Wired Magazine has a really good article on the search for Jim Gray and his boat Tenacious and all the assets that were brought to bear on the search. All of us that have been touched and inspired by Jim still hold out hope that he will sail back into the harbor…
It looked like a fine day for a sail. On Sunday, January 28, 2007, Microsoft researcher Jim Gray woke up on his boat, a red 40-foot fiberglass cruiser called Tenacious. The water in Gashouse Cove, a cozy marina in San Francisco Bay, was nearly flat. The 63-year-old programmer phoned his wife, Donna Carnes, who was on an annual vacation with friends in Wisconsin. He said he was heading out to the Farallon Islands, a wildlife refuge 27 miles offshore, to scatter the ashes of his mother, Ann, who died in October.
Gray was one of the best and brightest in a generation of problem-solvers, and also one of the most humble. When conference hosts tried to introduce him as a database guru or god, he would say gently, “I’m just a programmer.” Even his disappearance proved to be an act of mentoring, providing a template for networked search-and-rescue methods that may save countless lives in the future. But for now, his family, friends, and colleagues at Microsoft, Amazon, Google, NASA, and laboratories all over the world are left unmoored.