An Exploration of Boating Culture in Marin County with Captain Rob

view of underside of golden gate bridge from sailboat

In Marin County, maritime culture is a sort of second nature to us. A peninsula nestled among the waves of the Pacific Ocean, San Francisco Bay, Richardson Bay and San Pablo Bay, there’s a rich boating lifestyle that has settled amidst our shores, harbors and coves. 

Home to Maximus community The Cove at Tiburon, Marin County’s life on the water is deeply ingrained into the lifestyle and culture. Among our waterfront residences at The Cove especially, waking up right on the Tiburon shoreline with access to a private marina on Richardson Bay makes for a perfect locale to pursue sailing, kayaking and paddleboarding and a full breadth of watersports. 

At The Cove, Captain Rob is our resident Boat Captain and Event Planner, and often whisks residents away on private sailing tours on his own boat at the marina. It is quite apt that The Cove’s residential “social ambassador” is a boat captain, as anyone drawn to Tiburon would be sure to seek out private chartered adventures and fabulous boat parties. We sat down with Captain Rob to learn more about maritime festivities, local know-how and what it’s like to live at The Cove at Tiburon.

split picture man in sunglasses on sailboat on SF bay, and view to golden gate bridge from starboard

Could you describe your role at The Cove?

My official title is “Harbormaster and Director of Activities” and my primary responsibilities are managing and maintaining The Cove’s marina and working with the Community Relations Management Group on various activities offered at the Cove. I also run a sailing charter business from the marina, primarily focused on taking Cove residents and their guests sailing on the San Francisco Bay.


We heard you teach kayaking and paddle boarding. What’s the full range of water sports you instruct?

In my past I have been a competitive swim team coach as well as a certified SCUBA instructor. I also taught some sailing and windsurfing during my college days. The primary goal for my kayak and SUP classes at The Cove, beyond a simple introduction of the activity, is to help our residents understand the local tides here on Richardson Bay. It’s important each resident have a basic understanding of the varying water depth due to the tidal changes and to only stay in the channel just before very low tides.


What is the boating culture like in Marin?

Much of Marin has easy access to the San Francisco Bay, where you can experience world class sailing and great local fishing and crabbing. Recreational pleasure cruising is very nice with great views of the Golden Gate bridge, Alcatraz, the city-front and etc. with a few places like Sam’s in Tiburon and Angel Island where you can dock for lunch. There is a great spot on the east side of Angel Island where many boats anchor out of the wind to just enjoy the sun and water.


What’s your favorite thing about Tiburon?

The local landscape and water views are incredible and I never get tired of them! I love the centralized location of the Cove, giving me easy access to the city, the beach, wine country, hiking, etc. 


Tell us about your boat and your private sailing tours!

The “Hawks Nest” is a 41’ Hunter 410 sloop that is perfect for charter sailing in the Bay. She is a big, beamy boat that is very comfortable for everyone aboard yet still sails incredibly well. She can handle nearly any condition we encounter on the Bay yet can easily be sailed by me alone — giving my guests the option of helping out in any manner they prefer, or just sitting back and enjoying the sail and the scenery. 

A charter sail is typically scheduled for at least 3 hours and on any given sail we sail along the Sausalito waterfront, maybe under the Golden Gate bridge, along the San Francisco waterfront, swing around Alcatraz, maybe run behind Angel Island, up through Racoon Straits between Tiburon and Angel Island, and then return in view of the luxury homes of Belvedere Island. The actual sail plan is always dependent on the conditions of day and the desire of the guests aboard and we can sail as aggressively or as casually as desired.


The Cove at Tiburon apartments and docked boats, viewed from water


What is your perspective on community-building?

One of my favorite aspects of this job is meeting and getting to know the residents within The Cove community. This is an incredible group  of people from all over the world and I’ve met so many kind and friendly people here. I truly enjoy offering this community great amenities such as high quality yoga and fitness classes, quality kayaks and SUPs, a fun and safe charter sailing business and enjoyable Cove parties and events.


What’s it like working with Maximus?

Since it is both my home and where I work, I appreciate that Maximus seems committed to creating a high quality residential environment at the Cove. Everyone I have met from Maximus has been kind, professional and committed to both their work and the company. 


What does boating culture mean to The Cove at Tiburon, and what does it mean in your own life?

The Cove is a particularly special community because of its proximity to the water and its beautiful marina. Kayaking and paddle boarding on Richardson’s Bay is an experience everyone here can have. Many residents have their own boats and use them regularly. I’ve been out with many residents for sailing, fishing trips, going crabbing, lunch at Sam’s in Tiburon, going to the Sausalito Cruising Club for drinks and snacks, or just having a boat party on the Bay or behind Angel Island.

To learn more about life at The Cove, visit our website here.