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.

canoe-IMG_5056

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

inst-IMG_4949 inst-IMG_5101inst-IMG_4920-cr

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

windy TISC - downwind windy IMG_0338_resize (2)

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

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.

FSK Students Sail, Play Crab Games On Clipper Cove

Francis Scott Key Elementary students sailed on Clipper Cove and studied SF Bay ecology.  They used gaming theory and mathematics to forecast Dungeness crab populations.   Crab calling lessons to rouse crabs from the sea wall were a big hit!

FSK-on the cove_resizeLast week the fourth graders from Ms. Huschke’s class at Francis Scott Key Elementary School experienced life on top of and in the waters of Clipper Cove and learned about the ecology of SF Bay. Our unique experiential learning program combines on-the-water time in RS Venture sailboats, participation in outdoor games, and active learning about ecology, math, biology and other sciences in our lab.

bus included_resizeThanks to the America’s Cup and the Mayor’s office TISC launched Set Sail Learn (SSL) in the Fall of 2013. Set Sail Learn provides an experiential learning opportunity to every fourth grader in the San Francisco Unified School District by opening a door to the Bay and the world of sailing.  The program uses hands-on lessons to teach 4th grade core standards;  there is no cost to the schools for transportation, instructors, or materials.

project books included_resizeFSK students were here to learn about the Ecology of the Bay.  TISC developed the curricula specifically for SSL.  Teachers are provided with workbooks and instructions in advance of each visit.  Other class options include Maritime History and The Power of the Wind.

Over 1,600 SSL participants from 25 SFUSD schools have seen and felt SF Bay first hand in RS Venture sailboats since the start of the program.  The protected environment of Clipper Cove, complete with backdrops of Oakland cranes, the Bay Bridge and San Francisco, provides a safe, accessible location to integrate sailing with learning.fsk loading up_resize
Even with a small amount of wind, and some help from Newton’s third law, the RS Ventures ghosted over the waters of Clipper Cove.

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FSK on clipper cove SF BackdropHalf the kids sail while the other half learn about ecology and the needs of Dungeness crabs.  They learn food, oxygen and habitat is required for the population to grow.  The “crab game” helps them visualize nature at work.  They also learn how to plot data to show their results. rules of the game_resize

crab game in actioncrab population analysis_resizeActive participation in our learning lab makes for lively discussions and encourages open communications.  Some classes provide opportunities for working in teams as part of the lesson.participation is communications_resizeIMG_4034_resize

While some fourth graders have been on or near the bay, few have been in sailboats or actually touched and played in the water. Or skippered a sailboat!FSK thumbs up_resize water play -1_resize water play -2_resize

FSK - driving_resizeClipper Cove is home to a wide range of plant and animal sea life. Seaweed can be found while sailing or around the docks.  This seaweed is home to even smaller organisms. Sealife on the dock_resize sealife up close_resize

IMG_3974_resizeDocks and ramps provide ideal source of seaweed and algie.  Microscopes enabled FSK students to see these living parts of SF Bay up close in our lab and lead students to even more discoveries.  Some only visible under the microscope.sealife under the scope_resize

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While advanced navigation is not part of our SSL curricula the instructors explain maps, directions, and basic navigation – from bearings on the dock to tracking landmarks on the Bay.  When taking pictures I was pleased to note the kids did a good job of pointing in the right direction when asked, for example, “where’s north?”that way is north_resize

Or, “point toward the west”.that direction is west_resize

The October 16th tide was dropping as SSLearn progressed.  The “crab calling” lessons provided by Chris Childers, Program Director and SSL Instructor, brought out the rock crabs.  This lead to further investigation along the break wall.crab callingcrabs looking for food_resizecrab watching_resize

SSL students weren’t the only ones interested in the rock crabs.crabs being looked at for food

SF Bay is famous for its Dungeness crab population. Clipper Cove is home to many, and sometimes they join our classes for a brief cameo appearance.  Such was the case when FSK Elementary was here.crab is in guest for the afternoon_resize

Not only seeing but actually touching “the real thing” of course makes the classes even more memorable. dungeness crab_resize

At the end of the day our “crabby” friend headed home. As did the FSK Students.guest gone_resize

The Francis Scott Key staff stress skills that enable their students to be successful citizens and life long learners. The TISC SSL Learn program fits well with their core curriculum and resonated directly with their goals to develop an understanding and appreciation in the areas of technology, art, music, and physical education.  Their time at TISC here on Clipper Cove fit right into their school theme: “Building Healthy Minds and Bodies.”

While filling rapidly, there are still classes available for TISC’s Spring SSL Session which start Monday, April 13, 2015.  Interested fourth grade teachers, principals and PTO leaders can read more about our program and sign up for sessions on line at the TISC website here:  Sailing into Schools.   I recommend you register immediately if interested in brining your class to an April 2015 session.

Regards from On the Cove, Dave G ( daveg @ onclippercove . com )

In the wake:

If you are a parent, grandparent of family member of a student whose class is featured below, please contact your teacher for the link to a directory of all the pictures taken during the class visit to TISC.

FSK Students Sail, Play Crab Games On Clipper Cove – Posted

Francis Scott Key Elementary students sailed on Clipper Cove and studied SF Bay ecology.  They used gaming theory and mathematics to forecast Dungeness crab populations.   Crab calling lessons to rouse crabs from the sea wall were a big hit!

Cleveland and Feinstein Schools  On Clipper Cove – Posted

SSLearn is in full swing at TICS. Spring classes started in April and continue through May. Fourth graders from Cleveland School and Dianne Feinstein School each spent a day at Treasure Island Sailing Center recently. Experiential learning looks like fun!

JYC Kids’ Crabby Day at TISC – Posted

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”!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hanson Bridgett, PG&E Teamwork Benefits TISC Youth Programs

IMG_3452_resizeMother Nature delivered breezy blue skies. Hanson Bridgett and PG&E delivered agile crew. Youth and adaptive sailors who call Clipper Cove home port were the real winners in TISC’s Big Team Regatta thanks to OCSC’s fast boats and excellent coaches.

IMG_3175Friday was all about teamwork. Following a safety briefing from our regatta PRO Tim Han crews from Hanson Bridgett and PG&E boarded sleek OCSC J/105’s then headed out to Berkeley Circle to battle the clock as they learned all about apparent wind, tacking angles, winch handles and the physics of sailing.

The objective: sail a triangular shaped slalom course faster than the other team.IMG_3195

Conclusions: practices pays off, working as a team is key and boats sail faster as the wind builds. Oh – and sailing J/105’s on San Francisco Bay is wicked awesome fun ! Especially when you have expert OCSC coaches trained in teambuilding on your boat to guide you around the course.

Peet’s Coffee in Berkeley once again contributed the morning Java for BTR.  Thanks to 49 Square Catering the contestants were well fed prior to Tim Han’s pre-race briefing.IMG_3169

The Hanson Bridgett team after the safety briefing. You can read more about Hanson Bridgett and their community involvement HERE.IMG_3209The PG&E team gets psyched for the day of racing.  The PG&E Community Service page is HERE.IMG_3218

The early morning breezes provided a good warm up to the boats and provided the crews time to work out optimum positions and responsibilities.  Once on the water the OCSC instructors took charge of converting the newbie crews into racing teams.  Ashley Tobin and Jim Watters coached the Hanson Bridget team; Rich Jepsen and Trevor Steel teamed up to train the team from PG&E.

Early sailing was framed by light breezes and fluffy blue clouds.

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Around noon the westerly filled in and continued to build into a 10-15knot breeze by 2pm.The two crews were soon actively engaged in all aspects of boat handling from grinding genoas to trimming the mains to holding a proper course while beating upwind and reaching off the wind.IMG_3450_resize IMG_3418_resize

As the racing progressed the J/105’s really came to life, especially on the upwind legs. Teamwork was the only way to complete the tacking needed to navigate the windward slalom course.  Off the wind sail trim and straight courses were the way to beat the clock.IMG_3501_resize IMG_3473 IMG_3469

The races were held on the Berkeley Circle. Backdrops were provided by the Golden Gate Bridge and the loading cranes on The Alameda just south of the Bay Bridge. IMG_3420

IMG_3409The old eastern section of the Bay Bridge is still be dismantled. In less than two years the bike path – now open from Oakland to the Bay Bridge Summit – will lead to a drop-down path to Yerba Buena Island and Treasure Island.

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By the last time trial both teams had dropped their times from 12+ minutes to just over 9 minutes. While the fastest time was turned in by PG&E the records will show the margin of victory was around 3% and the Hanson Bridgett team left the course believing they would have knocked another 15 seconds off their time had they been able to run one more trial in the ever-building wind.

After the racing the team from 49 Square Catering served up a hearty lunch with massive sandwiches, salads and more fresh fruit. BIG THANKS to Bay Ship and Yacht for sponsoring the lunch for crew, race committee and coaches. Your support of our programs is greatly appreciated.

Lots of behind-the-scene planning went into Friday’s event – our Tenth Annual BTR – which was led by our shore team: Annie Butts, Chris Childers, Travis Lund and Luxine Smith.

Huge thanks go out to Tim Han for taking charge of the planning at OCSC. He was ably assisted by John Mellen as they kept track of two sets of times as both racing teams were on the course nearly non-stop for two hours.IMG_3326

Our special guests for the day were a number of kids from Envision Academy who joined us for the awards ceremony and presentation of the check from Hanson Bridgett and PG&E to Treasure Island Sailing Center.

The $12,000 raised goes directly to the youth and adaptive programs at TISC. Many Envision youth attended summer sailing camps and orientation. IMG_3517_resize

They have formed a racing team – EAST for Envision Academy Sailing Team – and are developing their skills in sailing, communications, teamwork and racing techniques. You may have read our previous blog on teamwork – one of the many life lessons taught by TISC using sailing as a fun classroom.IMG_3527_resize

Thanks again to Hanson Bridget and PG&E for their donations support of this 10th annual Big Team Regatta. These two companies have been on the BTR circuit supporting TISC since the regatta’s inception in 2005. And without the support of OCSC, the excitement, teamwork, camaraderie and benefits to Bay Area Youths would simply not be possible.

If your company is interested in participating in the TISC 2015 Big Team Regatta, here are a few slides in PDF format with additional information on the September 25, 2015 Event: TISC-BTR-2015 Overview  And here is the TISC 2015 BTR Team Entry Form.

Regards from OCSC – on the Berkeley Circle, Dave G

In the wake:

Hope you enjoyed the pictures above. These are a subset of the pictures taken during the event.  If you were on one of the boats, own one of the boats orare involved with our sponsors and would like to see the entire album send an email to daveg @ onclippercove . com.

TISC Teaches Life Lessons: Like Teamwork For Example

TISC uses sailing as a platform to teach life lessons including goal setting, teamwork, communications, and leadership and develop self-esteem.  We raise money for scholarships so that no child is ever turned away. This blog is about teamwork.

Teamwork can be a challenging concept out in the real world.  Working together on Clipper Cove, however, seems to come naturally to most kids.  Smiles and good times overshadow the fear of new adventures or working in a group of new friends.

Here are a few examples of teamwork in action from Treasure Island Sailing Center. A great place to start is at the beginning of the season when volunteers, many from our V15 fleet, gather to install our docks and ramps.DockInstall TeamTeamwork lowering dock section Dock Cleaning TeamAs I was reviewing teamwork pictures from the year I realized that even before the docks went in volunteers were at work transporting our J/24 fleet to and from Bay Marine Boatworks for new bottom jobs.Launch Newly Painted HullDelivery Team Bill and Peter Homeward BoundStepping masts on BUGs is first on the menu during our fall session sailing classes which started last week.Mast Stepping TeamInstructor and TeamTeamwork is required for hoisting J/24 sails.  The first picture below was from an early season outreach program with kids from the San Francisco Expeditionary School.  The second was taken during set sail exercises in anticipation of a June sail with visually impaired sailors from the Morin Sailing School Program for the Blind.Team Hoisting J24 Main Visually Impaired Orientation TeamOpening day provided many opportunities for teamwork in preparation for the 850+ visitors who attended a variety of event on land and on the water.Opening Day PrepThere are always plenty of opportunities out on the water for demonstrating teamwork whether sailing or paddling.  The Cal Berkeley Sailing Team practices at TISC during their season. They sail here and also team up with our shore-based team.

CalSailing Team Sailing Flat We launched the first-ever Co-Able sailing camp on San Francisco Bay – a partnership between Treasure Island Sailing Center and the Bay Area Association of Disabled Sailors.  This unique program was run out of Pier 40.co-able smiles with MM Kayaking is another “team sport” that ranks high with TISC kids.Teamwork on KayakWhile the objective of sailing is to stay in the boat most of the time, we stress the importance of feeling comfortable in the water.  And in many cases kids just like working together to scramble from the water back into a boat.Capsize Recovery Team SF Exped. Teamwork climbing aboard

Teamwork also counts out on the water.  Friendships are built, smiles are shared.  Exciting memories last forever.IMG_0230_resize (2)IMG_0272_resize (2)IMG_0273_resize (2)

Even 4th graders who participate in SSLearn classes have the opportunity to work together and present results to classmates from recent discoveries.  Not exactly Toastmasters, however a good confidence builder. SS Learn Team Report

All good days must end.  These pictures were taken as kids returned to the dock from an expedition to the western shores of Clipper Cove ( aka “Mexico Beach).  Teamwork required all around from TISC instructors as well as their precious cargo.back from Mexico

Retrieving and washing boats usually signifies the end of a fun day On Clipper Cove.Retrieval Team Opti Recovery team Cleaning TeamAs we wind down our summer sessions we’re getting cranked up for the first SS Learn classes to start.  Thanks to the San Francisco America’s Cup Organizing Committee and Citry of San Francisco’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, San Francisco maritime history, or renewable energy. And go for a sail at Treasure Island Sailing Center on Clipper Cove!
Regards, from On The Cove,   Dave G

In the wake:

Speaking of teamwork, the TISC team expanded this week as we welcomed aboard Travis Lund, our new Waterfront Director.