Despite a bit of early morning light winds and low tide, the Alameda Community Sailing Center's Annual Season opening kickoff BBQ was a blast. Volunteers, instructors, and Crew-In-Training were on hand to help get people quickly signed up and out on the water. Free life jackets were distributed courtesy of California Division of Boat and Waterways. While it is true that there is an art to sailing in light winds, I personally prefer my sailing a little more spirited. By noon the placid surface of the water was breaking and the winds came in. We had near perfect conditions for the rest of the afternoon.
On and FJ Trainer, my wife and I were able to take advantage of the day. It was pretty apparent to the instructor who let us venture out on our own, that hmmm perhaps one-weekend class two-years ago doesn't qualify one as mastering sail trim. "Wait! What does head up mean?!" was the response to my gentle suggestion. A few tacks and enthusiastic surges of adrenaline had us zipping right across the cove. (Rescue boat at the ready just in case.)
Back on shore my little 3yr old matey was kicking a soccer ball around on the expanded ACSC grounds with other kids and adults. I talked with parents who beamed with pride about their child who'd completed seasons before and was now a Crew-In-Training. The sun warmed up and dried up those of us who might have taken a bit of a swim in the bay, and we devoured some tasty burgers (with salsa - a nice touch) and more than a few desserts.
A big thank you to all of you that came out and made it such a success! Now let's get sailing!
Curious to know what adventures lie ahead and what lessons were learned over this past year at ACSC? Kame has written a spirited and thorough 2018 Year in review. Complete with a recap of pretty much everything, from our expanding classes to our expanding ambitions. Be sure to check it out.
When the moon and stars perfectly align, you get some pretty spectacular things happening. Usually a solar or lunar eclipse, but if you're in the right spot at just the right time you get... a glimpse of the future.
Well a glimpse of the future if sea levels continue to rise at their current rate. For 2019 that time is Sunday January 20th at 10:30am & Monday at 11:30am. The Sun, the Earth and the Moon raise tidal bulges on the Earth's oceans. When all are in line (such as a Full Moon or New Moon), the gravitational forces combine creating a high tide called a Spring Tide. In January however, the Earth is at its closest point to the Sun and as such has it's greatest gravitational force. January 21st, we will experience a Full Moon that is also at a moment of the moon's orbit when it is closest to the earth (known as a supermoon). So all these factors combines for the greatest gravitational pull that we will see all year. The tide created by this force is called the King tide.
These highest of high tides, will no doubt bring some flooding. And that's where the glimpse of the future comes in. Lest we curb the rising sea levels, scientists expect such flooding will be common place in the next 30 years. One project, the California King Tides Project hopes to help people visualize these future sea levels by observing these King Tides today. People throughout California are submitting photos to their interactive map. If you want to help them out, check your area for peak tides and submit your photos to the site. If you've got any good photographs of our Bay Area you'd like to share, feel free to send them to yours truly at firstname.lastname@example.org or post them on our facebook page.
Emily Zugnoni, ACSC Program Director
As a long-time ACSC-er, and a rookie Program Director, my goal for 2018 was to run the same fun, safe, and exciting camp that we all love, while mixing in fresh new material to keep things interesting. With a dedicated instructor team, lots of help from skilled volunteers, and a couple hundred enthusiastic campers, this summer was a huge success! Here were my personal favorite moments from 2018 Summer Camp.
1. Big Boat SF Bay Day
Big Boat SF Bay Day is proof that ACSC has THE best volunteers out there. Thanks to big-hearted big boat owners and captain’s license holders, our campers spent a day skippering and crewing on keel boats for the first time! Campers chose destinations using SF Bay charts graciously donated by Waypoint Marine. Most weeks, we learned that the power of SF Bay currents would prevent reaching said destinations, but it’s all about the journey anyway (right?).
A huge THANK YOU to:
Captain Mitch and Quincey on Esprit qmtravels.com/
Captain Michelle on Blue Passion
Captain Kit on Cassiopeia
Captain Charlotte E.
Paul M. of Close Quarters
2. Science Fridays with the Golden Gate Audubon Society
We know that sailing is all about physics, and as sailors, we have a special connection with the environment. Science Friday, the brainchild of our Lead Instructor and in-house Environmental Science specialist, Jamie, tied the unique relationship between science and sailing together in a more formal way. On Fridays, campers constructed ocean layers out of slime, collected and tested water samples from our cove, and had habitat scavenger hunts on the beach.
We were lucky enough to have regular visits from the Golden Gate Audubon Society volunteers, who taught us about the fascinating world of our local feathered friends. With their guidance, our teen campers built monofilament collectors for our boats to protect wildlife from stray fishing line.
3. Western Gull Release with International Bird Rescue
This one goes hand-in-hand with Science Fridays. On this particular Thursday, our Golden Gate Audubon Society friend called upon us to help release 10 young Western Gulls back into the wild from the International Bird Rescue. We were more than happy to oblige!
Check out the full article at alamedasun.com/news/sailing-students-help-young-birds?utm_source=Unknown+List&utm_campaign=d43d28d306-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_09_05_08_45&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_-d43d28d306-
4. Touring the Ocean Cleanup
Have you heard of the massive trash-collecting device on its way to clean up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch? Well, our Session 5 campers got to climb in, on, and around the pipe used for that, just weeks before it launched! We sailed into Seaplane Lagoon for lunch, docked at the Saildrone docks, and were welcomed up to The Ocean Cleanup site for a tour and Q&A session. It was awesome.
For more info on the project, check out www.theoceancleanup.com/
5. Cardboard Boat Regattas
STEAM campers use buoyancy and displacement calculations to engineer vessels made of cardboard and packing tape. True craftsmanship is put to the test once the boats get launched with campers inside. The teams compete for designations like Furthest Travelled, Longest Floating, and Most Rickety.
6. Girls Discover Sailing Camp
We’ve been fortunate to partner with Girls Inc. of the Island City for years, and this year we opened that camp to all girls, not just those from Girls Inc. It sold out immediately, and was an absolute blast. One highlight from Girl’s Camp was having special guest, Krysia Pohl, of the USCG, speak to the girls just days before embarking on her Pacific Cup voyage. I suspect some future ocean racing was inspired that day.
7. Graduation Potlucks
The camp potluck... a time-tested, camper-approved ACSC tradition. We go from a morning of free-sailing to an afternoon of downing delicious sailboat-themed treats. Lastly, to the tune of Pomp and Circumstance, and while donning their new ACSC t-shirts, campers are each awarded a personalized driftwood trophy.
8. End of Camp BBQ
The ACSC Board Members and volunteers stepped up once again to host a fun, relaxing, and yummy day for all of our beloved sailors. With beautiful weather and an ideal breeze, campers showed off their sailing skills to family and friends, and staff members took newbies out for skippered joy rides. In between sharing sea-stories and enjoying BBQ, we had over 160 sailors get out on the water. There couldn’t have been a more delightful end to our fabulous summer sailing season.
By Jamie Wai, ACSC Lead Instructor
ACSC’s science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) camps were an overall success. With the help of Bryan Leyda and other volunteers, ACSC was able to provide an enhanced US Sailing STEM program. Highlights included a cardboard boat building contest, anemometer construction, fish and squid dissection and of course- sailing! Campers also learned about hull and boat design, Plimsol marks and environmental stewardship. Not to mention the addition of Science Friday, which was a whole morning dedicated to environmental science. Campers and staff had a blast during STEAM camp. A HUGE and well deserved “Thank you” to all the volunteers and staff who made ACSC’s STEAM camp happen!
A camper learns about navigation while sailing a keelboat underneath the Bay Bridge
Campers line up for the second annual boat building contest
Another great day of sailing
Our STEAM whiteboard after the buoyancy lesson. Thanks to our volunteer, and retired aeronautical engineer, Bryan Leyda, for his help with the curriculum!
Originally written by Dawn Lemoine & Marjorie Powell in the Alameda Sun 8/23/2018.
Read the full article here.
Earlier this month 10 gull chicks just learning how to be Western Gulls in San Francisco Bay were helped by a group of youngsters learning how to be sailors.
The gull chicks had been raised at the International Bird Rescue (IBR) in Fairfield. Brought there as injured or orphaned chicks and after weeks of care, even surgery in at least one case, the birds were old and well enough to be released. The youngsters were sailing students at the Alameda Community Sailing Center’s (ACSC) summer sailing camp, which meets at the Encinal Boat Ramp on the West End.
Dawn Lemoine, an Alameda resident and relatively new volunteer for IBR, was looking for an open patch of beach near the USS Hornet to release the birds. She had two large animal
When ACSC director Emily Zugnoni asked for volunteers, all of the sailing students volunteered. A number of campers carefully carried the crates to the beach where Lemoine opened them. The students had several insightful questions and observations, all of which were discussed after the chicks were released.
Lemoine had been warned that young chicks might be too nervous to... Enjoy the full article here.
Originally posted on Latitude38.com
Chris Conner is a former professional sailing instructor with extensive coastal and blue water sailing experience. He and his wife are currently parenting two teens, navigating the waters between the Boredom Sea and the rocky shores of Overwhelm. Chris is the host of two podcasts, Life Science Marketing Radio and Flip Turns, a love letter to the sport of swimming.
Fishy, Fishy, Fishieee
That’s the sound my 2-year old makes whenever he sees a slippery little aquatic critter. Actually it’s more like “wishy, wishy, whitchy”. Which is possibly even cuter. While too often in my household, the iphone screen is a source of soul wrenching tirades, there are lovely moments, where focus is on the natural beauty of the non-digital world. Since it will be a couple of years until I can teach my son the joys and serenity of sailing, we have been enjoying our local wildlife. Lately that means right at the water’s edge, and getting chased around by seagulls and ducks.
The Pacific Coast Herring Spawn
Fate of the pacific herring
Where can I find the spawns?
A good rule of thumb is to look for a large number of very squawky birds, diving ducks, snorting pinnipeds, and fishing boats. Oh and no doubt, you’ll hear me and my little herring saying, “here fishy, fishy, fishieee.”