Photographing kids can be challenging.  Moving boats, variable winds, clouds, shaddows and dynamic backgrounds add further complications.  Fortunately our TISC instructors are there to help with boats and drills. The kids favorite was CAPSIZE!

IMG_3723Taking pictures for our annual report is best done toward the end of a two-week youth sailing session after the kids have learned basic sailing and are tuning up their boat handling skills.  They can navigate inside and outside of Clipper Cove, play follow-the-leader, turn when the whistle blows and consistently pluck a life jacket (“Man Overboard”) out of the water on the first pass.

IMG_3801_resizeAnd tip over on cue.

By 11:30 on my first “shoot” the same question came from several students after running through morning drills: “Can we capsize now?”. “OK”, Alison announced, “You can capsize now,  then we’ll head in for lunch”.








Treasure Island Sailing Center classes stress on-the-water safety and self confidence. Safety is stressed at all times whether on the land or on the water.  Self-confidence builds as students’ skills progress from day to day. Our instructors encourage students and guide them to the next level in their sailing and life skills.

everyone involvedand even moreSome of the pictures in this blog were taken while an instructor was simultaneously driving, commanding students, and trying to go where I asked.  Others were made possible when they shared boats so I could have one to myself. None would be available without our top-notch instructors who created these self-confident smiles. life jacket safetyReflections

teamworkBeach time provides another opportunity for kids to gain confidence around watercraft while having fun.kayak and board funAs students progress from level to level their horizons expand as they move beyond Clipper Cove both in terms of skills learned as well as waters sailed.Hiked and PsychedOutside Clipper Cove

RS Venture ScreamingLooking forward to our next shoot, regards from on the Cove, on the beach and in the water, Dave G

In the Wake:

If you are a parent with a child who took lessons during the last two sessions or the current session here at TISC and would like to view more pictures send me an email ( and I will provide a link to high quality, password-protected JPEGs you can view or download.  Be sure to include your name, your child’s name, the session attended and a memory your student shared with you about their time at TISC.

If you are a parent or simply a friend of TISC and would like to help us create a 2-3 minute slide show from TISC please contact Madison in the TISC office to work out the production logistics.  If you have videographer skills, even better !



Volunteers Launch TISC Opening Day

TISC Opening Day - Low tide in the morning

Low tide on a quiet Clipper Cove Saturday, April 27

TISC Opening Day 2013 was smooth sailing from first launch at low tide to 6pm high fives thanks to the massive volunteer effort coordinated by our team.  I spent the day driving Skipper’s Gift, secretly envious of the lucky RS Venture drivers.

Based on the iPhone activity from the sixty six Skipper’s Gift “crew” yesterday there will be plenty of images on social media of smiling faces, happy families and passionate volunteers.  This blog is about the volunteers who helped enable our 850+ visitors to have enjoyable day On Clipper Cove.

Tide low during drop in

Low ( -1.4 ft) tides on Clipper Cove make launching and retrieving boats more difficult.

Tide high for hauling out

When the tides on Clipper Cove are higher launching is easier because the vertical distance from water to yard is less.

Mother Nature delivered up a nearly astronomically low tide of -1.4 just as we were launching the J/24s, RS Ventures and safety boats.  Made for a long drop, although we were rewarded later in the day with a convenient high tide for hauled out. 

Two USF Service-Learning teams working with our staff played a huge part in the planning and preparation of the day’s events.  I’m still not sure if they’ve all had a chance to get out for a sail, and will try to make sure that happens as they wrap up their work on the volunteer-enabling software for us and make their recommendations for any opening day “tune ups” we should consider for next year.

USF Team Ready to Register

USF Service-Learning team ready for registration. Notice the huge pile of life jackets in the background – they were ALL in used during busy times!

USF Team Managing Goods and Services

USF Service-Learning teams also sold TISC gear during the event.

As they have done for all major events over last few years, the Cal Berkeley Sailing team turned out in force.  They were there from first launch until last evening shadows began to settle over TISC launching boats, keeping our drivers on time, and helping visitors – many who had never sailed or even been on boats – on/off the J/24’s, RS Ventures and smaller water craft.  Their team sails out of TISC and are a model tenant in terms of sail hard, enjoy the bay and give back to enable others to benefit from the sport of sailing.

Cal Sailing Rigging J24s

Cal Berkely Sailing Team readies the J/24 fleet for a busy day on Clipper Cove.

Crowded day on the pier

Notice the huge crowds in the background ready for their turn at rides. Cal Sailing team helped visitors on/off the J/24’s during the day.

Tenants from TISC turned out in force to support opening day.  21 skippers and crew from our J/24, Melges 24, Thistle and V15 fleets showed up to help with driving and managing a small armada of watercraft.  A great showing of support from the “locals”.

Kevin and Chris lead skippers meeting

Kevin and Chris briefed the TISC Tenant Volunteers on plans for the day, stressing safety and timeliness during hand-off at the dock.

chris with radios and answers

Chris answered questions and passed out TISC-provided hand-helds to drivers for the J/24’s and safety boats.

RS Ventures and Kayaks ready

Volunteers setting up the RS Ventures, stand-up paddle boards and kayaks in preparation for the many free rides of the day.

The real stars of the day were the kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, Optis, RS Ventures and J/24s.  People came to enjoy the water and it doesn’t get better than an exciting eco-friendly day On Clipper Cove.

New RS Venture framed by HMB1

During low tide entrance to Clipper Cove must be made near the large pier temporarily occupied by the Hughes Mining Barge recently renovated for use in off-shore barge refurbishing by Bay Ship and Yacht.

RS Venture framed by Alameda Battle Bots

RS Ventures provided lively rides as the winds cooperated with 15-20 knot gusts. Notice huge “battle bots” in the background.

Opti and RS Venture

TISC’s fleet was augmented this year by the just-arrived RS Ventures. They will offer ability to have instructor-lead “on-the-water” classes for several students at the same time. The Opti on left sails with one or two students only.

RS Venture and J24 framed by Bay Bridge

J/24s, RS Ventures and kayaks were big hit with hundreds of visitors to TISC during Opening Day 2013

Safety Boat and RS Venture Framed by new bridge

Most common questions from guests on Skipper’s Gift were about TISC, our mission and sailing lessons.  Other popular ones: “How do boats sail upwind”, “where can I rent a boat like this”, and “what’s inside that large gray barge on the big pier”.

What started out for many as a Facebook link, email from a friend or outdoor pick on funCheapSF turned into an opportunity to share background on our mission of delivering life-lessons to kids through sailing.

THANK YOU VOLUNTEERS, or enabling our team to kick off another year as a “Launching Point for New Horizons” for bay area kids, and a fun place to sail and race for adults.

Regards from on The Cove, Dave G

 In the wake: As I was preparing to swap out five smiling faces for a new crew just after lunch I was taken aback by a sleek PROTECTOR ribby parked under our two-ton hoist.  With a PIZZA sign on top?  I later found out Waypoint Pizza (history here, founded in 1997 same year as TISC) made a high speed run from Tiburon to provide hot pizza for many of our volunteers.  More in a later blog on the many “gifts in kind” that added to the cost-effective success of TISC Opening Day 2013.