Phil as he describes the winds and currents on Clipper Cove

 

While the Oakland loading cranes were not the inspiration for the Star Wars BattleBots this myth sounds cool and lives on.

While the Oakland loading cranes were not the inspiration for the Star Wars BattleBots this myth sounds cool and lives on.

Meg learning names and introducing her small crew to TISC

Meg learning names and introducing her small crew to TISC

An SSLearn RS Venture framed by the western end of Clipper Cove wtih San Francisco in the background.

An SSLearn RS Venture framed by the western end of Clipper Cove with San Francisco in the background.

Ramping up the discussions

On the water at TISC's SSLearn program means REALLY "on the water"

On the water at TISC’s SSLearn program means REALLY “on the water”

Phil's crew at Treasure Island Sailing Center on the way to check out life jackets - a mandatory accessory on the docks and of course in the boats.

Phil’s crew at Treasure Island Sailing Center on the way to check out life jackets – a mandatory accessory on the docks and of course in the boats.

Annie leads her crew down the ramp to board RS Ventures for their sail on Clipper Cove

Annie leads her crew down the ramp to board RS Ventures for their sail on Clipper Cove

Some day at least one of these kids from Wednesday's SSLearn program will likely attend Berkelely, thanks to inspiration driven by ACOC and OneSF:Celebrate the Cup.

Some day at least one of these kids from Wednesday’s SSLearn program will likely attend Berkelely, thanks to inspiration driven by ACOC and OneSF:Celebrate the Cup.

 

Construction cranes under the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge and container cranes in Oakland frame JYC Students during their October 9th SSLearn class at Treasure Island Sailing Center.

Construction cranes under the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge and container cranes in Oakland frame JYC Students during their October 9th SSLearn class at Treasure Island Sailing Center.

 

33 happy 4th grade John Yewell Chin Elementary School students depart TISC from their SS Learn class October 9th.

33 happy 4th grade John Yehall Chin Elementary School students depart TISC from their SS Learn class October 9th.