Photo by Martha Blanchfield / Renegade Sailing
Sailing Science Center News
June 2022
Vol. 5, No. 10
Welcome to the June issue of the Sailing Science Center News! Our theme this month is Waypoints. In navigation, waypoints mark the ends of the segments that make up a route. Waypoints give us something to steer towards and can serve as intermediate destinations along a journey.

As the Sailing Science Center progresses, each exhibition serves as a waypoint in our voyage to building our larger vision, which is a waypoint of its own. We invite you to come to our exhibitions, if you haven't already done so. Our June 18 event at the Oakland Yacht Club would be an exceptionally good time to do so.
Success is the progressive realization of a worthwhile goal.
Earl Nightingale
May Spotlight - Oakland Yacht Club
Ben Yamanaka Head Shot
This month’s spotlight is on the Oakland Yacht Club (OYC). They call themselves The friendliest yacht club in the Bay Area. But why is the Oakland Yacht Club in Alameda? Founded in 1913, the club’s original location was Oakland’s Brooklyn Basin. In 1977, when their clubhouse was demolished for the Embarcadero Cove project, OYC moved across the estuary to assume the lease of the 196-slip Pacific Marina. They moved into their current clubhouse in 1990.
The Friendliest Yacht Club in the Bay Area!
Oakland Yacht Club Main Entrance
The club maintains a schedule of activities for both sail boaters and powerboaters. These range from monthly cruise outs, to their Oktoberfest Regatta, to the annual Lighted Yacht Parade they co-host with the Encinal Yacht Club. The 2021 parade included the 165-foot USS Potomac and an entry from the San Francisco ferry fleet. In 2021 they also co-hosted the Women’s Sailing Seminar with the Island Yacht Club. They have two racing series to keep members sailing through most of the year. During the longer days of spring and summer they hold the Wednesday night Sweet 16 Series. When the days get shorter, they keep people happy with their Sunday Brunch Series.
Jim Jessie Head Shot
Of course, it’s the people who make the club, and a steady stream of colorful characters has graced their halls. One of the club’s most famous personalities, author-adventurer, Jack London, was a founding member, and remained a member until his death in 1916. But today, among Bay Area sailors, Jim Jessie may be the most significant. Jim joined the club in 1956, at age 24, and is still in the club and winning races today, at age 89, after multiple circumnavigations and a long career doing marine surveys—including the 1994 survey of the boat on which this article was written. Jim was commodore of the club during the mid-1960s. But times evolve…
A steady stream of colorful characters has graced their halls.
Today’s commodore is Julie Cheng. Julie is only the sixth female commodore and is the first person of color to hold the title. Julie was introduced to the club while racing with the late Doug Perry. Learning to sail on Coronado 15s at Reed College, Julie continued sailing afterward. She was a founding board member of the Alameda Community Sailing Center in 2013, and holds a 50-ton Coast Guard Master’s license. In 2017 she bought OYC member, Tom Sator’s, Ericson 35 Mk III, inheriting its slip at OYC. Tom was 94 at the time. He was Hungarian by birth, becoming a US citizen during World War II, driving tanks for General Bradley. Like we said, lots of colorful characters, but also to our oft-said point that sailing can be enjoyed from age 5 to 95.
Oakland Yacht Club Aerial View
The story would be incomplete without mentioning Ben Yamanaka. Ben is the club’s general manager, running its professional staff. Managing the club since 2016, Ben does his part to help them live up to their friendliness claim. Not sure? See for yourself. On June 18, the Sailing Science Center will be holding its Summer Sailstice Exhibition in the OYC parking lot. Come see the SSC and check out the club while you’re at it.

Front entrance photo by Jim Hancock. Other photos courtesy of Oakland Yacht Club.
If all difficulties were known at the outset of a long journey, most of us would never start out at all.
Dan Rather
Volunteer Events
Sign Up and Sail!
On May 14, six SSC volunteers met at San Francisco's South Beach Harbor to experience sailing science in action. The group sailed aboard Joe Rockmore's C&C 40, Föhn. It was a perfect day with perfect conditions. The SSC holds regular sailing events for its volunteers as a way to bring people together and say Thank You.
Collage of SSC Volunteers
Clockwise from upper left: Victoria Marcus, Katrina Fehring, Atom Farrell, Blaise, Joe Rockmore, Chris Fehring, Jim Hancock. Photos by Chris Fehring and Jim Hancock
The ocean is a central image. It is the symbolism of a great journey.
In the News
The Sailing Museum
On May 10th, The Sailing Museum opened for visitors in Newport, Rhode Island. The Sailing Museum's STEM components partially overlap what the SSC is doing, but the former has a stronger historical flavor, with its Sailing Hall of Fame and its America's Cup Hall of Fame.
World Ocean Day
June 8 is World Ocean Day. As we go about our terrestrial lives, it is easy to forget that three quarters of our planet's surface is ocean, and it is largely the ocean that gives Earth the ability to support life. On June 8, take a moment to think about the ocean and its importance.
June 18th
Summer Sailstice
June 18th is Summer Sailstice. This is the International Celebration of Sailing created by John Arndt, of Latitude 38. The organizers want everybody to untie their dock lines and go sailing. If you own a boat, or you know somebody who owns a boat, there are no more excuses. It's time to get out there, raise your main, roll out your jib, and make some waves. Be sure to schedule a stop at the Oakland Yacht Club to visit the Sailing Science Center's exhibition while you're out.
SSC Summer Sailstice Exhibition
June 18th is the date of the Sailing Science Center's Summer Sailstice Exhibition at the Oakland Yacht Club. Come see us! Learn about Archimedes, Coriolis, and Bernoulli. See if you can avoid the shoal at Southeast Farallon Island, or try your hand at The Grinder for bragging rights and a chance to win prizes.
Hours: 1pm - 4pm
Success is a journey, not a destination.
The doing is often more important than the outcome.
― Arthur Ashe
Captain Donald Lawson to Attempt World Records
Mighty Merloe riding to her mooring
Mighty Merloe is the 60-foot trimaran Lawson will use for his record attempts
Donald Lawson Speaking
Captain Donald Lawson speaking on his planned record attempts
On May 25, Captain Donald Lawson spoke at the Corinthian Yacht Club on his plans to attempt multiple world sailing records. The most notable of these is his plan to be the first African-American solo, non-stop circumnavigator. Role models like Lawson are sorely needed for bringing more diverse populations into sailing.
You can support Captain Lawson through his donation page.
This Month's Newsletter Banner
Jim Cullen's Gold Star beats toward the Golden Gate Bridge in the 2019 edition of the Great San Francisco Schooner Race. The bridge is a common waypoint for racers, day sailors, and long-distance cruisers alike. Many a sailor has marked their circumnavigation's beginning and end by passing under the Golden Gate Bridge.
Schooner sailing toward the Golden Gate Bridge
Photo by Martha Blanchfield / Renegade Sailing
Wanted for the Sailing Science Center
SSC Logo - Light Background
Do you have photos to share? The SSC is looking for great shots to use on our website, our newsletter banner, and elsewhere. Photographer attribution will be given.

The SSC needs all manner of volunteers, but especially volunteers who can staff one-day, pop-up exhibitions as docents. Training, lunch, and SSC logo polo shirts are provided. We are currently holding events at the approximate rate of one per month. This is planned to increase as we assemble multiple exhibition teams.

Direct your inquiries to
Small Stuff
Man scanning the horizon with binoculars
On the Horizon
Here is the June schedule. Check our online calendar for the most current information.

June 18 - Summer Sailstice Exhibition at the Oakland Yacht Club.

June 22 - Encinal Yacht Club Summer Session Exhibition

June 24 - Treasure Island Sailing Center Summer Session Exhibition
Move the Needle!
These are things YOU can do to make a difference and Move the Needle

Leadership Corner - Waypoints
We landed at the New Zealand Customs Dock after nearly seven thousand miles of ocean voyaging. That landfall is still a vivid memory twenty years later. The elation of our arrival could be expected. What I wasn’t prepared for was what happened the next day. 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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