Marin Sailing School Program for the Blind Marks 10th Anniversary

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Last weekend 11 visually impaired sailors marked Marin Sailing School Program for the Blind’s 10th year anniversary with a BBQ at TISC. Afterwards, volunteers, J/24s, Clipper Cove and SF Bay delivered smiles all around.  You’re invited to create smiles too!

Philip Kum, Al Spector, and Danette Davis founded the Visually Impaired sailing program back in 2007, first sailing out of Sausalito.   In 2012 they partnered with Treasure Island Sailing Center. On June 18th they celebrated ten years of launching new horizons for VI sailors.

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Now in its 10th year the program provides opportunities for individuals who are blind and visually impaired to learn the fundamental skills of sailing and the basic principles of seamanship. These students – soon to be sailors – learn to sail through the use of creative and adaptive methods in a hands-on, mainstream teaching environment.

The objective is the same as for sighted sailors: to harness the wind and to experience all the challenges and rewards of sailing. Learning to sail a boat, the physics of sailing, and the equipment used on board, builds self-assurance to meet day-to-day challenges and enhances confidence to try new things.

Clipper Cove, with its protected area, lack of current and steady winds, provides an excellent launching point.  The TISC J/24 fleet is an excellent boat for the program – stable yet responsive.  With common deck layout and rigging across the boats.

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Each day starts with a discussion of the day plan, then an on-boat orientation. Here are photos from the May 21st and June 18 sailing days.

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These sailors have a wide range of experience from just learning to those who have raced in events worldwide from Newport, RI to Rotorua, New Zealand. So the easy access from Clipper Cove to SF Bay is another bonus for the TISC location.
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Smiles all around after returning to the dock.  Then debriefing to share stories and more smiles.2016-05-21-VISailing-SMALL-134

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The program counts on an all-volunteer staff for each day of sailing.  Interested? Two simple requirements to participate in this great program.  You must be:

  • Comfortable as an instructor on a J/24, the boats used for the program here at TISC.
  • Willing to engage and focus on basic principles including the etiquette of working with visually people who are blind and visually impaired, communications and giving directions.

All these skills can be learned by attending a volunteer training day, or reading the EXCELLENT manual put together by Philip, Al, & Danette then “shadowing” another instructor for one of the volunteer sessions. So easy !

Upcoming VI sailing days at TISC are: 7/16, 8/20, 9/17, and 10/8. The program starts at 10 am and runs until 3pm.

Please contact Luxine Smith (luxine.smith@tisailing.org) at TISC if you have further questions or would like to spend a day you will likely remember as “a great, rewarding day – making new friends, giving back, learning something new and feeling really proud of helping others share the joys of sailing”.

You’re Invited !

Regards from On The Cove, Dave G

In the wake:

A HUGE HUGE tip of the hat to Brian Hill for the photos from the May 21st VI sailing day and Al Spector and Danette Davis for the photos from last weekend’s BBQ and sail. And to the staff at TISC for launching the J/24 fleet used by the VI sailing program.

In addition to a very complete VI sailing manual put together by Philip, Al, and Danette, here are other excellent resources:

Hooked on Clipper Cove

Clipper Cove offers quiet, protected water ideal for solitary anchoring or multi-boat raft-ups.  Many boaters and sailors spent Memorial Day Weekend on The Cove enjoying sunny weather, warm water and a sandy beach.

The south-west quadrant of Clipper Cove is protected from wind and waves.  Ample deep water for large boats to anchor very close to shore makes for easy swimming or rowing to the beach.  A truly unique anchorage in all of San Francisco Bay.

Twenty or so boats shared space on Clipper Cove last weekend. This was our view of the action from Treasure Island Sailing Center Saturday morning.IMG_3328

There were power boat raft-ups just off the beach. You can read the story behind Quarters 10 (in the photo below framed by the two sailboat masts) to learn more about the origin of this building and possible uses for it as Yerba Buena Island continues on its upgrade path.IMG_3247-cr1

Sailboats from around the Bay met, greetings and tie-ups were exchanged and additional raft-ups sprang up.IMG_3318-cr

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Along with many solo visitors who stayed the weekend.IMG_3321-cr

The anchorage in Clipper Cove is normally “home” to a small number of boats.  Here’s one that provided a backdrop to opening day last month.IMG_1958-cr

And more boats from the Memorial Day crowd.IMG_3242-cr

 

As we rounded the corner from South Bay and returned to the cove Saturday afternoon we were presented with this west-facing view of the many boats anchored in Clipper Cove. Framed by the bridge abutment on our port side and shadows from the main span above.IMG_3311-cr-cr

IMG_1488 - j24 framed by SF Cove and BugThere are many ways to enjoy Clipper Cove. Treasure Island Sailing Center offers Adult Sailing Lessons. Or sign up for the new TISC Adult Keelboat Certification class.

Recreational boaters are welcome to anchor in Clipper Cove for up to 24 hours.  For stays of longer than 24 hours you can register with the Treasure Island Development Authority (TIDA).  Here is the link to read more about Anchoring in Clipper Cove.

Regards from On The Cove, Dave G

In the Wake:

  • I found a 1939 photo of small boats, large schooners and steam ships at the West End of Clipper Cove.  You can see it here.
  • And if you missed last month’s blog that showed 723 visitors having fun smiling, paddling, kayaking and sailing you can see those smiles and photos of Opening Day and Safe Boating Day hosted by TISC and sponsored in part by the California Division of Boating and Waterways.

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.
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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).
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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.

 

High School Sailing on Clipper Cove

With 100 California High School Sailing teams no surprise 60 showed up at Clipper Cove for the February, 2015 PCISA Golden Bear Regatta.  600+ sailors, coaches, parents, chaperones and spectators participated over the course of the two-day, blue sky weekend.

Excuse me – last February? OK, Full disclosure: I plead “out of town without pictures” for that weekend.  Hence the big delay in writing this post.

IMG_8711Fall practice for the E*A*S*T Sailing Team started last week (April blog about E*A*S*T) and was a wake-up call to me to get on the favored tack and share the excitement of High School Sailing on Clipper Cove. We’ll check in with their team later this fall.

The real enablers for this blog were photos from Lyn Hines and Steve Harris, plus stories from Mike Segerblom. I now have pictures and can catch everyone up on the PCISA Golden Bear regatta.  Formerly The Cardinal Regatta, this event has been held at TISC since 2012.  Clipper Cove delivers a unique and perfect venue for High School Sailing with its combination of protected waters, minimal current, good winds and excellent viewing opportunities.

Early Saturday was calm on the water which provided time for preparation on the shore.2015-02-20 10.06.25 2015-02-20 10.12.38

Once the 60 teams from 50 schools arrived just about every square inch of space at TISC was filled with boats, sailors and parents. Landside and waterside were equally busy.2015-02-20 09.45.49 2015-02-20 10.03.15

IMG_64632015-02-21 11.02.52 IMG_6850Kudos to St. Francis Yacht Club for providing a staff of expert volunteers plus the safety boats needed to run Golden Bear.  They had their work cut out for them for sure.IMG_6729IMG_6583

IMG_6362The clockwork-like summer westerlies are “off duty” from November to February. They did show up (late) on Saturday, however Sunday the sailors found themselves racing “out” of the cove rather than “into” the cove – which made for great viewing and iconic photographing but challenging racing.  Thanks to the SFYC race committee, the teams raced until sunset.IMG_6703IMG_6461

IMG_6688Clipper Cove was jammed with HS sailors racing in two divisions each with two fleets. You can see the results of the two-day series here: http://pcisa.hssailing.org/schedule/2014-2015/schedule/pcisa-sIMG_6461IMG_6867IMG_6696IMG_6383

IMG_6461 IMG_6653The Treasure Island Sailing Center docks – minutes from the course- made for ideal launching and “shift changes” between the two divisions racing.IMG_6567IMG_6850IMG_6463

Clipper Cove’s long shoreline parallel to the course made for tremendous view platforms with opportunity for “Kodak Moments” taken in by hundreds of parents and spectators.2015-02-21 11.04.51-cr IMG_6404

IMG_6692Sailing is one of the few co-ed high school sports.  Great to see teamwork and communications skills developing in these young sailors.IMG_6433IMG_6380 IMG_6686

Mark roundings were hectic with frequent lead changes.IMG_6639

drone at windward markClipper Cove is unique not only in the sailing venue it provides but also in its iconic location.  From CC you can see the new Bay Bridge, Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco’s Skyline and the loading docks in Alameda.IMG_6425 IMG_6464 IMG_6496 2015-02-21 11.23.44-crIMG_6686

At the end of the day Clipper Cove was back to its picture-perfect self.drone over clipper cove-en

The importance of High School sailing goes way beyond the friends made, seamanship skills, and even life lessons such as goal setting, communications teamwork & leadership.  For many students their sailing experience equates to sharing and bonding opportunities during their freshmen years at college.  We know firsthand these opportunities are the difference between fitting in and surviving that first tough year vs not making it to the sophomore year.

Regards (Courtesy of Lyn Hines, Steve Harris and Mike Segerblom) from On the Cove,

Dave G

In the Wake:

Here are a few additional links related to this post.

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

 

Lending Club 2 Bounces TISC Kids Around SF Bay

Seeing smiles of excitement on TISC kids faces hurtling across SF Bay on a trampoline skimming over the waves at 30 knots – no surprise.  Driving 105’ world-class trimaran speedster Lending Club 2 – an even bigger thrill for them.

IMG_0714-en_resizeOur June 12th Friday fun adventure at Treasure Island Sailing Center came courtesy of the Lending Club2 sailing teamTheir launch docked at 12:45 and a dozen Opti and FJ sailors were off on their afternoon adventure. The transit from Clipper Cove to Pier 27 was the fastest these TISC campers ever experience – by far. The adventure was repeated for a second group later in the afternoon.

IMG_6495_resizeWhat they thought was a cool ride (“I’ve never been on a boat this fast”) was just a warm-up.  After transferring to LC2 and listening to the safety talk the fun really began.

First thrill – seeing water just a few feet below going by very, very fast.IMG_6510_resizeIMG_6525_resize

Once our young sailors figured out port & starboard netting was like a trampoline, smiles emerged and energy burn commenced.  Non-stop running, bouncing and jumping between mid-boom and foredeck soon became comfortable and energizing.IMG_6713_resize

IMG_6700_resize IMG_6565_resizeEven the Golden Gate Bridge got into the trampoline action.IMG_6663-en_resize IMG_6653_resize

There’s more!  Once Captain Ryan offered up the helm to all interested, attention immediately shifted to the dual wheels as the kids lined up for their chance to steer. The thrills just kept building (along with respect for Mother Nature’s cool windy breath and the many wonders offered up by San Francisco Bay). IMG_6624_resize

IMG_6558_resize IMG_6591_resize By the way, that’s not a tide-line in the background.  It’s 30 knots of wake being left behind faster than you can imagine.IMG_6698_resizePlayful, bouncing giggling kids suddenly became thoughtful watchful kids. With smiles.IMG_6551_resize IMG_6575_resize IMG_6724_resize

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Fun Friday often features sails around Treasure Island, perhaps to Angel Island.  On this Friday, landscapes seen in the distance zoomed closer and closer – in no time at all.  Incredible how fast you can cross SF Bay cranking at 30+ knots.
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Alcatraz.  Golden Gate Bridge.  Belvedere.  St. Francis and Golden Gate Yacht Clubs.  Oh so close.IMG_6511_resizeIMG_6726_resize

IMG_6751-en_resize IMG_6691_resizeTISC’s mission is to create opportunities for the Bay Area community to learn and grow through sailing.  We use sailing as a platform to teach life lessons to underserved youth with a focus on self-esteem and respect for the Bay.

IMG_6622_resizeAboard Lending Club 2 our kids saw these life lessons for real.  They saw the LC2 team communicating, working together.  Goal setting and leadership all had their obvious place on the boat.

Self-esteem?  I think mentioning that you just finished driving a 105’ trimaran on SF Bay qualifies. Overheard as the kids departed: “Wow I never expected to be jumping on a trampoline in the middle of San Francisco Bay”.  For sure LC2 crew can add a check-mark next to “help create respect and love for Mother Nature.”

Many thanks to the Lending Club team for reaching out to TISC and to the Crew of Lending Club 2 for a not-to-be forgotten adventure.

Regards from Aboard Lending Club 2, just around the corner from Clipper Cove,

Dave G

In the wake:

dave-lending club 2Twenty five smiling kids (plus 3 fortunate chaperones), SF Bay, Mother Nature and the star of the day – Lending Club 2 – served up many more photos than can be included in a blog.

You can see additional TISC Week 2 Fun Friday photos from LC2 on our Facebook page HERE or download hi-res versions here: bit.ly/LC2-TISC

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:

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.

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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

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Clipper Cove – Our Platform for Smiles and Self-Confidence

TISC teaches life lessons and builds self-confidence in under-served youth and new sailors. Best wishes for 2015 as we give credit where credit is due, to Clipper Cove – our platform for smiles, volunteer hours, goal-setting, teamwork, communications and leadership.

Clipper Cove from the EastTreasure Island Sailing Center is fortunate to be located on arguably one of the best venues in the US if not the World for teaching life lessons to under-served children and youth while providing access to water sports for our entire community.  Clipper Cove is unique in its central location, protected waters, predictable winds, minimum effect of the tidal currents and access to San Francisco Bay for sailing year around.

views IMG_1078Below are favorite pictures taken on Clipper Cove since we started photo-blogging three years ago.  No particular order, simply a collection of groups and activities with two commonalities – smiles and Clipper Cove.

TISC provides community outreach so kids can learn about the bay after school and during the summer.  And adults come here to access SF Bay for many reasons including lessons, community sailing, and organized racing.outreach IMG_0314_resize (2)

outreach IMG_1831 outreach IMG_9962community IMG_0435More and more today youth and adults are realizing sailing is not just about racing; they’re using the wind as a free source of propulsion to simply have fun and enjoy what Mother Nature has given us.  And the Bay’s shoreline provides a nice alternative path to exercise.community_GGY1751

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Clipper Cove is generally gentle most mornings.  Ideal time of day for new sailors to learn the basics of sailing.gentle IMG_2938 enjoy and respect IMG_1507 gentle  IMG_0056_resize (2) gentle IMG_0048_resize (2)

Of course sailors love wind and even our novice sailors soon progress to a point where flying spray and feet dragging in the water makes for a fun time.  North west summer arrive predictably around 11 am most days and build until 6pm.windy TISC-homeward bound

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windy optis onclippercoveAs counter-intuitive as it may seem to non-sailors, capsize drills seem to be at the top of the list with many TISC students.  Could be their confidence and self-esteem showing through, or the chance to jump in, or simply a way to remind themselves and others that they’re in charge.  Clipper Cove is a safe, ideal place for such drills, well away from the currents prevalent in nearly all other bay locations.

safety and more safety IMG_0113_resize (2) safety righting a bug - 4533

IMG_1886smiling capsize onclippercoveAnd along with the basics of sailing come the life lessons we speak of so often such as goal setting which is a pathway to self-confidence, communications which must be a way of life on the water and teamwork which is pretty much an integral part of any sailing program – it’s just plain natural for kids to help each other in almost any aspect of the sport from launching to sailing to putting away at the end of the day.team building IMG_9895 IMG_1882 teamworkteamwork TISC-on the board

team racing IMG_2406-crFriday afternoons offer a chance for our sailing classes to kick back and have fun on the beach.  Many days outreach classes, PE classes from local schools and youngsters from our young “Harbor Seals” can be found on protected beach at the western end of Clipper Cove.relaxing IMG_1460 team building IMG_1536 relaxing  IMG_0290_resize (2)

IMG_1833-young smiles onclippercoveAs students progress, our lessons introduce leadership for those interested in taking their skills further – into teaching, coaching, on to college and beyond.  TISC provides internships and scholarships for these talented youth, many of whom represent our next generation of Bay Stewards.   IMG_1907-JI smiling

IMG_1764 JI coachingIMG_1782 ji and kids smilesClipper Cove is home port for the Cal Berkeley Sailing Team in the fall and SF Bay Laser and V15 fleets in the summer.  Winter brings out the BAYS high school regatta.IMG_9536-calsailing-onclippercove

community clipper cove plus kids and parents-en

Since TISC launched Set Sail Learn in the fall of 2013 over 1,600 fourth graders from 33 schools have sailed on Clipper Cove.  These newest visitors to Clipper Cove have come from 59 San Francisco fourth grade classes. crab watching_resize JYC Seaweed Discovery JYC Crab Lab at TISCSSL IMG_0031_resize (2) SSL  Rommel framed by TransamericaRegards from On The Cove, Dave G

In the wake:

The Treasure Island Sailing Center Foundation raises money so no child or youth who wants to take lessons or join in our outreach program is ever refused for their inability to pay. Last year our summer and outreach programs  hosted 968 youth.  Our community sailing events, always open to the public, and adaptive sailing and Co-Able Youth lessons provided access to the bay for another 1,000+ participants.  Here are a few more of the many smiling faces from 2014:pointing and smiles IMG_9633 IMG_0449 IMG_4130 IMG_1787 co-able smiles with MMIMG_1748 IMG_1683 IMG_1641 IMG_1637 IMG_1073 IMG_0904 IMG_0701 smiles framed by bay bridge IMG_0649 IMG_0559

IMG_1875 IMG_1831 Bow Happy-cr