bay area housing crisis: a short video

I was contacted by Adam Wolffbrandt for an interview that would appear in a short video competition for the Hearst Foundation. The subject was the housing crisis in the Bay Area, something that completely flipped my life upside down. When living in Berkeley, I met so many others in my situation. Grad students, retired folks, teachers, designers, business owners, families. We all just wanted to live a decent life, and living on a boat was the only way to do so.

A former neighbor of mine (Ken) along with a family from Sausalito, and I all gave interviews. I am happy to report Adam won first place, and you can see the video below! [vimeo 129992972 w=500 h=281]

bla-bla-bla progressions

second wind


It’s time for another goodbye, but thankfully this one not as tearful as the last. My good friend Steve is moving up to Seattle to be closer to his girlfriend. When we met, we’d both just gotten into the boating thing. Since then, we’ve both gotten different boats and have big dreams for life on the water. It’s so wonderful to not only see so much progress in an adventure, but to have someone to go through the progress with. He was always supportive, and whenever I needed help figuring something out he was there on time with tools in hand. I’m so sad to see him leave the Bay Area, but I am also excited for this next step in his life.

With Copernicus being prepped to be loaded on the truck, we had one last hoorah and ate at a great little cafe nearby and took the doggies for a run at their favorite park ever. I can’t say I’m not tempted to follow him up to Seattle, I mean everything is literally half price. Housing is half price, food is probably half price, and vet care is half price. I like the sound of that, but I’m not going anywhere just yet.



When I first moved aboard, I had originally gotten this dinghy which served me well for a couple of years. I used to row over to the laundry and dog park area in it several times a week. The doggies loved it, as did I. But one weekend I had visitors and put too many people into it, I guess the weight requirement is real because the ribs in the floor popped. I bought what I thought was the replacement, but it was 2′ longer (12′), didn’t have rotating oar locks, and getting the oars in and out of the oar locks were a struggle. It was not going to be in the family long, that I knew after the first use!!

Back in February I asked Steve if I could buy his porta-bote, but it was out of my budget. Then, last week he randomly decided to give it to me before moving. Hokay! With the help of many friends I moved the port-bote over from his boat to mine. To my surprise, my neighbors have missed me. I know I mentioned in my last post I don’t have any neighbors. I do, but they’re different from my Berkeley neighbors. Nobody has invited me sailing. I’ve come back into my slip solo and people have walked past me and not offered a hand. I try to say hello to people I’m walking past and I’m met with the stank-eye and they continue to silently walk past me. I don’t know why, but it’s obviously more their problem than it is mine.

However, in the trip back to the marina to transport the porta-bote, I passed a handful of people who were friendly enough the few times I saw them. “Rachel, is that you? Oh my gosh you cut your hair! It looks great. Where have you been!? We thought you sold the boat! Oh we’ve missed you, we’ve been thinking about you!” I was surprised to hear that, but it warmed my heart. It’s good to know people are looking after my boat while I’m away.

It’s been three months since my injury and I still have no idea when I will be able to be on the boat again. It is very hard to be separated from something I love so much. Another warm and fuzzy surprise, a plant I thought I’d killed from over-watering last year and forgot to toss out… is somehow sprouting again? I hadn’t watered it since last fall and I removed all the dead stuff, but it’s alive and kicking and wants to flower.