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.
IMG_3065 IMG_3100

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.

 

Trailer, Docks and Richmond SMILES – then crash !

Blue sky and diamond sparkles highlighted Clipper Cove as I drove over the Bay Bridge to TISC Thursday morning.  What a great day for the Richmond Parks and Recreation sail plus dock installation for the BAYS Golden Bear Regatta.

Early start with a 7:30 appointment in Alameda to pick up a donated Moore 24 trailer.  Stay tuned for the international background behind this gracious donation in a later blog. Ditto for the excellent dock work supplied by volunteers from Encinal, Richmond, San Francisco and St. Francis Yacht Clubs and Peninsula Youth Sailing Foundation.

Philip and Ivan, two of our TISC  instructors, treated ten kids + two advisers from Richmond Parks and Recreation to a breezy sail on the bay.  They were all smiles when their J/24’s returned to the docks around 1pm:

Richmond Sail at TISC-1 Richmond Sail at TISC-2

Answers to my question “What was your favorite part of the day?” included “I sailed the boat”, “being on the water”, and “what makes the sky blue? ( elementary students often answer a question with a question, you know)”.  All answers delivered with big smiles and inquisitive minds.

Side Bar: Thursday was quite windy; the kids had an exciting ride.  A few upset stomachs enused.  After the sail, however, they were ALL SMILES, and everyone wanted to come back for another sail at Treasure Island Sailing Center.  Troopers every one !

About  “The Crash”.

If you look closely at this group shot taken before the sail at 10:50am, you will see two cranes removing portions of the under-works used to assemble the eastern section of the new Bay Bridge.

Before the Crash

In this picture of their return to the docks just after 1pm, notice the large pile of broken steel and the broken crane on the construction barge:

Titanic Moment

Here is another picture I shot seconds after hearing the rumbling and crashing from tons of steel dropping on the barge below at 12:07 pm.  You can see the yellow lifting frame used to lower the sections as it it dropped to the barge on top of the under-works, taking the remaining crane down with it:last section dropping

 

Regards from (not your normal day) On The Cove, Dave G

In the wake: As I finish this blog, 250 kids from 50 schools in 35 towns are finishing up the first day of the BAYS Golden Bears Regatta on Clipper Cove.  Stay tuned for a behind-the-scenes look at Thursday’s preparation for this PCISA event.

Picture Perfect Monday

Monday’s plan was simple: check email, drive to TI, apply penetrating oil to the electric hoist cover bolts, lead a noon conference call, loosen up the pesky bolts, fix a balky trailer hitch and head home before the 5pm traffic.

Skipper’s Gift made a great work platform, however if you’re a sailor, you won’t be surprised to hear that stubborn bolts don’t always free up as easily as hoped, so “beating rush hour traffic” was not in the cards.

My delayed departure provided an opportunity to wave to Oracle 5 team on their way “home from the office”, connect with a few members of the California Golden Bears Sailing Team and take a couple hundred pictures of FJ’s in Clipper Cove with Bay Bridge and Oakland as a backdrop. 

The collegiate season has started, and the Cal team practices here M/W/F (next year I promise to visit “Team Racing Tuesday” so I’ve covered all the daily race events). 

On Monday I was able to combine both “f8 and be there” with “f28 and hold it steady” using the awesome camera I received from the PrimeTime team when I retired from Synopsys.  Here are 58 pictures of Cal Sailing Team On Clipper Cove.  NOTE: password to view these pictures is “GoBears”.

The Cal students are great team players on and off the water. Their volunteer work at Treasure Island Sailing Center is greatly appreciated –

Thanks for all you do for TISC and the Sailing Community!

 

 

 

From On The Cove, Dave G

In the wake:

Many folks have asked about the huge floating dry dock around the corner from TISC.  Here are two links with additional information:

Declassified $170million Cold War Stealth boat called the Sea Shadow is snapped  up for $2.5million… but you can’t take it for a spin round the bay
Read more

Well That’s It: The Bay Area’s Formerly-Secret U.S. Navy “Sea Shadow” Stealth Ship Auctioned for Scrap Today

 

On Boston Pond

Boston is a great place to visit anytime – what’s not to like about their sports teams (sorry Yankees fans), art museums, restaurants, theaters, the new Boston Harborwalk, the red brick Freedom Trail and history galore!  Summer is even better with many sailing venues available to out-of-town visitors on the Charles River, Boston Harbor and the Harbor Islands.

CBI was chartered in 1946

During my family visit to Boston two weeks ago I spent a day visiting Boston Sailing Center at Lewis Wharf, Courageous Sailing Center in the Navy Yard next to the USS Constitution and Community Boating on the Charles River.  My objective was to connect with these great teams in person and  find out what’s working for them especially related to their volunteer programs.  Piers Park Sailing was a pioneer in adaptive sailing programs and I hop to visit their team during my next visit.

Many of their most successful programs – especially the racing programs – are driven exclusively by the volunteers who sail on the Charles River and Boston Harbor. These centers benefit from sailors of all levels of skill and all ages, most minutes away from their docks via sidewalks, subways or water shuttles.

Thanks and a tip-of-the-hat to Wade Edwards at BSC, Dave DiLorenzo at CSC and Charles Zechel and Andrew Alletag at CBI for their openness, inputs and suggestions.  They share our common passion for sailing; their goals are like ours – provide learning tools and access for kids and adults to get them on the water safely and at reasonable cost.  And they were of course envious of our 12 month sailing season that serves as a Launching Point for New Horizons

Several TISC tenants responded to our first blog and suggested a central calendar for upcoming events that may affect access.  That’s in the works on the TISC website.  For now check out this List of Upcoming TISC Events and Opportunities.

From On The Cove, Dave G

In the wake:

When visiting Boston, load your Charlie Card and use public transportation.  My feet and public transportation got me from my son’s condo in Somerville to all three sailing venues and back on a gorgeous sunny day in the 70’s. Here’s a few handy links for Buses, Subways and Harbor Shuttles in Boston.

 

Thursday Night On Clipper Cove

Watching 11 Vanguard 15s and 6 Lasers enjoying gusty winds on Clipper Cove brought back memories from our 470 days on Pontoosuc Lake in Western Mass.  Both have tall, unique postcard settings.  Bay Bridge towers and Alameda loading cranes backstop the cove; Mt. Greylock provides a postcard setting for Pontoosuc.

The loading cranes inspired George Lucas to design the Star Wars Battle Bots. The Pontoosuc story can be as simple as the Indian name “falls on the brook” or can lead you to an old Indian Legend.

We ran a regatta for forty seven 470s on that tiny lake half the size of Angel Island – complete with a gear-buster lightning storm one day and fluky mountain winds the next.  Nothing like our predictable San Francisco Bay breezes!

I signed on as Thursday’s “grillmeister” to connect with the Vanguard 15 and Laser sailors to get their views and suggestions about sailing at TISC.  Nick Adamson also stopped by – a bonus to those who know him and those newer sailors who met him for the first time.  He was one of the TISC and Vanguard 15 Fleet 53 founders.

Hearing about the origins of the center firsthand was a good reminder that we’re fortunate to have such great racing just 5 minutes off the Treasure Island Sailing Center dock in a safe harbor ideal for introducing kids to sailing and life lessons.  What a great place for launching new horizons!

From the cove, Dave G.

In the wake:

Clipper Cove offers close-up race viewing right from the shore. Before cranking up the grill I took photos of all the racers.  They’re here:  Dave G photos from Svendsen’s Thursday Night Vanguard 15 and Laser series

 

Welcome to On Clipper Cove

In May ’12 I joined the Board of Directors at Treasure Island Sailing Center. After a couple of decades in Electronic Design Automation I’m transitioning to the world of non-profits. Trading in my .doc, .ppt and .xls tools for G/flex, sandpaper and sunscreen – and WordPress :).

I’m already enjoying my time with a great team whose vision is to get all the kids in San Francisco on the water and into sail boats. In my case that means hands-on boat repair and maintenance, sharing Skipper’s Gift with kids and their families, and working with TISC tenants to provide them with an additional resource as we work together to grow our community of service-minded sailors.

The passion of the TISC founders over ten years ago provided us with a platform to sail, race and share the best location in the world with those not fortunate enough to sail solo. Most who sail from TISC undertand the crucial role volunteers play here; not all are aware the grants we receive and the land we use are available because of our volunteers and our non-profit status.

I look forward to meeting more of our tenants here at TISC as well as the college students and parent volunteers who keep us full and by on the starboard tack. If you have questions about sailing in and around Clipper Cove, comments specific to our space at TISC and ESPECIALLY suggestions for upcoming blogs please let me know.

From On the Cove, Dave G  ( DaveG @ OnClipperCove.com)

In the wake:

Sailors often ask our staff about the weather in the Bay. Here’s one of my favorite weather links because it also tracks the gusts we use for “tens” on the way home from Angel Island: San Francisco Sailing Weather.   Which ones do you count on? Send them along!