Photo by Martha Blanchfield / Renegade Sailing
Sailing Science Center News
January 2021
Vol. 4, No. 5
Welcome to the January issue of the Sailing Science Center News! We sincerely hope that you have rung in a safe and healthy new year. In the face of daily records being set in the pandemic, there is hope on the horizon in the form of new vaccines. The SSC continues, doing what we can to create value, both now and for the future. We have learned that one of the best ways to do that is through synergy, which is our theme is for this month's newsletter.
The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
― Aristotle
January Spotlight - Call of the Sea
A good practice for growing and partnering is to always seek synergy—win-win situations where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. In that realm, I can think of no better relationship than what is possible between SSC and Call of the Sea.
Call of the Sea was founded in 1985 by Alan Olson and other local sailors to give Bay Area youth a chance to sail traditionally rigged vessels, to learn about the marine environment and maritime history, and to inspire environmental stewardship. In 2004, with support from Ken Neal and others, they purchased the schooner Seaward. Seaward has since served over 50,000 students!
Call of the Sea
Our mission is to provide inclusive and equitable access to on the water science- based educational programs that foster the connection to watersheds, ocean environments & nautical heritage.
The Schooner Seaward
The Schooner Seaward, 2014
A Native American Shaman, a Rabbi, a Tibetan Lama and a Christian Minister...
In 2013 work began on a new ship, the 132’ Matthew Turner, under Olson and Educational Tall Ships (ETS), another nonprofit. Steven Woodside was not part of ETS, but was there for the blessing of the keel. He recalls it involving a Native American Shaman, a Rabbi, a Tibetan Lama an a Christian Minister. It sounds like the beginning of a joke, but it was arguably the most exciting Sausalito shipbuilding event since World War II.

By the end of 2015 ETS had merged with COTS and Woodside was on the board of directors, bringing to bear his 40 years of public law experience from serving as County Counsel for Santa Clara, Sonoma, and Marin Counties. He was no stranger to nonprofits either, having served on boards since his twenties, beginning with his local YMCA.
Museum Ship, Polly Woodside, in Melbourne, Australia
Shipbuilding in His Blood
Woodside had shipbuilding in his blood, going back to the 19th century when his great grandfather built ships in Belfast, across from where the Titanic’s keel would later be laid. One of those ships, the Polly Woodside, named after his great grandmother, is now a museum ship in Melbourne, Australia.

In May of 2019 Woodside accepted the position of Volunteer Executive Director for COTS. Work was continuing on the Turner as he started, and it was another year, in July 2020, before she was certified to carry passengers—right in the middle of the pandemic.
As far as synergy between SSC and COTS, we envision being a kind of warm up act, visiting schools to teach sailing-related science before the students voyage on the Seaward or the Turner. The plan builds constituency for the SSC, extends the material presented by COTS, and enhances the student experience.
I asked Woodside about challenges he has faced and about turning losses into wins. Like most organizations, COTS has been affected by the pandemic. Woodside said they paid close attention to public health officers, making their best guess on what would be allowed, and working from there. They held summer camps and a weekend program called Girls Aloft, benefitting COTS by creating new and innovative offerings, thus living the maxim that you have to sail to the wind you have and not the wind you want.
Furling the Main on the Matthew Turner
Furling the Matthew Turner's Mainsail
December Volunteer Event - Slack
Slack has been in the news lately due to their early-December acquisition by Salesforce. Anyone who has used Slack will know this was a good move by Salesforce. For those unfamiliar with it, Slack is a communication platform that is beautifully suited to managing the ongoing conversations within an organization.
I have worked with 40 companies over the last eight years, and probably ten companies over the last 24 months, and I can't think of a company that wasn't using Slack.
Mike Beller, SSC Treasurer & Business Consultant
On December 15 the SSC held its monthly volunteer event by providing a tutorial on Slack for people who weren't familiar with it. The SSC has had an account with Slack for the past year and a half, but we have made the decision to really push the platform as our primary form of internal communication. In a world in which things are increasingly moving online, we think this is a move that will pay huge dividends.
Difference is the beginning of synergy.
― Stephen Covey
Sailing Science Corner
Wanna Drag?
The Water Column Density Drop (4:23)
Sailors go to great lengths to get as much speed out of their boats as possible. Optimal sail trim is essential, but so is reducing the the boat's resistance to moving through the water. There are several sources of this hydrodynamic resistance, but two sources stand out. These are frictional resistance and wave making resistance. This month we will look briefly at frictional resistance.

Factors involved in frictional resistance include the boat's size, shape, speed, and surface roughness, all factors over which the designer and owner have some control. A final factor, over which we generally don't have control, is the viscosity of the water. Viscosity can be thought of as a fluid's resistance to flowing. For example, honey has high viscosity* compared to water, at about 2,200 centistokes, versus 1.0 centistokes for water.

To demonstrate concepts in frictional resistance, the head of the SSC Exhibits Team, Lars Anderson, created an exhibit called the Water Column Density Drop. In this exhibit objects are dropped into columns of water. They fall to the bottom at different rates depending on their shape, density, and orientation.

Meaningful model tests can be conducted for shapes that have similar geometry but different sizes by conducting experiments with a constant Reynolds number (Re ), a dimensionless number defined as Re = uL/ν, where:
u = Speed
L = Characteristic Length
ν = Viscosity

This very simple exhibit opens the door to discussing important physical concepts such as density, viscosity, turbulence, drag, surface area to volume ratios, Reynolds number, scaling effects, and even temperature. We love this because, as you can see, it can go from very simple to very advanced, very quickly, giving it the opportunity to engage with a wide range of audiences.

*Viscosities are for the kinematic viscosity at 20° C, given in centistokes [mm²/s].
In the News
Citizen Advisory Board
On December 1st, SSC President, Jim Hancock, was confirmed by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to fill one of three vacant seats on the Treasure Island Citizen Advisory Board. The other two seats were filled by Hope Williams and Barklee Sanders.
Speaker Series
The SSC is kicking off a new speaker series in 2021, with the first speaker planned for February. Presentations will be held online using Zoom and will be open to the public. Details will be provided in a future email.
Megan Stewart
The SSC is pleased to be working with Megan Stewart in an advisory/consulting capacity. Megan is a former project manager for exhibit builder Group Delphi, and has, more recently, been the Director of Exhibit Operations for the Virtual Science Center. Megan will be supporting our Exhibits team and will be helping with the high school competition we are preparing to launch in Fall of 2021.
SSC Palette Colors
It was an extraordinary connection, the synergy within the band. There was an area of ESP between Robert Plant, John Paul Jones, John Bonham, and myself.
— Jimmy Page, founder of the musical group, Led Zeppelin
This Month's Newsletter Banner
Three members of a racing crew hoist a spinnaker by "sweating" the halyard, while a fourth crew trims. Coordinated teamwork creates a synergy in which the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Crewmembers performing their role in the absence of the others would be completely ineffectual.
Photo by Martha Blanchfield / Renegade Sailing
SSC Logo - Light Background
Wanted for the SSC

Do you have photos you want 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
While our binoculars can't look into the future, the SSC expects in-person activities to begin being viable in late spring or early summer. With that as our target, we are working now to develop physical exhibits we can take to students through mobile outreach.

Like so many others, we will continue to monitor the situation and adjust our course as appropriate.
Move the Needle!
These are things YOU can do to move the SSC vision forward:

Make a difference. Move the needle!
Leadership Corner - Synergy
Author Stephen Covey lists Synergy as Habit 6 in his 1989 classic, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Synergy is what creates the win-win situation, the whole being greater than the sum of its parts, and one plus one equaling three. For some people, like Buckminster Fuller, it is a whole school of thought. 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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