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.

 

 

 

 

CAPSIZE !

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”.

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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 (DaveG@onclippercove.com) 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.