Photo by Martha Blanchfield / Renegade Sailing
Sailing Science Center News
October 2020
Vol. 4, No. 2
Welcome to the October issue of the Sailing Science Center News! Our theme this month is Diversity. It is both a timely and timeless theme that reminds us to pause and appreciate the value of contributions from people with different origins, backgrounds, and perspectives.
It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.

– Maya Angelou
Volunteer Spotlight - It Takes a Team
In most issues of the Sailing Science Center News we have used this space to spotlight individuals, highlighting their backgrounds and things that make them what they are. This month we are zooming out to see the big picture—the whole ecosystem as it were.

The people in the collage above are all SSC volunteers who have made important contributions to the organization. Some have been spotlighted here before, while many have not. From helping with the newsletter, to advising on exhibit design, to organizing events, all have made their mark. To every SSC volunteer goes a hearty Thank You for what you have done and what you are doing!
September Volunteer Event - Coastal Cleanup
SSC Volunteers Cleaning Up TI Shoreline
Beach Warriors
Upper Left, L to R: Martha Blanchfield, Alex François, Jim Hancock, Malachi François, Mina Matsumoto, Victoria Marcus
On September 27 a group of six SSC volunteers gathered on Treasure Island for our first ever Coastal Cleanup Day. September is officially designated as California Coastal Cleanup Month. Unfortunately many organizations canceled their 2020 events due to coronavirus concerns. But like rust, trash never sleeps, not even for the coronavirus.

A fun, socially-distanced event, we filled the back of Alex François' pickup truck with at about two dozen bags of trash. Alex described the amount of trash as an "eye opener," continuing, "We can do better, and have to do any small part to help reduce human pollution."

Thanks to the quick work of SSC volunteer Martha Blanchfield, we also got top billing in the September 30 issue of 'Lectronic Latitude. Thank you to all the SSC volunteers who came out to make a difference.
Without diversity life would be very boring.

― Catherine Pulsifer
Sailing Science Corner
The Science of Ghost Ships
With Halloween just off our bow, it is time to apprise you of ghost ships, those vessels that sail on the sea, absent of living crew, portents of doom. The most famous of these, the Flying Dutchman, a stout man-o-war that sank with all hands, is said to appear during storms, all sails and hull aglow.

Of course, we know these are just sailor’s stories, and merely the making of the mariner’s mind. The fatigue and monotony of long stints at sea are known to cause tricks of the temporal lobes. Apparitions in fog, dim light, and clouds, make it easy to SEE the source of these visions.

The singing of sirens is something again. Auditory pareidolia is the term science gives to voices or music that come through the rush, like that from the waves that wash down the hull. I have heard this myself on countless occasion, and in a state of half sleep have thought to command that we come about at once to save the lost soul, though the voice is no more than a dream.

So too is the wind in the rigging as it conjures our fear. At 25 knots appears an effect that may be given to ghosts but is just the voice of vibrations as vortices shed from our lines. A SOUND explanation for sure, and notably not paranormal, but something that might be the basis for an exhibit on the science of sailing. So, you see when it’s all said and done, there really are no ghosts at sea.

One Treasure Island
We are pleased to report that our initiative in the September newsletter to support One Treasure Island raised $375 as of September 30, putting us within striking distance of our five hundred dollar goal. Click here to join your friends who are helping this Treasure Island neighbor that is helping those in need during these challenging times.
This Month's Newsletter Banner
Genesis competes at the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta. She is a Carriacou sloop built by Alwyn Enoe, one of the last remaining traditional boatbuilders in the Caribbean. The 2015 documentary, Vanishing Sail, tells more about the legacy of island boatbuilding.
Photo by Martha Blanchfield / Renegade Sailing
No culture can live if it attempts to be exclusive.

— Mahatma Gandhi
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.

Apps Script Developers
The SSC is looking for a Google Apps Script developer interested in writing automation macros for our internal systems. If you have experience in C++, Java or Java Script you're most of the way there.

Salesforce Developers
The SSC is now set up on Salesforce as its new Contact Relationship Management (CRM) tool. Give us a shout if you are proficient in Salesforce and want to get involved in the SSC.

VR/AR People
The SSC is getting into Virtual Reality and Augmented reality. We have been actively engaging businesses with expertise in these technologies to learn how best to use them for delivering STEM content framed around sailing. If you have experience in either of these areas we would like to hear from you.

Email your inquiries to
Small Stuff
Man scanning the horizon with binoculars
On the Horizon
SSC continues to be COVID-conscious and cautious, through virtual events, and with in-person events held outdoors in small groups and with proper social distancing. We are working behind the scenes on longer-term initiatives for teaching science and for raising SSC to the next level in every area. Details will be shared at the appropriate time.

Stay tuned!
Move the Needle!
These are things YOU can do to move the SSC vision forward:

Make a difference. Move the needle!
Leadership Corner - Diversity
One of my earliest readings on diversity came from a Nature Conservancy article titled The Case for Diversity, published in their magazine decades ago. Since then I have found that what makes diversity valuable to an ecosystem applies equally to teams, organizations, and larger populations. 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

The Sailing Science Center News is published on the first business day of each month. It is sent to team members, partners, volunteers, sponsors and supporters of the San Francisco Sailing Science Center. You are receiving this because you are considered to be in one of these groups. If you wish to be removed from the mailing list, please click the Unsubscribe link below. We do not sell, share or otherwise give out our mailing list beyond our organization.
San Francisco Sailing Science Center
One Avenue of the Palms, Suite 16A
San Francisco, CA 94130