The liveaboards of Sausalito, on San Francisco Bay, are a universe unto themselves. Passage Notes from our October 2011 issue.
At nearby Richardson Bay Marina, Adam Correa personifies that notion, and then some. Adam, a surfer and sailor, has bought and sold nearly a dozen boats, knocked off the Singlehanded TransPac 2010 in Blue Moon, an International Folkboat, and is contemplating doing another.
Yet these milestones pale in comparison to another. For a few years now, Adam’s convinced his girlfriend, Kathe Hashimoto, a fulltime photographer for the Gap, to abandon her landlubberly ways. The couple lives aboard his-and-her boats in neighboring slips.
Left: Hashimoto and Correa
“We were living in a studio apartment in a houseboat,” Kathe says over tea. “We were paying $1,000 a month for 300 square feet. Adam started to get the idea that we could live aboard the 26-foot boat he then owned. We’d be nose to nose, I told him. I said, ‘There’s no way I’m going to live on a boat!’”
To which Adam had the perfect rejoinder. On Craigslist he found Seahound, a 27-foot Cal T/2 that had “one or two keel-bolt issues, as in missing one or two,” Adam says. The rest is romantic history, for today Adam sets up house aboard Domino, a Wilderness 30, Kathe keeps her kit aboard the Cal, and they “commute” to and fro. In the winter of 2011, she sealed a deal on a Santana 30 to stoke her sailing fires.
“For me, it was checking out a lifestyle I’d never been privy to,” Kathe says. “I like everything just so. Adam likes to live in a very spartan fashion. We’ve got nearly 60 feet of waterline. Besides, Adam wants to do singlehanded races, and this way I won’t have to camp in the car.”
Besides helping the couple hone sailing skills, the other silver lining to the liveaboard life is that it’s good for the budget’s bottom line. Seahound cost $5, and in giving up apartments in San Francisco and in a houseboat, Kathe’s paid off $35,000 in debt. “I downgraded from apartments to a sailboat, but I’ve taken a step up in my career,” she says.
A dinner invitation was calling, so I bid this lively young couple farewell. I reflected over the adventures of all the liveaboards I met as I made my way back into the hills, to an Italian restaurant that contained its own olive oil press and a banquet room where a reception for instructors of expressive dance was the post-dinner entertainment. Clearly, I wasn’t in Sausalito anymore.
Elaine Lembo is CW’s deputy editor.