Travis Lund, Executive Director at Treasure Island Sailing Center (TISC), offers an example of how sailing can provide a helpful distraction to life…
I’m often asked what the TISC is or what we do here in San Francisco, CA. I’ll admit it is sometimes difficult to accurately describe what a youth-driven sailing center does and harder yet to transmit why my staff and I are so dedicated to the mission of TISC.
For most of us who sail, we typically don’t ponder how sailing has affected our lives…we just know it has. Most of us seldom think about what our lives would be like if we never learned to or had the enjoyment of sailing.
Growing up in a small industrial town of 23,000 people in Northern Michigan, there were few entertainment options. I really didn’t know much else other than playing in the water in the summer and playing in the snow in the winter. My parents owned a small sailboat and I somehow found ways to sail and race and eventually got good at it.
I’ve been able to make a living at it for most of my life, and yet I still find it difficult to articulate how and why it has become so important to who I am. I think the best way to answer this question is to envision my life without it. And, I cannot.
However, a recent event has helped provide some clarity.
On November 9th, TISC ran a recruitment event to help our Envision Academy Sailing Team (EAST) gain new members. Envision Academy (EA) is a tuition free charter high school in downtown Oakland whose population is mostly underserved.
About a year and a half ago, with the help of Anthony Sandberg, owner of OCSC Sailing, we formed a sailing team for this school. With the financial support of the St. Francis Sailing Foundation, we’ve been providing boats, transportation and instructors for the team at no cost to the students and their families. The current team is all upper level students and we wanted to bolster the team numbers.
We had the day planned for weeks and didn’t really think about the actual date as we had enough on our plates to simply organize the event. But the morning of the event, I received a call from EA’s Athletic Director, Coach Henry, to inform me that he was going to do what he could to get the kids on the bus as quickly as he could. As it was the day after the U.S. national and local elections, the school was in a state of pandemonium.
He explained that kids were looking like they were leaving school, that parents were coming to pick their kids up, and that helicopters were flying overhead in wake of what might be either protests or riots later in the day. He warned me that we would not have the 42 kids we had hoped for, and that I should prepare the staff for what might be a sullen, scared or confused group of kids. – Read on