Photo by Jim Hancock
Sailing Science Center News
August 2021
Vol. 4, No. 12
Welcome to the August issue of the Sailing Science Center News! July saw the SSC continuing to build momentum, by holding in-person events and executing on the purpose we are here to serve. With that as the prevailing mood and background, we have chosen execution as the theme for this month's newsletter. It is also timely, as this issue marks the end of our fourth year of publishing the Sailing Science Center News. Check out our back issues to see how far we have come.
First say to yourself what would you be; and then do what you have to do.
― Epictetus, Stoic Philosopher
August Spotlight - Bryan Chavez
Bryan Chavez
Bryan Chavez was born in Albuquerque, but his inland origins never deterred him from his sailing dreams. Two of Bryan’s earliest memories are of a Disneyland boat ride and of being smitten by a gleaming red and white boat on a trailer in a gas station. He feigned having to pee so he could go back for another look. His favorite television programs were Sea Hunt and Flipper. As he got older, he started reading books about boats and sailing. His tastes included both adventure stories and how-to books. He recalls Earnest Shackleton’s South, and Robin Knox-Johnston’s A World of My Own. He also got his hands on the Time Life Library of Boating.
At age 12 Bryan’s family moved to Chicago where he got an El Toro that he sailed on the neighborhood lake. Bryan says he knew what to do from the outset because of his reading. By age 14 he was racing his Fireball, and soon after was on 470s. At 16 he got a job at the local boat yard, doing deliveries between Chicago and Waukegan and “hot handling” boats in the marina, keeping things on the low-down because of his age. About that time a friend told Bryan his father had given him permission to take out his family’s big Hatteras powerboat, but only if Bryan went along to handle the boat. The cruise was uneventful, but years later Bryan learned from his friend's father that no such permission had been given…
Robin Knox-Johnston's Book - A World of My Own
An inspiring book can change your life.
Bryan learned that no such permission had been given...
Bryan at the helm, with a big fine wave behind him.
Bryan entered college as a Mechanical Engineering major, where he got an internship at Trend Machinery designing CNC equipment. His studies were interrupted, leading him to finish college as an Electrical Engineering major at DeVry University. In 1993 he took a position as a senior engineer with GE Nuclear Energy in San Jose. When GE left San Jose, Bryan took a position as a senior research engineer at SRI International, where he spent the remainder of his working career. In 2013 Bryan met Karon, another sailor and live-aboard on his dock. The two bought a 49.5-foot sailboat together, got married in 2015 in Kathmandu, and in 2016 had their son Robin, named after Robin Knox-Johnston, the first solo, non-stop circumnavigator.
Once in the Bay Area, Bryan sought places to work under his 100-Ton Master's License, landing him at Club Nautique, where he earned instructor ratings at every level in the US Sailing panoply of courses, save Ocean Passage Making and Celestial Navigation. It was at Club Nautique that we met Bryan nearly 15 years ago, and quickly identified him as a unique and brilliant individual. Fast forward, and Bryan is one of the SSC Exhibit Team’s most industrious volunteers, producing the Coriolis exhibit that you can see elsewhere in this newsletter. The SSC is truly blessed to have Bryan as a contributor.
Bryan Karon and Young Robin
Bryan, Karon, Robin, and Bryan's dog, Rudder
Bryan is one of the SSC Exhibit Team's most industrious volunteers.
Today, Bryan is retired and lives near Shasta with Karon and Robin. The three plan to go cruising when Karon retires in a few years.

Having a vision for what you want is not enough. Vision without execution is hallucination.
― Thomas Alva Edison, Inventor
In the News
Treasure Island Sailing Center!
The TISC Pop-Up Exhibition video (1:21)

A collage of pictures from the July 2nd Pop-Up Exhibition at the Treasure Island Sailing Center.
SSC volunteers and students at the Treasure Island Sailing Center July 2nd Pop-Up Exhibition.
Clockwise from Upper Left: Chris Davis explains the Coriolis Exhibit, built by Bryan Chavez; Lars Anderson explains the Water Column Density Drop; a sextant sits with the Visual Navigation Exhibit; Lars Anderson demonstrates the Archimedes Puzzler; Jim Hancock explains sextant operation; Dan Pruzan coaches students on sailing their "land yachts" upwind.
With in-person events now in progress, the SSC has turned its focus to execution, tilting our time toward delivering science content through our exhibits. We did this with 48 students and their coaches on July 2nd at the Treasure Island Sailing Center (TISC) at the end of one of their 6-week summer programs. The "science fair" was well-received by both students and coaches, leading to a return invitation in August. Hey! This looks like it's going to be a regular gig!

The SSC's new canopy tent
The SSC's new canopy tent provides protection from the sun and wind for our outdoor events.
Volunteer Docents
Volunteer docents at the July 2nd TISC Pop-Up Exhibition. L to R: David Haines, Lars Anderson, Nathan de Vries
The Coriolis Exhibit, built by Bryan Chavez, sports a spinning image of the Earth. A larger image is coming soon.
Ideas are cheap. Ideas are easy. Ideas are common. Everybody has ideas. Ideas are highly, highly, overvalued. Execution is all that matters.
Casey Neistat, American Filmmaker and YouTube Personality
July Field Trip - Spaulding Marine Center
On July 29 we got to meet with sailing-friendly educators from three Bay Area high schools. The opportunities for these relationships range from holding pop-up events at their schools, to having student interns engaged as exhibit builders. One stop along the way was Spaulding Marine Center, where traditional boat building techniques are being kept alive for all to see.
Jay Grant talks to high school educators about opportunities for students to learn the trades while interning at the Spaulding Marine Center. On the floor are Pelican class dinghies in various states of completion.

It is premature to talk about the individual schools and educators involved, so we will leave it there for now. Stay tuned for more on this in the coming months.
This Month's Newsletter Banner
Three Pelican class dinghies float at the Spaulding Marine Center docks in Sausalito. It is all about execution in the Spaulding yard, where they emphasize boatbuilding with traditional materials and techniques, using apprenticeships to pass their knowledge to the next generation.
A row of 3 colorful dinghies
Photo by Jim Hancock
SSC Logo - Light Background
Wanted for the Sailing Science Center

Do you have photos to share? The SSC is looking for great shots to use on our newsletter banner and elsewhere. Photographer attribution will be given.

Email your inquiries to
Small Stuff
Man scanning the horizon with binoculars
On the Horizon
In August the SSC will be visiting 24 kids at the Treasure Island YMCA, and another group of students at the Treasure Island Sailing Center. September has events scheduled with Latitude 38 and Call of the Sea. October has a high school event penciled in.

It is exciting to be doing what we are here to do! We just hope COVID doesn't block our plans.
Move the Needle!
These are things YOU can do to move the SSC vision forward:

Make a difference. Move the needle!
Leadership Corner - The Idea Guy
It’s first down with ten to go and less than a minute on the clock. The quarterback grabs the snap and steps back. He maneuvers behind the line considering his options, as the defense mounts its rush. He cocks his arm and throws a beautiful spiral pass that defies gravity as it floats in the air. Read more...
That's all for this month.


Jim Hancock
President and Founder
The San Francisco Sailing Science Center is a Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation recognized under IRS Section 501(c)(3), Tax ID 82-3631165. Your donation to the Sailing Science Center is tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.



*STEAM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math

Victoria Marcus

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