Sometimes there are people that come into our lives that have the ability to naturally light up a room without any effort. If there is anyone on our staff that comes to mind instantly with that ability, it would be long time OCSC instructor Chuck Rawlings. Although I can honestly say seeing each of our instructors is a joy (really!), I have to admit that seeing Chuck walk through the office door automatically plasters a smile on my face, and this is usually before he fires off one of his clever lines and sends the entire office staff into fits of laughter. With an interesting background in the world of sailing, Chuck is a valuable asset to the team at OCSC, and if you have a chance to sail with him, take it and run! So, fellow OCSC sailors, it’s my pleasure to give you a bit of insight into our beloved Chuck Rawlings…
What first got you interested in sailing?
While serving in the Navy on Guam in the early 70’s one of the civilian employees had a small sail boat for sale and I was able to talk my wife into us becoming sailors.
How was the transition between teaching sailing to officers and teaching to civilians?
While in Guam I became a basic sailing instructor and the students were mostly military active duty and their dependants. At this basic level if we didn’t sink the boat or kill the students it was considered teaching sailing. At OCSC the standards are a bit higher.
How did you end up at OCSC?
After our Son and Daughter moved out I ask my wife “Now what do we do?”, since the calander was no longer filled with the things we were doing with them. My wife’s answer was I could remodel the kitchen and landscape the back yard. I called two or three sailing schools that same day.
Have any funny/scary / interesting/ wild sailing stories?
After buying the 17 ft day sailor in Guam I decided I should read up on sailing a little before taking the family out for a sail. The 1st sail started out great, sailing down wind. The problems started when we decided to return to the marina. You all know how that worked out. A year so after that when I had become an instructor I took the family out for a sail in the harbor, we all fell asleep and sailed into the ocean. But we took 4 out brought 4 back.
What is it like to go on an OCSC flotilla?
The big thing for me would be how easy OCSC makes it. In the Flotilla meetings all the concerns are discussed.
Where are some of your favorite sailing destinations in the bay? Outside of San Francisco?
Sailing the San Francisco city front day or night is always exciting. My comfort level out side the gate is an aircraft carrier.
What is one of your favorite things about teaching sailing?
When the student enjoys the class.
Have any students stuck out in your mind and left a memorable impression?
I did a one on one bareboat tune up a few years ago and the skipper said he would like to practice all the maneuvers. He did 6 or 8 Tacks, gybes and MOBs and said I would like to do them all again as crew. On the way in I asked him what he did when not sailing and he stated, “I’m a heart surgeon, and believe we learn by repetition , what do you think!”
What do you enjoy doing when your not sailing?
Old guy doubles tennis.
Any special/ quirky/ intereting talents we should know about? =)
Sometimes I can make my granddaughters laugh.