Where is Everyone?

docks emptyThursday was hoppin’ at TISC with seven summer classes, two bus loads of GLIDE kids in watercraft of all types and the Etchells we donated to Stockton Sailing Club being readied for transport.  When I arrived Friday it was empty, quiet.

No kids on the docks and no boats in Clipper Cove. This is the first summer I’ve been at TISC during the week, and  am not yet fully “with the program”. The empty J/24 trailers should have been the tip-off.  Sure enough – Fun Friday meant instructors and students were out for an adventure sail to Angel Island.beach emptyJs gone  By noon the noise level was back up, kids all over, water toys being readied for beach time and all seemed as it should be on a gorgeous blue-sky day in Clipper Cove.



The kids, and their instructors, work hard during the week.  Fridays provide an opportunity to switch gears. relax a little and further cement the confidence students have built up during the week.  Many come to Clipper Cove tentative and apprehensive about water and boats.  After developing a comfort level during the week Friday’s play time is used to give them added confidence.

Below are a few pictures from last two fun Fridays.  Skits on the dock provide a chance for students to communicate with each other as they plan out their time in front of other students.  Pirate themes seem to be “in”. planning the skit

Pirates of Clipper CoveDelivery may go smoothly or not, however kids benefit from a captive audience while self-confidence is reinforced.

singing skit

friday audience

Time on the beach is another activity where students communicate with each other, take turns on water toys and further build confidence on and around the water. 

the beach

water toysbeach fun


S’mores are alway a hit of course.smores

Returning to the dock represents last ride of the week.  Time to enjoy last views of Clipper Cove from the deck of a trusty J/24.  returning from the beach

back on the dock

Safety around the water is always first priority at Treasure Island Sailing Center. This poster was provided by Cal Boating during Safe Boating Week earlier this year.

life jackets

Regards from On The Cove, Dave G

In the wake:We teach TISC students life lesson to help them set goals, build self-confidence, communicate, and work with others as leaders and team-mates. There are many other reasons to sail. A fellow TISC BOD member recently passed along this blog: 5 Reasons Your Kids Should Sail. While it may be a bit dated, its “right on the mark” in my opinion. I can’t resist sharing reason 5 – Shipshape habits.


Bay Safety and Always Being Prepared

Safety and preparedness are key components of TISC programs. Our kids learn importance of teamwork, and sailing safe. Tuesday night’s return sail reminded us how fast San Francisco Bay can turn dangerous from gorgeous and to always be prepared.

safety logisticsTISC summer programs are now under full sail on Clipper Cove.  Our instructors work with small groups of students to provide safety orientation first thing as part of each class.  Lifejackets are of course required at all times on and off the water.  Students are never without a partner or close-by safety boat.

single handed sailingDepending on the level of sailing skills and lessons being taught students may sail solo or in teams of two.  Solo sailing stresses independence and goal setting.  Sailing with a partner requires communications and teamwork.  double handed sailing


Safety boats on the water keep a watchful eye over students as they head out to the cove where they work on sailing skills.fleet prep


Whether its folding sails on a J/24 or putting Optis and Bugs back on the racks, kids learn the importance of team work (have you ever tried to roll up a sail by yourself ?).teamwork

Just back from a week on Nantucket Sound with family last week, we took friends sailing for the day leaving TI just before noon.   The Louis Vuitton series opens July 4th with racing scheduled to start July 7th and the AC72s were out as we sailed past Alcatraz toward Tiburon. Seeing these 13,000 pound boats up on foil is always a thrill.Oracle Foiling 130611After late lunch and walk about Tiburon, we headed back to TI around 5pm.  As we crossed through “windy alley” between Angel Island and Treasure Island around six thirty the wind was its typical 15-20 with higher gusts.  The tide was ebbing which created a moderate chop.  Fun sailing down the waves.

As we were capturing pictures of a gorgeous day on the bay we saw a lone wave-rider bite the dust followed by a huge splash. While not an unusual occurrence, it was late with waves building and the Bay empty so we watched carefully.

jet ski hits wave

At first the rider started to slowly catch up to his now-drifting craft.  Then the distance settled and started to increase.  With one set of eyes on the person in the water we came about and headed over to investigate.  As the distance between driver and wave-rider continued to increase, we deployed our life ring on a line and dropped the jib.

After circling around, we snagged the driver and with him hanging on the back of Skippers’ Gift ran downwind to the wave-rider, now four boat lengths to leeward.  He climbed aboard his craft and continued on his way to Emeryville.

Continuing on our way to Clipper Cove we discussed several “what ifs” and pondered the drivers fate if we had not been there.  A rather sobering experience and another reminder of the importance of life vests, sailing in pairs, staying aware and always being prepared.

From On the Cove, Dave G

In the wake:

I’ve heard a number of “50/50/50 rules”, including “An average adult has a 50% chance of surviving a 50 yd swim in 50o water”, “a person in 50o water for 50 minutes has a 50% better chance of survival if wearing a life jacket”, and “a person in 50o water for 50 minutes has a 50% chance of survival”.

Without our help this hapless driver would have been in a tough, perhaps fatal, situation.