Thanks to a generous offer made by the University of California Santa Cruz, eight students from the Ponderosa Boat Works haven’t missed a beat to quarters, a jibe, a tack, a tide, or a westerly wind.
These students, along with about ten other students from the Santa Cruz community, show up daily at 0900 hours, at the University Sailing Center, where they have been learning the intricate science behind the operation of the University’s Coronado 15 sailing fleet. Working in teams of 2 or 3, the students crewed together showing mastery in the beginning dinghy operations sailing of the Coronado 15 sailboat. Many of the Ponderosa students have had experience with their El Toro fleet, but the Coronado 15 is almost twice as long and carries much more sail area.
This whole process began with learning the how to” of rigging and unrigging, a fully-clothed PFD (personal flotation device) salt water swim test, and most importantly, the roll over and recovery of the Coronado 15. The students, in two days, were prepared to start their lifetime tutorial towards mastery of the wind, tide, and elements of the sea. UCSC instructors Hillary, Meghan, and Connor patiently presented the entire process along with many small tricks to enhance the experience of the daily lessons.
Two weeks of daily lessons have yielded confident, competent, and eager sailors. They started with the basics that took them from the sailing basin in the back of the harbor, into the channel, up to the harbor entrance by the jetty, and ultimately out of the harbor and into the open sea. Enthused and empowered, the Boat Work’s crew looks forward to their next sailing opportunity.
Collective and heartfelt thanks go out to UCSC Sailing Director Rusty Klingon for this opportunity, and his excellent instructional staff of the UCSC Sailing Center. Specifically, Alternative Education thanks Hillary, Meghan, and Connor for the daily dose of empowerment as they demystified the finer arts of sailing and our relationship to the sea.
Find out more information about Ponderosa High School and Career Training Center, or contact Carol Polhamus at (831) 336-9338.