For two months in spring and again in fall, Herbie Schlaepfer and Barbara Haeusermann lock up their house near Zurich, Switzerland, travel some 6,000 miles, and climb aboard their floating home in Sausalito, California, a picturesque town just north of San Francisco. Spread across five residential marinas on the Richardson Bay, its enclave of some 400 floating houses has its roots in the 1800s, when artists, shipbuilders, and other free-spirited types started moving into informally anchored arks. Although today’s dwellings occupy permanent berths and are connected to city services, walking through the marinas’ gates still feels like entering another world.
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