Only two days to go before the Rob Moore Memorial Regatta, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t feeling stressed. The online auction is drawing quite a bit of interest, and I’ve been adding new items everyday — but there are numerous questions from bidders. We’ve been using email, Facebook, and Twitter to draw attention to the event, but it’s the kindness of friends that has really made a difference. Craig Leweck at Scuttlebutt has promoted the event to his very large audience, Latitude 38 has written about the event in the magazine and on Electronic Latitude, Chris Weaver is covering the event on NorCal Sailing, and Michelle Slade published an article in the Marin IJ. This morning Dee Smith copied me on the email he sent to his friends and colleagues:

“Hi All,

You all know I have tried my best to support cancer research over the last few years.  Mostly from working with the Leukemia Society, we have been able to raise some really good money.  This year I would like to put my efforts, though a bit late into the disease that I went down with, Lung Cancer.  Some of you might know that Lung Cancer is the biggest killer but because most people think it is a self inflicting it does not get much funding as other forms of cancer.  Some of you know my late friend Rob Moore.  He, like myself was a non smoker and he lost his battle over a year ago after a very well fought 2 year battle.  We have a chance to support Lung Cancer in Rob’s name. [Links to the auction site and BayAreaRacingFederation site]

Please feel free to look over the sites and give if you can.  There is a big regatta at Corinthian YC this weekend in San Francisco in Rob’s name.  They have around 140 boats and there will be big parties going on.  I just wish I could be there.

Thanks for your support



What makes this so special to me is that Dee has been living with lung cancer for five years — initially diagnosed as Stage IV, he now has no evidence of disease (NED as it’s known in these circles). Dee provided great support to Rob during his fight, and is continuing to support efforts that will improve the treatment options and survival rates for everyone who is diagnosed with lung cancer. Dee is a role model of hope for people living with lung cancer – one of the only 15% who live 5+ years.

Thanks to everyone who is helping to make the event, and our fundraising a big success!


The 1st Rob Moore Memorial Regatta is less than a week away! I have new-found respect for event planners — it’s been a full-time job, but a rewarding one. I am overwhelmed with the support our event has received from Rob’s friends — the items donated for our online auction and raffle are tremendous — check them out! All proceeds go directly to the National Lung Cancer Partnership.

Thank you to all our sponsors and donors!

With great sadness we just marked the first anniversary of Rob’s death. It was hard not to remember last year’s holidays – Rob’s leaving the hospital on Christmas eve for home hospice and his sister, Marnie, flying in the next day; a Christmas dinner of crab on the card table in his room with John and Jo Ann;  his Mom  and friend Stephen arriving few days later; and the sorrow we all felt on the afternoon of January 5th. But more than these sad memories, I think of the Rob we all knew and loved – his sharp wit, sparkling eyes, infectious smile, bushy red mustache, and determination to make the most of the time he had.

I’ve been blessed to have such amazing family and friends to support me and each other during the past year. I cannot adequately express the gratitude I feel for all of you!

Here’s to 2013 — may we all enjoy health and happiness, and make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate.

Happy New Year!

Some memories of Rob, his family, and friends…

After a long break from blogging I’m reinvigorated! It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost one year since Rob died – the time has gone quickly, and I’m very fortunate to have had amazing support from family and friends. I’ve been carrying out Rob’s wishes that his frequent flier miles not go to waste — traveling to the Caribbean, Lopez Island, Utah, Rhode Island / Vermont, and most recently, Myanmar and Thailand (more on that amazing adventure later).

Now it’s time to focus on carrying out some of Rob’s other wishes. I’m excited to announce that the Corinthian Yacht Club, where Rob was a long-time honorary member, has dedicated one day, February 16, 2013, of their annual Midwinter Regatta series to be the Rob Moore Memorial Regatta. Over the years, Rob was instrumental in many aspects of this highly popular race series, from serving as PRO, writing sailing instructions, and maybe most importantly, widely promoting the event with his broad network of sailing friends. In 2010 and 2011, even as he was beaten up from chemo, he felt an obligation to support the club that had been so good to him over the years by emailing and calling potential participants. Over the years he had seen the evidence that the personal touch had a direct impact on the number of boats on the starting line.

It was Rob’s wish to support CYC and local sailing in a meaningful way, and prior to his death we decided to endow a perpetual trophy in Rob’s memory, and to continue to support CYC’s race efforts – especially the Midwinter Regatta. It was also Rob’s wish to continue to support lung cancer research, which despite being the leading cause of cancer deaths, is one of the most under-funded.  So, to support these two wishes, I have been working with Michael Moradzadeh, the Race Council and the flag at CYC, and a small group of Rob’s sailing friends (who years ago, during a beer making endeavor, came up with the idea for the Bay Area Racing Federation) to develop what we intend to be the annual Rob Moore Memorial Regatta.

As you know, Rob had some very strong opinions about local sailboat racing – particularly beercan racing. Despite being an incredibly competitive sailor, he authored the often reprinted “10 Commandments of Beercan Racing” which initially appeared in Latitude 38 in May 1989.

  1. Thou shalt not take anything other than safety too seriously. If you can only remember one commandment, this is the one. Relax, have fun, and keep it light. Late to the start? So what. Over early? Big deal. No instructions? Improvise. Too windy? Quit. Not enough wind? Break out the beer. The point is to have fun, but stay safe. Like the ad says, “Safe boating is no accident.”
  2. Thou shalt honor the racing rules if thou knowest them. The US Sailing Racing Rules, unless specifically stated elsewhere in the Sailing Instructions, is the current rules bible. Few sailors we know have actually studied it cover to cover: it’s about as interesting as reading tax code or the phone book. For beer can racing, just remember some of the biggies (port tack boats shall avoid starboard ones; windward boats shall avoid leeward ones; and outside boats shall give room at the mark). Stay out of the way of bigger boats, pay your insurance premiums and keep a low profile unless you’re sure you know what you’re doing. Like most things, it boils down to common sense.
  3. Thou shalt not run out of beer. Beer (a.k.a., brewskis, chill pills, thought cylinders) is the beverage that lends its name to ‘beer can’ racing; obviously, you don’t want to run out of the frothy nectar. Of course, you can drink whatever you want out there, but there’s a reason these things aren’t called milk bottle races, Coca-Cola can races, hot chocolate races or something else. Just why beer is so closely associated with this kind of racing escapes us at the moment, but it’s a tradition we’re happy to go along with.
  4. Thou shalt not covet thy competitor’s boat, sails, equipment, crew or PHRF rating. No excuses or whining; if you’re lucky enough to have a sailboat, just go use it! You don’t need the latest in zircon-encrusted widgetry or unobtanium sailcloth to have a great time out on the water with your friends. Even if your boat’s a heaving pig, make modest goals and work toward improving on them from week to week. Or don’t – it’s only beer can racing.
  5. Thou shalt not amp out. No screaming, swearing, or overly aggressive tactics. Save that stuff for the office or, if you must, for Saturday’s ‘real’ race. If you lose it in a Friday nighter, you’re going to run out of crew – not to mention friends – in a big hurry. Downing a quick chill pill on the way to the starting line has been medically proven to have a calming influence on the nerves.
  6. Thou shalt not protest thy neighbor. This is extremely tacky at this level of competition and should be avoided at all costs. Perhaps it’s justifiable if one’s boat is damaged and blame needs to be established, but on the whole, tossing a red flag is the height of bad taste in something as relatively inconsequential as a beer canner. Besides proving that you’re unclear on the concept of beer can racing, it screws up everybody’s evening, including yours. Don’t do it – it’s bad karma.
  7. Thou shalt not mess up thy boat. Everybody knows some hardcore weekend warrior who ripped his sails up in a Friday night race and had to sit out the champion-ship race on Saturday. The point is that it’s not worth risking your boat and gear in such casual competition: like the song says, you got to know when to hold ’em, and know when to fold ’em. Avoid other boats at all costs, not to mention buoys and other hard objects. If you have the luxury of two sets of sails, use the old ones.
  8. Thou shalt always go to the yacht club afterwards. Part of the gestalt of beer can races is bellying up to the yacht club bar after the race. Etiquette demands that you congratulate the winners, as well as buy a round of drinks for your crew. Besides, the bar is a logical place to see old friends and make new ones. However, when meeting new sailors, avoid the gung-ho, overly serious types who rehash the evening in such gory detail that the post mortem (yawn) takes longer than the race. As much as we enjoy a quick romp around the cans, there’s more to life.
  9. Thou shalt bring thy spouse, kids, friends and whoever else wants to go. Twilight races are great forums for introducing new folks to sailing, such as your neighbors, out-of-town visitors, co-workers or maybe even the family dog. Always bring your significant other along, too – coed crews are happy crews. And don’t just make the newcomers watch – give them a job on the boat. Get everyone involved.
  10. Thou shalt not worry; thou shalt be happy. Leave the cell phone in the car, bring the ghetto blaster. Lighten up, it’s not the Big Boat Series. Have fun, and we’ll see you out there!

In keeping with these Commandments, we intend for this to be a fun event which will also help to raise money for lung cancer research (supporting the National Lung Cancer Partnership).  I will post more details here as we have them, but we promise good racing, nice trophies, a fantastic raffle, and much more.  Please spread the word and help us make this a successful inaugural event!


It’s hard to believe it’s already June. Rob died five months ago Tuesday, coinciding with the ephemeral transit of Venus. As I have recently been playing around with time lapse and long exposure photography, the convergence of these two events spurred me to head to Mt. Tam with my camera, solar filter, John and Jo Ann, and some of Rob’s ashes. We hiked to O’Rourke’s Bench and set up our transit viewing rigs. John used his spotting scope to project the sun’s image for safe viewing — and there it was, a small blip on the upper right side of the sun which evolved into a fully round image of Venus.

Jo Ann and John watching the transit as projected by a spotting scope.

Venus begins its transit across the face of the moon – an event that won’t occur again until 2117.

The transit after approximately 50 minutes.

A 50 minute time lapse composite.

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory shows Venus as it nears the disk of the sun.

We concluded our viewing by scattering some of Rob’s ashes at O’Rourke’s Bench — one of his favorite spots on Mt. Tam — and a place the four of us had enjoyed together. Good memories.

Southern Utah was one of Rob’s favorite playgrounds. From Arches National Park to The Four Corners area where Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah meet, there are an incredible number of natural and historic wonders. Rob was a frequent visitor to the area after Steve Rubey and his late wife Ivaly built a home at Pack Creek Ranch south of Moab.

Rob at Four Corners, May 2006.

Hiking in the area is a treasure hunt, with Anasazi ruins, petroglyphs and pictographs to find, and incredible rock formations around every turn.

Hiking near Moab, May 2006.

Maybe our ancestors were aliens…

During a recent trip to Utah to visit my family in Salt Lake City, I met up with Steve and his girlfriend Kathryn for a quick stop in Moab and then a couple of nights in Bluff before they headed off on a rafting trip down the San Juan river. We took the opportunity to hike to the Butler Wash Anasazi ruins and sprinkle some of Rob’s ashes at the prehistoric site that dates back to ~1200 AD. Steve recited the Navajo Blessing Way Prayer and we hugged and cried knowing Rob would be pleased that a part of him was joining the Ancient Ones.

In beauty may I walk.
All day long may I walk.
Through the returning seasons
may I walk.
On the trail marked with pollen
may I walk.
With grasshoppers about my feet
may I walk.
With dew about my feet may I walk.
With beauty may I walk.
With beauty before me, may I walk.
With beauty behind me, may I walk.
With beauty above me, may I walk.
With beauty below me, may I walk.
With beauty all around me,
may I walk.
In old age wandering on a trail of
beauty, lively, may I walk.
In old age wandering on a trail of
beauty, living again, may I walk.
It is finished in beauty.
It is finished in beauty.

Some of Rob’s ashes were sprinkled from this cliff overlooking the ruins (in the alcoves).

Closeup of one of the alcoves.

Steve and Kathryn.

Look closely among the rocks and you’ll be surprised with tiny wildflowers.

Most appropriately, yuccas were in bloom along the trail to the ruins. In the background, one of the combs of Comb Ridge.

The Golden Gate Bridge isn’t the only San Francisco Bay icon celebrating its 75th birthday this year — Hank Easom’s Yucca is also celebrating its 75th brithday. While a significant celebration is planned for later in the year, Hank and many of his regular crew and family members had a lovely sail on Sunday. Hank entered the StFYC boat parade, part of the celebration of the Golden Gate Bridge’s 75th anniversary, and we were the only sailboat that actually sailed. We tacked back and forth between the power boats on our way upwind to the bridge, and flew Hank’s new 75th birthday spinnaker back along the city front and in front of StFYC. Probably not exactly what the StFYC parade organizers had in mind, but who can blame us for sailing!

Photo taken by SF Chronicle photographer Paul Chinn as we sailed in front of StFYC with the new kite.

Kevin got a break from the foredeck!

A beautiful day and great friends on Yucca.

We weren’t the only ones showing off on Sunday — John Kostecki skippered an Oracle AC45 and put on a good show. Also out for the celebration was the S.S. Jeremiah O’Brien, one of two remaining WW II Liberty Ships.

The old and the new.

Oracle, the brigde, and the USS Nimitz.

Oracle, the bridge, and the USS Nimitz in the background.

We capped off a wonderful day on the bay with a cookout at Hank’s house in the Tiburon hills — from which we had a terrific view of the bridge celebration fireworks. I experimented with long exposures and video — a short video clip is on YouTube.

The fireworks began with a curtain of fire.

Spectacular Golden Gate Bridge 75th anniversary fireworks.

Golden Gate Bridge 75th anniversary fireworks.

Rob would have loved this day…

A smile lingers on my face as I look back at the photos from my time with Jim and Debbie aboard Morpheus in April. It was the first time in many, many months that I was able to relax and get away from the stress of day-to-day issues. As we left Antigua to return to St. Maarten, we celebrated Rob’s many joyous times sailing here with friends. With a beer toast, hugs and tears we sprinkled some of Rob’s ashes in the crystal blue waters.

Latitude 16.975860 Longitude -61.783161

The past few months have been overwhelming with so many things to deal with — finances, taxes, fixing / selling / or renting Rob’s Sausalito condo, and a myriad of other deferred tasks. Hank encouraged me to think about getting away from it all for a couple of weeks, and every time I spoke with him he would ask me if I’d been in touch with Jim and Debbie about joining them in cruising mode aboard Morpheus in the Caribbean. With everything I had to do it was hard to figure out how I could get away.  But Hank was persistent, and when I finally contacted Jim it turned out that they had a window of a few weeks between their last guest (Debbie’s sister) and their northbound departure for  Bermuda and Newport. I could even be of use to them and mule some boat parts and other odds and ends with me. So, on March 28th I flew to St. Maarten, and was greeted at the airport by Debbie. A short taxi and dinghy ride later I was aboard Morpheus. It was sad to be on the boat without Rob — but he was there with us in many ways.

I could go on and on about what a wonderful time I had as we went from St. Maarten to St. Barths to Antigua and back to St. Maarten —  daily swimming and snorkeling off the stern of the boat, beautiful beaches, rum drinks and great food, my morning 4-6am watch as we sailed to and from Antigua under a full moon — but I will tell those stories in my next post. This post is dedicated to Ita, a miniature long-haired dachshund who left San Francisco aboard Morpheus in October 2010, and has been in cruising mode ever since.

Thanks, Ita, for all the cuddles and puppy kisses — very good therapy!

I’ve been terribly remiss in writing over the last few weeks — not just the blog, but email as well. So my apologies to all. So much has happened since I last wrote, but let me start with Rob’s Celebration of Life. Over 250 people were packed into the Corinthian Yacht Club ballroom on a sunny February 12th to remember their time with Rob. As many of the speakers reiterated, Rob’s humble nature (“I’m not worthy!”) made him uncomfortable being the center of attention. Yet on this day, there he was, front and center in everyone’s memories.

Thank you so much to everyone who attended. The day was a bit of a blur for me and it wasn’t until I looked at the name tags a couple of days later that I realized all the people who were there, but I never saw – it brought tears to my eyes.

I especially want to thank Michael Moradzadeh for serving as the emcee. He did so with the perfect combination of solemnity and humor that Rob would have appreciated. I also thank him for all his efforts in coordinating the event with CYC. My heartfelt thanks — and those of Rob’s family too — go out to all the speakers; Jim Gregory, John Riise, Jim Bateman, Hank Easom, John Collins, Peter English, Suzanne Harle, and Steve Richter. They each had a unique perspective on their relationship with Rob, including wonderful stories and insights. Unfortunately there wasn’t much time for impromptu speakers, but thanks to the few who did speak; David Robinson, John Arndt, Doug Partridge, and Chris Lewis. I invite everyone to share their stories in the comments section of the blog.

A few photos of the speakers (low res frame grabs from the DSLR video I attempted, mostly unsuccessfully).

Also included below are images of some of the poster boards Jo Ann, Marnie and I put together from photos in Rob’s collection, and photos I’ve taken over the past eight years.

Rob and his family over the years.

Rob's early sailing days started with a camp sailing award in 1965!

Can anyone identify the top right photo? There is so much joy in those faces – I would love to know who that is with Rob, and who took the photo!

Rob's favorite place - our yurt on Lopez Island, WA.

Hiking - the Vernal-Almonte hiking club formation, Mt. Tam, the Lost Coast, and Moab.

Sailing on Yucca and Morpheus - Rob's favorite local rides also included Soozal which in my haze I neglected to include.

Sailing on Moneypenny, Arethusa, and Katrina - wonderful programs that that included regattas in Sardinia, St. Tropez, Cowes, Antigua, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, the BVI, Block Island, Newport, Martha's Vineyard, and an epic delivery (Katrina) from Southern California to St. Maarten.

It was a special day filled with laughter, tears, family, and friends. Thank you all.