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:

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.

Tom Allen

Tom AllenI wish all our juniors could have attended the Memorial Celebration of Life held in Tom Allen’s honor at St. Francis Yacht Club last Saturday. Many take-aways relevant to young aspiring sailors like those in the TISC and StFYC junior programs.

My top three: big picture thinking; mentoring is one of life’s most important responsibilities; and leave your ego at home. If Tom read this he’d likely add a fourth: have fun following your passion!

WhitecapTom’s passion lead him on a course from sailor to racer in his beloved IOD “Whitecap” to judge; he progressed from participant to ”helmsman” at US Sailing, the San Francisco IOD Fleet, PICYA and the St Francis Yacht Club. He was well known and highly respected on all levels: local, national and international.

Tom attacked problems from the top. He worked with other sailing judges to train race committees and create a better environment for racers. Then he worked to improve judging.

To keep our sport growing Tom co-founded the St Francis Sailing Foundation 27 years ago and has worked tirelessly to encourage and support young aspiring sailors. He and the foundation have helped countless sailors develop  here on San Francisco Bay and around the world.

Tom helped launch the Treasure Island Sailing Center in 1999 and has been a board member ever since. He understood kids gained self-esteem sailing  while having a boat load of fun. More importantly, he believed every child should have this opportunity regardless of their socio-economic community.

His efforts had a dramatic effect on the growth and stability of TISC. He was instrumental in making sailing accessible to San Francisco youth of limited means. And now his generosity and vision will continue in perpetuity through his transformational gifts to each foundation.

AshleyLast year TISC honored two of our Junior Instructors with the first annual Tom V. Allen, Jr. Service and Leadership Award. The winners of the Award receive support for sailing classes, leadership training  and Junior Instructor stipends. Tom’s Award will help exceptional youth hone their skills as leaders as they continue to work with TISC.Ivan

Ashley and Ivan demonstrated a passion for sailing, a commitment to our community, and a clear intent of giving back. These junior instructors acted as role models for TISC youth. They are exceptional volunteers dedicating their time to their personal development as sailors and teachers and to the development of TISC’s youth as sailors and individuals. Like Tom, they understand the importance of growing our community of sailors.

Tom was a special guy. He will be missed by everyone in the sailing community  especially those who were fortunate to have worked with him.

Remembering Tom’s sailing legacy, from On The Cove,

Dave G

In the Wake:

If you knew Tom or have kids in a junior sailing program or simply want to help children learn life skills through sailing, please consider a gift in Tom’s memory to the St. Francis Sailing Foundation or the Treasure Island Sailing Center Foundation.

 

Tom Allen’s photo by Tom Moulin

Welcome to On Clipper Cove

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

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

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

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

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

In the wake:

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