Now THIS is the Life!

Classic comment heard on the dock as Guadalupe Elementary kids ended their “hands-in” Bay Sail: “Now THIS is the life”.  These fourth graders plotted crab populations in our activity center and wind & tides on Clipper Cove.

IMG_5600My planned work day turned into a bonus photo shoot with the kids when Guadalupe Elementary School arrived for a Set Sail Learn (SSL) class at TISC on May 5th.  Trading a power washer wand for camera shutter is always a good deal in my book.  Especially on a picture-perfect day with a nice breeze and near-ideal lighting.

First order of business for SSL classes, after their safety orientation, is to split into two groups. For their Ecology of the Bay study group one started with an active learning session and plenty of student participation.IMG_5470

They simulated ten years of crab population using a “crabby” game. The focus can change from class to class – the Guadalupe kids took turns selecting a “crab” with a huge pincer arm to see how that might affect population and adaptation.  Tables make for great temporary crab housing.IMG_5399IMG_5478

Prior to arriving at TISC teachers are provided with workbooks kids review in advance, a key ingredient of the experiential STEM learning experience. Treasure Island Sailing Center provides SSL classes at no charge to SFUSD fourth graders – 2,300 students since the fall of 2013.IMG_9763-booklet feinstein-cr

A few “hands in the water” photos are a regular feature of the SSL classes and outreach programs at TISC.  Guadalupe Elementary kids really connected with Mother Nature – even more than I’ve noticed in the past.

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Giving fourth graders the opportunity to touch and feel the waters of SF Bay certainly does provide the best “hands-in” experience possible.  The kids couldn’t get enough and we feel all future “Bay Stewards” benefit from these touching connections.IMG_5511-cr

This particular day at least one seal was spotted and the kids were on the lookout for others.  Sea gulls are almost always flying about on Clipper Cove.IMG_5597

IMG_5577-crLearning about direction and major landmarks is easy with the 853′ tall Transamerica Pyramid to the west and the Port of Oakland cranes to the south.IMG_5591

IMG_5525TISC is full and by into our summer programs now that Set Sail Learn classes have ended for the spring.  SSL students are encouraged to continue at TISC in one of the many on-the-water programs available this summer.  Check out our Registration Page for additional information.

Regards from On the Cove, Dave G

In the wake:

SSL Classes are finished for the Spring of 2015.  They will resume in the Fall.  Watch for registration updates  HERE. You can read a program brochure.

If you are a parent or teacher at Guadalupe and would like to have access to the hi-res version of the photos above – and many more -please contact the TISC office (tiscprograms@tisailing.org) or send along an email to me:
daveg at onclippercove dot com.

You can read about other TISC SSL Classes below:

Double Your Sailing Donation – Sponsor a Child

IMG_1849A generous grant from the St. Francis Sailing Foundation could provide $10,000 for our children and youth programs.  We need to match this $5,000 challenge grant by year- end. Can you please help us help a child learn to sail?

Every $1 you donate by December 31st means our youth programs will receive a $2 contribution toward children and youth sailing programs, community outreach and our innovative Sailing into Schools programs for 4th graders.  To fully cash in on this matching grant we need to match the $5,000 challenge by the end of the year (Donate On-Line HERE).IMG_1798_resize

 Here’s what your donation ++ match could mean to an underserved Bay Area child:

  • Your $540++ donation provides instructors and skippers for TWO Set Sail Learn classes for thirty 4th graders
  • Your $350++ donation provides a full week of summer camp for TWO kids
  • Your $250++ donations provides SSL bus transportation for THIRTY 4th graders
  • Your $175++ donation provides a group orientation sail for TEN youth
  • Your $70++ donation provides a full day of summer sailing lessons for TWO kids
  • Your $25++ donation provides a group orientation sail for TWO kids

Our goal is to raise $5,000 in the next five weeks in order to match every dollar in this gracious donation.  The resulting $10,000 would mean a lot to kids who depend on TISC fundraising to provide them with the opportunity to learn important life lessons through sailing.

As you plan your year-end giving please consider support for a child, or a group of after-school students or a class of 4th graders.  Your donation in any amount (perhaps your employer has a matching-gift program as well?) is greatly appreciated and can be made quickly and simply using the TISC Secure On-Line Donation Page.

Regards from On the Cove, Dave G

In the wake:

TISC uses sailing as a platform to teach life lessons including goal setting, teamwork, communications, and leadership.  Our higher level objectives are to provide access to the bay, instill a feeling of stewardship, and develop self-esteem.  We raise money for scholarships so that no child is ever turned away in order to reach these objectives.  We’ve included a few 2014 smiles from kids who benefited from your 2013 generosity.

Goal setting is one of the first life lessons taught in our classes. Sailing up wind is not obvious to newbie sailors. That is often one of the first goals – sail west toward San Francisco. These kids mastered that skill.TISC - upwind

Teamwork is the easiest of the skills we teach because sailing is all about working together. Setting up, crewing, hauling out and cleaning up all work much better when teamwork kicks in. Parents are a valuable part of our team and often join in for special event.IMG_1141_resize IMG_1731_resize

IMG_0845_resizeParents are a valuable part of our team and often join in for special event.IMG_9591_resize

three hansas_resizeOur first co-able class took teamwork to a whole new level by forming teams of kids with varying levels and types of disabilities to work together as first-time sailors. TISC joined forces with Bay Area Association of Disable Sailors last summer to run the first-ever Co-Able Sailing Camp on San Francisco Bay.

Communications between skipper and crew can be difficult with new sailors. We often team up more experienced with less experienced kids. Its not unusual to find one of our instructors or junior instructors to hop in a boat with kids to help them tune up these skills.IMG_0826_resize IMG_0830_resize

Leadership skills emerge as experience builds. We see it in small ways weekly and over the course of the summer in our older youth. Many TISC junior instructors have “come up through the ranks” to become excellent full time instructors.IMG_1764-cr_resize

Confidence and self esteem are some of the most important byproducts the TISC sailing program. Many of our summer students have not sailed before their first week of classes. Some have been around the water, most have not. Drills such as capsizing can be scary. After several days I’m amazed at how many kids proclaim “capsizing was the best part of the day”. Confidence at its best!IMG_0662_resize righting a bug - 4533_resize

Community outreach programs provide Bay Area Children and Youth with the opportunity to enjoy San Francisco Bay from aboard a sailboat. These programs run nearly all year long and provide opportunities with youth from over 35 of our partners after school in the spring and fall and during the summer.IMG_1856_resize IMG_1743_resize

smiles framed by bay bridgeWe partner with agencies who provide outreach and learning for youth as well as children. These soon-to-be young adults are an ideal age to understand all about bay ecology and stewardship.  They “get it”.three smiles fwd of mast_resize Tioga_resize two j24 framed by breakwall-cr-2_resize Bow Happy-cr_resize

Our Set Sail Learn (SSL) classes provide opportunities to get on the bay – to touch the water, grab a handful of seaweed and take a look at Clipper Cove “residents” large and small. These kids leave with a much better appreciation of the water, wind, tide, sailboats and creatures who hang out here. Great way to develop future bay stewards!IMG_4117_resize JYC Seaweed DiscoveryIMG_4010_resize IMG_9619_resize

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Our innovative SSL experiential learning classes also provide an opportunity for kids to communicate with their classmates and lead discussions. presentation team 2_resize Presentation timeIMG_3956_resizeTISC provides curriculum, bus transportation, instructors, boats and skippers at no charge to SFUSD fourth grade classes.

Six Teams Learn, Race, Network at BTR

Mother Nature delivered near-perfect weather for TISC’s Big Team Regatta on Friday. PG&E set the pace while Goldman Sachs set a great example. Bishop Ranch, Hanson Bridgett and Recommind teams rounded out the generous teams who raised $30,000 for our youth programs.

OCSC J24 FleetBTR is the major Treasure Island Sailing Center fundraiser each year.  It’s made possible by the generous donation of facilities, boats and coaches from OCSC and the hard work of our TISC team plus many volunteers from Cal Sailing Team.

This regatta was the brainchild of Jay Palace at Group Experiential Learning.  It provides an opportunity for companies to give back to the sailing community by sponsoring four participants who expand their sailing skills and have fun while learning to work efficiently as a team on and off the water. And meet other like-minded sailing enthusiasts and youth sailing supporters!

Ellio Destiny Haris Isaiah Accept BTR DonationPG&E entered two teams this year and lead both on the water, placing one – two, and off with a total donation of $10,000.  Goldman Sachs sponsored four junior sailors who represented TISC and accepted the donation made possible by all BTR participants.

Some of these junior sailors are new to TISC, some have been sailing with us over five years. They include junior instructors, office interns and an inventor creating a foiling Moth. They sail Optis and FJ’s.  All great kids learning life lessons while developing self-confidence in themselves as they help others

Tim Han Explains RacesOCSC’s Club Manager Tim Han was the regatta PRO who delivered pre-race briefings, kept everyone on schedule and ran 5 exciting races with help from Christina Ha and Tracy Rogers. BTR sailors were on high learning curves thanks to their OCSC coaches Ashley, Bruce, David, Eric, Jim and Larry.Race Committee

Racing was very clost at this year’s BTR.  The first race saw four boats cross the finishe line within seconds of each other.Close Racing

Carisa Confirms Hands-on ApproachCarisa Harris-Adamson, co-chairman of the TISC Foundation, reminded participants about the effectiveness of hands-on learning and highlighted our new Set Sail Learn program launched in partnership with ONESF: Celebrate the Cup.

Norbert Bajurin, commodore of Golden Gate Yacht Club and fresh from a dramatic ending to the 34th America’s Cup races,  provided a timely and topical keynote.  He spoke about the importance of junior sailing to our youth here in the Bay Area and worldwide, and the focus of GGYC and TISC programs high school and youth sailing programs.Norbert Talks Youth Sailing

A huge THANK YOU to this year’s participating companies for making Big Team Regatta 2013 a huge success.  As with all such great events we have many sponsors and volunteers to thank, and we’ll do so in a future blog.

Thanks, from On the Cove,

Dave G

In the wake:

Isabelle and Jorge aboard DauntlessI was fortunate to have Isabelle and Jorge, youth sailors from our FJ and Opti racing teams,  helping out on the photo boat.  They helped track the competitors and took some of the pictures available HERE.

A few additional pictures of the six racing team are below.Recommind PGE Blue PGE Power People Hanson BridgetBishop Ranch Goldman Sachs