Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

CACM Article on technical aspects of search

Monday, June 27th, 2011

An article on the technical aspects of the search for Tenacious appears in the recent July 2011 issue of Communications of the ACM. Below is a note I wrote to some of the people involved — if it should have gone to you too, my apologies. And please go ahead and add your insights to the comments at the cacm website.

Hi everyone:
It’s been a very long time since I’ve written this group. But after years of pauses, delays and editing, the (shortened) article on our efforts to find Jim and Tenacious appears in this month’s Communications of the ACM.

I don’t think of this as an article that David and I wrote, more something that we wrote down, on behalf of us all. In the article I wanted to maintain the group spirit, and I had to deal with my spotty knowledge about the full effort. I don’t think any of us had the full picture, or ever will. So I explicitly avoided calling out individual volunteers by name. I would have made painful mistakes and imbalances had I tried to get that right. My apologies to you all for not capturing your contributions as accurately as they deserved. And for not including all the relevant people on even this email — please do forward along to your colleagues.

I also want to apologize for the delays getting this out. It shouldn’t have taken even half this long. And it should have come out far more clearly and simply. But there — it’s out now, and others will hopefully get some technical insight from the ingenuity and heart we all put into this, despite the delays and the writing.

I want to encourage you all to add your corrections and perspective to the article, either in the comment box at the end of the CACM link above, or in your own blogs or other online venues.

Best wishes to all.

Search status

Friday, February 16th, 2007

Since January 28, the San Francisco police, the Coast Guard and Jim’s friends and family have conducted an extensive search to find him and his sailboat, Tenacious, off the California coast. I want to summarize the status of that search here, so that the broad volunteer community that’s done so much knows where we stand.

The Coast Guard’s air and surface search covered 132,000 square miles in the days immediately following Jim’s disappearance. This search was thorough: Planes, boats and helicopters covered much of the region repeatedly. Radio broadcast alerts were made for a week, and all marinas and harbors were canvassed repeatedly. It found no trace of Tenacious or Jim.

During the Coast Guard search and in the days that followed it, Jim’s friends and family assembled satellite imagery, collected wind and current data and arranged for more air and surface searches over the ocean and coast from Oregon and into Mexico. We have walked stretches of coastline and have postered marinas with details on the missing boat. The story has drawn attention from around the world.

Based on our knowledge of the boat and weather conditions, we do not believe that Tenacious could have outsailed our search, whether it was under power, adrift, sailing under autopilot, or even sailing at best possible speed. We have covered an enormous area.

In the last several days, the Friends of Jim group has reviewed all the data with Coast Guard officials. The fact is that we have no evidence as to what has happened to Tenacious or to Jim Gray. Neither we nor the Coast Guard can come up with a surface search plan that is likely to find either Tenacious or Jim, given everything that has been done already.

Accordingly, the Friends of Jim group is suspending its active effort to find Tenacious that has been centered here at the blog. For both the Coast Guard and the Friends of Jim, “suspension” means that the active search has been discontinued due to exhausting all present leads and the lack of new information. Of course, should we or the Coast Guard receive any new information, we will investigate it.

Understandably, Jim’s family is determined to continue to seek answers, but they deserve to be able to pursue them privately. The family deeply appreciates everything the Coast Guard and Friends of Jim have done.

Jim’s wife Donna asked me to add this statement of thanks from her on behalf of the family:

On behalf of our entire family, I would like to thank every individual and organization who helped, and is continuing to help, in a long and difficult search. As the search takes on a new direction, I want you to know that your faith, hard work and boundless creativity sustain us during this unbearable time.

Jim is very lucky to have you as friends and colleagues, and we are very lucky and grateful to have your support.

Below, in the previous post to the blog, we have posted recent photos of Jim, photos of Tenacious at anchor and under sail, and an email address where you can send any information that could help us with our search. Coast Guard and San Francisco Police contact numbers are also listed.

  • The e-mail address is
  • The Coast Guard contact number is (415) 399-3547.
  • The San Francisco police department contact number is (415) 553-1071.

Thank you, one and all, for this amazing effort to find our Jim.

Contact information and photos

Friday, February 16th, 2007

Anyone with information about Tenacious or Jim Gray should contact:

  • The San Francisco Police Department at (415) 553-1071.
  • The US Coast Guard at (415) 399-3547.
  • Our search email address,

Jim was last seen on January 28, 2007. Here are several photographs of him and of his 40-foot C&C sailboat, Tenacious, sail number 31869.

Jim Gray

Jim Gray



postering status (2/13/07)

Tuesday, February 13th, 2007

Just wanted to provide a quick update on our postering
efforts over the past few days.

We got additional poster coverage at some of the big
marinas in San Diego and Los Angeles; some coverage at a Seattle
marina; and also in various places across Mexico. People that we
run into in SoCal seem to have heard about
JG by one channel or another — our phone calls, reading the
news/web, or seeing it on TV. For those who are still putting up
posters or wanting to, please do get in contact with me through I am still routing people to areas
that are under-covered.

Thanks are due to Tim Takata, Arun Jagatheesan, Minna Ha and Mike
Blaszczak for helping with posters and Gurrola Alberto for
helping us coordinate in Mexico.

As usual, one can see what we’re doing at:

Japanese, Chinese Posters Available

Saturday, February 10th, 2007

Thanks to the translators, the Missing posters, in Japanese & Chinese, are at

 Thank  you!


Help eeded: Japanese & Chinese translation of poster

Friday, February 9th, 2007

We want to take the poster at  to the docks to hand out to the people about to leave on freighters bound for China & Japan, so the people on deck will be looking out for the boat.  We think it would be good to have both a Japanese and a Chinese verson, since the workers on those boats are often Japanese or Chinese.  Is there someone who can volunteer to do this translation?


archive photo of tenacious under sail

Thursday, February 8th, 2007

From Donna, an older image of Tenacious under sail. See her notes below.

Note again: we never used the spinniker, so the photo is misleading if you think that sail would be up … The photo gives you the stat of the boat when we bought it; the radar deflector and radar system are not on it (for example). … this is the boat and how it looks, just replace the spinniker with a jib, and you’ve got the image.

33% reduction of tenacious image

Status update, Thursday morning

Thursday, February 8th, 2007

We’ve been working hard for the past few days, so I have been quieter here than usual. Joe Hellerstein posted a good update yesterday, but I’ll add a few things here.

First, the image and drift teams have been doing a phenomenal job in working through the data and ocean models. Their work is literally unprecedented — the collaboration crosses organizational boundaries and has produced valuable new information faster than any of us could have expected. As Joe said, we will continue to launch search flights as we are able, and we’ll use the science to focus our efforts.

Unfortunately, conditions are poor off the coast, so we do not expect to fly today. With limited visibility, a search would have a hard time finding Tenacious. Also, we want to make sure that the search crew is as safe as equipment and training can make it.

When there’s news here, we’ll pass it along promptly.

We announced yesterday that we’re extending the search further south, along the coast of Baja and Mexico. Our primary goal is to make sure that sailors, harbormasters and coastal residents are aware of our search and are looking out for Tenacious. Our high-tech search is an important avenue, but we don’t want to lose track of the importance of eyeballs on the water.

You can get a good digest of yesterday’s announcement from stories in the San Jose Mercury News and on the local NBC affiliate.

Tenacious Sail Number, CORRECTED

Thursday, February 8th, 2007

Donna Carnes reports that:

The sail number is 31869 (the blog says 31865 I think)

WE never had new sails made, but we have several mains. The one downstairs has the numbers in red with a black line under them. The one in the black and quite photo I have doesn’t appear to have the black line below the number. I am trying to find the original hardcopy color print out of the photo.

Marina Posters (2/7/07)

Wednesday, February 7th, 2007

We’ve made some inroads into Mexico! I believe that Maria is leading the charge there, so I will leave it to her to report on it. In the meantime, there are a few markers on the map representing spanish-language posters in Baja CA.

To facilitate involvement from the public, we have a “real-time” map available for browsing:

Here’s a snapshot:


If you live near an area that has not been assigned/postered by foot, and are willing to help, please post a comment. I have a an electronic package that I can send you which will make posting easy and effective.