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SBD report: Jan, 15 -Tajiri
The wind was almost perfect for a day sail, almost. That is if one did not mind 15 knots with gust of 24 and above. Perhpas a bit much for a beginner, but one learns under those conditions, what not to do. So it would be a good day for sailing…other than the cold, and the rain, the heavy rain! Overall it was a good day, if you were a duck. For a sailing class it was not something to look forward to doing.
I arrived on time, fully dressed for foul weather. After pre-checking out the class boat i was ready to face what was ahead. I was asked by the staff if it was ok to still run the class. I said it was ok, things may settle down later. My student was running a little late. Not really surprising for me considering the weather.
Once he arrived and we did the introductions I started the lesson. I covered as much as possible on safety, equipment, boat part names, etc, before going to the boat. As I finished my classroom lecture the weather, calmed somewhat as we went to the boat to do the check out together. That went smoothly. The student was well prepared before with his text reading, also he was familar with powerboats, so that was also helpful.
I decided to move the boat to a more easily accessable spot on the dock to give predocking training instructions. At that time I notice the high wave surges. This was going to be somewhat of an unpleasant challenge to do docking. However good experience, but i needed to stay alert for the boat and the student. I decided to change the location for the docking practice to a less extreme spot for the waves. After lunch we started.
As stanard practice i did the frist docking demo for the student then let him try. I explained rather than going for the docking right away, to make a trial approach first to feel the conditions and the boat handling. So before each docking we took a long approach just at the mouth of the harbor entrance. This was the student could get comfortable with the boat and the effects of the wind and waves.
We did several rounds on both sides of the boat facing and with the wind. Docking with the wind took more time for the student to understand the approach angle and slowing the boat. However after awhile he was able to do it nicely.
There was a small break in the wind power enough that we could practice wind from abeam docking and undocking. I had some concern as the outboard on the boat is not powerful or very deep into the water from the stern. This also cut down on the thrust of the motor. This part of the lesson also went smoothly.
Once everthing was covered and i could see the student was doing ok, i called an end to the class prepare for the end Q & A section and reviewing the practice test. We returned to dock and closed the boat down for the night. Once all was done. The wind and the rain stopped! All was calm, we were tired and wet.
The weather was bad, but the class went well.
BKB Tajiri report – Dec 20-21
So this was my first time teaching sailing in English in Japan. It was kind of a refreshing break not to think so much about what I was saying and also to go into a bit more detail, with out the fear of wrong wording. I soon found out that It was a different eperience. Sailing is the same but how to teach it requires a different mind set. Americans have a difference style than Japanese in a class environment.
I found out the guys did not have text books, so I needed to cover more items that would have been covered as homework reading. With that in mind a made a few changes to way the class was taught. I wanted to make sure they understood some of the details which would be on the test.
The day was cloudy, cold with on and off showers and increasing winds. It was expected to be about 24 or more knots of wind today. It was not going to be pleasant peaceful sailing, it would be wet work. However one does learn a lot under such conditions. There is a saying, one does not become a good sailor under calm and peaceful conditions. Or another, a boat is safe in the harbor, but that is not why it was made, just to sit there. It was somewhat like teaching back in S.F. as far as the winds, steady and strong on a summer afternoon, where the heat from the valleys suck In the coolness from the sea, right through the Golden Gate pass.
After covering the opening items of the class and speaking with the guys about their backgrounds, we set off for the boat. I informed Yoh Sensei the students did not have text books so I was making some changes in the teaching content. He said he would locate some books for the students. Which he had waiting for us when we returned. On the boat we covered the standard items, parts, setting up the boat for sailing, starting the motor, safety, etc.
We finished the on boat explanations, and checks and returned to the classroom. As when were leavng the boat the rain started. Once inside it really started raining hard. I decieded to again change the format some and spoke with Yoh Sensei who agreed. I would cover all the lecture materal, explanations and board drawings work that I would usually do on both the water and classrom over the two days, fullly today. Tomorrow with better weather we would spend the day on the water.
For the rest of the day I covered in detail items they would need to know and understand for the test, plus any questions. Late in the afternoon tue rain and wind calmed. I took the opportunity with the lessening of the wind, although still some rain, to take the student out for some docking practice. Although wet, things went without problems. The students were pleased to get out and moving on the boat.
The next day weather was better. No rain, some sun, cool but comfortable temps, rather brisk winds, but manageable even for beginners with the main reefed. Like an afternoon on the S.F. bay. I found the guys like to tell each other what to do, “coach” each other. They handled that well enough between the two of them. Only once did I have to “step-in” with control and stop the chatter.
The afternoon went well, the students enjoyed the sail, training and the high wind gusts. As airforce personnel, they related much of the experience to flying and expressed a desire to continue on with other levels of sail training.
The conditions got a bit rough when we were returning. Therefore I did not want to send someone forward to take down the jib. I kept the sails up until we were in the harbor and things were a bit more safer to deal with the sails. At the dock we put the sails away and made the boat ready for long docking, including adding spring lines because of the winds. Once the boat was put away we returned to tue classroom. I did a quick review, question and answer period with the students before starting the test.
Both students passed with high scores, within a point of each other.
SBD II report
It was a mostly calm Sunday morning. Not much in the way of wind was expected. Part of the goal for today was the students to understand COB drill. With no wind it is always a difficult practice. I usually explain it to the student in the classroom, again on the boat, then as I am doing the demo.
We started at 9:25 am, both students were early so there was no need to wait. After introductions and questions to cover standard procedures and any uncomfortableness on the part of the student, we went to the boat. There at the boat I began with items to check while on the dock, how to correctly board the boat, and then went below deck. There we checked for the safety items and became aware of what equipment was aboard.
Next we moved to the cockpit and went over engine startup. After both students had the chance at starting the motor we went through parts of the boat and names followed by the students demoing the basic knots. This was followed by a short break before going out in the port.
I had a student take us off the dock. I notice he was not real comfort with backing the boat. I therefore had both students do backing practice along with docking. Docking was done on both sides of the boat, port and starboard both both facing and back windward. This was followed by docking and cast-off with a beam wind. This was a bit tricky for them but it was done.We then took a lunch break.
After lunch I gave a small lecture on C.O.M. drill along with points of sail and feeling the wind, not just looking up at the telltale. After the lecture we went out to the boat, but before boarding I again explained about the wind and feeling the direction on one’s face, with the changing points of sail.
Another student did the cast off. However before going out to practice the C.O.B drill I had the students once more practice the docking and undocking with a beam wind. Afterward we heading out on the Bay. After the sails were raised, I demoed all points of sail, tacking and C.O.B. Then it was the students turn, the wind was strong enough to move yet calm enough fro good control.. C.O.B. is not an easy task for new sailors. Both of the students had a couple of practice turns before we needed to return to the classroom for testing.
A student took us to the dock, after the sails were lowered. Once docked, I showed the proper way to closed up the boat for the day and fold the sails. Once this was done we went to the classroom, after a short break, to do Q and A before starting the exam. Both students were comfortable and said they were ready to proceed with the written exam.
Both students passed and were congratulated.
SBD report – Oct
Class started at 9:30 with one student. Weather report for the day was fair and light winds. Max around 10-11 knts. I started class with an introduction and asked the student his background and interest in sailing.
Upon starting class there was a short review and question period, before going over the safety equipment and demo. I had the student operate the safety vest for the experience of hands-on understanding. Another area which was covered before the safety items was the function and use of the log book.
We then went to the boat, there we went through all the boat systems together, also having the student, name various parts of the boat. Afterwards I had him demo his understanding on knots. He did well.
After a short break, we again went to the boat and motored around in the harbor/ port area. I had the student go through docking on both sides in both direction, after doing a demo myself. The student did well with the physical part however needed a bit more time and practice with the mental preparations before reaching the dock.
After lunch, in the office I went through special docking procedure using the board and model boats to explain. Afterward we went back down to the docks, there I did a demo on the special undocking against a beam wind. I had the student do the drill several times to be sure he understood and could do the undocking.
After a short break we went out on the water for a short sail. There I checked the student’s understanding of the points of sail. Once that was completed we returned to the marina, with the student on the helm. We docked and cleaned up the boat before going to the office classroom there I asked the student about any issues or problems he had.
All things were stated by him as being well and we ended class.
It was a comfortable cool Autumn morning for a sail. It was small class of two for this BKB class. We started on time with my introduction as instructor. I asked if everyone was comfortable with their Pre- test and if there were any question. There was only one and it was about roller reefing units. I took the group outside to show them a boat to explain.
Next we went down to the class boat. We went over some parts of the boat, inspection, safety items, inventory and starting the motor. As both students had some background, so things went smoothly. We took a short break before heading out on to the water.
I had one of the students start as Skipper right at the dock. Once out on the water I showed them how to reef as the wind was fairly strong. Better for safety and comfort to have the reef in early, rather than late.
Next I had them both do tacking and jibing as skipper and crew. Both were good at the task and only needed a few pointers to be more effective in operation, After a few rounds of each the next practice item was heaving-to. Only one person got to try that in the morning run as we need to head back for lunch.The other student took the boat back to the dock as skipper.
After lunch we changed skippers again and headed back out on the water. The wind had calmed down a lot by this time, so the reef was removed underway. Wind continued to drop. I did a demo on C.O.B. then each student had a turn at the drill. Wind had fallen off to almost nothing at one point so we needed to use the motor lightly to give us some motion. I explained that under live conditions there is a danger in the use of the motor and is not advised. As this was a drill I wanted them to understand the pattern and steps.
After the last student did the heave-to drill which was missed in the morning session we returned back to the dock. I had some concern about the motor which was cutting off at time, so the main sail was not dropped until we reach the docking area just in case it was needed. However it was not, we had a smooth docking by the student.
After cleaning, putting the boat to “bed”, we took a break before doing the written test.
Both students passed with high scores!