Posts Tagged With: pier 39

Sailing to Monterey for Internet Librarian

Well, I’m excited to announce that one of the boats in the Story Sailboat fleet is sailing to Monterey for Internet Librarian!

This boat is a Catalina 27 that is currently docked in Santa Cruz that Joey uses while she taking her PHD classes at UCSC. This is one of our smaller boats because we couldn’t get our new larger boat up and ready for the extended trip in time. Its also not the original Story Sailboat from the Fundraising project on IndieGoGo because that one is WAY too small to make it to Santa Cruz from where it is now.

Because the boat belongs to Joey she will be in charge and John Chrastka and I are going to be her crew to Monterey. It’s a pretty boat and very functional and ready to go and we’re going to have a great crew. It looks like the weather is going to be perfect for the sail and it should take us between 6 and 8 hours to get there since its about 25 miles. If you’re going to be in Monterey for Internet Librarian, we might be able to take some people for a ride! Ask me about it if you see me.

I do have some bad news… Because my doctor left off his phone number on the medical form for my USCG captain’s license, I won’t be an official captain in time for the trip. That means I can’t do the fundraising that I was excited about doing at in Monterey for both EveryLibrary and the Story Sailboat. But thats ok, we’re excited to have a sailboat for a trip to Monterey no matter what!

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The Story Sailboat is Just… Library and Literacy Advocacy?

One of my friends asked me why we were giving books out in places Like Pier 39 or more affluent places in San Francisco. In case anyone has any of the same questions, let me explain.

We are really, really small. No, I mean SMALL! Our current boat is just 22 feet and we can only take about 300 books at a time at the maximum to advocate for libraries. We are also really busy. While I’m captain of the Story Sailboat, I’m also a full library Branch Manager of a library and while Joey is crew and education specialist, she is also a full time PHD student. Because of all of this, we have to choose a focus. For now, while we are growing and working towards some other goals, our goal is simply to advocate for libraries and literacy.

That means, that right now, we are just an Advocacy Campaign. Our goal isn’t to teach people to read (at this point), it’s to remind people that libraries and literacy are one of the most important components of a free and fair democracy. We want people to know about what kinds of things a library does to promote literacy in a community. We want to remind our communities that the library is there to serve them, to teach them, to help create literate communities. I probably don’t need to explain how important libraries are to most of you reading this blog so I’ll stop there.

We also want to go where the money and voters are. We want to focus our advocacy on people who might not have visited a library recently. We want to convince the people who might have the money to buy all the books and literacy materials they need from Amazon that libraries and literacy are important and go hand in hand in a community. We are excited about getting those people re-engaged in their libraries and to understand all of the benefits that would be lost with the loss of libraries.

If you’d like to help us out in anyway, feel free to contact us on our Facebook Page or following either (or both) of us on our twitter pages. We are always looking for crew and book seeders, book donations, and of course… Money.

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Expanding the Project: w00t for Guerilla Storytimes!

While we are excited about all of the book seeding that we’ve been doing the last couple of weeks, we’d love to expand a bit into some Guerrilla Storytimes. I think that we could do this as a kind of fundraiser for the whole project if we wanted to go that route. I don’t know if that kind of fundraising is really something that I want to do though. Before I start thinking about all of that, let me explain my idea more.

I attribute the idea of Guerrilla Storytimes to one of the crew members of the Story Sailboat, Katie Brothers, who has been my friend since highschool and is now an aspiring librarian! For the last couple of years, Katie has been volunteering as a storyteller at Roseville Public Library. In fact, I’ve seen her give her storytime and she’s pretty good. So, I thought about how we could combine her love of doing storytimes with the project itself. We talked about it for a while and she said she could give storytimes in parks or other places out in the community.

To be fair, I’ve also thought about doing storytimes in the community. Here’s the problem. I’m a man. Can you imagine what would happen if I showed up at your kid’s park and started gathering children for a storytime? Only slightly creepy. It’s a sad bias in our country, but that’s ok, I’m over it. Katie is going to do the storytime and I’ll get to help out and supply the boat.

If you’ve been following this blog or project, you know that we typically sail into Pier 39 in San Francisco as the port for the distribution of books in San Francisco. What’s great about this area is that there is so much going on that there are literally hundreds or thousands of people walking around the area. There are a ton of street entertainers and other people out there already. Why not hold our storytimes there? In fact, if we wanted to raise some money, we could just put out a hat!

So, hopefully, the next time we sail up to San Francisco we’ll be hosting our very own storytimes as well as books seeding around the area. If you see us, stop by and say hey. We’d love to give you a book!

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Labor Day Sail

Ok, I know it’s really late to be writing about this, but so much has been going on that I didn’t get the chance to post earlier (more on that later). Over the Labor Day weekend, I took out a couple of my friends to help me crew the Story Sailboat to give out a bunch of books at Pier 39 in San Francisco. In fact, this was one of the better book seeding experiences yet as we got a great response from everyone who found the books.

In case you don’t know the geography of the San Francisco Bay, let me describe the route to you a little bit. We sailed from the Story Sailboat’s home port of Redwood City. Redwood City is pretty far south in the lower part of the bay and it takes about 8 hours of motoring to get to San Francisco because the wind comes from the North. Typically when we do a project we leave on Friday night and just sail to a place called Coyote Point about three hours north. In the morning we motor the rest of the way to San Francisco and Pier 39.

Once we got to San Francisco we started labeling books with our stickers and labels and packed up a couple of bags. This time, we had a whole bunch of children’s books that had been donated and not many adult books but it turned out to work in our favor. As we walked around Pier 39 and placed the books on the benches and different places we watched as parents sat down with their kids and just started reading to them! It was really amazing to watch this serendipitous parent/child storytime occurring amidst the commotion of a touristy area like Pier 39. Needless to say we had a lot of fun watching people interact with the books. This is why we do this.

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An Unplanned Trip to Pier 39 (part two)

-PC Sweeney

We spent the night in Pier 39 after eating at my favorite restaurant in Fisherman’s Warf called Nick’s Lighthouse. It’s not my favorite just because of the sailboats on the walls as Jo will try to convince you, but also because the food is excellent and reasonably priced. And of course, there is nothing like an ice cold beer after a long day of sailing. We had a wonderful meal of Crab Caesar salad, lobster bisque, the obligatory clam chowder, crab cakes, and a really great seafood pasta. It wasn’t even that expensive!

We walked around Pier 39 for the next couple of hours and watched the people but we were exhausted and decided to get to bed early. Many people might not know that Pier 39 is a wavy harbor with a lot of waves rocking the boat. There are also all the sounds of the people on the Pier and of course the sea lions are pretty loud and only about 20 yards away. All in all though, I haven’t slept that well for a long time. I miss the movements of the ocean since we don’t get that on the Columbia 34 in Redwood city. There just aren’t any waves there.

When we woke up in the morning we planned on leaving right away. Of course, our outboard had other plans and wasn’t about to get up that early. We tried to get it to start for over an hour and since I have no idea what could have been wrong because honestly, and I don’t know enough about two-stokes to make a diagnosis, anything I did to try to fix it was pretty futile. All I know is that its either a problem with gas, spark, or air but getting any of those right is beyond me. We wound up getting a taxi to take us to the nearest Kragen Auto Parts to try for a new spark plug. The nearest one being about 6 miles away and making this one of the most expensive spark plugs I have ever bought! Anyway, that wasn’t even the problem.

The problem is, I’m an idiot. I completely missed that the kill switch has a safety clip that holds out the switch until its removed. Once the clip is removed the switch is turned on and the engine won’t start. The previous owners had lost the clip and were using a zip tie to hold the switch out. I thought you had to push it in to start, not pull it out, so I had taken the zip tie off thus causing all the problems. Luckily, our boater neighbors had come down and explained what was wrong or I would have been there all week. We used a piece of line and tied it around the switch, pulled it tight until the switch was out and then tied the other end to the handle so that it kept it out. The engine started on the first pull. I am an idiot sometimes.

Rest of our sail was pretty uneventful as there was no wind again and we had to motor all the way from SF to Redwood City, but we took our time and enjoyed the day. Sometimes you can’t change the weather, but thank god you can at least fix your engine… Sometimes.

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