About Rob

So who is this Rob person?

Rob - after singlehanded return from Hawaii

Rob – after singlehanded return from Hawaii

I more or less grew up in Southern California, so I consider myself a Southern California kid.  That said, I never went surfing – though I did do some boogy boarding until the waves were too high.

For college I was at UC Berkeley, and wound up working at an environmental consultancy (10 people) that specialized in ‘gotta-have-it-now’ responses to environmental requirements and audits.  That’s where I got into the Oracle database, working on fish counts from the divers at the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Reactor.

The environmental gig died away, and I found myself accepted for a job at Berkeley National Laboratory, the goal being to replace/remove the various dBase/xBase/FoxPro applications with Oracle.  I was keen to give it a go, and it went well.  Eventually I was involved with the Data Warehouse group, and learned more and more about performance tuning the Oracle database.  I got actually reasonably good at it, and that lead to designing how to store data in order to get that same data out as fast as possible.

Twenty years later, it was time to go do something else.  The folks at Berkeley Lab are world-class people, and to work with them was amazing.  At the same time, there is more to life than Berkeley Lab, and I decided to take my boat and go sailing.  So I retired, became gainfully unemployed, and quite enjoy the vagabond life.

On the boating side, my grandparents had boats, my parents had boats, and I was able to sail a dinghy back to the boat on mooring sometime around age 6.  That’s when my Dad untied the tether that held the dinghy to the big boat.  Now I was free to roam.

I bought my own first boat, a Newport 33, in 1989 – and discovered the Singlehanded Sailing Society in San Francisco.  These are people that are antisocial, smell bad, and are good sailors.  Great people to hang out with.  So I started racing with them.  If you want to learn how to make a boat perform well, start racing and figure out how to go a little faster than the boat that always beats you.

In 1996 I did my first Singlehanded TransPac race to Hanalei, on the Newport 33.  On the return trip back to San Francisco I designed a new boat interior that was bigger and better than the Newport… and in 1996 I found that boat: an IOR two ton named Motivation, based in San Diego.  I bought that boat, entirely replaced the interior (consisting of 12 pipe berths, a huge ice box, and a tiny galley) with my own interior, and renamed the boat Tiger Beetle.  And twenty years later I still have Tiger Beetle, and we (Beetle and I) continue to have fun out on the big blue pond.

Send a note along, if you’d like. I can pick up email when shore-side, and cannot receive notes left here when offshore. So it could be a little while before you receive a response…

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2 responses to “About Rob

  1. Nice pic Rob, your looking like a pirate!

  2. Hey Rob, we get three pages of text about the boat and one mug shot of you on the page about you. Let’s hear more about your sailing experience, passion, and dreams.

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