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.


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.

Sea Shadow Makes Way for Bay Jobs

DryDock on Pier 1Remember the huge gray mystery barge on Pier1 East of TISC? It housed a once-secret Navy “stealth” research vessel.  “Sea Shadow” is now gone.  In its place: Bay Ship &Yacht employees working efficiently to recondition massive sea barges and Super Yachts.HMB-1 Dec 2013

HMB-1 on the radar scopeWe first noticed HMB-1’s arrival at Pier 1 on a sail to Angel Island a year ago last August.  It was large and appeared shrouded in secrecy.  Peering under the nearly-closed seven-story tall door, we saw suspicious looking “torpedoes” inside.floats or torpedoes

With help from Google (the search engine, not the “new” secret barge at Pier 1) the story became clear: Bay Ship & Yacht had purchased the Hughes Mining Barge-1 with Sea Shadow inside.  The former was first constructed to support a secret CIA mission to recover a sunken soviet submarine; the latter was built by Lockheed in Redwood City to develop stealth technologies for navy ships.HMB-1 East of TISC

We were fortunate to tour the still-in-tact Sea Shadow. We then watched HMB-1‘s progress over the last year from our vantage point on Clipper Cove as Bay Ship fulfilled the terms of their agreement with the Navy which called for them to dismantle Sea Shadow as they repurposed HMB-1.

Last Friday we visited Bay Ship to observe HMB-1’s new role as an efficient, high-tech dry dock for ocean-going barges and super-yachts.  The pictures below were taken at various stages of HMB-1’s journey from Sea Shadow tender to Bay Ships state-of-the-art dry dock, the only enclosed facility of its kind on the West Coast.

Our visit inside Sea Shadow was in October, ’12.  HMB-1 Fwd StairsIt was a long climb up steep rusty stairs and ladders to get topside on HMB-1.  Then another traverse across two 40’ high catwalks around a corner to the gangway leading inside Sea Shadow. HMB-1 Catwalks

No matter which vantage point we selected, Sea Shadow appeared larger than life.  She was 68′ wide below the water, resulting in a slim  4′ margin on each side when entering/exiting HMB-1.  These pictures were taken from the upper level in HMB-1.SeaShadow from above

SeaShadow-gangway to enterSeaShadow NamePlateThe interior spaces were compact but not crowded.  Sea Shadow was designed as a test-bed.  There were bunks for 12; however she was generally “at sea” for hours not days.SeaShadow Engineering SpaceThe twin pontoons were 15′ under the water, and she was about half a football field in length.  When viewed from below she looked massive.SeaShadow control surface SeaShadow from Below

I won’t be posting the pictures from my visit on November 19th because watching the dismantling operation of a historic sleek craft like Sea Shadow was difficult and distressing. Not pictures for publication.

HMB-1 CatwalksThree weeks later Sea Shadow was gone and HMB-1 looked cavernous.  Catwalks were being revamped and crane work was underway. HMB-1 Empty fwd view HMB-1 Empty aft view HMB-1 Sky Crane

Mostly out-of-sight in the spaces between the double hull, HMB-1 was being converted from a submarine to a dry dock.  In a submarine water gets displaced by compresssed air to surface; in a dry dock water is pumped in and out.HMB-1 Thick Walls HMB-1 Watertight compartments

By March, 2013 the internal outfitting was well underway and the outside painting was nearly complete. HMB-1 March 2013 PumpsHMB-1 March 2013 paintingThe Bernie Briere is currently undergoing refitting and refurbishing in HMB-1 which was officially announced by Bay Ship & Yacht in August. Bernie Briere inside HMB-1 You get a sense of the size of these ocean-going barges  when out of the water.  They are approximately 240′ long, 64′ wide and 24′ deep!Bernie Briere fills HMB-1 Bernie Briere narrow fit Bernie Briere Below

It was sad watching Sea Shadow’s passing.  Her history has been well documented, however, and Bay Ship has used HMB-1’s repurposed interior space to create jobs and increase the efficiency of large vessel maintenance just across the Bay from Clipper Cove.

Regards from On The Cove, Dave G

In the wake:

There are many web sites that provide the history, specifications and pictures of HMB-1 and Sea Shadow.  Here are a few (and feel free to send along any favorites you may find; we’ll add them to this post):