“On a nice weather weekend, about 80 percent of our business is from novice kayakers,” says Sea Trek manager Steve Hayward. “This is the best ‘soft’ launch location on the bay.” He also points toward Tiburon, Belvedere, Angel Island and the Golden Gate Bridge, destinations for more experienced sea kayakers. Another plus: Sausalito often enjoys sunny skies when the rest of the bay is fogged in.
Except for the recent Sunday when I was there. To the west, Alcatraz looked like a small fuzzball on a blurry horizon. And it was pretty chilly. So a two-and-a-half-hour tour of homes afloat seemed like the best option.
About half a dozen marinas are on this stretch of Marin County shoreline, so it’s easy to stay in sheltered water to get to these historic houseboat neighborhoods. One of the first houseboats I saw left me grasping for a description – mainly because I was never any good at geometry.
history and more info).
The term “historic” definitely applies to some of these craft, which show decades of exposure to wind and salt. But for the most part, this is one spiffy ‘hood -- skylights, solar heating panels, satellite dishes and even a dome or two. “Sunset” magazine once complimented this floating community for its attractive container gardens. Somewhere, an old salt spun in his watery grave.
The kayak launch beach is tucked into Schoonmaker Point Marina, which has public restrooms and limited public parking. Sea Trek Ocean Kayaking Center has a fine Web site with clear driving directions to the beach, and the outfitter offers a variety of tours and services for both novice and experienced paddlers. Even though I brought my own kayak, Sea Trek’s Steve Hayward was very helpful and gracious -- more on this in an upcoming post.
© 2010, Glenn Brank