February 2005

Bay Bridge Follies
Letters to the Editor
New Ship Sails to Sausalito–Opportunities for All!
Mare Island Welcome Center is Now Open in Historic Mansion
Dispatch from the Dogpatch… A SeAm Between
In Richmond Today
Crab Fest Fever
Afterguard’s Broiled
Salmon Afloat
Bay Crossings Gardens
“Food from the Heart” at the Ferry Building Marketplace
Giant Storms in LA Affect Bay Area
WTA Pages…Ferry Rewards
Minds Meet at Underwater Forum on California’s Ocean Future
Bay Ghost Phenomenon
Bay Crossings Calendar
New Horizons at Webster Street’s Arts & Crafts Campus
Love, Lust, and Heartbreak

New Ship Sails to Sausalito–Opportunities for All!

Have you ever sat on the edge of the Bay, watching the ships going by, and dreamed of working on one? Well, here’s the answer to your dream. The Seamen’s Training Center, in conjunction with the Sausalito Bay Model Association, presents an exciting new array of overnight mariner ship experiences. The combination of seamanship skills with an introductory study of the marine environment creates a new hands-on, fun educational experience for those who live in the San Francisco Bay Area and surrounding communities.

Two nonprofit organizations (501(c)(3)s), the Seamen’s Training Center and Bay Model, are offering a very special two-night, two-day seamanship and navigation experience for a parent and child combination, or separately for teenagers or adults. Participants require no prior mariner training. What an exceptional opportunity for a father and son or a group of teenagers to sleep and train on board such a unique, large motor vessel.
Depending upon the weather, motor vessel “White Holly,” a 133 ft. former U.S. Coast Guard Buoy Tender turned mariner training adventure vessel, will explore the San Francisco Bay. The vessel will anchor overnight at locations such as Stinson Beach, Anchorage 5, Yellow Bluff, or the back of Angel Island.

Currently on San Francisco Bay, there are no overnight educational experiences easily accessible to teenagers and adults. There are sleepovers on sailing boats, but no programs where the vessel actually moves. This is a very exciting and unique program that will be hosted in Sausalito. The program further seeks to extend Sausalito’s reputation as a water community as it enhances the services Sausalito offers, from yacht charters, moorage, and ship husbandry to motor vessel and environmental training. The two organizations also hope to provide an attractive experience for international visitors as they gain a firsthand experience of this unique bay.

The Seamen’s Training Center is the only live-aboard vessel in the United States that offers advanced mariner assessments and training programs. The Center’s primary training program is a four-week, live-aboard entry-level training program that boasts an 89 percent job placement rate. Combining practical mariner training with educational marine environment programs is an exciting opportunity for the community. “Learning how to throw lines, monitor engines, steer, and navigate is a self-esteem building experience for any person,” said Vincent Backen, captain of the vessel. “There is currently an increasing demand for the merchant mariner, so these new weekend programs might also be the start of new career prospects for people,” he explained. “These are real skills for young people to learn. It also provides an excellent bonding experience for parents and their children.”

This unique program builds on the educational programs offered by both organizations for young people and adults. In July 2004, the Seamen’s Training Center provided the vessel for 35 Sea Scouts to learn navigation and seamanship for two weeks, cruising down the California coast to San Luis Obispo and back to Sausalito. The Sea Scouts boarded the vessel at the Army Corps of Engineers’ dock in front of the popular Bay Model.

Renowned for their educational marine environment programs, Bay Model Association in conjunction with the Seamen’s Training Center creates a new experience for the Sausalito and Marin community to access. “This is the beginning of some very high quality educational programs for this community,” said Alix Spivack, executive director of the Bay Model Association. “It provides a practical understanding for our community with a hands-on approach to the environment and the vessels on which we experience the environment.”

An increasing demand for mariners in the job market makes it a very viable career option for young people and adults alike. The Seamen’s Training Center offers a training program for new mariners seeking employment on the water, be it on ships, tugs, barges, cruise liners, or recreational ships. Their major program is a four-week, intensive training program. The vessel also offers Coast Guard-approved advance assessments, e.g., Rating Forming Part of a Navigation Watch. These are assessments required since the International Maritime Organization introduced STCW 95 to the United States.
While on board, 12 students will learn to steer and navigate, work the engine room, handle lines and all deck duties, and experience the steward department. Apprentices will also learn ship safety and drills. The marine component will include the collection and study of mud and water samples. Students will board the vessel in Sausalito on Friday at 5pm and return to Sausalito at 5pm on Sunday. Three types of programs are currently being offered: a unique experience for a 12+ child and parent to undertake together; a program for 12-17 year olds; and a program for adults seeking a new career opportunity. All apprentices will receive a Record of Service Book, a Seamanship Certificate, and career guidance.

Extensive programs are also planned for the Spring and Summer. The two organizations are seeking sponsors for this exceptional educational opportunity for the Bay Area community. The low-cost program fee covers fuel, food, and training. Group bookings are also encouraged.

For further information or to reserve your berth, call Joanne Keune at 707/552-6053, visit www.seamenstrainingcenter.org, or e-mail vbacken@seamenstrainingcenter.org.

Dates for 2005
Type of Program Includes all meals,
accommodations & training
Feb. 11th/ 12th/13th Adult Program 18+