The liveaboards of Sausalito, on San Francisco Bay, are a universe unto themselves. Passage Notes from our October 2011 issue.
John “Woody” Skoriak, delivery skipper, freelance writer, and yacht broker, also appreciates the surroundings he’s adopted for nearly two decades. “Sausalito is an entity unto itself,” he says. “There’s no place in the world where you can have such a beautiful waterfront around you without the development, as we have here. I’ve been in marinas all over the world and have never seen one without high-rises. Most marinas have shops and golf courses.”
Left: John Skoriak
From the cockpit of Pacific Harbors, the Ericson 38 he lives aboard at Schoonmaker Marina, he explained how municipal planning preserved the unique character of the waterfront. “This is a very unusual place,” he says, adding that zoning limits activity exclusively to marine and arts-related businesses.
Those factors, plus proximity to San Francisco and the lush Napa Valley wine region, contribute to its enduring appeal. “It’s a great place to live in and to come and go from,” John says. “It’s the normal state of affairs to be coming and going from Sausalito. What other people dream about is normal here.”
Tom Zinn, who’d returned last November after spending several years in Austin, Texas, enthusiastically echoes the sentiment. He’s settled back in, this time, in a slip at Sausalito Yacht Harbor, where he’s doing a minor refit aboard Walk the Line, his Beneteau First 405. He and a friend sailed the boat from Southern California. “We’d done a straight shot from Morro Bay, and when we got here, half of the people are the ones I knew years ago, in the 1990s,” he says. “Not a lot has changed.”
Left: Tom Zinn
The boat’s name gives a hint to Tom’s livelihood and life. A professional photographer with a background in computer software, he’s shot Grand Prix racing events, including the America’s Cup. He’s also worked in the commercial music industry, taking cover photos of bands and singers. He was listening to the radio shortly after he bought the Beneteau in San Diego, and when the famous Johnny Cash song came on, he started reflecting on life and a marriage that had recently ended. He thought: That’s the perfect name for my boat.
Now, when he’s not sailing in Northern California, he keeps busy working on the boat and looking for photographic subjects. Tom hopes that when the 34th America’s Cup comes to San Francisco in 2013, his well-established skills at photographing the unpredictable drama on the water will help him land a gig.