Friday, January 9, 2015

The Difference Adventuress Makes: Rob Upson

Rob Upson was transitioning out of a career in environmental chemistry when he came across Adventuress in Seattle. As so often happens, Rob fell in love with the ship. After several week-long stints as a volunteer, he came aboard to work in the galley in the winter of ’97 and as an educator/deckhand in the spring and summer of ’98. Of his time on Adventuress, he says, “I didn’t learn to sail on Adventuress, but I learned to be a sailor… [it was] such a formative moment in my life.”

Although initially reluctant to get involved in teaching, Rob felt galvanized by his time aboard Adventuress. He recalls that he “learned a lot about how people learn” on Adventuress. After leaving Adventuress, Rob went on to get his Masters in Teaching, teach science and math to high school students, and coach the award-winning Antilles Sailing Team. Because of his role as an educator on and off the ship, Rob says, “Adventuress affected not just me. I definitely would say it affected a lot of people.”

DeWitt's painting of Adventuress
hangs in Rob Upson's home.
Rob’s wife is related to well-known America’s Cup painter Jim DeWitt. Several years ago, after noticing that Jim painted mostly racing yachts, Rob suggested a painting of Adventuress. Rob now has a gorgeous painting of Adventuress hanging in his home. Thanks to Rob–and the link he provided to Jim DeWitt–Sound Experience reached out to Jim, who recently created two stunning paintings of Adventuress. Jim, an accomplished painter and sailor from the San Francisco Bay Area, has generously agreed to donate a portion of the proceeds from the paintings to Sound Experience. To find out more about purchasing one of the paintings, you can contact Pam at 510-236-1401 or

Although Rob now lives in the Virgin Islands, he continues to give generously to Sound Experience. He loves that the ship, which functions as a self-contained environment, teaches stewardship by acting as a metaphor for the planet. Despite his distance from Puget Sound, Rob supports Sound Experience because, “No matter where I am, I know it’s one of the best non-profits I’ve come across in terms of programming.” 

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