Friday, September 23, 2016

Floating Homes Tour 2016 – WE'RE SOLD OUT

Advance Registration for the 2016 Floating Homes Tour is now closed. 


A limited number of tickets will be available on tour day – Saturday September 24 – at $60 each. 

Park at Gateway Center and take a free shuttle to Kappas Marina to purchase your tickets.

Floating in Sausalito – another perfectly beautiful day

The late Larry Moyer graces the
cover of Floating in Sausalito
In 2013, two Swedes – journalist Lars Åberg and photographer Lars Strandberg – spent time in Sausalito collecting their impressions of our floating home community. The result, Floating in Sausalito, written in English and released earlier this year by the German publisher Kerber Verlag, is now available in the US.

Short-listed in the book category for the Swedish Design Prize, the winners will be announced October 20 during a special ceremony at Sweden's Museum of Modern Art (Moderna Museet) in Stockholm. (Their book, West, won the Swedish Design Prize in 2012.)

Floating in Sausalito documents a specific moment in our floating community – told from a personal perspective – while remaining anchored by the inclusion of our local and common history. This beautifully printed 240-page book is dense with observations, encounters and photos.

We asked Lars Åberg for his reflections on the experience, along with a few images. We couldn't have received a better introduction to their work. This is the story of how Floating in Sausalito came into being.

"The other Lars - Strandberg, the photographer - and I have traveled extensively through the American West, and in 2011 we had our book 'West' published in the United States. 'West' received lots of fine reviews, which inspired us to look for new topics to explore. During one of our trips to California we had, almost by coincidence, stumbled upon a café in Sausalito and learned about the houseboat community. As we wandered around in this neighborhood, seeing all the colorful creations and briefly encountering some of the residents, we instinctively knew that this was a place we would like to return to.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Unsung Heroes of the Floating Home Community

Issaquah Dock Alert / farewell to Ric Miller & Malia Daily

photo by Court Mast
by Leni Miller, #51 Issaquah

On Sunday afternoon, September 18, the weather complied and the drinks flowed as an exceptionally large crowd gathered for a traditional Issaquah “Dock Alert” to bid two longtime residents farewell. Ric Miller and partner, Malia Daily, are moving to live in Palm Springs, wander the southwest deserts, and sample life in other parts of the country.

Ric is well known for his panoramic photographs (FOLLOW THIS LINK TO Ric Miller Fine Art Photography). He's less well known for his connection with the Epic Efforts* – the efforts made by the floating homes community to create and foster thru numerous local, state, and federal review and approval processes; and to advise and monitor thru the permitting and construction process – what we know today as the Waldo Point Harbor Reconfiguration.

Here is what happened. The year was 1998:

Ric was President of the FHA. There was great concern over the fact that our BCDC (San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission) permits were about to expire and no solution to the “settlement agreement” (a legal settlement between WPH, Gates Cooperative, BCDC, Marin County, & State Lands) – at least not one that did not severely and negatively impact the residents – was in place.

Several community leaders had tried to get movement on this effort for years, so to amplify their efforts, a Waldo Point Harbor Residents Committee (WPHRC) was formed as a joint effort between the FHA and Harbor Equity Group (HEG) to find a solution that would be acceptable to all parties. This solution was called the Community Development Plan (CDP).

You can read about this multi-decade Epic Effort HERE. Numerous floating home residents participated in and contributed to the final plan, which was then selected as one of the first community-inspired and community-driven plans to be approved by the BCDC.

Ric was one of the community leaders of the task force, involving many people, that for years worked on developing a community reconfiguration plan that sought to be fair to all concerned. It is the plan we are now enjoying. Trust me when I say there were other plans none of us would have wanted.

Ric’s leadership for 20 years includes holding several officer positions with the FHA and as a board member and Chairman of Harbor Equity Group.

So …thank you Ric for all that you have done for our community. We will miss you. And Malia, your bright and ebullient personality will also be missed.

You promised that you’d come back to visit, so we will not say goodbye, but see you later.

*addendum for a detailed history, saluting all the players – written by Pam Bousquet for the Nov/Dec 2013 Floating Times GO HERE  Waldo Point Harbor Residents Committee Reunion  

(more photos after the break)

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The RBRA Moving Forward

Post and photos by Teddie Hathaway
Discussion at the Richardson's Bay Regional Agency (RBRA) meeting on Thursday Sept 15 centered around the report of Rod Gould, the consultant hired to make suggestions on how the RBRA should move forward.

In a nutshell Gould said that the RBRA should not break up, and that jurisdictions accomplish more for less money if they stay together.

However, he said that the RBRA cannot accomplish what it is tasked to do with the funds and staff they now have. He said the priorities should be: removal of marine debris, more emphasis on registration and documentation of the boats now in the anchorage, removal of the unattended moorings and floats, and removal of businesses operating on the water illegally.

Sausalito still believes that they are paying more than their share of the costs. The harbormaster’s report included a list of 17 boats removed from the waters since June at a cost of $12,111. The anchor-out spokesmen pointed out that two of those boats were brought in by them so there was only disposal cost to the RBRA. Harbormaster Bill Price also indicated the RBRA has received grants, from Vallejo and San Mateo harbor districts to be used for removal of boats, that should cover most of the costs for the rest of this year.

So, over the weekend we took our Boston Whaler out to take a look. The situation has definitely improved. There were boats running the gamut from this beauty to this not so beautiful, and everything in between. We’re better off than we were a year ago, but there is still work to be done.

Note: in separate but related business – immediately following on the above meeting of the RBRA in the City Council Chambers – the Sausalito City Council convened in the same City Chambers, where Sausalito Mayor Jill Hoffman provided an update regarding the RBRA subcommittee and announced that there will be a City-wide forum on November 12 at 6pm at the Spinnaker regarding the RBRA.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Tour Still Needs a Few Good Men and Women

A few volunteer spots are still open for our 9/24 Tour – primarily traffic, ramp monitors and alternates. Each volunteer receives a special pass to visit any and all homes on the Tour plus a free commemorative t-shirt like one of these. The tee-shirt – blue for Tour Organizers, white for Volunteers – features this iconic design, created in 1997 by West Pier resident Marling Mast.

Emily Riddell wears a Tour Coordinator Tee

Jen Gennari wears a Volunteer Tee – photo by Emily Riddell
There will also be a free volunteer thank-you party immediately following the tour, with live music, drinks and munchies catered by Whole Foods.

To find out more about these assignments and to sign up for a specific position, please go online to click here SIGN UP and register. (helpful hint: to focus on the jobs where volunteers are needed, click the box 'Hide Full Spots')

Or contact Volunteer Coordinator Kay Horne by email at Be sure to let us know if you have any physical limitations.

Friday, September 16, 2016

What To Do With Our Piles of Obsolete Electronics

Brandes Superior Matched Tone Headphones circa 1919-1920
An early set used in radio; headphones = head + phones.
Itching to clear out some of your electronics? Items past their useful life or simply cluttering up your already storage-challenged floating home? Grab a cardboard box or tote and start piling up any electronics you no longer use. Bring your e-waste to the pop-up collection point at the corner of the Waldo Point Harbor parking lot – where Bridgeway meets Gate 6 Road – Saturday October 22 – from 9am to 3pm.

The launch of the new Apple iPhone 7 means e-waste is suddenly in the news. If you haven't been following, Apple, in its shift towards wireless technology, has jettisoned the headphone jack, and cable-connected headphones as we know them, in favor of wireless earbuds and headphones, along with updated (lightning connector) headphones. The new technology conjures up visions of e-waste: mountains piled high as currently available headphones and earbuds – with their tangle of cables – become out-dated and tossed aside.

It's the nature of electronic goods to evolve. Think back to the first iPods, or further to the Walkman. Going back even further, headphones have been in use for over 100 years. The phone jack dates back to the late 1800s and the name itself derives from the reason it was invented in the first place – for use in telephone exchanges. So just as manually-operated switchboards are a thing of the past, the headphones in use today will continue to evolve until they too become obsolete.

How we handle e-waste into the future will become an increasingly pressing question. In the meantime, we have it in our means to keep much of our electronic waste out of landfill and redirect the materials towards a second life – through e-waste recycling.

This e-waste collection is a joint venture between the Conservation Corps North Bay, the FHA and the FHA Environmental Committee. Click on this link to view the earlier post, or to check what is or what isn't eligible to be recycled: Save the Date: e-Waste Collection Oct 22

Click on any of the terms used above – headphones, phone jack, telephone exchanges  – to go to the corresponding Wikipedia page.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Charles Van Damme Ferry Project is On a Roll

CLICK this image to enlarge
Among the WPH works-in-progress – (see the recent post: Waldo Point Project Update) – is the development of the Waldo Point Park, at Gate 6 Road. Nestled into the elbow where Issaquah joins the area adjacent the newly constructed Charles Van Damme floating pier – (the area that was the COOP) – the park will contain an observation pier and plans are to include several restored CVD artifacts: the steam stack and the paddlewheel – the latter featuring an integrated educational exhibit.

Judyth Greenburgh, co-founder and one of the organizers for the CVD project, writes:

There are several opportunities to find out more about the Charles Van Damme ferry’s exciting progress and ways to support the efforts to restore the recently saved 100-year-old Ferry Boat's artifacts (the paddlewheel and steam stack) and place them on public display in the new Waldo Point Park at Gate 6 road.

1. Steering crew recruitment meeting:
- Wednesday September 21st at 65 Liberty Dock at 6.30pm.
- please RSVP at
2. Floating home Association tour – Saturday September 24th:
– a booth explaining the projects, telling the history & sharing the plans.
– tickets will be on sale for the Charles Van Damme Centennial celebration at the Seahorse
3. Charles Van Damme Centennial celebration at the Seahorse – come and celebrate with us:
– Friday November 18th at the Seahorse
– featuring a grand line up of bands (Joe Tate, Fiver Brown and Jerry Hannan ) an exhibition and a Story Booth to record your memories of the ferry boat
 – proceeds will go towards the restoration fund
4. – Don’t worry if you are unable to do any of this but want to still participate or donate
– by visiting you can learn more.
The is our fiscal sponsor enabling us to qualify for non profit 5013c status.

I can be reached at the following numbers: 1 (760) 876-9123 (telephone)
–– 1 (415) 331-5483 (pager) –– and 1 (415) 272-3611 (mobile). 

I live 9hrs away! I commute 1 week amonth to run this project
– that’s also why I need help from a team of people. –– Judyth Greenburgh

link to the Mark Prado MarinIJ article published August 14, 2016: 

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Waldo Point Harbor Project Update

Dan Hughes, WPH project manager, provided the following update for the state of the multiyear reconfiguration of Waldo Point Harbor and the Gates Cooperative. For back history, please read about it here.


The Coop homes are moving to the new Charles Van Damme floating dock, and several now call the south side of the CVD dock home. The crane barge has been brought in to the lagoon area north of the CVD, around the Appleton Ark, to remove debris in the mud and to place piles for finger piers and home tie-offs. This effort should be completed within the next couple of months. The last small segment of the sheet pile wall, in front of and around the Appleton Ark, is also going to be installed in the next couple months.

Once the sheet pile wall is installed and the debris cleared and Coop homes have been moved, Dan says they can prepare the area immediately outside the wall for wetland improvement. This is a project requirement and must be done from both the water side and land side. The future park cannot be started until the wetland area is complete.

As of early September 2016, the timeline for improvements is as follows: the home moves to CVD and debris cleanup in the Coop/CVD area will take place through winter into spring; once complete, the wetland improvement can happen (spring 2017) with the start of the park improvement occurring thereafter (summer 2017).

The gravel entrance to the CVD parking lot will be left unpaved for construction access to the park so no new paving is damaged during park construction activities. Once the park is completed, the observation pier will be installed (the public access dock off the park point). The final paving will then be done in/around the park and the CVD parking entrance.

Main Dock moves are ongoing. Dan says they are preparing the next space in the coming months and attempting a regular schedule for home moves. Main Dock residents will be contacted well before any planned moves of their homes to coordinate their home move.

Dan writes, “We are hopeful that the major improvements will be completed by the end of 2017. We will then enter the ‘final’ or ‘closeout’ period where we'll need to have inspections, and a punch-list review, etc. with all the necessary permitting agencies (Marin County, City of Sausalito, BCDC). That will likely run through 2018 with miscellaneous closeout-type small activities going on here and there as required by those agencies.”

Friday, September 9, 2016

Bodies Needed For CERT Training October 1 & 8

CERT training offers hands-on drills. Photo by Larry Clinton
Caught your attention, huh?

We're not looking for dummies – live or otherwise.

What we need are 5 or 6 more people to sign up for the CERT training course taking place in less than a month's time.

The 18-hour training is split over two consecutive Saturdays – October 1 and 8, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. – with the individual cost ($45) covered by the FHA (upon completion).

If we manage to hit the 25-person mark, the second day of training will take place at the Kappas Green and on one of the docks. The value of this to us is immeasurable. In addition to the usual skills and information – standard for any CERT training – we'll receive emergency response training tailored to our specific needs and life on the water. Those who have previously been through CERT training are encouraged to join the group on Day Two.

Community Emergency Response Team ( CERT )

Contact Flo Holman, Emergency Preparedness Chair  415 332-1043

links to previous CERT posts:

(originally scheduled for June, the training is now taking place in October)

Friday, September 2, 2016

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Save the Date: e-Waste Collection Oct 22

The Conservation Corps North Bay has teamed with the Floating Homes Association to host an e-waste collection day. The event will take place two months from now: Saturday October 22, in the Waldo Point Harbor parking lot where Bridgeway meets Gate 6 Road. Watch this space for further details.

Get sorting, and collecting – the better to be ready on the day. Items NOT part of the e-waste recycling effort can be disposed of by consulting the drop-off points listed on the Environmental page of the FHA website CLICK HERE.

The CCNB is partnered with ECSan
e-waste recycler,
to ensure all 
e-waste is 
properly recycled.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Waterside Numbers

Why install waterside numbers? IF we had to carry out a water rescue, or needed to remove people from the waterside, the Marine Patrol could more easily find the home. IF we had a fire on a dock we might find we'd need to remove people by water. And IF an earthquake took down one or more docks, we might be helping injured people from the waterside or bringing supplies to a home via the same means.  CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO ENLARGE

A lot of 'IF's, but wouldn't you rather be safe than sorry? So far roughly 180 homes have opted to install the numbers. While one dock has all but one home participating, most docks have numbers for at least 1/3 of the homes. Not a bad start at all. 

If you would like to participate, you can request numbers from your Dock Rep or contact Flo Hoylman: The FHA is picking up the tab for the 3.5" reflective aluminum numbers – one way the FHA is working to make our community safer.

Thanks to Flo Holman, chair of the Emergency Preparedness committee for recognizing the need for waterside numbers, and then organizing the effort. Additional emergency preparedness info is posted on the FHA website: CLICK HERE TO VIEWAnd a final reminder: in planning for an emergency, the only way off the docks might be via water.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

FHA Board Meeting Notes – July 18, 2016

To keep everyone up to date on what the FHA Board has been doing, here’s a bullet list of the important and interesting things that happened at the July 18, 2016 Board Meeting:

  • Our webmaster is developing a comprehensive community map for the website.
  • The Conservation Corps North Bay (CCNB) has offered to partner with the FHA to host our own E-waste Collection Day. (See the blogpost – CLICK HERE)
  • The Environmental Committee will create a list of where various items can be recycled.
  • Twenty-one people attended the free First Aid class on June 25
  • Dock reps should let Flo know if they need more waterside numbers for their dock.
  • A CERT training is scheduled for October 1 and October 8, 2016. If we get 25 people to attend, we can have the sessions on one of our docks. Those who pass this training will be reimbursed by the FHA for the course fee.
  • Revised FHA by-laws were approved, and will be posted on the website.
  • Larry Clinton will create a flier about the blog that will go up on dock bulletin boards. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Insuring your Floating Home – For What It's Worth

Photo by Ron Moreland

When it comes to life on the water one quickly learns that what we take for granted – as normal – is rarely ever viewed the same on land. Home insurance is no exception. Over the years Ron Moreland has compiled a comprehensive guide to the ins and outs of insuring our floating homes, laid out in such a way as to make navigating our insurance options as clear as possible. While very little has changed since the last update in early 2015 – an incorrect phone number was fixed and an agent who is no longer around has been eliminated – the basic info on the insurance itself remains the same. That said, it's always a good idea to revisit this information every few years. New people have moved into the community and the old timers may have forgotten some of this stuff.

To read the article INSURANCE FOR FLOATING HOMES in its entirety CLICK HERE.