Love Letter to a Dock

Diana’s full moon over Gate 6 ½ | photo and post by Diana Wolf

Diana Wolf moved to Gate 6 ½ in 1995. She and her husband Brent raised a son and daughter on the dock before moving to Novato several years ago. They kept the floating home, which they had built together, on the end of the dock as a rental property, until it was sold earlier this month. Diana and her daughter Vanessa came back for one last visit, which she described in an email to long–time dock neighbors:

It feels surreal to me that our houseboat is no longer part of our backstory. I met Brent in 1993, 5 months after he bought his bachelor pad, and I moved in with him in 1995. Living in the TINY houseboat for 4 1/2 years was a challenge but a fun adventure too. Having our bigger home built was dreamy, we were building a life, a future. We had our babies there, and while it was challenging going up and down the dock with a double stroller in the rain, I will treasure those memories forever.

I wasn’t able to spend much time there before it sold. One of our dogs had to wear inflatable collars for weeks due to a problematic cyst and I couldn’t leave him unattended with the other dog that LOVES to play rough. Then, I had to help get the kids moved out of their dorms, Vanessa had her wisdom teeth removed, and Brendan came down with COVID. Every time I thought I could escape to hang out there for a while I hit an obstacle.

Vanessa and I went on June 14 around 8 p.m.; we spent a couple of hours there taking in all the sights, sounds, and smells. It was a beautiful night, the tide was in and the houseboat rocked gently from the wakes thrown by a water skier, two seaplanes landed one right after the other, a dog was barking in the distance, a large gaggle of geese stayed near us for a long time as we hung our heads out the master bedroom window, and the air had that cool dampness to it that I embraced; I soaked it all in. After living in completely different conditions for a few years the specialness of being on the houseboat was more intense; living there, it’s easy to tune out and not appreciate it. All of the elements that I loved while living there came together for us, it was magical.

Vanessa was hungry, she had to go to work the next day, and she wanted to leave, it was about 9:05 PM. I asked her to be patient because I wanted to see one more moonrise, one of my favorite things about living there. The moonrise was at 9:25, we waited for a few minutes beyond that and she really wanted to go. I started to put my camera away and out of the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse of orange, and there it was, a big, beautiful moon coming up over the horizon. Vanessa couldn’t believe her eyes at how big and orange it was, a perfect ‘I told you so’ moment. I scrambled to get my good lens out and realized I didn’t bring it since we’d left the house in a hurry, sigh. I clicked anyway and grabbed proof that I got to see one more moonrise, one final goodbye even if wasn’t a perfect shot. It sounds crazy but I swear the houseboat put on a show for us and it left my heart feeling full, happy, and sad, bittersweet.

I wish we could’ve spent more time there and had a glass of wine together but it wasn’t meant to be. My memories there with all of you will stay with me for years to come, it’s a very special community.