The last exit on Interstate 580 before the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge is Point Molate. If you follow the winding, crumbling street, you pass Winehaven’s turn-of-the-century buildings, Richmond’s Rod and Gun Club, the burnt remnants of an old whaling station and, finally, a sign with a skull and crossbones directing you to Point San Pablo Yacht Harbor.
This is not your typical marina, and residents like Peter Thelin, who told us about the harbor’s history, like it just that way. At a weekly Friday night potluck dinner, Richmond Confidential talked to some of them about why they like living in the remote cove. For $5.75 a foot of boat or berth – “whatever’s greater,” says co-owner Roslynn Johnson – one can dock at Point San Pablo Yacht Harbor.
Around 40 people drop anchor permanently at the secluded cove. They live on 12 floating homes and nine houseboats (with engines). Community members hope to come to a deal with the City of Richmond and East Bay Regional Parks in order to preserve their homes and the area’s history. They also want to upgrade the natural beauty of the out-of-the-way harbor.
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The Point San Pablo Preservation Society was formed about a year ago, and its president Robert Edney would like to raise the harbor’s profile so that more people visit, especially Richmond’s youth. “Kids are trapped in an urban setting,” he said.